Baltimore loses its No. 1 fan with passing of William Donald Schaefer

April 19, 2011 | Nestor Aparicio

who loved Baltimore so much it made him cry.

I learned a lot that day when he got the shaft from Glendening, who stole the spotlight in the way the Emperor stole the new clothes. The guy who deserved all of the “credit” got publicly disrespected by a goofy D.C.-beltway politician and it was then that I learned what politics are all about in Baltimore. The people who do the fighting for progress get the arrows. And they rarely survive long enough to get the credit and bows they deserve, even when in Schaefer’s case, he didn’t really live his life to get those bows.

A humble man who refused to take quarters inside a mansion in Annapolis, even if that’s where they told him he was supposed to live, Schaefer will always mean the world to me.

He was the biggest Baltimore fan I’ve ever known. He was not just an icon but a true “idol” — someone who lived his life to serve to others in his community and make the world a better place.

It’s a guy like him that would make me want to become the Mayor or the Governor, to have the inner fortitude to want to change my community and make it the best it could be.

I loved Gov. Schaefer. I love his statue, which I pass almost every day as I walk through his local version of Disney World — the Inner Harbor. Like him, the statue is larger than life. And I see the decay of our downtown business district around that statue and a little piece of me cries for him every day.

He’s no longer with us and this community already misses him.

He was a man with a vision of a better Baltimore.

We should all take a cue as we take a moment of collective civic silence today for a man who changed our world on Sunday afternoons in the fall and summer evenings in Baltimore.

Rest in peace, Governor. You did great work here on the planet in making our hometown a better place!

We’ll do our best to carry on without you…but it’ll never be the same!