Reader Pat of Burbank has been looking for a wall safe that looks like a two-plug electrical outlet ; she says that at one time, the item was advertised in various mail-order catalogues, but lately she hasn't been able to find it. Can you help with a safe source, or will Pat's off-the-wall request not be worth a plugged nickel?
For an aunt who has arthritis but loves to play bridge, Mrs. R. C. Jones of Arcadia would like to find a playing-card holder --a semicircular gadget with two slots, one higher than the other. Can you score a few points for the aunt, or will Jones feel like a dummy because nobody could find a good deal for her?
Kei Kawa of West Covina is looking for Snoopy Caps (snug-fitting caps that strap under the chin) for some student pilots. Can you help by snooping around for a source, or will Kawa always be up in the air because she's been unable to fulfill her high-flying dream?
Joe Singer, who is on a salt-free diet, needs to find roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds in the shell ; these were available back East, he says, but he can't find them out here. Can you help even though it's after Halloween, or will your failure to go along with Singer's shell game only rub salt in his wounds?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: For her grandchildren, Mrs. Higgins at (213) 225-0513 is looking for a sturdy wooden Chinese checkerboard with marbles instead of pegs. Please check on this request and make sure that Higgins feels marbelous again. . . . Craig at (818) 340-8635 is looking for 18-inch Tiffany Taylor dolls , which are no longer being manufactured; he will even take damaged dolls or pieces of them. Please pick up the pieces and see to it that Craig gets all dolled up again. . . . For her primary-grade classes, Judith at (619) 565-6479 wants a copy of "Children in the Jungle" by Leif Kranz , which was published in 1961 and is long out of print. Please turn over a few old leaves and make sure that Judith's pupils once more go ape over her book selection.
Note: The Reader-to-Reader Help Line is only for one-time items or 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.
A.Z. of Van Nuys, who was looking for a product that removes mildew from terry towels, can put away the crying towel. Carol Kawana of Redondo Beach uses Lysol Brand Disinfectant. Aliki Haralambos of Arcadia says to add a cup of 20 Mule Team Borax to the detergent. Karen Gilman of Windsor Square suggests that you soak the towels overnight in a solution of Shaklee's Nature Bright (two tablespoons per gallon of water) and wash with the rest of the laundry. D.G. of Los Angeles uses Mira Fresh, a powder also good for pet stains and available in pet stores. Bonnie Crabtree of Redondo Beach claims that Spic & Span pine liquid did wonders for her, but adds that the towels have to be washed a second time to remove the pine odor. George Kachigian of Los Angeles uses Kleen laundry detergent followed, if needed, by Sani-Mint disinfectant cleaner from Smart & Final Iris. And Nancy Poquette of Sepulveda suggests adding a cup of ammonia to each presoak load of water.
For Margaret Chada of Huntington Beach, who was seeking small rubber slippers for pool wear, we have a large pool of sources. Marianne Metzger of Westlake Village says that the Broadway and some drug stores carry $5.95 nylon mesh slippers with soles of composition rubber; these are used mainly for showering while traveling but could serve Chada's purposes. Other places are not within paddling distance. A. D. Disney of Rancho Mirage says the Crescent Department Store in Spokane, Wash., carries a rubber bathing slipper similar to a ballet slipper. And then we have mail-order firms: D. V. Ohnemus of Burbank says Walter Drake & Sons, 56 Drake Building, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80940, has a shower shoe for $8.99; Dorothy Nickerson of Santa Barbara says non-slip footwear at $3.98 is carried by Harriet Carter, Dept. 37, North Wales, Pa. 19455, and Nickerson and Norma Horine of Sepulveda state that a nylon mesh slipper can be had for $5.98 from Miles Kimball, 41 West 8th Ave., Oshkosh, Wis. 54906.
Samovar owners of the Conejo Valley, rejoice! You've nothing to lose but your stains! According to H. Laws of Malibu, Nick Yanuzzi, 2348 Aldrich Circle, Thousand Oaks, (805) 495-8826, does a great job on samovars.
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.