"Oooh, it's bee-you-tee-ful," said Joe Zurzolo. "It's got a big clock. It's got an air conditioner. It's got big speakers for the radio. Ooooh, it's got everything!"
Except a price tag. Jacques Moore and Tom O'Brien saw to that. Last week, they gave Joe Zurzolo a pearl-white 1974 Chevrolet Impala for nothing, after reading of Joe's plight in this column.
Zurzolo, you'll recall, is a double amputee who lives by himself in a Silver Spring apartment. On Dec. 12, someone stole his beloved 1964 Plymouth Valiant from the apartment house's parking lot.
Because of his handicap, Joe Zurzolo was helpless without a car. The police put out a nationwide alert for it, but it was never found. Meanwhile, Zurzolo, who is far from rich, slid from depressed to despondent.
But Jacques Moore knew exactly what to do. He is president of Moore Cadillac, a dealership near Tysons Corner. He called me the day the first Zurzolo column appeared.
"I'll give him a car," Moore said.
"You'll what?" I said.
"I'll give him a car," said Moore.
"I thought you sold cars."
"I do. But it's Christmas. And this guy sounds like he could use my help."
I put Joe Zurzolo in touch with Moore. Joe called me back just minutes later. His voice had the same kind of ring that a kid's voice assumes when you turn him loose in a toy store.
"He's going to give me a car!" said Joe. "He really is!"
And he really did.
O'Brien, who is Moore's used car manager, estimates that the Zurzolo Impala would have sold for $2,200 on the retail market. "I'm not saying this just because he's my boss," he said, "but I've been in the auto business for 12 years in this area, and he's the first dealer that's taken a step like this."
The Impala still needs to be equipped with a handbrake so Joe Zurzolo can stop it safely. But for a man who was facing a life of dependency and hopelessness, that is a bearable price. To Moore Cadillac, I say, and we should all say: you run a class act.
There didn't seem to be a Pet Rock this Christmas. No one gift seemed to be "in." But the one that split my sides the furthest was a purse.
"When the Going Gets Tough," said the print on its leading edge, "The Tough Go Shopping."
Classicial music fans will get this one. The rest of you are just going to have to suffer--or ask for help.
Doris M. Robertshaw writes that she and her husband are living in happy retirement in Edgewater, Md., a farming and fishing hamlet near Annapolis. But there's a rumor among the locals they haven't been able to suppress.
Seems the word is out that Doris and husband have joined the horsey set and named their spread the "Robertshaw Corral."
The High Rollers' Honor Roll, in descending order of highness:
* The employes of The Charles E. Smith Companies gave to the hospital rather than exchanging holiday cards. The total: $1,645.
* The National Society of Professional Resident Managers gave $750.
* The faculty of Georgetown University Law Center contributed $675.
* American Management Systems Inc. of Arlington raffled off a dinner for two and came up with $655.
* The Reinforced Earth Company of the same county contributed $650.
* The motorcycle messengers and office staff of Congressional Record Delivery Inc. gathered and gave $501.
* Right here at Alcatraz, the Style Section and the Composing Room held the Tenth Annual Cookie Orgy for the benefit of Children's -- and sold $375 worth.
* The Arlington office of Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. isn't saying which stock they sold to amass it. But they mailed in a $360 nest egg.
* From Arlington comes an additional $311, put together in a Christmas raffle by the employes of Tetra Tech Inc.
* The Sales and Administrative staffs at W. C. and A. N. Miller Development Company contributed $262.
* The Silver Hill Lions Club sent along an even $250.
* The employes of the Ben Franklin Store at Annandale's Bradlick Shopping Center passed the hat, and discovered $238 in it.
* The C & P Telephone Company's Special Service Center of Northern Virginia sent in $234.
* From Christmas card abstinence comes a $225 gift--this one from the staffs of two Columbia, Md., businesses: The Howard Research and Development Corp. and Columbia Management, Inc.
* Finally, a pair of $205 contributions: the first from the employes of the Fairfax County Air Pollution Control Division, the second from the Science and Technology Division of the Institute for Defense Analyses.
That's a neat $7,541. Way to roll, you high rollers.
But low rollers are every bit as welcome and every bit as important. Here are some recent samples:
* Kane Delivery Ltd., of Rockville, gave $40, as did the McLean office of Mount Vernon Realty.
* The gang at E. & J. Swigart Co. of Silver Spring gave $39.
* For years, says the cover letter, they were simply the Model Shop. Now someone has unlocked the big-word machine, and they're Electronic Technology Branch 48200 of Harry Diamond Labs. Regardless, their contribution goes where it always has. This year, it came to $35.
* Thirty-one more was contributed at the Riggs National Bank Investment Unit's Christmas party.
* Eastern Airlines employes at National Airport gave $30.
* Another $30 was donated by employes of The Urban Institute, and still another $30 came from Mim's Beauty Salon.
* The Sales, Marketing and Advertising branches of Robert J. Brady Co. of Bowie gave $27.
* The Senior Citizens Club at Potomac Heights in Indian Head contributed $25, as did the Shirley Ables Joy Gospel Fan Club of Southeast, the employes of Servidyne Inc. in Rockville, the local chapter of the Gay Fathers Coalition, the McLean chapter of the American Antique Association and Northwest's Columbia Arts Club.
* The O.R.T Bridge Foursome of Northwest gave $20. The Marketing Support Group at Wang Laboratories in Rockville gave $12. And the Burke Centre Club of Fairfax County Extension Homemakers gave $5.
Those add up to a cool $489. "Low rollers," did I say? Thanks, folks.
To contribute to the campaign:
Make a check or money order payable to Children's Hospital and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071.