DEAR SUN SPOTS: My father-in-law, Norm Vallee, originally opened the business now known as the Village Inn Restaurant in Auburn in 1963 as Eddy’s Drive-In Diner in the existing building and location.

Although he now spends his winters in Florida, Norm just can’t bring himself to fully retire during his months home in Lewiston. He still enjoys working at the restaurant and loves passing his wisdom onto his son, grandson and the staff, not to mention how much he enjoys mingling out front with the many loyal customers he’s earned over the years.

The second and third generations of family members along with the staff are looking to honor him this year as the Village Inn marks his 50th year in business. We are gearing up for an all-out 50th celebration when Eddy returns home in May and will continue the special celebration throughout the remainder of the year.

One of the things we would like to do is have some commemorative T-shirts made with a picture or sketch of the old Eddy’s Drive-In Diner on the back. However, the only photo we have is not very good for the project, and we’re looking for a better one.

We have heard many stories of how Edward Little High School students would gather at the diner before and/or after school, as it was located just up the street back then. We are wondering how to contact the alumni association in hopes they may have some photos of the diner from the late 1950s or ’60s. Or maybe someone reading this may have photos from that era of gatherings with friends inside the diner or out?

I will scan and return any photos submitted for use. For any photos we use in any capacity, we’ll give the photo provider a free commemorative T-shirt and an entry into our grand prize drawing to be held Nov. 12 (which will be the 50th day to the year’s end).

Photos may be mailed to 165 High St., Auburn, ME 04210, Attn. Eddy’s Photo, or they may be dropped off in person at the front desk. — Belinda J. Vallee, [email protected]

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am looking for the dates that the following photography studios were in business:

* Fassett, 124 Lisbon St, Lewiston

* Hammond Photo, Lewiston

* Eastern Photo Co., 52 Lisbon St., Lewiston

* Colpitts & Co., 52 Lisbon St., Lewiston

We have an “old” family photograph album and the only way to identify people would be through the dates of these companies. — Anita Chandler, [email protected]

ANSWER: For the third time this week, Sun Spots pestered Doug Hodgkin of the Androscoggin Historical Society and professor emeritus at Bates College. He said that you can figure out what dates those businesses were open by going through old city directories. 

Doug said that the “old Androscoggin or Lewiston-Auburn Directories go back as far as about 1870 and go until about 1982. We have a fairly complete set at Androscoggin Historical Society. There are also some at the Lewiston and Auburn public libraries.

“These are not telephone directories, but attempts to list all households and businesses and their addresses every couple years or so. These also include business directories organized by type of business, as well as some ads.”

The historical society is at 2 Turner St., Unit 8, Auburn, and is open from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Please call ahead on Fridays (784-0586) to make sure the volunteers are there. The building is wheelchair accessible.

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