I had an encounter with one of the chief promoters of the destruction of Crown Hill’s north woods last week which is merits memorialization.
Having breakfast at a local eatery, I saw Gordon Wishard at a nearby table. Wishard has been on the Crown Hill Board for many years. He was one of the chief pushers of the cemetery’s ill-fated 2006-07 plan for private commercial and residential development, and I bumped into him on several occasions during that prolonged battle. During our brief conversations at that time he was cordial but unsympathetic to the idea of forest preservation. He recently retired as a senior partner at the big Ice Miller law firm practicing corporate law. He’s definitely not used to hearing direct push-back from community folks or tree-huggers. And he’s probably not accustomed to being on the losing end of things when his clients holds most of the cards economically and politically.
Last week, I greeted him in a friendly way w/ a handshake and said I wanted to thank you for relocating the site for the planned VA columbaria (to the immediate east where there would be almost no impact). He gave me a sour look and tried to silence my comments with a stern “Don’t push it” admonition. I smiled and replied: “Don’t push it?? Are you kidding? We were forced to battle your ill-conceived project for eight months”. To which he again sternly (and theatrically–in a lower voice), warned “Don’t push it”.
The unmitigated gall of some imperious Crown Hill board members! They try to unnecessarily destroy a forest, causing the community 8 months of angst, labor, and expense. And then, when called to account in a minor way, they resort to a ridiculous, theatrical “Don’t push it”.
Would it have been so hard for him to graciously, if not begrudgingly, acknowledge the outcome with something like “I’m glad it ultimately worked out for you and Crown Hill”? No class. And certainly no heart.