To stir up holiday cheer, find swizzle sticks
By LINDA D. COLE and INGRID L. KOHLER, Times Staff Writers
Published October 18, 2003
A couple of recent letters remind us that Christmas is drawing closer, and it's not too early to start thinking about holiday preparations.
The first message is prompted by the annual search for the perfect gift for a special person. Reader Sheryl Rainwater is the first to admit that the surprise she hopes she'll be able to wrap for her sister is going to be difficult to find, but not impossible.
Recently Sheryl's sister was browsing on eBay and spotted a set of swizzle sticks she adored. A few days later, after having tried to conquer temptation and failing, Sis returned to the site to make her bid, but, alas! The sticks were gone.
Locating another set before Christmas has become Sheryl's mission. Remember, no matter how unusual these swizzle sticks sound, they already have been spotted at least once and therefore do exist. Possibly antique, the sticks are shaped like candy canes, with tiny, working harmonicas dangling from them. Sheryl thinks they may be packaged in sets of six.
But they are an elusive item. Sheryl has searched the Internet, antique shops and novelty stores for this must-have gift, with no luck. If you have any suggestions for finding the swizzle sticks, please e-mail Sheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org She believes the look on her sister's face Christmas Day when she sees them should be priceless.
Second, Diana Partridge asks that we remind our readers that if they have new or used toys, stuffed animals and other things children could use, St. Petersburg's Christmas Toy Shop needs donations to make some child happier at Christmas. The Toy Shop's address is 550 16th St. N and its phone number is (727) 898-3962.
In this column's history, this year undoubtedly will be remembered as the year of the organ; we have had a regular conga line of organs moving between readers' homes. So, are we surprised to see yet another? You bet! Lloyd Sides of Largo would like to give his Kimball "Sensation - Syntha-swinger Proentertainer" organ to a small church, nursing home or even an individual shut-in who knows how to play and wants to fill the day with music.
This organ has a double keyboard, footpedals and all the electronic bells and whistles. It is walnut-colored and in excellent condition both in appearance and playability. It comes with a leather-covered bench. Please call Lloyd at (727) 586-4819.
Another electric typewriter has hit the skids, and its supplies are up for grabs. The machine in question, a Smith-Corona SD-850, belonged to Bob Fritz of Clearwater, who is offering owners of surviving models a half-dozen lift-off correcting cassettes, two correctable film ribbons, three printwheels - assorted fonts, and an owner's manual, free for the taking. Bob may be reached at 727 531-6468.
Ann Eades of Seminole seeks a new abode for several containers of craft items that could be useful for holiday projects. Crafty callers will wish to dial (727) 392-2817.
When the Janssens moved to Florida from Illinois 15 years ago, they brought with them a game called Obsession. Their grandchild is now old enough to join the fun, but the rules for playing it have gone missing. Grandma, MaryAnn, has tried to find Obsession instructions on the Internet and through the manufacturer, Mego, without luck. She is probably correct to think that an Obsession fan in our readership would offer a copy. MaryAnn's number is (727) 789-2645.
Sue Stubblefield is looking for books known as the FREDDY books, written during the '60s by Walter Brooks. The series had 26 titles, among them Freddy Goes To Florida. There were pictures on the front of each book; the earlier ones had dust jackets and were published by Alfred A. Knopf. A friend of Sue's who is trying to complete his original set is looking for hardbound versions in very good condition. Sue may be reached at (727) 525-5952 or email@example.com
Every so often we get a letter from a person looking for a vintage Weight Watchers diet. Virginia York of St. Petersburg was quite sure she had a copy of the plan she and her daughter followed during the first part of the 1970s, but she can't locate it. If you have a copy of the diet she's seeking, Virginia would like to hear from you. Please call (727) 528-1308.
Phyllis Weiss has some old postcards (with written messages on them) that date back to 1903, a few still earlier. She has been wondering if they have value as a collectible, but she isn't sure how to go about answering that question. If you have any tips on postcard valuation, please e-mail Phyllis at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send requests to Reader Exchange, Newsfeatures, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail email@example.com Requests will be accepted only by mail or e-mail. This is an exchange column, so we will not run items that are for sale. Readers must agree to publication of phone numbers, including area code.
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Reader ExchangeTo stir up holiday cheer, find swizzle sticks