Because she can't bear to be without one, Barbara Steele of West Los Angeles has been searching for a lapel button or a campaign-type pin depicting the California state flag. Can you make this a banner day for Steele, or will she be in a sad state, because nobody is able to pin down a source?
Alice Johnson of Fullerton would like to find some old-fashioned tinker toys , the ones that were made of wood and came in a cylinder. Can you help Johnson with some of the games people played, or is there no point in building up her hopes?
Helen Kerkyras of Glendale wants to replace a back brush mounted on heavy canvas with a loop handle at each end . Can you get back to Kerkyras with a source, or will this be one brushoff she can't handle?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Fran at (818) 998-8136 can no longer find the ribbons for a Royal Electric typewriter Model No. 560-565 ; please help, so that Fran once again will be able to work her fingers to the bone. . . . Jean at (818) 447-5878 needs cups and fruit dishes for a set of dinnerware in the Cameo Rose pattern made by Superior Hall more than 30 years ago and sold through Jewel Tea; please see to it that Jean will be able to take her tea through rose-colored glasses. . . . Merle at (619) 345-4809 has been making noises about finding an old-fashioned ear trumpet hearing device ; she has quietly sounded out people at antique stores, swap meets and garage sales, all in vain. Please sound off if you can help Merle here.
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.
Lucy Foster of Anaheim, who was looking for an adult-size Winnie the Pooh T-shirt, can keep her shirt on. Frank Taylor of Los Angeles has provided the following sources: Disneyland Park, 1313 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, Calif., (714) 999-4000; the Walt Disney Studios Commissary, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, Calif. 91505 (the commissary gift shop carries products that feature all Disney characters), and the Disney Gift Shop at the Glendale Galleria, (818) 246-2401.
Here's another angle on a mangle: Sylvia Madnell of Fullerton tells us that Elna makes mangles, in addition to sewing machines, and that the Wheeler Sewing Machine Co. in Santa Ana carries that line. If they don't have a mangle in stock, they can probably order it.
For Ann Gosche of Mission Viejo, who wanted a purse relined, it's practically in the bag. Gerry Conklin of Huntington Beach says Anthony's Custom Shoe Repair (shops in Corona del Mar, Fashion Square, Fashion Island and other locations) relined a snakeskin purse for her a few years ago. But if Gosche would rather "purse-ue" a Southern trail, the Targa Old Town Leather Workshop, 2425 San Diego Ave., San Diego, tells us that they specialize in repairing custom leather work.
Clarence Pauli of Banning, who was looking for heavyweight bird's-eye cotton (used for diapering), will soon be able to rear children correctly. Barbara Mullen of Solana Beach says the Vermont Country Store, P.O. Box 3000, Manchester Center, Vt. 05255-3000, sells the 36-inch-wide cloth for $2.96 a yard. And Mrs. E. Anderson of Alhambra mentions a small catalogue, put out mainly for the Amish in the Midwest, by Gahn Bros., Box 111, Middlebury, Ind. 46540-0111. They list the 36-inch birds-eye cloth for $1.79 a yard.
Patricia Willard of Hollywood, who wanted to replace the brushes in her fireplace set, did not exactly get a brushoff, but she may want to brush up on her walking a bit. Marilyn Frederickson of San Diego writes that Brass Town, 144 W. Washington Ave., Escondido, Calif. 92025, or 4004 Taylor St., San Diego, Calif. 92110, sells natural-bristle brushes in various sizes. Frederickson cautions against using synthetic-fiber brushes; they will melt if sparks touch them, she says.
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.