ANSWER: Sun Spots thinks you must be referring to the word “photokeratitis” — a condition caused by the eye’s exposure to intense ultraviolet light, such as which occurs when sunlight is reflected off of snow. This condition can cause, and is otherwise known as, “snow blindness.” It’s usually temporary, but can be painful. Sunglasses will help protect your eyes from such damage as long as they are the kind of sunglasses that offer UV protection.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We can always depend on Sun Spots. What a help you are. On account of you, my flip flop drive was a huge success. My goal was to collect 300 pairs by the end of July. Well, I still have a few days (weeks) left, and thus far, I have 363 pairs. Isn’t that just awesome?

Also, I have 42 boxes containing a little bit of everything that was on my list. This is just unbelievable. People really do care for their poor brothers and sisters in Haiti. It’s very heartwarming.

The Daughters of Isabella, those who saw me at church, at the store and who came to my house thank you so very much for your support. I hope to do it again next year and will be looking to Sun Spots for support once more. Thank you, and God bless you all. — Orella, Mexico.

ANSWER: Sun Spots is happy to help you get the word out, and thank you to all of the wonderful people who donated to the cause. You’re all amazing.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Here we go again. We were wondering, the country band Alabama is now retired. What are they doing now? Are the cousins Randy Owen, Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry and their drummer Larry Herndon still in Alabama? And was Larry Herndon from Maine originally? Thanks, a lot. — No Name, Peru.

ANSWER: If being retired means still putting out new music and performing concerts, then yeah, iconic country music band Alabama is retired. According to their very active website (and the band’s Facebook page), cousins Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook are still at it, recently releasing a new album, “Southern Drawl.”

Sun Spots thinks you must be referring to drummer Mark Herndon, who parted ways with the band in the early 2000s after performing and touring with them for 25 years. Their split was contentious, involving a lawsuit in 2008 and the cousins’ disdain for Herndon wasn’t exactly a secret. Herndon was born in Springfield, Mass., and spent his childhood traveling wherever his father’s job took the family around the country. He does list Maine as one of his favorite states in at least one of the many interviews he’s given over the years.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. 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 be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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