Joe Discenza of Springfield didn't wait until today to give thanks. He has been thanking up a storm for the last month -- in the direction of a woman he has never met.

Joe, it seems, is a Billy Joel fan. Even a rock-and-roll know-nothing like me has heard of Billy. And more than 15,000 rock-and-roll know-somethings jammed the Capital Centre on Nov. 15 to hear "Just the Way You Are," "Only the Good Die Young" and other Joelesque favorites. Joe Discenza, of course, was there to lead the applause.

But he wouldn't have been if Cindy Myers hadn't been a kind soul. As Joe tells it:

"Ticket sales for his Nov. 15 concert opened at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 25. Being a student, I could not get them myself, so I asked my father to get them for me.

"He arrived a little late, and he had a meeting at 11. When he realized that he could not both get the tickets and attend the meeting, he asked the woman in front of him, Cindy Myers, if she would purchase the tickets.

"She said she would and he gave her the money. The tickets arrived in the mail today (Oct. 27). I hope you can thank Miss Myers in your column."

Consider it done, Joe. And a tip of the cap to you, Cindy. As Billy Joel says, we love you just the way you are.