Archive for April 27th, 2011


Schaefer’s Funeral Will Be A Once in a Lifetime Event For Baltimore

Schaefer enroute to City Hall for a public viewingThe funeral for William Donald Schaefer will be probably be the last of its kind, a city-wide, deep reaching communal ceremony. Think about it. Who else will touch the city like the iconic four-term Mayor, two-term governor. Anthropologists and historians study funerals as a reflection of the cultures? The fact that there isn’t another leader or even personality to take Schaefer’s place says a lot about our time and the city, which has undergone sweeping changes in the past two decades. This is a sad and overwhelming comment on the city and whether it really is community at all. The city has attracted scores of young, the old stalwarts, The Baltimoreons, have gone. fled up I-95. In some sectors, being a Baltimore native is unusual.

Not only is there no emerging true leader to galvanize the city, but people maybe too divided and self involved into their own lives to even care, thanks to technology and the hyper, hysterical self afflicted pressures  of family life. Much can be gleaned about a person’s life, sometimes too much, during a funeral. The speeches, stories told over heaping spreads back at the house miraculously weave together a story of the departed.  Much will be said about Baltimore from this event, in the the crowd people will hold their own stories. But is even talking about Schaefer an indicator of a lost generation of Baltimoreans sort of like the people who still talk about the Baltimore Colts. Schaefer’s passing may not only be an end of an era. That era may  have long gone.

B'Nai Israel of Lloyd Street offers a message to Schaefer's passing motorcade