RIP William Donald Schaefer, fan of history, hats

April 23, 2011

While representing Historic St. Mary's City during a Maryland Day celebration in Annapolis nearly a quarter-century ago, I presented an impressive replica 17th century helmet (called a "lobstertail) to the state's new governor, William Donald Schaefer.

Mr. Schaefer, of course, put it on with great panache. There he was in the evening papers, somehow making the strangest of head gear look almost normal. During several meetings over the next few years, I learned that this down-to-earth leader could always make Maryland history fun and accessible to everyone. He could take foolish and forgettable and turn it into, "Wow, I didn't know that" or "That's cool and interesting."

Maryland's world of history and culture will sincerely miss him. Good luck and Godspeed William Donald Schaefer.

Burt Kummerow, Ruxton

The writer is president of the Maryland Historical Society.

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