What Would Bucky Say?

Today’s Teachers Write prompt asks us to write a letter from one character to another. It’s amazing that as much research as I feel like I’ve been doing, I still don’t feel like I have a full sense of what it would be like to hear Bucky correspond with someone. I know his prose has a tendency to be really dense, so I honestly wonder if I’m even intelligent enough to write like him — is that an issue others often have? That if you’re writing a genius character, you might not be wise enough to make him or her sound authentic?

Anyway. This prompt immediately made me think about how I really need to dedicate some time to exploring more of the amazing audio and video that Stanford has posted as part of their project to sift through Bucky’s insane Chronofile, Bucky’s documentation of his own life (he called himself Guinea Pig B) that one source said he updated EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES of his life (I haven’t found a second source to confirm this, although an architecture magazine in the 1970s printed one of his weekly itineraries and it’s INSANE).

I don’t know the extent to which Henry Ford and Bucky Fuller were in touch, and I know that the Henry Ford Museum didn’t acquire the Wichita House until after both were dead, but here’s an imagined letter of Bucky responding to Ford’s request for the house. There’s much, MUCH work to be done.

Dear Henry,

I’m flattered that you believe the Dymaxion prototype would be a valuable addition to your esteemed collection. Placing it alongside revered, iconic designs of industry, automotive technology, and American history is in some ways more than I could have asked for.

However, I wonder what your thoughts are about making this exhibit thought-provoking? I would find it a waste to restore the Wichita house and not have any further developments come of it. As you well know, the 4D design was not put into production because of high material costs. I imagine that in a city where material innovation would be key to the auto industry, local engineers and innovators would be sensitive to a shifting paradigm and would be well-equipped to continue research into a mast-based house.

I wonder too, looking back at my designs for housing pods in Harlem, if this might be an opportunity for Detroit to think about transforming itself, to think of more holistically redesigned than merely dealing with urban blight.

Please let me know what information I can provide to permit the restoration to be as accurate as possible. And for goodness sake, please get rid of the concrete garage at the base of the Wichita house. We both know it’s grossly unnecessary.



Hmmmmmmmm. All the thinks to think about!

2 thoughts on “What Would Bucky Say?”

  1. What an interesting story! I believed in this voice, but depending what you do with the research, you might not have to keep to his voice. It’s a good exercise to try, but you might end up with something from an omniscient point of view. That is a daunting amount of material to draw from — I hope you love research! (my bet is that you wouldn’t have begun this if you didn’t!)

    1. Haha, holy cow, I can’t imagine doing the entire thing in his voice, but the exercise has definitely gotten me thinking! I ADORE research. I’m pretty pumped for an excuse to do it. :) Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *