Interview: Jean Ponzi

 In Culture, Interviews

A conversation with St. Louis feminist, radio show host, green warrior, plant nurturer, sustainability expert and environmental activist.


What is your current mood or state of mind?

What makes you happy?
Singing and being with my friends.

What is your idea of misery?

Being annoyed.

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Cereal with bananas and strawberries.

What’s one word that describes you?

What traits do you value most in others?
A sense of humor and genuine intelligence.

What’s your favorite occupation?
I really admire artists and musicians.

Who would you most like to be?

I am who I’d most like to be.

What’s your favorite color?

Green—It goes with everything.

What is your favorite food?
Cheese. Especially really smelly ones.

What food do you like the least?
Organ meats.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would that be?
Rachel Carson—A poet, botanist and lover of the outdoors.

What vice do you most tolerate in others?

What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could create cartoons.

Who are your favorite artists?
Sarah Linquist, Georgia O’Keefe and any painter in Hudson River school.

What excites you?
Really clear thinking, sensibly applied.

What do you consider a turn off?

Ignorance, greed and violence.

What do you love?
To laugh. To sing. My circle of friends and my family. Trees. The Earth.

What do you hate?
Pandering to stupidity.

What are you most looking forward to?
The future, when human beings live in an integrated way on the planet we inhabit.

What is one thing you wish would happen?

That a really powerful, effective grassroots movement would protect the environment and accomplish integrating ourselves into the environment.

What’s something interesting that you just learned?

That cats have really high endorphins that allow them to tolerate a lot of pain and to have an attitude of rising above things.

What is your personal motto?

Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

In other life, you’d be:

I’d gladly come back as a human being, but I prefer to do it when some of this mess has been cleaned up.

What is your favorite word?
Okie dokie.

What is your least favorite word?
Any noun that has been translated into a verb, like “we’re officed here.”

Your hidden talent?
I’m a very good singer.

Personal hero?
Leo and Kay Drey. They are changing the way forests are managed and are some of the most informed citizen activists.

If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say?
Don’t worry about what you’re going to do, don’t worry about getting stuck. Do what you know and pick a thread and stick with it. And “you go girl.”


555_309.jpgJean Ponzi


Photo credit: Photos by Wesley Law; Art Direction By David Hsia

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