Monday, April 25, 2011

Schaefer Returns to Annapolis

 If it is ever possible to say that it was a perfect day for a viewing, today was it.

My morning car appointment taking later than expected, I decided to drive down to Annapolis to attend the State House component of Governor Schaefer’s viewing. Ironically, I live only about two miles or so from City Hall, where the former mayor and governor will lie in repose through the end of Tuesday, but I have a conflict tonight and work tomorrow. So trekking down to the State House – which I have not visited since I finished up my stint in the Ehrlich Administration in December 2006 – was my best option.

Signs directed people to the Naval Academy stadium parking lot. But there being no evidence of any sort of infrastructure for ferrying people to the State House, I drove on and parked in the Visitor Center garage. That proved a fortuitous decision.

Not only was the brief walk through historic Annapolis sunny and pleasant, there was no line snaking around State Circle, as I had feared could be the case. Uniformed DGS officers doubling as ushers directed visitors to the front of the State House in a friendly manner. A gubernatorial proclamation celebrating Schaefer’s life sat on an easel just outside the door. Right inside the doorway sat Schaefer’s casket, covered with an American flag. Despite a report in the Baltimore Sun stating that Schaefer wanted an open casket, it was closed. Two uniformed Maryland State Police officer stood at either end of the casket. A few minutes after I arrived, two Baltimore Police Officers in dress uniforms took their places.

People weren’t filing around the casket in a manner similar to the viewings which occasionally occur in the U. S. Capitol. Instead they cycled to the other side of the State House’s great foyer, mingling with other visitors and watching a slide presentation of moments from the gubernatorial phase of Schaefer’s long career. I recognized and chatted a bit with Aaron Tomarchio, Chief of Staff to David Craig, Harford County Executive.

The whole experience took less than a half hour – and would have taken less had I not gotten lost finding my way back to the Visitor Center. I’m glad I did it.

The motorcade bringing Schaefer back to Baltimore is expected to make a stop in Fells Point. If I manage to get a picture of it, I will post it here. 

1 comment:

  1. Richard, thanks for writing this. I had every intention of going today as it was where I spent most of my work time with the Governor, in his office or with his press secretary during WBAL-Radio interviews. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it today, but am pleased to read your installment. Thank you. Lisa S