Gov. William Donald Schaefer canceled yesterday a visit he had planned to the annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield today, and State House sources attributed the change of plans to the governor's concern over the health of his longtime companion, Hilda Mae Snoops.
The governor, however, scoffed at the suggestion, saying, "Boy, I hadn't heard that." But he acknowledged that Mrs. Snoops, who has been seen in public rarely in recent months, remains ill in the Governor's Mansion.
"She's holding her own," he said. "She's not getting worse. She's not getting better." Mr. Schaefer dislikes discussing her illness and has never publicly identified her medical problem.
Some sources said he decided not to make the trip to the southern tip of the Eastern Shore because of fatigue, but others said he is worried about Mrs. Snoops and prefers to remain close to the mansion.
Mrs. Snoops has served as Maryland's official hostess since shortly after Mr. Schaefer took office in 1987.