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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Picasso from Belgium"

The internet is a weird thing, allowing you to develop friendships - sometimes very close friendships - with people you never meet in person.  Sometimes all you know of them is a nickname and an avatar and what they write.

Back in 2006, when I started up Dreamtime, the blog started receiving a lot of hits from another blog where a group of Theme Time Radio Hour enthusiasts had gathered and essentially taken over a comment thread there.  One of the most enthusiastic of those enthusiasts was a person going by the on-line handle of "Picasso from Belgium," whose name I later discovered was Pierre Ponette, and who was indeed from Belgium.  Picasso wasn't a native English speaker or writer and sometimes his posts were a bit hard to interpret, but his love for the music played on Theme Time came through loud and clear.

As time passed, Picasso and I both settled into the Theme Time Radio Hour forum at Expecting Rain.  We'd occasionally pass emails back and forth, but usually communicated through posts on that forum, sometimes answering the other's question on a piece of TTRH trivia, sometimes just saying "Hello" or acknowledging an interesting post.

Picasso spent much of his energies in the Forum cataloging the music played on TTRH, defining each piece by its year of release, and often nailing down exactly what version had been played.  That's trivial I know to the average Bear, but interesting to those of us who love music.  Picasso was instrumental in creating the listings used for the TTRH CD artwork that many fans have downloaded.

In 2007, Picasso had a personal loss which he felt deeply, and his postings decreased.  Yet, after a several month absence, he returned to the Forum and completed a complete playlist for the second season of Theme Time.  He was obviously looking forward to Season 3, his last posting on the site was in August - a placeholder topic that he was ready to fill with the Season 3 playlists. "Inch'Allah, available here as from 10SEP08..." he wrote.

But that topic will remain empty.  His daughter wrote to Expecting Rain...
It is with deepest sorrow that I announce the death of my dad, Pierre Ponette. He passed away Wednesday, September 3 in his sleep, following a cerebral aneurysm. His funeral will take place this Saturday September 13, at the church Saint-Martin de Frasnes-Lez-Buissenal at 11 a.m.
Sometimes you develop friendships  with people you never meet in person.  Sometimes all you know of them is a nickname and an avatar, and what they write.  But maybe in the end it's what they write that is the most important thing.

Picasso from Belgium - Pierre Ponette. He was a good friend who I never met, and I will miss him.

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