DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have several years’ worth of old model railroad magazines I would like to give to a club or scout group, or an individual. They are Railroad Model Craftsman and Model Railroader, all several years old, but chock full of information for the model enthusiast. Anyone who would like to have them, or some of them, can contact me at [email protected]. They would have to come to Wilton to pick them up.
Thanks for your help. I’m new to Maine and think this is a great column. I’ve never seen anything like it.

— No name, Wilton

ANSWER: Welcome to the great state of Maine! I’m really pleased that you are enjoying Sun Spots. You may want to contact the Great Falls Model Railroad Club in Auburn, It has a fantastic online newsletter, “The Signal” and also holds an annual model railroad show at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham every fall that is quite delightful. The Eastern Maine Railroad Club, based in Orland, although a little farther afield, is another option. It has a presence on Facebook and you can email [email protected].

Readers, shout out if you are affiliated with other model railroad organizations or know someone who will benefit from these magazines.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding the Oct. 28 Sun Spots request for a shoe repair business, you referenced a shop in Portland. I’ve been using Tom Finn Shoe Repair at 165 Water St. in Augusta. Tom LaCasse is the owner and his phone number is 623-8491. He has maintained my footwear for years.

— No name, Leeds

ANSWER: Thanks for the recommendation! I do wish there was a good cobbler who was closer. Readers, if I’m missing someone, be sure to get after me!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I was taught that tips were based on the cost of the meals only, not including sales tax. When did it become OK to put out tip guides that include the 8% sales tax? Some places use an honest guide while others include the tax. I have noticed recently that some places list a top tip of 25%.

Thank you for all you do for us.

— No name, Leeds

ANSWER: Both pre-tax and post-tax tipping is acceptable, but let’s think this through. For example, my son and I had dinner at Applebee’s recently. We ordered off the “2 for $22” menu and had a good meal and an outstanding server. With tax, the bill was $23.76 and I gave her $4.75, rounding it off to $5, just because.

If I had tipped her 20% on the pre-tax amount of $22, the tip would have been $4.40 and I still would have rounded it off to $5.

Am I rich? No, I’m not. However, my kiddos all worked in the restaurant industry to make money for college, and I’ll tell you what, those tips matter. A lot.

In my opinion, tipping as much as you can is important and is a small price to pay for good service whether you’re eating a $10 meal or a $100 meal. If your server has taken good care of you, show it with your words and what’s in your wallet. Be kind. Be generous. And don’t overthink the small stuff.

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].


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