It is my privilege to
have been given the opportunity over the last few years to get to
know and visit with the persons behind the myths available at Sundog
Stories. I have known Butch Ponzio from the time he took over as
editor of 'Counterpoint' when the founding editor, Bob
Loomis, died. Previous to that I had been involved as a member of
the paper's advisory editorial board when Bob was editor. I also was
a contributor of poetry, art, cartoons and articles to that
quarterly Vermont publication featuring news and arts by people with
psychiatric labels. Butch carried on the rich tradition that was Bob
Loomis' legacy and yet also managed to make the paper grow and
evolve into an even better and thriving publication at the same
time. I enjoyed working with Butch with the contributions for 'Counterpoint'
I sent to him for publication. My writing skills are much better
thanks to Butch. I have learned much from him. But he wasn't just my
editor, we worked as a team.
Butch is a person with
much lived experience to share from that are as deep and rich as
they are varied. As any good writer or story teller worth their
salt, he writes from what he knows, lived, observed or learned from
others. Butch doesn't dab his quill in blood though. He doesn't use
it as a sword. The well that inks each word and phrasing is drawn
from the compassionate heart and awareness he has. I believe his
writing shows this and actually speaks for itself. If you find
yourself asking how or why Butch does it, it is because he is a
story teller in the old tradition of the art.
With Butch, story
telling and sharing with others is a way of life for him. He isn't a
wanna-be. He is the real thing. His stories come from his gracious
soul and life experience which has been deeply enriched and affected
by all those around him.
Butch Ponzio has a
wisdom that is sadly all too rare these days. He is a survivor. Two
of his stories I have personally read are stories about surviving,
living life fully and the relationships and passion needed to do so.
A couple of years ago
Butch gave me copies of drafts of two stories featured at Sundog
Stories.net. They were 'Lucky's Dream' and 'Flying Angels'.
Reading doesn't come easy with me. Usually it takes me a long time
to get through a book. With both of these stories, once I picked
them up I couldn't stop reading them until I was finished with the
last page and line. When I had to take breaks to eat or whatever, I
couldn't wait to get back to them. They are that good and enriching.
Butch has done what few dare to do. In 'Lucky's Dream' he
skillfully paints a visual landscape that illustrates places and
gives voice to what few have allowed themselves to picture, know,
read about, listen to or to ever experience themselves - let alone
I intend to re-read
both 'Lucky's Dream' and 'Flying Angels' again. Plus I
am looking forward to reading the other offerings at Sundog Stories
as well as the site continues to grow.
Just like there is
always much more to anyone or any family, there is way much more to
Butch and his family as well than one can possibly glean or learn
from even amid the offerings from the heart found at this wonderful
Web site designed by Butch's son Nicholas. Being from the heart
Butch and his family are sharing with the world some of their many
talents and gifts freely in the spirit that the Web was intended. We
are blessed by Butch's sharing of these stories. We will be much
better off when and if we open ourselves to learning what they have
to offer us. Especially if we then live our lives accordingly by
sharing ourselves, our time, energy, gifts and talents with others
as Butch and his family has in many ways. Sundog Stories.net is
simply a virtual stage for this story telling troupe.
All I can say is that
you should read these stories for yourself and have the chance to be
blessed as few writers or story tellers manage to provide any
Read on, enjoy and
grow the better for it.
Morgan W. Brown
Thursday, August 17, 2000