Jeff Budd and Don Muller (aka "Team Zero, Inc.") appear delighted to lose their crowns to winners Wendy and David Longtin (aka "Vacuuming Raccoons"). (KCAW photo/Greta Mart)

Jeff Budd and Don Muller (aka “Team Zero, Inc.”) appear delighted to lose their crowns to winners Wendy and David Longtin (aka “Vacuuming Raccoons”). (KCAW photo/Greta Mart)

Soliloquy. Kielbasa. Skulduggery. These words were among the long list of tricky spellings that defeated contestants in Sitka’s adult spelling bee. KCAW’s Greta Mart was there and sent this audio postcard.

CONTESTANT: g-i-n-g-k-o. [DING]. I’m sorry that’s incorrect.
CONTESTANT: i-m-m-u-t-i-b-l-e. Immutible. [DING]. That is incorrect.
CONTESTANT: d-o-o-r-m-o-u-s-e. [DING]. I’m sorry that is incorrect.

The Friends of the Kettleson Library hosted the Sixth Annual Adult Spelling Bee on Sunday as a fundraiser for the upcoming expansion of the Kettleson Memorial Library. 19 local contestants paid $20 each for the privilege of spelling and misspelling words in front of an appreciative audience.

On Monday, Library Director Sarah Bell was still tallying up receipts from the contest and accompanying bake sale, but she estimated an extra $400 will go into the renovation kitty.

Sunday’s winners were Team Vacuuming Raccoons, a.k.a. David and Wendy Longtin. Former residents of Palmer, the Longtins moved to Sitka last August with their four-year-old daughter Elliot.

“I just saw the little flyer in the library – we are frequent visitors to the library.”

For their spelling expertise, the Longtins won the donated first prize – a 20-minute sightseeing flight from Harris Air. David Longtin said the couple didn’t do a whole lot to practice.

“We looked up a list of commonly misspelled words this morning and for about ten minutes we…looked at them. Come to find out they are all British words that would have messed us up anyway had we memorized them.”

The Longtins toppled the reigning champions, Jeff Budd and Don Muller, who graciously accepted defeat. Another contestant, Team Karen Parker, got three surprise chances at victory when contest judges ruled her alternative spellings were acceptable for the words:


and “gimcrack.” But in the end, it was the word nasturtium – a colorful, spicy annual – that took her down.

PRONOUNCER: [DING] That is incorrect.

It’s possible Team Karen Parker was intimidated by the burglar eye masks worn by Team Vacuuming Raccoons. Even the victors were amazed at their spelling success.

DAVID LONGTIN: I never heard that word ‘ipecac’ before in my life.
DAVID LONGTIN: She’s saying it was easy but I didn’t know it.
WENDY LONGTIN: I can’t even remember the ones we…we misspelled.
DAVID LONGTIN: I’m sure we spelled more words wrong than we did right, but we still won.

The library is slated to close for two to four weeks around the first of August while a commercial moving company and volunteers move the library’s collection to the Stratton Library on the Sheldon Jackson Fine Arts Campus. The renovation of the Kettleson Library is expected to take up to a year.