Cold wind and heavy rain did not stop the annual Traverse City Senior Spelling Bee from taking place today at Gilbert Lodge. When a friend learned that Dog Ears Books was sending a team, we were offered encouragement in the form of hopes we would “kick ass.” Well, we only came in third (but, as one of my team-mates put it, “still in the money”); considering the stiff competition, however, we felt we acquitted ourselves well. Here are the two teams that whupped us, six women who earned our profound admiration:
First place went to Martha Vreeland, Liz Bannister and Ronnie Green:
Coming in second place were Nancy Pihlcrantz, Cornelia Hart and Frances Figurski:
Someone from one of defeated teams (“You’re not losers, just dropouts,” said Beemaster Michael Sheehan consolingly) asked, “Do we have to wait until we’re 90 to win?” Surely not, since Dog Ears Books managed victory in 2008. This year's victorious trio did have a few years on us, but they had more than that on their side, obviously. These ladies can spell! Congratulations, winning spellers! Thanks to Beemaster, Senior Center and Bee sponsor, Comfort Keepers.
The best part of the annual Bee is that it is great fun. A day to play! It’s also inspiring to be around older men and women who make us sweat. Yes, sweat. No, we were not cool as cucumbers. Daunted? Somewhat. But there's always next year. Next year, we vow, we will practice ahead of time.