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For readers, what's old can be new again

A thrifty streak runs through REXers; throwing away anything that might be useful to another person is an anathema to most. As a salute to this eroding virtue _ pretty much swamped by our Kleenex culture _ this column starts with some giveaways.

Kerri London has several hundred audio cassette tapes that need a new home. Kerri envisions new uses for these tapes, most of which contain music from the '80s and '90s. For example, they could be taped over, perhaps with music more to your taste. At any rate, Kerri is loathe to trash them. Interested? Please e-mail Kerri at kerrilynnexcite.com.

Bethel Taylor of Lutz traveled a lot with her husband during the late '80s and early '90s, and they frequently heeded the injunction to "Go West!" Since her husband's death, Bethel has become more of an armchair traveler, reviewing the wealth of items _ newspapers, brochures and cards _ the couple gathered while on the road.

Bethel wishes to downsize a bit, and she wonders if others may be interested in this collection. Please call (813) 948-4188 if you would like to travel a bit by armchair yourself.

Mariette of New Port Richey also hopes to find appreciative readers for her collection, this one of books and magazines in good shape. Some will be welcome to readers of French: Coupe de Pouce, Selection and hardbound copies of Reader's Digest (oui, the French version). She also has People and Woman's Day. Call (727) 847-9796, s'il vous plait.

E.B. of St. Petersburg winds up our march of thrifty recyclers with an offer of items well-suited to arts and crafts. She has Masonite panels for the aspiring artist; nylon hose for stuffing animals (the inanimate kind made with cloth) or braiding rugs; and cards, for inventive craft fun. Please call (727) 864-4201.

Sometimes we come up with an answer to a request _ but it's the wrong answer. Regardless, our readers remain pleasant. The staff couldn't help smiling at the opening sentences of a letter from Lorraine Kollman of Pinellas Park: "I would like to thank the many people who sent me words to The Turkish Delight. They were the wrong words."

Such a courteous response in the face of disappointment simply must be rewarded by another attempt to ferret out the information Lorraine wants. To boost our renewed efforts, Lorraine adds this information: She is seeking the words to the version sung by Arthur Godfrey, and the lyrics she remembers go: "Once there was a caliph and he lived in old Baghdad/ The poor old gent's been dead for years, but who cares about that?" Lorraine's phone number is (727) 573-7943.

Ann Gonder of Port Richey, also on a musical quest, needs the sheet music to the song Rhumba Maria, which also goes by the title Maria My Own. She says no bands seem to know the song, though originally it was music for line dancing. Please call (727) 862-7489 if you can provide a copy.

We last heard from Bill Russo Sr. and the AIDS Memorial Bells Inc. in May. The nonprofit group, which performs at remembrance services for people who have died with the illness, needed black graduation or choir robes for an upcoming service. Bill thanks readers who were able to help, and he also wanted us to know that the need for black robes continues. If you have one hanging unused in your closet, please call (727) 584-5282 or (727) 541-6638 for a pickup.

Mim found herself with a Sony stereo tape recorder, TC-355 (manual included!), after a family estate clearance. If you are interested in making it your own, please e-mail cdunningtampabay.rr.com or phone (727) 786-7246.

Thank-you note

"The kindness of the women in the St. Petersburg Times area is overwhelming!" writes Dolores Smith of St. Petersburg, who received so many calls in response to her request for Betty Crocker coupons and catalogs that her answering machine maxed out, and then some. She got what she needed, for which she thanks everybody who responded.

Send requests to Reader Exchange, Floridian, 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.

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