Sara Meric of Santa Monica is looking for something that will keep chickens out of her vegetable garden and flower beds. She would even consider some of the old-style baby gates if she could find them. Can you help give Meric something to crow about, or will she think she's laid an egg on this one?
Alfred Lorona of Montebello needs some white lead paint for priming artist's canvases. He claims lead paint is better than Gesso. Can you help, or will Lorona instead have to paint the town red?
Clifton L. Black of Pasadena is looking for replacement bricks for ceramic gas fireplace heaters. These were common years ago, but lately he has not been able to find them. Can you help Black keep the old home fires burning, or will he be forced to hit the bricks?
Lucille Baker of Pacific Palisades needs a product that will clean and polish her hammered aluminum ware (Silver Seal by Century Metalcraft). Nothing she has tried has done the trick. Can you help, or will she consider this a polish joke?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Maude at (714) 830-2521 is looking for Big Wally, the great spray cleaner for walls and woodwork that seems to have disappeared. When we published that request three years ago, Sav-on was still carrying the item, but they have since discontinued it. Please help, so that Maude won't have to climb the walls. . . . Nora at (818) 247-7269 would like to locate a toy piano with about 25 keys, similar to one she saw several years ago. Piano stores have never heard of such a piano. Please help, so that Nora can play a little night music.
Note: The Reader-to-Reader Help Line is only for one-time items and for products that are no longer available in stores. And you must give us written permission to publish your telephone number, so that other readers may contact you directly.
Lillian Siegel, who a few weeks ago was looking for a card-table extension, didn't wait for anyone to call her bluff. She went out and found one in a thrift store for $5. But all our other readers who expressed an interest in the item may soon be in the chips too. Marion Barry writes that the Pierce Table Top Co., 8344 West 3rd St., probably carries table-top extensions. Philip Finkelstein of Palos Verdes Estates says the Wico Corp., Pulaski Road, Chicago, Ill., makes (or made) table-top extensions.
We also have two mail-order sources: Joan Cook, P. O. Box 21628, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33335-1628 has them for $37 and was recommended by Barbara Hutton of Hacienda Heights, Phyllis Bechtold of Fullerton, Muriel Anthony of Fullerton, Nancy George of Ridgecrest and Sheila Toabe of North Hollywood. And Fay Marcus of Anaheim and Margaret Bauer of Laguna Hills mentioned the Hammacher Schlemmer Co., 147 East 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10022; their table-top extension costs $49.50. In addition, about a dozen readers said they would be willing to part with a table-top extension. Interested in a good deal? Lay your cards on the table and send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Joyce Richardson of Monterey Park, who needs a top for a cut-glass decanter, need not blow her top--yet. John Parr of Woodland Hills says he has picked up many decanter tops at swap meets and antique sales. Two readers said they had an assortment of decanter tops; we will send the information to Richardson. And Dorothy Barrick of Eagle Rock has two sources: C. Michael Reese, Restoration and Repair, 345 N. Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, (213) 278-5599, and House of Glass, 1754 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, (818) 796-2121.
According to Barrick, the same two services might also be able to help Gloria King of Sherman Oaks, who was unable to remove a glass stopper from her cocktail shaker. (They might even be able to do something for Jean Litzinger of Torrance, who is looking for someone to clean a wine-stained crystal decanter.) Other helpful hints: A Sun City reader suggests putting the cocktail shaker into the freezer for several days. John Parr says to warm the neck of the shaker by rubbing it with a sash or other material, or to tap the shaker gently--very gently--with the neck pointing down. He also says to have a thick pad handy (with either method) to catch the stopper. And Vaughnie Eddas of Alhambra sent us a complicated chemical formula that might take up to a month to work. If anyone is interested, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Herb Hain cannot answer mail personally but will, space permitting, respond in this column to readers who have--or need--helpful information. Write (do not telephone) to You Can Help!, You section, the Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.