Vail Daily letter: Thanks to Sibley — I think
May 20, 2017
Sibley Plumbing sponsored my team's table at the Spell-A-Bration adult spelling bee last Thursday eve, May 11. It was a generous show of support from a local plumbing company for a local nonprofit called The Literacy Project of Eagle County.
I will let The Literacy people tell you about their programs and the reading and homework assistance they provide and the English as a second language classes that they provide and about their mission to empower Eagle Valley community members to read well, speak well and live well. I am not here to tell you about that. I am here to acknowledge Sibley Plumbing for their sponsorship of our table — I think.
You see, while I began the evening expecting to have some fun supporting a worthy cause, not more than 10 minutes into the event, I realized some of my opponents were not there for "fun." They were spellers. Beer and wine were served, but somehow I lost my appetite for those when I realized the pool of smart spellers I was up against.
Don't get me wrong; some were there for the fun. Tony Mauro as emcee certainly maintained his amusement at the bemusement of most of us who were suddenly overcome by microphonephobia. Microphonephobia is a new word and I hope I spelled it correctly. The microphone is a familiar friend to Mr. Mauro. He must not know how the common tool of his trade strikes fear in the heart of most of the general population.
Last Thursday evening, I saw what happens to otherwise perfectly calm and clear-thinking adults when that "tool" is put into their face. "Deer in the headlights" doesn't begin to describe it. I was one of those.
So, thanks, Sibley Plumbing, I think, for an anxiety-provoking, fear-gripping time. My teammates and I wanted to do you proud. Our team had supporters in the audience ready to "buy" us back into the competition. The supporters seemed to be enjoying themselves, at least. I was knocked out with the word "carcinogenic," and I will never spell that word wrong again.
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The event was well-organized and the amazing volunteers ran it smoothly. For instance, Rob Davis' bell hitting (we can't call that "ringing") was spot on. My only suggestion to the organizers is that next year you have spellers stand at the podium to spell. It would be even more "fun" to witness that kind of terror.
Supporter of The Literacy Project of Eagle County
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