It's always great to hear from old friends, and REX has few older, in both actual years lived and length of time we have written about her here, than "Ma."
You may best recall her as the "shaker lady," but her real name is Mayme Wood, she lives in Bowling Green, Ky., and she collects salt and pepper shakers.
We just received an update on Ma from Donna Collins, her granddaughter. Donna reports that after a recent snowfall the family constructed a snow woman outside Ma's window: Ma doesn't get outdoors a lot these days.
Bet you'd love to know how many shakers Ma has added to her collection since last count. Well, hold onto your hat. Ma just received 15 more sets the other day, but Donna says that give or take a few sets, the tally is 4,620.
Donna encourages readers to drop Ma a note (or a shaker!). Ma, now in her mid 90s, has had some health setbacks and needs some cheering up. Donna adds that our readers have always cheered Ma and, by extension, the entire family. Ma has moved in with her daughter and son-in-law, so her address is now: Mayme Wood, 421 Crows Lane, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
Caroline Brown of Clearwater is saving the Albertsons stamps that earn stoneware dishes. If you shop there, but are not collecting the stamps, will you please hold them for her? She will be happy to mail you a self-addressed, stamped envelope in which to send them to her. Please leave your name and address on the voice mail when you call, and Caroline will send out the envelope within two to three days. That number to call is (727) 538-9816.
David Covert hopes someone can provide him with the name of an organization in Pinellas County that accepts gently used men's clothing and makes it available free of charge to men searching for employment. Please call (727) 823-5898 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
J.T. Haasch thought that a school, technical club or charity might be able to use a couple of older, mostly working PCs and monitors and a lot of other PC-related parts:
• One PII 450MHz PC and one PIII 600MHz PC. Both have 256Mb memory, a dial-up modem, 10/100 LAN card, sound card, video graphics card and a CD-ROM drive. (Also as many manuals and driver discs as could be located.)
• One used, working 15-inch NEC monitor and one used, working 17-inch Samsung monitor, ZIP drives and discs.
• A SparQ drive and about a dozen SparQ cassettes, a pair of powered speakers, a few mouses, and an HP ScanJet 4C scanner and associated SCSI interface card.
In turn, J.T. needs soup bowls, salad bowls or cake plates in the Currier & Ives "The Old Grist Mill" pattern. Any pieces other than dinner plates and cups and saucers would also be welcome. Please e-mail J.T. at jammerebay@
Catherine Dixon is another reader who owns trophies in good condition that could be made over for awards in a kids event. In this case they are golf trophies. Do you know of an organization to which Catherine might donate them? If so, please call (727) 536-7134.
Ursula Augustowski of Holiday has piano sheet music and lesson books, generally dealing with music, that need a new home. Ursula may be contacted at (727) 937-5792.
Helen Johnson needs to complete a sweater that she started two years ago for her great-granddaughter. But she needs some yarn for the final push, and she fears the original may have been discontinued.
Knitters, please check your stash for Helen. See if you might have Red Heart Soft Baby yarn, 100 percent acrylic, three-ply sport weight, color bambino print. Please call (727) 784-3210.
Wondering if you're ever going to see the last of that twin size box spring you don't need? Fret no longer: Marion Foelgner's son is moving from his college dorm to his first apartment and, although he has bed frame and mattress, he needs box springs. Marion can pick it up: e-mail email@example.com or call her cell phone at (727) 527-3721.
Hazel Pryor wants to thank all the readers who inquired about her mother's cryptogram magazines. Hazel received 40 calls and only wished she had enough magazines for everyone who phoned. It was an eye-opening experience for Hazel to learn just how many folks love these puzzles the way Mom did.
Blanche Patterson wagers that the staff would never believe how many responses she had to her request about the novel Ellis Island, by Fred Mustard Stewart. Folks from Port Richey to Pinellas Park let her know which libraries carried it, where it could be purchased in large print, and offered her copies. Thanks so much, everyone.
Send requests to Reader Exchange, Floridian, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.