tampabay.com

Sewing machine needs nonprofit home

By LINDA D. COLE and INGRID L. KOHLER
Published June 3, 2006


"It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day; I was out pickin' cotton, and my brother was balin' hay . . . And at dinnertime we stopped and walked back to the house to eat. . ." To readers of a certain age, June 3 acquired a new context when Ode To Billie Joe burst onto the air waves back in 1967; we're pretty sure these kindred spirits will indulge our compulsion to hum a few notes before we introduce the refrain that is today's column.

So, now we know which tune will be running through your head for the rest of the day. Sorry!

Pat Arend's portable Kenmore zig-zag sewing machine, which is in good condition and runs well, is looking for a new home with a nonprofit group or a student who needs a sewing machine. It is model 1750 and comes with the original instruction book, all attachments, and cams for embroidery designs. Pat, who lives in the Safety Harbor area, may be reached at 727 725-5844.

Barb Garry is experiencing a trauma most knitters can understand: Her sweater-in-progress is three-quarters finished, and she's out of yarn. She needs one skein of four-ply worsted-weight Red Heart yarn in soft, light blue, which is no longer available in stores. If, however, it is still available in Exchange Land, please call (727) 943-8123 or e-mail barbgarry@aol.com.

Somewhere in Exchange Land a certain little boy is upset over his broken toy. The lad is the grandson of Don Hall, who, like any good granddad, is trying to make it all better by replacing the plaything that came to grief.

One might be inclined to think that an action figure from an Arnold Schwarzenegger film (in this case, 1996's Jingle All the Way) should be indestructible, but that apparently is not the case, even though the toy Don is looking for is Turbo Man and not the character played by the Terminator himself.

If you have a Turbo Man figure that remains unscathed by perils off-screen and is no longer actively in play, please call (727) 867-3865 or e-mail imdonhall@aol.com.

We have a couple of inquiries today that involve what we might term the service sector, so if you can be of service, your help is appreciated.

First, Jane Cox of Seminole is trying to find someone to take on the task of stripping and refinishing her Lyon Shaw wrought iron porch furniture, on which the Florida weather has exacted a toll. Jane may be reached at (727) 398-5791.

Next, we'll let Barbara Leary of Ruskin present her request in her own words. It deals with a timely topic that has many elderly and disabled folks putting on their thinking caps. Please get ready to plunk yours on your head as well. Barbara writes:

"I have exhausted every path to find healthful, well-balanced meals delivered to my home. I still drive (though handicapped) and do not care to go to the senior center while having my meal . . .

"Food preparation is becoming more and more difficult, and I will admit I do not always eat the proper foods. Isn't there some agency that will cater to yet another senior citizen who used to cook for a large family, but is no longer able to manage it just for herself?"

The staff's first reaction is to suggest Meals On Wheels, but that seemed obvious enough to have been one of those exhausted paths Barbara alludes to. Readers, particularly those in the vicinity of Ruskin, may have more imaginative, insightful suggestions. Please direct them to Barbara at (813) 645-7388.

Thank-you note

Pat Yohe, the Valrico reader who was trying to break into her locked oak desk, has cracked the case with the help of REXers' suggestions and a gentleman named Ralph who stopped by with a whole bag of keys. Thanks from Pat for all the tips and to Ralph, who, incidentally, opened the desk in a trice.

Hold those soda can tabs

In the column for May 20, we mentioned that the St. Petersburg Ronald McDonald House collects pop-top tabs from soda cans. Make that "collected." Because metals other than aluminum sometimes crept into the donations and because checking the tabs by hand was both labor-intensive and a bit dangerous, the organization has instead moved on to collecting pennies from people who wish to help.

That's the word from Donna Young, House Director/St. Petersburg and Tampa, who invites folks who want to know more about Ronald McDonald House to check out its new Web site at www.rmhctampabay.com.

Send requests to Reader Exchange, Floridian, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail cole@sptimes.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. ON THE WEB: An interactive version of Reader Exchange is available at itsyourtimes.com.