GREG Rubar still can't believe his good fortune. But there it is, staring at him plain as day: 50 crisp $100 bills.
The tidy wad of cash was given to Rubar on Saturday as he began his shift at D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe in Rice Village, where he's been a waiter for 16 years. It was a gift from a couple Rubar has waited on for about eight years.
"He said, 'I'm not going to be giving you a tip for awhile. Take this money. Go buy yourself a car,' " Rubar said Tuesday, recalling the $5,000 his customer pressed on him.
Why a car? The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, knew that Rubar had been without transportation for weeks since his car was flooded in standing water off a freeway exit after a thunderstorm several weeks ago.
Since then Rubar and his companion, Terri Elsik, who also works at the restaurant, have had to take taxis and rely on the kindness of owners Nash D'Amico and Brina D'Amico Donaldson who have loaned them a catering truck when not in use.