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Moved by music? Act now to get a free piano or organ

You may think that, what with the heat, humidity and holiday weekend, it's a rotten time to be moving furniture, but that's just what we intend to do right now. In our ongoing campaign to team homeless musical instruments with those who can play them, we flex our muscles and address the heaviest item on our list.

Karin McArdle's 20-year-old oak upright piano (also a player piano, a reproduction of an older model) needs a new location. When the family moved from a large home to a tiny cottage last year, it became obvious that the instrument was hogging more than its share of the room. Purchased when Karin had every intention of learning to play, the piano ended up just sitting there, looking pretty _ gathering dust. And incidentally, also proving that the road to good intentions is paved with items that often find their way into this column.

Unfortunately, Karin writes, all that sitting around looking pretty is about as advantageous for pianos as it is for humans, so it needs some work on its hammers. Also, it's mighty heavy and would have to be moved professionally. Rather than donating it to a charity that would pick it up, Karin would prefer it go to a church or youth group that could afford to pick it up and repair it for its use. (Here's a useful bit of information: The piano lives in Crystal Beach.)

Interested readers, please write to Karin in care of this column, and we will forward your responses to her.

Maybe Karin's instrument is a bit large for your needs? Hmmmmm. . . . Let's look on the truck. . . . There's an organ available, too! Robin Elder of Largo is looking for a new home for her Hammond organ H133, with French provincial styling (sorry we can't show you the photo Robin enclosed, but the instrument is very pretty). It's in very good condition, plays well and has a rhythm attachment. It's free to a good home _ and some strong muscles; this is another heavy piece.

If, before you assemble your lifting crew, you'd like to hear what the organ can do, please call (727) 399-2686, and Robin's daughter will play a tune for you.

After all that heavy lifting, we're ready for lighter fare: something in the weight range of a crochet hook. Boots of Clearwater obliges us with a request for that very thing. An avid crocheter of lace tablecloths and doilies, she was also devoted to the old Lee Wards steel crochet hooks, particularly in sizes 6 through 10.

Alas, they are no longer around. Boots is looking either for readers who have the Lee Ward hooks and would be willing to trade them for her Boye variety, or for folks who may no longer have a use for their Lee Ward hooks. She will be happy to pick them up. Please call her at (727) 796-1693 if you can help.

Tomie Maxam of Dunnellon is hoping a Reader Exchange miracle will happen for her. She is ready to bind the edges of a quilt she embroidered several years ago, but now realizes she doesn't have enough binding to finish the job. She needs one package of Coats and Clark double fold quilt binding in lilac (color 91), which she thinks the company no longer produces. Naturally, the shades of lilac in binding offered by other suppliers doesn't quite match hers. Might there be a providential packet of the Coats and Clark brand floating about in your sewing basket? Please e-mail

Dorothy Puzycki of St. Petersburg has one of those requests that leaves the staff scratching their heads and realizing anew that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in their philosophies. Here it goes (and may the staff learn something new along the way!). She is looking for 4-inch cinnamay hats, which she has been unable to locate in local stores. Dorothy's number is (727) 525-5540, and she can be reached there after 6 p.m.

Thank-you notes

Darlene Boyden is enjoying to the nth degree the old sheet music and songbooks she recently requested. She writes, "It is so rewarding to know that people will go to the trouble of calling, delivering or packaging and mailing music to someone they only know by name." A pretty accurate description of folks in Exchange Land!

Ellen Drummond of Largo, also on a musical note, received a tremendous response in her search for the song Where the Roses Never Fade. Three different versions of it were provided, including the one she was looking for, and she heartily thanks all involved for their help.

From self-described "grateful reader" Edna Wallace of Tampa, these sentiments: "Thank heaven for your column and the folks who respond to inquiries." We were a little worried that she might have trouble finding the information on making the furry animal faces and magnetized fridgies she asked for, but we should know our readers better than that. A reader in Spring Hill came through.

Send requests to Reader Exchange, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail 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. Except in unusual circumstances, readers must agree to publication of phone numbers (please include the area code) to be considered for the column.