Breezed into my favorite post office in Richardson, TX (Motto: We won't make you want to gnaw your leg off to get out of this trap!) when it opened at 8:30 this morning. Mailing a family portrait of three GQ guys and their old chrome-top mom to my parents. Lucked out and got my favorite civil servant, a chatty English-speaking guy who looks like a somewhat past-fifty former surfer who enjoys his Coronas. I noticed the Buckminster Fuller commemorative stamp on the poster of "new issues", and was stunned to see the stamp came out in July. Where was I? How did I miss this? Why do I feel like I am being sucked down into the rabbit hole of Memory Lane? I don't have time for Memory Lane! Why does the rabbit hole look like the hair dryer of an early Barbie? I've got to get to work!
Flashback to 1976, University of Nebraska... Mary and I decide during lunch at the student union to cut class and go hear Bucky Fuller speak to an association of Nebraska architects in the auditorium of Sheldon Gallery. The auditorium is full, but we slip in and sit on the steps in the aisle. It's winter. I sense our midi-length wool coats bunched around us on the steps, and suspect we had on knee-high leather boots. Bucky is a visionary Mr. Magoo, all bald head and black Coke bottle glasses and high-energy stubborn conviction about better living through geometry. He is much cuter and crazier than the image on the postage stamp... A just-hatched baby archaeopteryx, featherless. You kinda want to rub his head for luck.
Flashback further to 1957, Lincoln. Sometimes I wonder if it was real, but I remember my dad having a homemade model of a geodesic dome in the basement of our duplex when I was two years old. You know how sometimes you think it is an authentic memory, but it turns out to be a distortion from an actual family slideshow to ward off cabin fever during a blizzard forty years ago? You think you travelled to Bismarck, North Dakota in 1960, but it turns out you ate a bismarck with a carton of chocolate milk at a diner in Marysville, Kansas on a rainy day? You remember getting carsick in the backseat of the '54 Chevy when you went driving around the reservoir dam that was under construction in that plastic raincoat that didn't breathe? Still, for the next twenty-plus years you checked North Dakota off on the map of States I Have Visited... So, I maybe just think Howie had that model of a geodesic dome, but for thirty years I expected that when he retired he would build a real dome out in the backyard.
So, the civil surfer servant said, "You really want those stamps? No one has ever asked for those stamps. We can't get rid of them. Didn't that guy make geo-dweeezy domes or something?" The stamps are truly ugly. They look more like Dr. Strangelove-Does-Epcot than Bucky. I will be glad to use them to mail Mary and my parents. The civil servant is crossed off my Prince Charming list, though!