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Phillips Harborplace to toast William Donald Schaefer tonight

If anyone could will the sun into coming out after a week of crummy weather, it would be William Donald Schaefer.

The former mayor, governor and comptroller's last tour of Baltimore was a warm, cloudless Monday that saw hundreds come out to say their goodbyes to a towering figure they all knew for his tenacity and for his love of the city.

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At Fells Point, where I was covering the motorcade, Donald Graham remembered Schaefer as a no-nonsense governor who got things done.

"I've been in the construction business my whole life and things never move quickly," the 69-year-old, who lives in Fells, said. "But he cut through the red tape and the bureaucracy and pushed projects through."

When longtime Schaefer aide Lainy LeBow-Sachs emerged from the motorcade, the crowd waiting outside Jimmy's restaurant, where Schaefer was a regular, greeted her to cheers of hip-hip hooray and "For he's a jolly good mayor." LeBow-Sachs chatted with the crowds for several minutes, hugged Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, and accepted two potted African violets, Schaefer's favorite from Nick Filipidis, co-owner of Jimmy's.

Sun reporters where covering the motorcade's progress through the city; their dispatches, mine included, are collected here.

Events commemorating Schaefer continue today. Phillips Harborplace will host a happy hour organized by WNST starting at 5 p.m. and until sunset. City offices are also closed for a mandatory furlough in Schaefer's honor. His public funeral will be held Wednesday at the Old St. Paul Church.

Photo: Sen. Barbara Mikulski outside Jimmy's Restaurant Monday (Maza)

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