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On Saturday, the Coos Bay Library Foundation’s sixth annual Adult Spelling Bee was another nail-biter that handed the ladies of Pollen Nation their fourth consecutive victory after several rounds between them and their last team of contenders.

As the Hermione Grangers of Coos Bay Spelling Bee Wizardry, Gail Elber, Stacy Rose, and June Willoughby whizzed through the competition without the one-time-only buy-in, as the rest of three-member teams did. That said, the new formulation of team Phô-Netix gave them a run for their orthographic money. I should know, I am the captain of said second placers. In my classic, comedic karma, I handed Pollen Nation their victory with my urging to present shambolic as “shambolic”, but be forewarned, Pollen Nation Ladies, it’s on!

Next year, my ringers, Maidie Rosengarden and Jean Cassidy, will be ready to ignore my confident protests. Ha,ha! (Also, I extend a humble thank you for holding my chair up when I exploded with surprise and joy at our correct spelling of “calumniate”. Between the Spanx and the high heels, something was bound to happen and you quite literally saved me from a tumble.)

But we may not be the only ones, for there were definite signs of scouting. "We Spell Krazy Good" couldn't keep their ringer under cover. And if we have a science-themed bee, Ambulycra's graduate-level biology knowledge could leave us in the dust. "The Hive" and "Dynamic Bridge Trio" got early killer words and "Almost As Good As Autocorrect" — new name, very familiar sharp team from prior years — had an off moment. We were missing some heavy hitters of years gone by, "The Bees Knees" and "The Queen Bees" who's distractedly cute bumblebee suits and besequined hats belied their collective spelling bee acumen.

The Black Market Gourmet and the foundation's volunteers put on an excellent spread sweet enough with sugar and alcohol to dumb the pain of our defeat. We have a whole year to prepare!

Jenny Jones

North Bend

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