FOR many years Don Schaefer and I shared the center stage in a city growing to meet its potential. As president of the City Council for almost all of the time that Schaefer was mayor, I got to know him fairly well. We were often at odds on important issues, and I carry to this day a bruise or two from our struggles.
Life with Schaefer was never dull. In a world of no-risk, dull bean-counters, Schaefer is a real live passionate human being. Like all of us, he is not perfect or always right. What he does is needle, push, pull, argue, shout, curse, exhort, dance, sing or whatever it takes to make us move. It is impossible to be around Schaefer and not get involved.
To poke mean-spirited fun at him for wearing hats or funny bathing suits is to willfully distort and degrade noble devotion. In a world of bland, Schaefer is spice, excitement and commitment. If "giving a damn" is something to be derided, then we are lost.