"In March of 1985, when I was in 6th grade at Snowshoe Elementary, our school had two spelling bees. The first one was to see who would represent our school in the District Spelling Bee. We got to send two 4th graders, two 5th graders and two 6th graders. I got 2nd place for the 6th grade, so I got to go to the district contest. Then we had to compete in the District Spelling Bee. It was held at Wasilla Junior High. It was during the school day, so I got to miss school to go to it. I was really nervous when I had to spell. They did the 4th grade contest first. One of the kids from Snowshoe won 1st place. Then they did the 5th grade contest. Another kid from Snowshoe took 1st place. Mrs. Rolstad, the Snowshoe librarian, called Mr. Seims (the principal) to tell him the good news. Then it was time for the 6th grade contest! I was really excited when I won! Mrs. Rolstad called Mr. Seims again to tell him that Snowshoe won all three contests! He announced the good news to the whole school over the PA system. I got a trophy, a blue ribbon and a new dictionary for being the best 6th grade speller in the District.
After I won the 6th grade contest, my classmates made a gigantic poster for me. I was really proud.
At Snowshoe we also had another spelling bee to see who would represent our school in the Alaska State Spelling Bee in Anchorage. All the 4th, 5th and 6th graders who wished to compete were there. That was a lot of kids! After quite awhile, I was the only one left! When I realized that I had won, my legs got so quivery that I could hardly walk. I got to miss another day of school to compete in the State Spelling Bee. Mom and Dad took me to Anchorage for that. It lasted two days. I got through the first day okay. One of the words I had to spell was 'astringe'. The second day I had to spell 'hygienist'. Then I got a word I never heard of. I think it was 'viuva'. It was supposed to be some kind of southern California rockfish. I missed on that one. Still, I got through four rounds. Some of the prizes I got were a frisbee, a 6-pack of Slice, a hat, a t-shirt, and coupons for ice cream and a doughnut. I came in 77th out of 216 contestants."
Note: There was also a lovely form letter from the lieutenant governor. We found it entertaining that Blaine's name was spelled incorrectly on it.