C.J.: Buettner finds his match in healthy living author Kathy Freston

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 24, 2014 - 6:50 PM

Dan Buettner, Mr. @BlueZones, is besotted with L.A.-based healthy-living, conscious-eating author Kathy Freston, a reasonable vegan.

The author of “Blue Zones” and “Thrive,” who’s all about living a life that ends in triple digits, described Freston as “the love of my life” Sunday before a crowd under a tent in his front yard. The scene looked like a setting for a wedding to Mayor Betsy Hodges when she jogged by, not knowing it was Buettner’s home and her destination later in the day.

It was the stage for a book-signing party for Arianna Huffington, founder of HuffingtonPost.com. Buettner, Hodges and chef and “Bizarre Foods” TV star Andrew Zimmern were co-hosts. Huffington’s latest book is also titled “Thrive.”

“I just want to say how incredibly happy I am that Kathy and Dan are together,” Huffington said to the crowd. “I adore Kathy. She is one of my closest girlfriends. … Every time she has a book out I give her a book party; every time I have a book out she gives me a book party. She already gave me a book party in Los Angeles. Little did we know that there would be another book party by Dan here in Minneapolis. Thank you and I’m just so thrilled. I couldn’t have [imagined] two better people coming together. Maybe it is a wedding,” Huffington said, playfully putting a finger over her lips as if to shush herself.

Hodges said: “Twenty-five years ago I was drunk, smoking a pack of cigarettes [a day] and weighed over 200 pounds. Health is the guidepost to anything else you want to do in the world; that’s been my experience. It’s a little remarkable for me to be standing here with people who know so much about the link between health and community and thriving and being connected to everybody. … It’s an honor. “But hey, 25 years ago, if you [had] told me I would have run nine miles this morning, it would have been the most shocking thing about this day! Thanks to all of you for the work that you’ve done, helping inspire me and inspire so many people. This city is a great place to get healthy.”

Buettner described Huffington as a blend of Jackie Kennedy, the good side of William Randolph Hearst, “the goddess Athena, and a little Aphrodite in there, too. Part of the reason we’re here is to celebrate Arianna, but my true intention was to introduce Arianna to the amazing talent here in Minnesota. I don’t think I could have asked for a better assemblage of people.”

Buettner said he owed Huffington huge debts of gratitude on several fronts. He said people are buying his book about happiness, “Thrive,” because they have confused it with hers.

And more importantly: “About six years ago I was at a book party at Arianna’s house [attended by] another great woman writer, a New York Times [bestseller]. I met this gorgeous woman here, Kathy Freston, who was vetted by Arianna. It took five years and swimming upstream, but now the love of my life is standing here next to me.” The crowd aahhed.

Kathy and Dan have been dating about a year, his bubbly mom, Dolly Buettner, told me.

In a private moment, Buettner told me, “You’ve got the scoop.”

I had a heads-up, Dan will realize if he thinks back to my arrival. Buettner stood near the entrance with Rudy Maxa, producer and host of “Rudy Maxa’s World,” and Bill McGuire, former UnitedHealth head inpiccolocognito — I coined that — thanks to a beard grown on a vacation. Before Dan could introduce Freston, I extended my hand and said, Hi, Kathy.

I knew. Sometimes I like to see if a romance has legs.

 

‘Bachelor’ villain spills it

Courtney Robertson, the most controversial victor/villain in ABC’s “The Bachelor” history, is signing copies of her book at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Mall of America.

This chick spills the tea and the beans in her down-and-dirty “I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain,” and I’m reading it as if there’s a pop quiz.

She’s courageous, and I have to think ABC won’t be amused, but then again, this could breathe some life in the gamy franchise.

 

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