Krewson remembers past Heemeyer altercations
(Originally published June 10, 2004 in the Sky-Hi News)
For one of very few times in the past five years, I was glad to be in Tunkhannock, Pa., last Friday rather than sitting at the desk I occupied in the Sky-Hi News for 16 years.
Otherwise I would have been sitting there, fat and happy, along with Patrick Brower and Harry Williamson, as a homemade tank driven by a maniac smashed into the building, virtually destroying it and sending Patrick and Harry fleeing out the back door.
Since I am numbered among those Marv Heemeyer considered to be an arch-enemy, I would have emulated editor/publisher Brower who ran to his home, loaded Lydia and Sebastian into his car and left town. I would have been sure that had Marv leveled Patrick’s house as he did that of late mayor Dick Thompson, our home wouldn’t be far behind.
I first encountered Heemeyer when he became involved with the greedy businessmen who divided Grand Lake into two bitter camps when they attempted to bring legalized casino gambling to one of Colorado’s few unspoiled small communities, hoping to sell their businesses for huge sums of money and then depart, leaving the rest of us to contend with the ensuing problems. Heemeyer became editor of an amateurish newspaper whose name was. I believe, The Grand Lake Gazette. In it, he attempted to counter all the anti-gambling arguments I advanced in column after column – the devastation gambling had brought to towns like Black Hawk and Central City, where you could no longer buy a loaf of bread or gallon of milk and had to drive for miles to gas up your vehicle sine mom and pop businesses had been forced to sell out to the gambling interests. Tax increases brought about inflated prices paid for land by casino operators was forcing people to leave town.
One evening as Marv was handing out copies of his paper in front of Grand LAke Pharmacy we got into a real shouting match, nearly coming to blows, calling each other liars and questioning the motives of those on either side of the gambling issue. When Grand Lake voters turned down legalized gambling by a 4-to-1 margin. Heemeyer was beside himself and apparently launched a pattern of anti-social, anti-establishment and anti-government beliefs and actions.
As I’ve been keeping tabs on what’s been going on in Grand County through my weekly visits from the Sky-Hi News, the Winter Park Manifest and the Middle PArk Times, I couldn’t help but notice how often Heemeyer’s name kept cropping up for battles with his neighbors, local government, law enforcement, ect. Reading between the lines, it appeared his anger and frustration were growing and growing. But neither I nor anyone else had any idea how much!
Now I’ve known anger and frustration myself, for far more years than Marv Heemeyer has to endure them. There was the sudden death of my 47-year-old first wife, the birth of a Downs-Syndrome son and failed efforts to keep in touch with him. There was a return to our roots in Pennsylvania that turned out to be far less than it was supposed to have been and the death of my terminally-ill younger, brother, much earlier than we had anticipated. There have been problems with jobs and housing and the inevitable frustrations that go with being a freelance writer. But I haven’t been plotting revenge against those who have wronged me as Marv Heemeyer must have been doing. It’s estimated it probably took him three months to construct the steel and concrete-reinforced bulldozer he used in wreaking havoc in downtown Granby – havoc that would have been much more pronounced if he hadn’t missed with the .50-caliber shots he fired at propane tanks before finally managing to get his weapon of mass destruction stuck at Gamble’s.
At least the mid-East terrorists and suicide bombers have misguided religious beliefs behind their actions. When Marv Heemeyer lowered that reinforced shell onto his were vindictiveness, revenge, wanton destruction and general meanness.
It will take a much better Christian than I to ask God to have mercy on his soul.
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