DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m one of the many people who played Mr. Peanut — for about a year in 1958. It was my very first job and I was 15 years old. I worked three days a week, walking from the old high school (where the middle school is now) to the corner of Main and Lisbon streets on Mondays and Wednesdays. The store was open until 9 p.m. on Mondays, and I also worked all day on Saturdays.

I would be helped in and out of my Mr. Peanut “shell” by other staff members. This was made of fiberglass and was very heavy and over 6 feet tall. This shell was slid down over my head. Then I would walk laps on the sidewalk along Main Street down to Ash Street doing my best to convince passersby to come into the store and buy nuts. I also handed out samples on little spoons that only held two nuts at a time!

My job description (out of “uniform”) included moving stock when it was delivered. This entailed carrying the sacks down into the basement through a trap door in the floor, all the while being careful that customers and co-workers didn’t fall in! It was also part of my job to keep the windows clean and tape up sale fliers. I was paid 75 cents an hour.

Eventually, I got a replacement for those tasks and was promoted to a position where I was one of the employees frying the nuts.

In 1961, I joined the Air Force and when I returned home to visit in the mid-’60s, Planters was gone and J. Dostie Jewelers was in its place. I was in the service for 20 years and was stationed in many countries all over the world. — Adrien, Lewiston

ANSWER: I’m so thrilled that you contacted me, Adrien! What a fun and delightful story that sheds some light on this time in Lewiston’s downtown history and answers our reader’s question from Sept 23. Your recollections are wonderful! I’d also like to add that I think your first job prepared you well for life in the military!

I see that J. Dostie Jewelers moved from its original location from 1 Lisbon St. to 4 Lisbon St. in 1964, doubling their store space. The Camera Service Center moved into the space that Jules Dostie vacated so it looks like Planters was no more after that, unless…

Tell me more about Planters Peanuts, dear readers!

DEAR SUN SPOTS:  I was wondering if anyone is going to keep us informed about Dave Rowe and his wife who left on their sailboat Sept. 1. It would be interesting to find out how they’re doing and where they are heading. It would give us  something exciting to look forward to during this pandemic. — No name, Monmouth

ANSWER: Dave is posting about his experience regularly on his Facebook page, Dave Rowe Music. His latest post at this writing was dated Sept 23. He reported they were at anchor in Port Washington, New York, waiting out some high winds.

I reached out to ask Dave what his plans are, if any, to keep his fans informed of his travels.

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].


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: