Monday, March 30, 2009

Relive the excitement

Channel 8 has posted the Bee re-play: Tuesday, 31 March at 4 pm and Wednesday, 1 April at 8.30 pm. If you're like me, you'll watch it and be surprised every inch of the way, even though you already know how it turns out. I can't wait to see how Rick Tarara produced it: Channel 8 had some pretty sophisticated equipment in the Great Hall last Thursday. From what I could tell, viewers at home will be able to see the word underneath the regular camera shot (except for during that awkward moment when we ran out of hard words and had to go "off the grid"--somehow the Library's version of PowerPoint was missing from the laptop, so I couldn't type them in as we went along).

You can check the schedule for future Bee showings, and you can also order a copy of the show by calling x0737.

Friday, March 27, 2009

This is what we mean by "Bee Tree"

Here's a photo of this year's amazing Bee Tree, created by artist Jane Bleakley and populated by many generous donations from local and regional businesses. The hive shows what the prizes are, and you have to guess the word clue. In keeping with the Library's culture of value for your municipal tax dollar, the prizes were sold at less than face value. Everybody wins on the Bee Tree!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gnorimoschema. Really.

Well, we can now identify the 12 smartest spellers in Dover. What an evening! You couldn't have made up a wilder story.

The first round went pretty much as one might expect, with the three teams (B-H Stingers, the Young and the Restless, and Prince 'n' Pals) in a dead heat for most of the round. The Young and the Restless (fabulous name: the teachers are young and their students are restless): Judy Cronin, Andrea Martin and Alisa Saunders, worked well under pressure alongside Prince 'n' Pals: Chickering Principal Kirk Downing, Deb Reinemann, and Sally Winslow, before the B-H Stingers-- made up of Bee Veterans Sue Geremia, Rebecca Kovrlija (a former champ), and Sara Muckstadt--edged them out and won the round, to the audible delight of their vast cheering section.

The second round nearly sunk me, and that's saying something. The Replacements (Jim Kinder, Sushil Kumar and their lovely companion, whose name escapes me at the moment) stepped out of the audience to sub for the no-show "Greatest Team Ever"--not having seen a word of the word list before that moment!--and held their own against Veteran Spellers the Town House Honey Bees and new-Bees Will Bleakley, Paul Fiore (the left-handed scribe) and Greg Kahoun (the BEE-List Celebrities). This round ran me out of words! I keep stats from prior Bees, and this year I had 3x the normal number of Killer Bee (aka extra hard) words. But we had to call a time-out and go "off the grid" because the BEE-list Celebrities and the Town House Honey Bees spelled every single word without flinching. I think they could have gone through the entire 900+ word list. We actually had to call an intermission while we looked for additional words! Between the people who hadn't studied but still knew words like endemic and erythrophobia, and the braniacs who COULD NOT be stumped by words like spaeman and coati, it was an episode of shock and awe for those of us sitting by the dictionary. We finally ended the round with potvaliant (made stronger or bolder by having drunk strong drink). The BEE List Celebrities deservedly won the round, but all 12 players get my personal standing ovation. I'll be waiting for you next year.... and your first word will be PHARAOH. You know why.

Round 3 saw the winners of our Perfect Attendance Award--the Coldwell Banker, Wellesley team (played this year by Betsy Breziner, Kathy Iovanni and Bee Veteran Laura Talmud)--pit their skills against the muscular vocabularies of Just the Neighbors (Joe Desalvo, Tom Dixon and Nancy Simms) and the Spellunkers (Tod Dimmick, who kindly offered me his dictionary during the previous round, Lori Krussell and Pamela Mok). It was a good long fight, ranging from relevant (a word I can never spell) to tatterdemalion, and finally ending in philippic. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the round was finished. I had developed onychophagia (fingernail-biting).

Round 4 pitted the baseball caps of the Dover Foundation (dressed to promote their upcoming musical, Damn Yankees, check their website and buy your tickets at: against the straw boaters of the Dover Garden Club (Bats Wheeler, Carol Hollingsworth and Lynn Petrasch) and the wildly creative soap bubble headdresses of the Clean Bees, a library team sponsored by ScrubaDub (returning veterans Karen McKoy and Ellie Herd, joined by soprano librarian Roberta Anderson). The wildest hats won the round, and the Clean Bees moved into the Championship Round--once again, the team who never used their Mulligan.

Now that you are acquainted with the players, it will come as no surprise to you that the Championship Round (no Mulligans!) blew through the standard list and went right out into the Killer Killer Bee words. These players (the B-H Stingers, the BEE List Celebrities, the Spellunkers and the Clean Bees) had no trouble with olax, haruspication or weissnichtwo. I thought for sure we'd nail somebody on phthisic, but no--everyone spelled it correctly. YIKES. We went through dysrhythmia (the winning word in 2006), vicissitude (I can never spell that, either), picklehaube (the pointy helmet German soldiers wore) and diphthong before the Spellunkers won the Bee with the word gnorimoschema. It's a kind of moth--dull-looking but its larvae set galls in plants. Now you know.

We were 6 words away from the very end of the list. The remaining words were kwashiorkor, pfefferneuss, oneiromancy, tuilyie, pteroclididae and... beestings. I firmly believe that any one of those spellers could have won. It was just amazing to watch them. Look for the replays on Channel 8. These people are incredible, and chances are you know at least some of them.

EVERYONE WHO PLAYED IS A WINNER. The Bee is a huge fundraiser for the Library, and everyone who played helped contribute to the bottom line. I can't wait to find out how the Bee Tree and Bee Cafe went. Onychophagia aside, I had a blast. I hope you did, too.

Paul Keleher kindly photographed the evening for us, and has graciously given us his link to the Bee photos: See for yourself.

Can you spell pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis?

Just messing with you ;-D
It's not going to be used tonight.
Good luck!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

King, Bee

Bee Chair Marlayne Brace, who has her hands full keeping track of all the loose ends I generate, gently pointed out to me that the DTL Bee has more than one King. We are really fortunate to have the commentating skills of George "King" Doherty (yes, King really is his nickname!) as our Announcer and Master of Ceremonies.

George grew up in Dedham and has lived in Dover for 11 years. His stamina as our MC must come from his athletic training: he skis, runs marathons, golfs, enjoys tennis and is a triathlete. His sense of civic spirit, which is so evident in the work he does for the Friends of the Library, also finds an outlet in coaching, fundraising for Dana-Farber, and participation in the Caryl Managment Advisory Committee. George is a principal at Corcoran & Havlin Insurance Group of Wellesley and Medfield (

Many thanks to you, King, for dedicating your time and energy to the Library Bee. Your warmth and quick wit help the evening shine!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

last-minute prep

The Bee Team met today to prepare lagniappes: we wrapped water bottles donated by Save-A-Lot in re-usable bags from Bridgewater Credit Union, tied them with a yellow ribbon, and clipped programs and name-tags to them. Contestants will pick these packages up when they enter the Great Hall on Thursday evening. We also prepped some hilarious gifties for the "superlatives" winners: we'll give out prizes for Best Name, Best Dressed and Best Team Spirit, plus a special award for one of our long-standing supporters. Our appreciation for these winners knows no bounds, and neither does our sense of the absurd...BEE warned!

We have some last-minute prep to do to acknowledge donors, and then there's setup and food and tech on Thursday afternoon.

Bring your thinking caps, your wallets, and your sense of humor. It's going to be a really good night.

Something to write home about

I stopped in at Taylor's Stationery in Needham today; they have Bee stationery, which I buy myself to use for the "unofficial" thank you notes that I often want to write after the Bee.

Not only did I get a special on Crane's Bee stationery: buy one, get one 50% off--Taylor's also very generously donated a $25 gift card to the Bee Tree!

The Crane's special applies to most of Taylor's stationery stock, and I don't know how long it will be in place. But if I were you, I'd buy the gift card off the Tree on Thursday night, and head on over! Write on!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Boston Spelling Bee: a winning scenario

Congratulations to Brighton 5th grader J. Rexon Apurado, who won the second Boston city-wide Spelling Bee. Check the link above to see the final moments--the winning word was scenario--and wish this talented young man well as he moves on to the national Bee in May.

as noted in today's Boston Globe; clip from

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bee Support: it's IN THE BAG

In an effort to focus the community's attention on getting back to basics with Library support, the Bee Committee decided to give out reusable goody bags to our players. We approached our neighbors at Bridgewater Credit Union (right next to Dover Market, across from Dover Automotive), and they were very receptive to partnering with us to create a Bee Bag.
At our Dress Rehearsal today in the Town House, BCU Branch Manager Frank Nunes and BCU Marketing Coordinator Marsea Whooten stopped by to deliver these adorable BCU Bee Bags, which they had made for us. All of our contestants will receive a BCU Bee Bag, which can be used and reused--great for groceries AND library materials. (I keep bags like this in the back of my car for unforseen stops at the market.)
In the photo you see Frank and Marsea handing the bag over to Lorie Linnell, President of the Library Friends. In these times of increasing need and decreasing funding, you should thank all three of these folks for working together to support your Library.

Many thanks to BCU (Frank, Marsea and also Josh Berglund of the Dover branch) for their interest in and support of the Library.
Photos by Rick Tarara of DCTV Channel 8.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Color my world...YUM

Library fans and restauranteurs Rod and Catherine Walkey have donated a $100 gift card to their Needham Heights restaurant, Blue on Highland.

Click here for reviews, and then follow the links to the menus for cocktails, wine, meals, desserts and brunch. Bring your cash and checkbook to the Bee, because this is another real shopping value.

This gift card will make someone very happy, and you can use it all sorts of ways: a Mothers' or Fathers' Day brunch, entertaining out-of-town Graduation guests, a Friends' Night Out (remember, if you invite your friends out, you don't have to clean your own house) the card marked "BLUE". You will think of a way to use it.

And be sure to thank the good people at Blue on Highland for their generous support of the Dover Town Library!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Here, thanks to Friends WordSmith Amelia Slawsby, is our official press release for the local news. Hope to see you on the 26th!

Spring is just around the corner and as the flowers start to emerge, so do the bees. In Dover, this means a special kind of bee – a Spelling Bee.The 4th Annual Dover Library Spelling Bee will be held on Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at the Dover Town House. A friendly contest for adults who compete in teams of three, the Spelling Bee has become one of the town’s must-attend Spring events for all ages. It is free and all are invited to attend.

In addition to the Bee itself, which will be in the Main Hall, upstairs will also house the popular Bee Tree, where mystery items are bought based on a word clue. This year, the Friends of the Library has secured numerous high-end donations to the Bee Tree.

Donated items include:·

Tickets or passes for: the Big Apple Circus, Davis Farmland and Mega Maze, Boston Duck Tours, the New England Aquarium, the Pawtucket Red Sox, Santa’s Village, Six Flags New England, Story Land, the Wheelock Family Theater and Zoo New England.·
Spa services from: Elizabeth Grady (Needham), Nicholas Christie, Salon Mario Russo and Sculpture Hair Studio.·
Gift cards and/or products from: Bed Bath & Beyond, Boston Red Sox, Costco, The Cottage Restaurant, Dover Market, Friendly’s (Needham), Holly Cleaners, Lord’s Department Store, Magic Beans, Portrait Simple, Roche Bros., Trader Joe’s (Needham) and Whole Foods (Newton).· And more!
Monetary donations or goods were also graciously donated by: Dover Automotive, Blue Moon Bagel Café, Bridgewater Credit Union, Dover Country Properties, Dover Eyes, Dover Mothers’ Association, Lovell’s Flowers & Nursery, Save-A-Lot, ScrubaDub Auto Wash and Village Pizza.

Also returning this year is the Bee Café, where snacks will be sold. While it will be located downstairs, no one will miss any of the action, thanks to Dover Cable’s live broadcast, which will be on live feed in café and snack area.The Bee Tree and Bee Café are cash and check only so Bee prepared!

Don’t be stung with regret for missing out on all the fun - come to the Dover Town House to cheer on neighbors, enjoy a night out with friends and support the town library.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Man Who Would BEE King?

If we stop to consider it, most of us think of Bees (and libraries) as being largely feminine enterprises. The stereotypical Librarian is a woman who wears cat eyeglasses on a long chain and styles her hair in a tight bun. And, let's face it--hardly anybody gets excited about studying drones, and their (ironic cough) significant contributions to life in a hive.

Well, let me put some of those stereotypes to rest right here and now. One of the Library's (and the Bee's) most generous supporters is none other than Doug Wolfe, d/b/a Dover Automotive, right over on Whiting Road across from the Dover Market. If you have kids in the local sports programs, you have undoubtedly seen (or even laundered) shirts bearing the Dover Automotive name. If you look closely at the donor plaque in the Library foyer, you'll also notice that he's a bona fide Library supporter as well.

Dover Automotive has been an underwriter of the Bee since its inception, when Doug sponsored a team of high school kids who went all the way to the championship round. We should, as a community, recognize and thank him for his support. And we should edit out our preconceived notions regarding who is and isn't a valuable member of the Library community, not to mention a key player in the Dover hive.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Something for Everyone?

This morning I ran up to the Dover Market--I'm fixing dinner for a friend, and wanted to find just the right appetizer. After a couple of minutes scanning the well-curated cheese selection, I wound up with Brie, and then cruised down the next aisles for some puff pastry and apricot jam--I'll make a brie en croute.

Like the Library, the Dover Market is a great local institution. Grocer extraordinaire Dave Felleman has his finger on the purchasing pulse of the community. Whether you are ordering lunch to go, running in for a jug of milk and a package of diapers, or searching for Just The Right ingredients for a memorable occasion, the Dover Market probably has exactly what you are looking for.

The Dover Market has been supporting the Dover Town Library for as long as anyone can remember. This year's Bee is no exception: the Bee Tree will bear a gift card from the Market. I can't decide what to label it, though: Lunch? Necessities? Cosi fan Tutti? Whatever we call the Dover Market prize, it is sure to be a winner. Thanks, Dave!

Something's Fishy a good way: the Bee Tree will offer two passes to the New England Aquarium, valued at $40. If you've ever tried to go to the Aquarium with a small child, you will appreciate the flexibility and savings afforded by a pass. Even the crankiest toddlers become tranquil at the sight of fish serenely swimming around the enormous NE Aquarium tank, and the additional exhibits and shows make sure there is something to please just about everyone.

What a great antidote to the late-winter blahs. Look for a nametag like "Fishy" or "Tank" to clue you in to this prize.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Send in the Clowns

The Bee Tree will offer 4 tickets to the Big Apple Circus. The Big Apple is a one-ring circus, which gives viewers two advantages over the Ringling Bros. of my childhood: first, and obviously, in a one-ring circus you always know you are watching the best possible action; and second, your chances of having excellent seats are much improved.

If you haven't seen the Big Apple Circus, you should. Here is their web link: Look for CLOWNS on the Bee Tree, and you may be the lucky buyer!

Special thanks to Judy Schulz and Lorie Linnell for securing this donation.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Red Sox Nation in 02030

The Friends of the Library have managed to wrangle some terrific baseball-related gifts for the Bee. We have not 4 but 8 tickets to the Pawtucket Red Sox--that's enough for a birthday party, should you and your favorite young sports fan be so inclined. Look for words like "agricultural" or "feeder" to identify these Bee Treats--you will have to guess when you pick your words off the Bee Tree.

We have also been given a signed photograph of Red Sox reliever Javier Lopez. I'm thinking we should put the label "J Lo" on this Bee you think that's too sneaky? Perhaps we should run it through the anagram server: that would give us "Zero Jive Pal" or "Pro Zeal Jive". Stay tuned....

Life after Bee?

Check out the crossword puzzle tournament:

Anyone who participates in our Bee should prove a real contender in this competition!
Thanks to Wesleyan Magazine for the news byte.

Smile, and say..."Bees"?

After you enjoy your facial from Elizabeth Grady, or your haircut, blow dry and manicure from Mario Russo, or your massage from Nicholas Christie, you will want a record of how fabulous you look. Try to find the gift certificate for Natick's Portrait Simple on the Bee Tree. This certificate, valued at $135, will give you a free session and a 6-sheet photo package. Of course, you can always order extras. Is it too early to plan your Holiday cards?

Please, whether you win the portrait package from the Bee or visit the photographer independently, remember to thank them for their generosity to your library. They're giving us good looks and good books.

Pore over the list of Bee Treats

...and do something wonderful for your own pores: Elizabeth Grady of Needham has donated a Deep Pore Facial to the Bee. The gift certificate is valued at $70...all I have to do is think up a word...maybe "Pore"!
This is a great Mother's Day gift item, if you can get it from the Bee Tree on the 26th.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WORD: Brainy Revolt

I just added an anagram-maker to the right-hand side of the blog. This one is interesting because you can select a "core" word, and it will generate anagrams using that word.

Can you guess the originating phrase for the anagram in this title? It's DOVER TOWN LIBRARY, of course! Brainy revolt word, indeed!