Eric Anderson said he won’t tell his colleagues where he was last Saturday. Things were a touch fanciful, and he figured they wouldn’t understand.
One of the 50 or so to attend the forum, Anderson is employed as a forestry professional. But he found himself ankle-deep in the weekend’s whimsy thanks to his association with one of Squamish’s trail-keeper societies.
With his shirt tucked into tight-fitting jeans, his hair cut short and neat, and his heart pining for more lands zoned industrial, Anderson had no problem finding polar opposites in the crowd.
And Kimberly Armour was happy to give him one. Strapped into sandals and wearing a breezy, loose-fitting blouse, a black, serpentine tree tattooed on her foot and a fondness in her heart for lands zoned nearly any other way, the Royal Roads University student was the left to Anderson’s right.
The two first met during the afternoon’s open space sessions, an ideas forum that some might call fanciful. The topic was linkages, and the thrust was towards building bridges from, say, the environmental community to the industrial community.
“One of the things that’s missing from this meeting is the people that make the whole economy go,” Anderson said, later suggesting the venue might repulse those shakers.
The topic of venues grabbed due attention, as did the whole notion of diversity at such forums. Would the Andersons and Armours get much done? Or would they just hector one another?
Said D.G. Blair Whitehead: “If you have a diverse population, a meeting like this would not work. I was a little nervous about this meeting. I thought it was way too airy-fairy. I wasn’t sure if it would be worth spending the first sunny day in forever in a meeting.”
Armour and Anderson then got into it over the Oceanfront Lands in Squamish. Through her studies, Armour has become involved in the Squamish Equinox Rock Festival, which goes down on those same waterfront lands that Anderson would like to see host industry.
To say the two grew angry would be a little of bit of an overstatement — but their exchange wasn’t quite what you’d call cordial.
At the end of the day, during summary remarks, Anderson strayed from the group. He wondered around the room inspecting wooden pillars, indicating, perhaps, that a potential linkage had been lost.