A Schaeferean Drama: Act Vii

August 24, 1998|By LAURA LIPPMAN

Letters. We get letters. Exactly two to date, inquiring: How do you come up with those clever weekly items that remind us of the funky fun and the funny funks of former Governor-in-All-Probability-Future- Comptroller William Donald Schaefer?

Well, Mom, it's a highly complicated process, but here goes:

1) Put William Donald Schaefer's name into a computer database of the nation's newspapers, using the seven-day period as the parameters.

2) Hit "search" button.

3) Close eyes, select item.

Elapsed time: Five to seven minutes.

Journalists have a technical name for this kind of investigative work. We call it "shooting fish in a barrel."

This week in Schaefer history, Aug. 23-Aug. 29, 1989. Reporters in August 1998 are asking experts to evaluate Bill and Hillary Clinton's marriage. Nine years ago, Sun reporter Jean Marbella asked experts to determine whether the relationship between Schaefer and the new mayor, Kurt L. Schmoke, had a fighting chance.

A local astrologer was optimistic, as was a California psychologist. But Evelyn Greenblatt -- a contributor to the Ladies Home Journal feature "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" -- saw trouble ahead. The relationship was already degenerating into a series of passive-aggressive "slights," Greenblatt noted, which is not the healthiest way to air differences.

Could this marriage be saved? "I'm a therapist," she said. "I only work with people who come to me voluntarily. People have to want to be helped."

Pub Date: 8/24/98

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