As you peek from your window this morning, remember the hoary meteorological prognostication that holds if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb, or vice versa. By the end of March, however, the staff has usually long forgotten the manner in which the month arrived, so we'll rely on our readers to determine the accuracy of that forecast this March.
The subject of March reminds us to remind you: If you are a winter visitor who will soon be returning home but plan to send a request to the column before you leave, please get it to us well in advance of your departure. Lag time between receiving and publishing your item hovers around six weeks, give or take. It's also very helpful if you include your departure date, so we know how much leeway we have in our response.
One of our snowbird friends writes that he has been collecting the Disney Classic Series for his granddaughter. He has located all but two: The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective. If you can put him closer to either, please call Barry Matheson at (727) 588-2505.
Elizabeth Sileo has noticed the demand for sheet music in recent months, and she is responding to the call. She has run across three books of songs, each book with music and words to at least 50 songs (and in some cases with guitar, banjo and organ chords as well). These books are oldies but goodies, Elizabeth writes, from Reader's Digest.
She suggests that musicians searching for specific songs in sheet music form call her at (727) 593-1617; she'll check to see if that song is available in the books. If so, you are welcome to it, but you will have to pick it up.
Continuing on a musical note, John Wright, an 85-year-old World War II veteran from Tarpon Springs, would like to have any Katerina Valenti tapes or LPs you may be thinking of recycling. Although John had a collection of Valenti's music before he came to Florida, during the move here he fell prey to the monster that haunts moving trucks and makes boxes, furnishings and treasured trinkets vanish into the blue.
John, who lost his wife 2 1/2 years ago after 62 years of marriage, would enjoy reliving their shared times listening to Valenti's singing. He will gladly pick up the recordings. Please call (727) 934-8723.
Mary of Bayonet Point would like to give away a few old macrame books, and she also needs a pattern for a round baby afghan. Mary initially discovered the pattern on a baby yarn wrapper, but it has gone astray. Mary would like to make another afghan for her granddaughter, who is graduating in May, noting that if made with four-ply yarn instead of baby yarn the afghan is serviceable to folks of any age. Please call (727) 896-1237.
Mary Harris of Seminole would like to know of any individuals or organizations that collect canceled stamps. Years ago she had such an address, but it has been misplaced. Please call (727) 392-1323 if you have stamp suggestions.
Jean Dion of Port Richey hopes to find a piece of equipment to help her brother get out of his wheelchair and into his bed. Jean writes that the device needed, called a trapeze or triangle, is usually inserted under the bed or attached to a wall. Should you own one no longer in use, or if you can tell Jean where one may be purchased, she would love to hear from you. Please call (727) 868-8649.
Blanche Patterson of New Port Richey wants a copy of Ellis Island, written by Fred Mustard Stewart. Blanche's parents made the famous entry to America by this route, so when she heard about the book, she was eager to read it. Blanche phoned several bookstores that couldn't help her out. She fears that may be because it is an old book. If you have a copy of Ellis Island that's looking for a new reader, please call (727) 376-4850. Blanche will pick it up, in her words, "anywhere."
P.S., Blanche: The book may be old, but it is still available at low prices (generally a few cents to about $4, plus shipping, depending on the book's condition) on Amazon.com. If you don't yet shop on the Internet, a buddy who does so should be able to secure you a copy if our amazing readers don't come through.
Dawna Tapia was amazed and deeply touched by all the folks who answered her request for angel Christmas cards. To quote Dawna, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Mrs. Bornstein at Osceola Middle School also thanks those who sent cards. Her sixth-grade math class uses them to make icosahedrons (20-sided figures). She now has enough cards to keep students busy for years.
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.