Editor’s note: As Sun Spots celebrates its 36th year of publication, Sun Spots writers thought readers would enjoy reading an assortment of questions and answers from the first few columns:

Dear Sun Spots: My neighbor dyed some of her husband’s white shirts so that they look more like today’s colors. I tried it with two of my husband’s shirts, following directions carefully on the dye package, but they came out streaked. Perhaps someone who reads this will know what I did wrong. My husband – we’ve been married a year – was upset that I ruined the shirts. – Upset, Lewiston.

Answer: Possibly a blend of fabric in the shirts caused the streaking. Different fibers take the dye in different ways and a combination of cotton and dacron, or whatever, may have produced the unsatisfactory results. Each shirt has a label telling what its materials are. You could check with the Extension Service at the Lewiston Post Office building on what results might be expected for a particular fabric.

Dear Sun Spots: My husband and I just got back from a trip to Europe. We had a wonderful time and saw how some of the rest of the world lives. It was an education for us in many ways. But what I would like to point out to other people is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to travel today. You can take mid-week, late-night flights and save a good slice of the fare cost. By careful scheduling you can make the most of many economies offered to the traveler, such as off-season rates at hotels. A rental car can return its costs to you, especially if there are three or four in the party since it can transport all of you at the same price. – Mrs. G.B., Lewiston.

Answer: You are right, however, if you are planning to follow the routine mentioned you have to be a “tiger” and those who have done it would definitely be against suggesting this type of travel for first trips abroad. Remember you have to do the whole bit yourself. No one is there to advise or assist in anything else. For instance if you come in on a late-night flight to an unknown city, unless you know to what hotel you want to go, how do you find one? When you get ready to move on how do you locate the flights or the road? You may buy road maps but you can’t go to the nearest filling station and ask the attendant for he does not speak English.

It is necessary to know about rail terminals, as train terminal information booths in Europe are manned by the city employees and if you come in at the right hour there is someone there, but if you are late the booth is closed. Granted, big hotels where they speak English are expensive, but traveling on your own you have to be willing to go out and look around for a hotel that looks good.

Another drawback is that unless you definitely study up on the area you are visiting you will not know what the things you see are or know where they are. Off-season travel also has drawbacks as the weather is never right, a lot of the attractions and resorts and closed and sometimes there is no heat in the room.

You can get fly-drive deals from the airlines for parties of two, four or six. They provide maps and the car mileage and flight together is less than normal airfare.

For the first time abroad, go with an agency. After finding out how it works, try it on your own. It is relatively inexpensive and can be fun, but only if a person is way beyond outgoing.

Dear Sun Spots: What has become of Arthur Bisson, former executive director of the Lewiston Housing Authority? – C.W.

Answer:
Alive and well, Mr. Bisson is busy attending classes at CMVTI where he is working towards his college degree.

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). 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 posted at www.sunjournal.com in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]


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