Ruth L. Harris of Bellflower needs a five- to six-foot staff for rock hunting. Since she has multiple sclerosis, she needs the staff for walking on uneven ground and perhaps climbing a bit. A cane is not long enough to give Harris a feeling of security. Can you help with some diligent staff work, or will Harris wonder whether the rocks are all in her head instead of under her feet?
Mrs. Seymour Moreno of Long Beach is looking for a queen-size Murphy bed, also known as an In-A-Door Bed. She needs the bed for a small bedroom that she wants to convert into a guest room. These beds were popular years ago, but Moreno says she heard that they were being made again. But by whom? Can you help with this upbeat bedroom tale, or will Moreno's guests never be up against the wall in the middle of the night?
Pauline Gustavson of Torrance has been to every large store in her area without being able to locate an aluminum can crusher for soda and beer cans. This has forced her family to do the job by hand--perhaps by foot is more like it. Not even hardware stores stock the item. Can you help with some uncanny sources, or will Gustavson be crushed by the realization that she can't put her foot down anymore?
Anne Maggio of Temple City is looking for something that cleans suede. For one reason or another, she doesn't want to entrust her suede outfits to a dry cleaner. Can you help, or will the bad news rub Maggio the wrong way?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Nicholas at (818) 338-6922 needs the electrical fitting from a tow vehicle so that he can tow a Bethany tent trailer; the item is out of production. Please help before Nicholas no longer feels like toeing the line. . . . Frances at (818) 847-1090 would like to find the type of complexion brush that was made by the Stanley company about 30 years ago. Stanley no longer produces the item, and none of the dealers Frances contacted had any in stock. Please help Frances and bring the blush to her cheeks once more. . . . Irene at (818) 907-5466 needs a glass bowl to fit an electric Kitchen Aid Model 3B mixer, made years ago by Hobart; the item has long since been discontinued. If you could help, you'd definitely bowl Irene over; besides, there would be fewer mix-ups in her kitchen. . . . Nancy at (213) 530-1065 would like to add to her set of Modern Antique stainless steel Oneida silverware ; no store seems to carry the line. Please help before Nancy is tempted to do some "steeling" herself.
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.
For Maude and all the other readers who have been trying to come clean with Big Wally wall cleaner, we have a couple of ideas. Elizabeth Smith of Huntington Park says she orders Big Wally by the case from the Sav-On Drug & Discount Store in Bell; the phone number is (213) 773-2022. And David Coopman of Arcadia suggests that you contact the manufacturer, S. C. Johnson & Son, 2311 S. Eastern Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90040, (213) 723-6341.
We have some more information for Jean Litzinger, who wanted to have a stained crystal decanter clean again. Mrs. W. S. Minshull of Culver City suggests that, if the decanter can stand boiling water, Litzinger might try Dip-It, which is used for cleaning coffeepots. Litzinger says she found the product excellent for taking stains out of glass and porcelain.
And speaking of doing a clean job, Lucille Baker of Pacific Palisades, who was looking for something to clean and polish her hammered aluminum ware, may want to think twice about using the procedure Mrs. Sample of Bell followed. Sample, whose aluminum ware was black on the outside, noticed that a man was doing some sandblasting next door. She asked him to sandblast her pots, which he did in a matter of seconds. The pots looked a bit dull, however, so Sample buffed them with a wire brush, and now they look "pretty good," she says, very happy with her quick brush-off.
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.