DEAR ABBY: The letter about the boy who falsely accused a girl of stealing, found out he was wrong, then sent flowers to her in a classroom brought back memories. Flowers are nice, but had I been that girl I would have preferred receiving his apology publicly in a crowded lunchroom - the same place he accused her of stealing.

I was in a new job and was in charge of all current filing cabinets. About 15 co-workers and I had our desks in an open area without walls - not even glass partitions. The No. 1 boss asked me to bring him a certain file. I couldn't find it. He had a visitor with him who wanted to see that file. I looked for that file and couldn't find it. I knew I had it in my filing cabinet, but it was gone!The boss loudly ridiculed me for my inefficiency - in the presence of my co-workers. I wanted to die. About an hour later he called me into his office. I expected to be fired.

Instead I got a quiet and very formal apology in the presence of nobody! He told me that the purchasing agent had taken the file from the cabinet during my lunch hour and neglected to tell me. The purchasing agent had heard him chewing me out but didn't say a word until the visitor had left. Then he told the boss. He never did apologize to me for taking that file without telling me - or failing to speak up while my boss was humiliating me. My respect for both men was destroyed that summer day in 1954.

If you choose to publish this, please do use my name. - (MRS.) FRANCES CRUM, SEARCY, ARK.

DEAR FRANCES: Thirty-five years is a long time to wait for public vindication. I hope a few witnesses to that incident read this. Have a nice day, Frances.

DEAR ABBY: Help! I will be getting married in July. Presently, my fiance and I each have our own homes, so we do not need any of the usual wedding presents - small appliances, silverware, crystal, glassware, pots, pans, dishes, etc. However, we could use cash gifts that could be combined to purchase larger and costlier items. A large number of guests are expected from out of town, and we will not be able to return gifts to the stores.

How can I tactfully state this to our invited guests? Please print this as soon as possible so that I may have your response before ordering wedding invitations. My fiance and I agree to abide by your recommendation. - NO NAME, PLEASE

DEAR NO NAME: If you are ASKED if you prefer cash for a wedding gift, by all means, say yes. But under no circumstances should you REQUEST cash. I presume those who are invited to your wedding are aware that both you and the groom have your own homes and are not in need of household items, so it would seem plausible that a gift of cash would be offered.

However, if you were considering including a suggestion of "cash" with your wedding invitations, please don't. It's tacky.

DEAR ABBY: I want to thank you for telling your readers about the book "Flying Without Wings," by Arnold Beisser (Doubleday). Excellent! My husband has severe emphysema and is on oxygen full time. We got the book, I read it aloud and we enjoyed and discussed it.

It gave me a totally new respect and feeling for my husband's condition. He could identify with the author, who was severely disabled because of polio.

Again, you have helped many. - MRS. GERALD O. TRUDELL, MESA, ARIZ.

"How to Have a Lovely Wedding" is a revised, up-to-date guide for formal church weddings, home weddings, second-time-around weddings. To order, send your name and address, plus check or money order for $2.89 ($3.39 in Canada) to: Abby's Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)