The Culberts of Vienna had a wood stove they decided was too big for their chimney, so they muscled it into the garage and replaced it with something smaller. But what to do with that impressive -- and impressively heavy -- stove, still functional but suddenly unneeded?
List it. Which is what they did. They put the stove on Levey's List, the catalogue of large items free to good homes and organizations that my esteemed predecessor started.
Nowadays we're calling it simply "the List," and basically it works like this: If you have an item to give away, you let us know what it is and we put it on the List. If there's something you need, you request a copy of the List.
Then the two halves of that equation work things out between themselves.
The List is maintained by the indefatigable Gerri Marmer, who tends it and prunes it and sends it out by e-mail, snail mail and fax. The sorts of things that show up on it include appliances, desks, exercise equipment, computers and monitors, pianos, sofas, moving boxes, even waterbeds.
Some donors choose to stipulate that their item go only to a nonprofit organization so that they can take a tax deduction. The main things to keep in mind are that the person taking the item is responsible for moving it and that the person giving the item can't charge for it. (If you want to sell something, we have a wonderful thing in The Post called a classified ad.)
We also don't want you selling the item after someone has been nice enough to give it to you for free, either. (How will we know, you ask. Hey, we're the newspaper that brought down a president. We'll know.)
Here's how the List works:
Adding an Item to the List
E-mail a description of the item to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include as many details as possible, such as age, color, manufacturer, dimensions, working condition, any quirks that you know, any manuals or warranties that are included, and so on. Or call 202-334-7662 and leave all important information about your item on our recorded line.
Give us the telephone number you want people to call. If you want them to call at certain times, we'll tell them (but we can't guarantee that they will!).
Tell us if you want us to say "Nonprofits only" on your item.
When your item has been claimed, please call us at 202-334-7662 or e-mail us at email@example.com to let us know it's gone. Otherwise, your item and your telephone number will stay on the List.
Getting a Copy of the List
The best way to obtain your very own copy of the List is to e-mail your name and "voice" telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll e-mail you a copy. Or we can send you one copy of the List through the U.S. mail if you call 202-334-7662 and leave your name and address. If you have a dedicated fax line, you can leave that number on our answering machine, too, and we'll fax you a copy of the List.
If someone asks you to pay for an item, let us know, and we'll send Bob Woodward after them.
"We had it on the List for two years or more," said Kathleen Culbert of her wood stove. "We're really, really happy someone was able to take it. It does work."
And it doesn't always take as long as two years for the items to move. Kathleen said that people would underestimate the work involved in moving a cast-iron wood stove. "You couldn't put it in a car. You had to have a truck or a trailer. It was heavy."
But now it's gone to someone who will love and cherish it.
Mark Your Calendars
Who says you can't go home again? These high schools are trying, with reunions.
Centreville High Class of 1994 -- Nov. 6. www.greatreunions.com.
J.E.B. Stuart High Class of 1984 -- Nov. 6. Contact Kathleen Tourtellotte at 703-266-6702 or www.capitalreunions.com.
Fairfax High Class of 1974 -- Nov. 6. www.greatreunions.com.
Oakton High Class of 1994 -- Nov. 6. www.greatreunions.com.
Luther Jackson Middle School -- Nov. 6. 50th anniversary open house. www.fcps.edu/LutherJacksonMS.
Northwestern High Class of 1994 -- Nov. 13. E-mail NHSc_o1994@hotmail.com.
T.C. Williams High Class of 1984 -- Nov. 20. www.greatreunions.com.
Richard Montgomery High Class of 1994 -- Nov. 27. www.classmates.com.
Regina High Class of 1964 -- Dec. 4. Contact Sonia Leon Reig, 301-869-2498.
Loudoun County High Class of 1955 -- Contact Judy Fisher at 703-777-3156 or email@example.com.
Northwestern High Classes of 1954, 1955 and 1956 -- June 17, 18 and 19. Contact Barbara Latvinsky Torbert at 301-927-6029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mount Vernon High Class of 1985 -- June 25. www.greatreunions.com.
North Stafford High Class of 1995 -- July 23. www.greatreunions.com.
Having a high school reunion? I list them periodically on a space-available basis. Send details to email@example.com, or John Kelly, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Make sure you mark your message "Reunion."