Our Place

Peter Wilson, attorney at law and defense counsel for the Geneva Shore Report:
Herein is a copy of the tribute Peter’s friend Jim Strauss, managing editor of the Geneva Shore Report wrote the morning after Peter died:

“Peter Wilson, a local attorney and a friend of mine, died in his sleep last night. He had a magnificently bold but weak heart. He was also one of those very rare humans in that he thought I was a better person and much greater than I really am. It’s one thing to lose a friend but it’s even harder if that friend was a fan. I don’t have many of either, which is always disconcerting to me. Peter poked at windmills riding his legal steed into the most ridiculously righteous causes that paid nothing in return. He was that kind of man. Peter gave me a feeling of higher self worth and also security….in knowing I was capable of making and keeping a friend like him. Others will miss him deeply and I do not deserve to say that I will miss him more deeply than they.

But Peter was foundational to me and there’s this crack in my foundation right now. Peter did not keep a Facebook page, although he got great pleasure in going over mine when we had coffee at the Geneva Java Coffee Shop almost every morning. I told him that my Facebook friends were not real friends, as I tried to sell him on opening a page of his own. He said that the people who communicated regularly on Facebook were indeed my friends and I should view them that way. If they didn’t care deeply they would not write on my thread and care if this was the basis of our friendship. Was he right? I think so, and I’m never going to forget what he said, this man, my friend, who would not open a Facebook page of his own, but much enjoyed all of you on mine. See you on the other side Peter Wilson.”

The tribute says it all. Peter was pro bono about life and his presence and performance at the Geneva Shore Report will be deeply and often missed.

The YMCA is not moving. It’s trying to move. What it needs to move is a good-sized plot of land not far from the city center where everyone could access its inexpensive but vital services. The YMCA would like to move to Hillmoor, but Hillmoor is not owned by the city and the new owners are not likely to cede any of the property to an organization that thinks R.O.I. stands for Really Old Information instead of Return On Investment.

Paul Fitzpatrick and his team of new owners are up from downtown Chicago and downtown Chicago commercial real estate developers are not normally known as the most beneficent of community serving souls. Veteran’s Park has been mentioned as a potential home for the YMCA building. But what about all the ball fields? And what about parking? There have been discussions about the old YMCA building being used as a convention center, but the building is too small, the parking too limited, and the neighborhood not sensitized to a convention center level of activity. So, what’s going to happen? Is someone going to step forward with a five-million-dollar cash gift to build a new facility, and accompany that with the five or six acres needed?

The British have a saying that bears thinking about: “Not Bloody Likely!”

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