He waved to the driver of the Rolls and asked not for Grey Poupon but for $7 cash. "My daughter is ill, and she's in Shrewsbury, Pa., sir," said the man in shabby clothes to the driver of the Rolls. "I need money for gas." The driver of the Rolls, a resident of our fabled Green Spring Valley, obliged the man, and felt good about it. He went home that evening with a warm and fuzzy feeling -- and not just from his cashmere sweater.
Four days later, the wife of the man with the Rolls (and a Jag and a Town Car, too) came home in her Miata feeling much the same way.
"I did my good deed for the day," she told her honeybuns.
"What do you mean?"
"There was a man with an empty gas can at Falls and Greenspring Valley Road," said wife. "He said he needed $7 for gas, and I gave it to him."
"Was his daughter ill in Shrewsbury?"
Then, about a week later, the son of the man with the Rolls and the woman with the Miata -- she also owns a Volvo -- came home on leave from Swarthmore.
Sonny boy was driving mother's Miata. He stopped at Falls and Greenspring Valley roads. A man with an empty gas can asked for $7 for gas so he could visit his daughter, ill in Shrewsbury. And sonny boy, inheritor of the generosity gene, gave over the cash -- then went home and told mother and father.
A few days later, mother and father went -- via Rolls or Jag, Miata or Volvo, I know not which -- to a party in the valley. And someone there told the story of the man with the gas can, stranded on Falls Road, trying to get to his daughter's bedside in Shrewsbury. Then someone else told the story. And someone else. And someone else.
"And," says the man with the Rolls, "easily 25 people at that party had given the guy $7 for gas."
"Come on," says me, smelling hyperbole. "Twenty-five easily?"
E9 It's a surprise no one offered to loan the guy a car.
Berger finds work
Eagle-eyed readers of Education Week caught an interesting ad in a recent edition of "American Education's Newspaper of Record." A company called Superintendencies Unlimited offers
to help "qualified individuals" find jobs as school superintendents. Intrigued? Read on.
"In the next few years a tremendous number of superintendencies will become available," the ad declares. "Unfortunately, there will be too few qualified applicants. Even worse, many of those who are qualified do not understand the process. If you truly aspire to be a leader in public education, call today!"
The ad says Superintendencies Unlimited was formed by "several current and former superintendents of some of the biggest school systems in the United States." An 800 telephone number is listed, along with -- get this -- the home address of Stuart Berger, ousted Baltimore County school superintendent. Looks like Stu is doing some career counseling, too.
I tawt I taw a Democwat.
Maryland's unpopular governor recently traveled to White Marsh for a ribbon cutting at the Warner Bros. Outlet Store. Also appearing were Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester and Tweety. Parris Glendening's meeting with the Looney Tunes characters was part of a continued effort to dig himself out of dismal approval ratings. With only 18 percent of Maryland voters approving his job performance, Glendening spent much of the summer schmoozing at breakfasts, luncheons, award ceremonies and dinners all over the state. It's paid off. His approval numbers jumped to 34 percent last month. And, if the Browns are coming from Cleveland, look for that number to rise, if not soar.
Home for the holidays
It's official now: Nipper is coming home for the holidays! The 14-foot fiberglass terrier, RCA mascot and one-time Baltimore landmark was purchased with private donations by the City Life Museum from the Virginia collector who took Nipper off Russell Street 19 years ago. On Nov. 16, Hale Intermodal will truck the big dog to Camden Yards. He'll be the grand marshal of the Thanksgiving parade two days later. The city is hoping for an entourage of real Jack Russell terriers -- not fox terriers, as I was originally told -- to join in the march.
There was a spectacular birthday party, Greek-style, at the Owl Bar for one of the owners, Aristotle "Telli" Stroumbis. His friends gave him a large set of dishes, which he smashed all over the floor. . . . Speaking of parties, shoulda' seen the one Browning-Ferris Industries threw at its new Annapolis facility: Blue scrap metal bins with greenery and mums, music, lunch for 200 and a speech by BFI chairman William Ruckelshaus. "There are not many of you who can say you've had lunch in a garbage facility like this," Ruckelshaus told the crowd.
In other business . . .
We don't expect much floor debate on this item before the Baltimore County Council: Acceptance of one used vacuum cleaner, donated to the North Point police station, by Westfield Car Wash.