DEAR SUN SPOTS: With the pandemic upon us, I am resurrecting my garden area to grow vegetables for myself and some neighbors. I’m excited about it and would like to hear from other readers about their tried-and-true tips for keeping away common garden pests without using poisons.

— Gertie, no town

ANSWER: A very loyal reader, Gabrielle from Lewiston just sent this in: “Place marigold flowers between each plant to prevent bugs from eating produce.

To kill Japanese beetles, mix one can of beer, one can of non-diet cola and two teaspoons baby shampoo in a gallon of warm water to use in a watering can. For a large area, increase the recipe and use a sprayer.

For mites, use granite dust in your flower beds (can be obtained from gravestone preparation). This last tip came from a Dr. Jarvis book about folk medicine.”

Readers, send in your tips and please share what makes your gardening satisfying and successful!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have face coverings for sale with a soft blue inside for $5 each, adult and teenager sizes only. I make them either with behind the ear straps or ties, depending on what I have for materials available. Please contact me at 310-0412.

— Deborah, no town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m a classic country music lover. I like Waylon, Willie, Merle, George and Buck, etc. I think I heard Harold Reid, the Statler Brothers’ deep voice guy died. Is that true? What did he die from and how old was he?

You can tell I don’t own or even know how to run a computer.

— No name, no town

ANSWER: I’m always happy to help each and every one of you. You don’t need a computer to write to me and sometimes, people need the human touch rather than being served by robots, whether they are technologically savvy or not! Furthermore, there are times when I’d just as soon throw this computer in the ocean and send handwritten letters on pretty stationery or simply call you up and have a good chat! Things are changing way too fast for some of us…

According to The Washington Post, Harold Reid, Harold Wilson Reid was born in Augusta County, Virginia, on Aug. 21, 1939. He passed away April 24, 2020, at the age of 80 from kidney failure. Here’s a bit of trivia about how the group that included Reid and three boyhood friends — Lew DeWitt, Phil Balsley and Joe McDorman — formed the Four-Star Quartet in 1948. They were later known as the Kingsmen. When McDorman quit left the group, he was replaced by Don Reid, Harold’s younger brother.

The group changed its name again because several other music groups were also known as The Kingsmen. The new name came from a box of Statler Tissue. The quartet switched over from singing gospel music to country music in 1964, after meeting Johnny Cash and joining his road show.

The Statlers went on to win three Grammy Awards and were named the top vocal group nine times by the Country Music Association. They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

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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