Because he doesn't like wristwatches, Horace Castillo of Los Angeles would like to buy a good crystal quartz pocket watch. Can you help before he develops a tic, or will his out-of-pocket expenses grow, because nobody will give him the time of day?
Dan Karmatz of West Los Angeles is looking for skin-colored Mennen's Shave Talc (not bath talc); failing that, he'll settle for any other after-shave talc. Can you help before Karmatz takes a powder, or will our search do no more than scratch the surface?
A Highland Park reader would like to find a store that sells Hamilton Beach crock pots , because he says they are the only crock pots in which you can cook beans from scratch without precooking them. Can you help our reader before he's convinced we're full of beans, or will he have to reach a boiling point?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Lynn at (213) 669-1518 is in the market for pottery dishes from the California Poppy pattern of Metlox Poppy Trail , which has been discontinued. Please help before Lynn eats her heart out and goes completely to pot. . . . For his 1977 Lincoln Town Car, Bob at (213) 283-5632 is trying to locate quadrasonic tapes that will fit true eight-track, two-program pre - recorded cartridges. Please sound out some sources and help put Bob on the right track, so that he can really go to town once more.
Note: The Reader-to-Reader Help Line is only for one-time items and for products no longer available in stores. And you must give us written permission to publish your telephone number, so that others may contact you directly.
Good news for the many readers (especially Chuck Farnham, Georgia Nichols and Elizabeth Sun) who have been searching for Descoware saucepan handles, Revere handles, lids for Corning casseroles, Guardian cookware parts, Pyrex pieces and other difficult-to-find kitchen and cookware pieces: Phyllis Stevenson of Don Stevenson Cookware Parts tells us that she has many of these items in stock. Telephone her at (714) 630-0706 or write to her at 2727 E. Dutch Ave., Anaheim, Calif. 92806.
It's still nail-biting time for Lorelei Bynum of West Los Angeles and Evelyn Ireland of Burbank, both of whom were looking for Mani Magic cuticle remover by Paquin. All we have so far are other cuticle removers. A Brentwood distributor of Beatrice Kaye Cosmetics says she sells Help 10, a cream concentrate that retails for $5; the number is (213) 827-3143. And Mary Langdon of Van Nuys mentions two mail order products: Nail Groom ($1.99) from Walter Drake & Sons, 36 Drake Building, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80940, and Carmichael's Cuticle Cream ($4.75) from the Vermont Country Store, P.O. Box 3000, Manchester Center, Vt. 05255-3000.
For Michael Hull of Whittier and other readers who were looking for Fels Naptha soap bars, the news is that there may have been a shortage a few months ago but that now the stores are awash with the product. We had more than 70 replies, far too many to mention individually. But Hull won't have to go far to clean up his act. A Downey reader reports that the King Cole Market at 11203 Washington Blvd., Whittier, carries the soap.
Actually, it seems that most of the large supermarket chains (Lucky, Mayfair, Safeway, Hughes and Stater) carry the product, in addition to smaller ones and large grocery stores. Even Sav-on Drugs was mentioned by half-a-dozen people, and, of course, several readers volunteered to wash their hands of bars that they'd been keeping around the house; one Montebello reader says he has some bars in their original wrappers and believes that these bars might be more than 50 years old. Fels Naptha is also a mail order item. More than a dozen readers report that the latest catalogue from the Vermont Country Store, address above, lists the soap at six bars for $5.70 plus $2.82 shipping.
Incidentally, several readers mentioned that Fels Naptha is excellent against poison ivy and is prized by soap carvers for its consistency. And Sherry Lombardi of Santa Monica, who evidently did a lot of research, says Fels Naptha soap is an excellent pre-spotting product, because it removes stains without bleaching or fading a garment; she adds, however, that it requires more elbow grease than merely squirting on a spray.
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.