Trying to Keep From Going Bananas

Chele Graham of Hollywood is not trying to make a monkey out of anybody when she says she is looking for someone interested in the almost-100-foot monkey puzzle tree "with an absolutely plum and flawless trunk" in her yard; she's convinced that the tree would make a wonderful mast for a ship. But there are few boats--albeit many showboats--in Hollywood. Can you keep Graham from being at half mast by finding someone who will go ape over this situation, or will she be up a tree because she might have missed the boat?

Pat Murphy of Lawndale needs gold, copper or silver coins for use in a belly-dancing class; the coins should be about the size of a quarter, with a small hole drilled in them; they can be round or triangular. Can you help improve this class act, or will Murphy need a bellyful of sound advice before she continues with her navel maneuvers?

Florence Schmidt of Whittier, who is trying to gain weight, wants to make old-fashioned Horlick's Malted Milk Shakes ; she has been able to find Horlick's candies but not the malt powder. Can you help with this weighty matter, or will Schmidt feel like taking a powder because she realizes that she'll never be able to tip the scale in her favor?

Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Margaret at (714) 538-7515 wants to find either a replacement handle for an old-fashioned school bell or a woodworker to make her one; the handle is of polished wood and about six inches long. Please help, so that Margaret's students will again know for whom the bell tolls. . . . Muriel at (213) 737-3771 would like to get hold of some Riker Laboratories' Buf foot lotion , foot soap and foot-cleansing sponges; none of these products is still being manufactured. Finding them would be quite a feat, so please help; otherwise, Muriel won't have a leg to stand on. . . . Carole at (714) 644-8061 is looking for some classical eight-track cartridges-- Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Grieg, Respighi--to play in the car her husband just bought her. Please help by putting her on the right track with the sound of music--and to make sure she gets off her husband's Bach.

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.

Bertha Thompson, who was looking for Vermont Maid syrup, may have to go all the way back to Vermont to get it. Susan Wood of Temecula, who also was looking for the syrup, was told by the company that the product is available only in the New England states.

What sounds like bad news for Thompson could be good news for Lisette Hepler of Long Beach, who was hooked on Bainin yarn (for knitting Aran-style sweaters) but couldn't find any. R. H. Simonton of Huntington Beach writes that, for $39, the Scottish Lion, North Conway, N.H. 03860, sells an Aran sweater kit that contains instructions in addition to 100% wool yarn. Now all Hepler has to do is to persuade Thompson to pick up a kit on her way east for that Vermont Maid syrup.

If not, Hepler may have to fly--or at least write--all the way to Ireland. Six readers (Bettye Rock, Mrs. Robert C. Catren, Josephine Young, Joy Condreay, Nancy Dworzak and Mrs. R. H. Himes) state that Bainin yarn is available from Shannon Mail Order, Shannon Free Airport, Ireland. Other sources in Ireland are Blarney Woolen Mills, Blarney, County Cork (from Mrs. George H. Oswald); Clery & Co., O'Connell Street, Dublin, and Arnott & Co., Henry Street, Dublin (both sent in by P. Molloy).

Armine Meghrouni of Anaheim, who thought she had her feet on the ground while she was looking for nylon shoe protectors that cover only the toes, may not have been completely on her toes during her search; we have a number of well-known sources. R. Shaw of Los Angeles says she purchased the item at a Sav-On drugstore. Mrs. C. C. Honey of Riverside says Bullock's carries the shoe protectors in the hosiery department. And H. M. Sheldon of Indio writes that the cushioned shoe protectors are made by Bonnie Doon and are available in the hosiery department of Buffum's.

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.

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