Ingrid L. Kohler, Times Staff Writer

Ingrid L. Kohler

Ingrid L. Kohler began working at the St. Petersburg Times in 1979 and has been a copy editor in the newsfeatures department since 1981. She and colleague Linda D. Cole share managing the correspondence and writing a column, even though their readers share in a little joke fostered over the years that they are supported by a frantic, huge staff.

Phone: (727) 893-8341


  1. Reader's Exchange: Sewing machine would help her sew her love

    Human Interest

    Sherry, who has three grandchildren, ages 3, 2 and 1, and one on the way, doesn't get to see the tykes as often as she would like because they all live out of town. But she loves to sew for them, and stitches a lot of affection into those seams, for sure. Doing so would be even easier if she had a serger sewing machine. If you have one you no longer use or you'd like to exchange for something else that Sherry may make available, please call her at (727) 894-0645....

  2. Reader's Exchange: Christmas crafters are seeking supplies

    Human Interest

    Now that it's September, many are pressing forward on Christmas projects with increased urgency. Seleste Luccioni, for example, needs white buttons the size of a quarter and the size of a half dollar for a group Christmas project at the Rocky Creek Village crafts department, in Tampa. Also needed for ongoing projects are yarn in any color, scissors, a pencil sharpener, hot glue sticks, artificial flowers — just about anything crafters use. From 9 to 11 a.m. every Monday and Thursday, busy hands in this group turn out lap robes and afghans for wheelchair patients and knitted baby caps for newborns. Seleste may be reached at (813) 294-7189. ...

  3. Reader's Exchange: 8mm away from a birthday celebration

    Home and Garden

    Basil Thompson is turning 80, and his children want to celebrate the occasion by reviewing some of the archival family films. One obstacle looms, however: Basil's projector hasn't stood the test of time the way he has. So Basil, a South Pasadena kind of guy, needs a standard 8mm projector, in any condition. Please call (727) 367-9521 — happy birthday, Basil!

    • • •...

  4. Reader's Exchange: Offering a means to cleaner floors


    Let's start the day with a clean sweep. M.H. Abbott of St. Petersburg recently upgraded the household floor-cleaning equipment, which now leaves a resident Hoover vacuum cleaner and a Bissell steam mop with little to do. M.H. would like to donate them to a charity. The items will have to be picked up. Please call (727) 541-2346.

    • • •

    Jim Myers' 85-year-old banjo uke was handed down to him by his dad, and, with help from a shop that repairs instruments, Jim is refurbishing it to give to his grandson. One problem: They can't find a bridge for the instrument. If you have a bridge, or advice, that will lead to a smooth transition of the banjo uke to another generation, call (727) 821-9293 or e-mail ...

  5. Reader's Exchange: New pen pal needs translator


    When June Farris of Gulfport recently visited an orphanage in Ukraine, she quickly connected with a girl who lives there. Through a translator, the girl expressed a wish to correspond with June, so they exchanged addresses. Now June needs to find a person who can help her decipher the girl's address, as well as translate letters, should this pen-pal friendship develop. If the person who responds to this request lives in or near Gulfport, so much the better. June may be reached at (727) 321-0995....

  6. Reader's Exchange: Bringing fruitful bounty within reach

    Human Interest

    Whether you're dealing with life's weightier issues, or just repetitive everyday happenings, planning ahead often provides the winning edge. Take Patricia Kennedy of Tarpon Springs. She deduces that her tangerine tree's heavy blooming presages a prolific harvest down the road. But does she wring her hands over the prospect of lots of fruit wasted because it will be too high to pick?

    Not Patricia. Instead, she writes to REX long before the bountiful crop ripens, to see if anyone has a spare fruit picker — which we take to be one of those basketlike affairs attached to a long pole that has gripped and pulled high-hanging fruit from Florida citrus trees for eons. Please call (727) 937-5240....

  7. 'Shaker lady' found joy in response from readers

    Human Interest

    We have some sad news for regular readers who, through this column, got to know Mayme "Ma" Wood, the Bowling Green, Ky., resident also known to us as "the shaker lady." She passed away recently, and her family wants to thank REXers for their cards and notes to Ma and, of course, the salt and pepper shakers that swelled her collection to well above 4,000 sets.

    Receiving these items in the mail helped brighten Ma's days. The staff thinks her hometown should create a little museum for Ma's collection. After all, if a giant ball of twine can attract tourists, well . . . We shall miss Ma, and know that our readers join in extending sympathy to her family, especially her loving granddaughter, Donna Collins, who was our go-between with Ma....

  8. Reader's Exchange: One good bike ride may lead to more

    Human Interest

    If you're looking for new friends, and for a bit of exercise that may eventually have gas-saving consequences, bicyclist Kimberly Cooper has a deal for you. She invites you and your bike to meet her friends and their bikes each Saturday morning (just ask for the Gib's Ride Group) at St. Petersburg's North Shore Pool (Eighth Avenue and North Shore Drive NE) for a ride that starts at 8:30 sharp and lasts until around 10 a.m....

  9. Reader's Exchange: Walk this way, with treadmill manual

    Home and Garden

    Today's first letter comes from a reader in an awkward position; or, to be more precise, her Proform 585TL treadmill is. The treadmill is supposed to fold, but it's stuck in the halfway position because Irene Gubelius doesn't know the trick to collapse it. Irene hopes someone with a manual for this uncooperative machine will share the information about how to fold it, because Irene's daughter needs to move it to another home, and it won't go through the door. Please call (727) 535-4004....

  10. Reader's Exchange: Cloth items available to the crafty

    Human Interest

    If you're packing away winter blankets and fleeces, the folks at the Humane Society in Clearwater, the SPCA in Largo, Friends of Strays in Pinellas Park and Pet Pal in St. Petersburg have a continuing need for worn linens, which they cut down to make beds more comfy for dogs and cats waiting to be adopted. And, of course, all shelters are glad to have volunteers.

    Friday we'll be celebrating our nation's birthday. Whether you go on a picnic, view a fireworks display or enjoy your own favorite way of honoring Independence Day, please stay cool and safe....

  11. Reader's Exchange: In need of a copy of 'Older But Wilder'

    Human Interest

    Eleanor Thomson of Largo fell in love with three books she read at the library, a series written by Effie Leland Wilder about life in a retirement home. She found and purchased the first two volumes, Out to Pasture (1995) and Over What Hill (1996), but cannot locate the third, Older But Wilder, and wonders whether a copy might be available in Exchange Land. • The staff went online and discovered that has the book you want, Eleanor. So, if our readers don't come through, a friend or relative — or perhaps a reader — who shops online would probably be glad to put in your order. The Web site even had an excerpt from the book, which we read. We feel confident that we aren't giving too much away when we say that in the third book, Hattie, the protagonist, undergoes a second knee transplant. 'Nuff said. Eleanor may be reached at (727) 586-6547....

  12. Reader Exchange: Perhaps you have a urinal you no longer need?

    Home and Garden

    On this Flag Day, we hope that all the red, white and blue bunting adorning your neighborhood is snapping in a lively, sunny breeze and that it's a great day for both you and Old Glory.

    • • •

    Palm Harbor's own Lori P. makes a request on her 80-year-old father's behalf. Lori's mom, his wife for almost 60 years, is ill in a nursing home, and for a while Dad was at loose ends. Then he started a project to enclose a small bathroom, which helped a lot. The room's shower and sink are in, but a urinal will be a better fit than a toilet. Please, folks, check your urinal supply, should you have one, and if you can spare one, call (727) 458-7004. And Lori, let the rest of us know whenever Dad finds time on his hands again. (Just kidding, Dad!)...

    A woman demonstrates a recumbent exercycle at the Vinoy hotel.
  13. Reader Exchange: Budding young anglers eager for dinghy

    Home and Garden

    Students are out of school and looking for fun things to do during summer vacation, and parents are hoping those activities are close to home and require minimal gassing up. Sherri, the mother of three boys, ages 5, 9 and 11, says their dad recalls the fun he had putt-putting around as a kid in a little dinghy with a motor on it, fishing. The energetic ones are getting into fishing now, and Sherri thought she'd check to see if there might be a dinghy (with or without a motor) left high and dry in Exchange Land, longing to mix it up with boys on summer vacation. Please

    e-mail Sherri at

  14. Reader Exchange: Men's clothing donations in demand

    Human Interest

    Here we sit, poised on the cusp of June, the month when the Florida summer heat starts getting serious and, we hope, the rainy season kicks into refreshing gear.

    A while back, David Covert asked about agencies that accept gently used men's clothing suitable for job interviews. David thoughtfully provided us with some of the responses he received, and we're sharing them with you in case you'd like to file them away for future reference. Not all of the agencies stipulate that the clothing be business wear, but all of them need clothing for men....

  15. Reader Exchange relocating to BayLink

    Human Interest

    Hey, REXers: Guess what? We're moving. Next Saturday, if you look for us in this old stomping ground, you won't find us at home, so to speak. But we're not going far. We'll be setting up the Exchange Central mailbox and ensconcing the staff in new digs in the Saturday edition of BayLink, a spanking new daily section that makes its debut Monday.

    We think we'll enjoy our new neighbors. They'll include the puzzles, Cryptoquote, and comics many of you look for first thing each morning; some familiar faces, like Dear Abby; some handy shopping features; and lots of the good stuff, like TV and movie listings, you rely on to organize your Saturday. Just make sure you check the Exchange before you check out of BayLink next Saturday. We'll still feature the greatest people in the world trying to move the most astonishing array of et cetera....