Harriette Chumley of La Crescenta is knitting her brows in a (futile, so far) search for an adjustable metal sweater stretcher. Can you help before Chumley's mettle is really tested, or will she have to sweat things out a little while longer?
Jo of Fullerton is on the lookout for old-fashioned match-stick bamboo curtains-- not blinds--those with the vertical narrow bamboo slats and fabric loop-hangers attached to the top. She doesn't want the plastic kind; they are too dense and will not permit Jo to look outside. Can you help ring down the curtain on a narrow point of view, or will Jo have to be kept in the dark before she can take another curtain call?
Shirley Freedland of Long Beach would love to chew on some washboard cookies, which were very popular in Minnesota, but no one out here seems to have heard of them. Can you see to it that Freedland's home is awash with those cookies, or is this something she'll never be able to sink her teeth into?
Jan Williams of Mission Hills has her ears open for a sleep-mate , a machine that is designed to screen out street (and other) noises. Can you make sure that Williams gets a good dose of doze, or will she have to wait till Christmas for her next silent night?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Instead of having to work with turkey nails and cord, Nova at (714) 768-1770 is looking for a cone-shaped stainless steel coil that will close up a turkey after it is stuffed; she believes the item is no longer manufactured. Please help nail this one down and make sure that Nova's next turkey, and her disposition, are not completely bent out of shape. . . . For a daughter who just set up housekeeping, Toye at (805) 522-2648 would like a copy or two of the "Farm Journal's Time Saving Country Cookbook" by Neil B. Nichols (Doubleday, 1961). Please help with this cooky request, and make sure that Toye's daughter can prepare a dinner by the book--or else go to Nova's house for her next meal.
Note: The Reader-to-Reader Help Line is only for products 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.
Much to our surprise, the old-fashioned top-stove baker that several readers were looking for can be found in a number of places. Among these are: Gemco (Francine Mondry says son Scott bought one there for her); May Co. (Ruth Phillips reports that the lower-priced model is no longer available); the Gadget Nook at Farmers Market, Los Angeles (from Jean Cinader of Hollywood); Sav-on Drugs (from Jean Easton of Sherman Oaks); Cookin' Stuff in Torrance (from Rose Berman of Rancho Palos Verdes), and McVey's Hardware in Temple City (from Theresa Hernandez of Arcadia).
In addition, Barbara Spencer, Regina Poger, Carolyn Petty and V. B. Eddas told us that the Walter Drake catalogue (Drake Building, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80940) lists a Stove Topper (K 5166) for $5.99. And five readers wrote that they had--and no longer need--a top-stove baker. If interested in those names, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope at top speed.
For the many readers who have been looking to replace Noritake china, here is a new source: Noritake Service Center, P.O. Box 3240, Chicago, Ill. 60654. State pattern name and number when writing. They may be able to replace patterns up to 15 years old.
If Ola Lande of Westchester, who was looking for bobbin lace, will again send us her address, we have some information to forward to her.
Roberta Kessler, who was looking for terry cloth half-aprons, got this advice from Helen Morey: Get some bath towels and affix some tape (or strips of cloth) long enough to tie around the back. But, if Kessler is not the do-it-yourself type, we heard from three readers who have these aprons and are willing to part with them; no strings attached, except for a stamped, self-addressed envelope to us.
Herb Hain cannot answer mail personally but will, space permitting, respond in this column to readers who need--or have--helpful information. Write (do not telephone) to You Can Help!, You section, the Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.