Letter: Nancy had a special influence | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Nancy had a special influence

Special Nancy.

I will miss her deeply, and I have lost a very dear friend. I met Nancy three decades ago in India in the Oberoi Hotel, New Dehli. I was having an important meeting for my team of experts to help them get to know one another and our project. A young girl entered the lobby. She was barefooted with her blond hair flowing. She wore blue jeans and a cute little hat and walked into the lobby curious to see what was going on. She saw our group and thought that we looked interesting. She came over to listen in and distracted my team, so I asked this lovely girl to come over and sit on the arm of my chair and join in. Most young girls would have run away, but not Nancy. She came over and joined in the meeting, and some of her comments found their way into the project. She helped to bond my group of experts and never realized that she had done it.

We became friends. Over the years we have remained friends even though we hardly ever met, and when we did, it was in some faraway place where our paths crossed. Looking back, of the many friends I have made in my life, Nancy is unique. She was always there somewhere. I was never surprised if she appeared unexpectedly with her infectious smile, full of exiting ideas and dreams — and ready to go on any adventures at a moment’s notice.

I now realize that Nancy changed my life without even knowing it. She invited me to Aspen many years ago for an education foundation conference. She was excited because one of the themes was to make “science less threatening for girls.” My wife and I were able to go, and Nancy arranged for us to stay with Nick and Maggie de Wolfe. Through that link, we ended up going to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert with no idea what it was about. Through that, we ended up buying the world’s largest solar-powered art machine. We needed to look after my machine, so we set up an art foundation called eatART.org, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. EatART means “energy awareness though art,” and we now have 2,000 members, and it is great fun. This has all happened because of Nancy, and she had no idea that it was because of her that it happened.

Our art machine is unique. She is beautiful. Everyone loves her. She is fun and spreads happiness wherever she goes. In fact, our art machine is just like Nancy, so we are changing her name from “Daisy” to “Nancy.” We hope to take her across Canada and America next year, stopping at places that need some excitement. If this epic journey comes off, we will dedicate the trip to Nancy Pfister and try to pass by Aspen.

John Cunningham


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