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Doctor needs your help with local history

The other day the staff, some of whom have lived in St. Petersburg for more years than they care to remember, got into a discussion that took us for a swift spin down memory lane. As you well know, architecture in this city is not built for the ages: buildings rise, flourish for a decade or two, then are razed or renovated. Recalling which structure once stood on such and such a corner, and when, provided a chance to relive old times and, by the way, convince ourselves that our memories aren't as bad as we suspect they are.

It wasn't long after this incident that we received a letter in a similar vein from Dr. Mark A. Sibley, founder and director of the Florida Eye Center in St. Petersburg. Before the center was built, Sibley informs us, a winter resort property called Waverly Court stood on the land. Sibley thinks it was built and opened around 1930 at 1501 Ninth Ave. N and was owned by a couple who hailed from Pennsylvania. This resort thrived for 70 years but, unfortunately, was bulldozed when it became "too old and run down to fix."

"My hope," Sibley says, "is to find some pictures of Waverly Court that may exist from the wonderful 70-year history that it enjoyed as a vacation paradise. My goal is to put these pictures into the Florida Eye Center and display them as part of the history of St. Petersburg."

So, readers, it's time to drag the old photo album from the shelf and blow off the dust. If you have some photos to contribute to this historical endeavor, please mail them to Dr. Mark Sibley, Florida Eye Center, 1515 Ninth Ave. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705. Should you wish to speak to him, please call the main office of the center at (727) 895-2020.

(P.S., Dr. Sibley: The old timers on the staff remember Waverly Court, too.)

At the beginning of a new year, do you get the urge to move extraneous possessions from your home? We seem to have a number of requests that suggest some readers may be doing some prespring housecleaning.

Beth Cowley of St. Petersburg has partial boxes of stationery and about eight packages of cards with four to six cards per package. Some are blank; some are all occasion. She'd love to give them away. Last year she made a similar request, and a gentleman from a senior living facility picked up the items for a rummage sale. These items are yours if you call Beth after 5 p.m. at (727) 734-5506.

Alba Putnam, also of St. Petersburg, wishes to relocate six full skeins of Aunt Lydia's mercerized crochet cotton, as well as some partial ones. If you can use them, please call Alba at (727) 546-0618.

Kaaren Clark would like to give between 150 and 200 large and small bottles of fabric paint to an organization that cares for children (a group home, perhaps) or the elderly (senior citizen centers that offer crafts are among the options). Creating with this paint is great fun for kids of all ages, Kaaren says. In the past she enjoyed helping children as young as 4 and adults 60 and older decorate T-shirts. Kaaren may be reached at (352) 796-4869.

While you're going through your possessions, deciding which will stay and which will go, keep in mind that some readers may be eager to put your discards to good use. For example, does that pile of magazines include a copy of the January 2003 Stitcher's World? If so, you have just what Rita LeBlanc's needlepointing daughter-in-law needs. If you can help, please call Rita, a St. Petersburg resident, at (727) 328-0765.

Is an older View Master sitting around your house, no longer dispensing views? If so, Susan Maguire's prekindergarten's science area could put it to work. If it came with larger format slide wheels, that would be wonderful. Susan will pick up your donation; just call (813) 963-1440.

Mildred Vinas of Pinellas Park makes lap robes for the Masonic Home, Hospice and Menorah Manor, so it is understandable that she rapidly depletes her yarn supply. If you have yarns left over from a needlework project, they could be put to good use: Just call (727) 546-2166.

When Frank Kelley requested computer laptops to use for technician training, he received several calls, but he still needs a few more laptops. He thought that after Christmas would be a good time to check again because new laptops may have replaced older models. If you'd like to recycle your old laptop, please call Frank at (727) 781-8769 or e-mail and he will arrange to pick it up.

Look for our annual Christmas card list on Jan. 15.

Send requests to Reader Exchange, Floridian, St. Petersburg 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.