They don't know I'm doing this, and if they did, I have a feeling that it would go exactly like this:
Margo Jackson would say, "Are you trying to make us famous or something, Bobbalu?"
And Joyce Taylor would say, "Levey, all that coffee I've made for you over the years must have gone to your head."
But neither I nor Children's Hospital has a better friend than Margo or Joyce. They are the newsroom phone operators at the day care center known as The Washington Post. They are also the conscience of the joint. Nothing happens around here without their knowledge, their mother-henning or their help.
The job description says that Margo and Joyce answer the 400 newsroom phone lines when the regular answerers are out. In fact, the message center is the place to go for coffee, change, gossip, cookies, health insurance forms, Band-Aids, advice, home phone numbers, safety pins and the latest awful joke. It is no exaggeration to say that this place would collapse with a dull thud if Margo and Joyce were not around.
M and J are also big fans of kids. So the other day, as I was scavenging through the L box in search of messages, Margo said, "Here, Bobbalu. With love and kisses."
She didn't have to explain any further. It was $10, for the Children's Hospital campaign.
I have gotten bigger gifts to the campaign, ladies. But I have never gotten a gift from two better people. Thanks from the kids -- and from the guy on extension 7276.
Into the GROUPS drawer his sticky fingers sneak. And out they come with gifts from . . . .
The Defense Printing Service ($721.25 and a big thank-you, as always, to Jill Washington).
The members of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board's Recreation Association ($50).
Employes of the Airborne Weapons Logistics Division of the Naval Air Systems Command ($335).
Friendship Lodge No. 12 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of the District of Columbia ($250).
Employes of Gordon & Greenberg Inc. ($50).
Organizers of a party for "a longtime employe of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board" ($46).
The Administrative Accounting Department at Washington Gas Light Company ($32).
The Field Examination Employes' Coffee Fund Committee at the Internal Revenue Service ($100).
Missile Engineering Section, Strategic Systems Programs office, Navy Department ($25).
The Cash Management Department, Washington Gas Light Company ($92).
Staffers at the Disability and Special Entitlements Division, Office of Personnel Management ($100).
Special Publications Department, U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($10).
The gang at corporate headquarters, The McCormick Group Inc., Burke ($200).
The Sears, Roebuck and Company Corporate Governmental Affairs office ($140).
Frank E. Basil Inc. of Northwest ($42 from a third-floor office party).
The Theater Nuclear Force Policy office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense ($54).
Finance Department, American Society for Industrial Security ($25).
The Nutcracker Bowling League, which rolls at River Bowl in Bethesda ($120).
Employes of Symbolics Inc., in Falls Church ($80).
Employes of the Engineering Services Office, Department of Defense ($195).
The staff at Forest Edge School ($25).
The Management and Resources Directorate, Defense Investigative Service ($120 in lieu of exchanging holiday cards).
O'Connor & Hannan, a law firm in Northwest ($1,000).
The stock room of the folding room, U.S. Congress ($13.62).
Employes, Soviet/Warsaw Pact Analysts, Defense Intelligence Agency ($105.14 left over from a Christmas party).
GTE Sprint Communications Corporation ($47).
Employes of Disabled American Veterans ($530).
Members of the Aircraft Contracts Department, British Aerospace Inc. ($100).
The Social Science Division, Prince George's Community College ($640).
Seminary Ladies Bowling League ($70).
The Students With A Purpose (SWAP) Club at Anacostia High School ($25).
Lorton American Legion Post 162 and Auxiliary ($16 from a children's Christmas party).
"The gang" at Giant Food Store No. 50 in White Oak ($100).
Gloria Bader's student employes at the Georgetown University Information Center ($40).
Support personnel, Correspondence Unit, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, FBI ($253.50).
Ye Olde Poops, a "fraternal group of seven active and retired federal employes having an average of over 41 years of federal service" ($167.25).
The Executive Board of Directors, members and friends of the U.S. Senate Staff Club ($500).
The staff of Target Delivery and Messenger Service in Gaithersburg ($200).
Home Pro Systems Inc. of Falls Church ($200).
Silver Spring Duplicate ($35 and thanks to Kitty Pickett).
The Society of Wireless Pioneers ($126).
The Lady Retirees of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board ($115).
Staffers at the Office of Construction, Veterans Administration ($1,065).
D.C. Chapter, T.T.T. Society ($100).
The Carriage Hill Leisure Club ($20).
"The Stubborn in Rockville," a group of office inhabitants whose boss decreed that they should exchange "those little, wrapped gifts," but who secretly collected for Children's anyway ($65).
National Technical Information Service ($63.10).
Employes of the Westover Branch, First American Bank of Virginia ($125).
The staff at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke ($115).
The Public Relations Student Society of America branch at the University of Maryland ($34.25).
The Prince George's County Chapter of the Maryland Retired Officers Association ($310).
The Rules and Procedures Branch at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ($55).
Cavill and Company of Rockville ($75).
The Prince George's County Regional Office of Maryland National Bank ($52).
The Seneca Valley High School track team ($90 and a tip of the starting blocks to coach Steve Robertson).
The Dental Project Team at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the National Capital Area ($50).
Brokers and staff at the Arlington office of Dean Witter ($475).
Faculty and staff, Department of Psychology, the University of Maryland ($360).
Staffers at the Naval Supply Systems Command in Crystal City ($78).
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors ($50).
And the nuclear engineering personnel at Bechtel Power Corporation in Gaithersburg ($230).
What a display! Many, many thanks to all. 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, Washington, D.C., 20071.