When several folks stepped forward with the harmonica-draped swizzle sticks a reader was seeking last month, the staff suffered a moment of self-doubt: Were we providing enough challenge to the sleuths in Exchange Land? After all, the swizzle-stick request struck us as fodder for a miracle worker!
But we quickly rallied, put aside our qualms, and diligently ransacked our mail for another "impossible" case. So, see if you can find what THIS reader is looking for.
Don's wife, Michele Ivy Davis, is having her first young-adult novel, Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel, published by Dutton Press. (Congratulations, Michele, though for reasons that will be disclosed in a moment, we hope you aren't reading this.) The motel in the story has the rear end of a pink 1959 Cadillac sticking out of the wall. (But at least Elvis was able to leave the building first. . . .)
Don has heard that at one time a boom box radio in the shape of the rear of a pink '59 Caddy was manufactured. Don would like to surprise the new author with one to use at her book signings. If you have one stashed away or know of a source that still carries them, please e-mail DDavisFLAaol.com or call (727) 789-2252.
The postscript to Don's e-mail, unfortunately, plunged the staff into insecurity again. He no doubt meant his comment to be ironic: "I expect to get hundreds of calls from people having this essential item sitting around their homes." But, after the swizzle sticks, he could be right!
Ed Kraus has super-8 movies from the 1960s that he wishes to transfer to video. He has seen "boxes" with mirrors that enable one to make a copy with a video camera. He has tried showing the movies on a screen and copying them with a camera, but it was difficult and only marginally successful. If you have one of these box devices Ed may borrow, please call (727) 527-8157.
Joye E. Fisher of St. Petersburg is making one last attempt to find copies of the book Beauty, Charm and Poise, a hardback with a light-blue cover that bears Joye's name. If you have one and feel that you've developed your beauty, charm and poise sufficiently to no longer need the book's help, Joye would enjoy getting your call: (727) 522-2606.
P.R. Frick of New Port Richey can't find the small brown custard cups she used many years ago. Do you have extras or can you point her toward a place where they are sold? She's also hoping you'll share your recipe for doughnuts baked in the oven. She may be reached after 6 p.m. at (727) 372-6754.
Elaine Morrison of Tarpon Springs has three requests of varying difficulty. First, can you tell her where to find a Christmas tree made with gold-tone safety pins and crystal beads, which lights up? (Sounds like a toughie to the staff, but how would we know?) Next, can you recommend someone who makes Raggedy Ann dolls? (Not too difficult, maybe?)
But Elaine's next request is probably going to be as difficult to find as it is to explain. (And we have the benefit of Elaine's sketches.) It is a hair-combing implement made of two combs with their backs facing each other and their teeth aiming outward. The combs are joined together by three horizontal rows of fabric-covered elastic.
Elaine used to buy these items at craft shows, and she is pretty sure they were made by a woman from the southeast coast of our state. If you know a crafter who transforms combs in this manner, please call Elaine at (727) 937-4240.
Virginia Hill of Dunedin has a doll she treasures because it was a gift from her husband. It's a "Living Collectible Doll," copyright 1992, made in Taiwan; a "Virginia" doll, premiere edition. This doll used to speak, and her line was "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." But she now is mute. It's not that her belief is gone; it is her voice that has failed.
If you know how or where human Virginia can get doll Virginia's voice box replaced or repaired, please call (727) 736-8411 or e-mail ginnyhexhotmail.com.
Arlene Pierson is looking for a Mrs. Tea electric tea-brewing machine. If you no longer use yours, this tea fan will happily provide it a new home. Please call (727) 531-1685 or e-mail lpiersontampabay.rr.com.
Send requests to Reader Exchange, Newsfeatures, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail colesptimes.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, to be included in the column.