A visit by Mayor William Donald Schaefer to the General Assembly was hard to forget. It was an orchestrated military maneuver — you knew he was coming to your committee because the TV tripods were already set up. His arrival looked a lot like a rugby scrum, an odd combination of cameras, reporters, a brace of staff carrying easels and flip charts, and of course, himself in the middle, snarling at reporters and barking at staff to the astonishment of those onlookers who happened to be in the way.
His presentations were either animated, bordering on manic, or cold, steely, confrontations in which he was cocked and loaded to the teeth like a lethal weapon. My first face-to-face with him was in 1976, a year he was seeking state assistance for the Baltimore Convention Center. I was a skeptic, one who felt the numbers didn't work.