Mark Trail, the Christmas card movie


DEAR SUN SPOTS: What has happened to Mark Trail? It’s the first thing I read in the paper. It was so exciting and then all of a sudden the script changed. We never found out if they got out of the cave, what happened to that woman involved, and the others. It’s so disappointing.

— Linda, West Gardiner

ANSWER: I wrote to Mark Trail’s cartoonist James Allen, who took over for Jack Elrod in 2014. James was kind enough to answer all your questions. Here is his very informative email: “I enjoy hearing from my readers and answer all of my emails personally.

“This wasn’t a script change, but a scene change. Similar to a scene change in a movie, the scene is in one location dealing with a few characters then briefly switches to another scene somewhere else to set up another situation before switching back to the main scene and the original characters.

“After setting up the scene with Dirty in Miami, we switch back to Mark and the others in South Dakota where we learned they not only got out of the cave, but based on the conversation with the sheriff; the blonde woman and her cohorts are arrested. The sheriff tells Mark and the others he has to head back to the police station to fill out the paperwork. The scene with Mark and Johnny at the ranch owned by Jimmy Ryan and Sarita continued with Sarita eventually getting Mark to agree to stick around for a home-cooked meal, bringing that story line to a close. We then switched back to Dirty in some shady business dealings.

“At the end of this week, we join Mark safely back at home for a brief story of Andy protecting his home! Then we’ll get involved in a brief lighthearted story before heading down to Mexico for the family vacation that Mark promised a few months back.

“I TRULY appreciate you reaching out to me on behalf of a reader! Please feel free to do so anytime!”

So there you go, Linda! What fun it was to get these answers for you!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m looking for a Christmas movie about a young woman who sends Christmas cards to soldiers in Afghanistan. The setting is in the West and the family owns a lumber business. I think I saw it on the Hallmark Channel. I want to watch it again but can’t remember the name of it.

— Sarah, no town

ANSWER: “The Christmas Card,” released in 2006, was filmed in Nevada City, Calif., and Park City, Utah. It stars Ed Asner, Lois Nettleton and John Newman. Alice Evans, one of the main characters, is aptly named Faith. As part of a church group project, Faith sends holiday cards to service members. One card lands in the hands of U.S. Army Master Sgt. Cody Cullen, played by Newman. There is an antagonist in the form of Faith’s boyfriend. In the tried and true Hallmark format, romance ensues amidst scenic views, cozy family cookie-baking and egg nog imbibing. You’ve gotta love it.

You can purchase a DVD from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart. You can watch it on YouTube or see if your library has one!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]