The celebration was threefold: (1) the 85th birthday of engineer-philosopher-ecologist Buckminster Fuller; (2) the 63rd anniversary of Bucky’s marriage to Anne Hewlett Fuller, 84; and (3) a salute to the Windstar Foundation, a think tank that singer John Denver founded in Aspen in 1976 to “foster the concept of harmony individually, collectively and environmentally.”
The diminutive (5’2″) Bucky and 200 guests harmonized in every way at the foundation’s now permanent HQ in Old Snowmass, Colo. In the background were some of Fuller’s inventions, such as the energy-efficient Dymaxion car and a Plexiglas-bubbled version of his geodesic dome. Fuller jawed with Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm about the population explosion and housing trends. Meanwhile Denver’s pal, est guru Werner Erhard, discoursed on self-control. Then the guests dug into a buffet of appropriately natural food: hummus, tofu dip, stone-ground home-baked bread, corn-and-rice salad, red pickled-plum house dressing and baked trout. Finally the host, Denver, twanged a spirited rock medley that shook the 40-foot open-air tepee. At sundown there were tributes from both Erhard and Fuller’s grandson, UCLA music student Jamie Snyder, before Denver proposed “my toast to Bucky.” John had composed it especially for the event, and his guests, touched and teary-eyed, joined in the chorus: “What one man can do is dream/What one man can do is love/What one man can do is change the world and make it new again.” Then John Denver kissed the grand old man, stroked the back of his neck and murmured, “I love you, Bucky.” So, clearly, did everyone else on top of Old Snowmass.