"I've decided that perhaps I'm bulimic and just keep forgetting to purge."

-- Paula Poundstone

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mr. Heflin still saves the day

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I bet you thought I’d write about Mexican food, yes?

Nope: Spelling bee.

Today, my fellow P&M writers and I are competing in a corporate spelling bee for Altrusa, a charity that supports many causes, including literacy.

This year’s bee will benefit Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a fabulous free book program for kids.

Our team name is the Writers Block, and we affectionately refer to ourselves as Blockheads. We’re wearing foam blocks on our heads during the bee.

Yes, I work among kindred spirits.

Back at the end of March, I got a Facebook note from Mr. Heflin, my elementary school principal, wishing me a happy birthday.

“I’ve been thinking about you!” I told him.

See, when I think spelling bee, I think Mr. Heflin.

Since I was raised by a single mom who worked 2-3 jobs throughout my childhood to support us, Mr. Heflin stepped in to help out when he could.

He shuttled me to spelling bees and talent shows all over the region.

He’d practice and practice with me, helping me become the county champion speller.

As soon as I told him I was participating in this spelling bee for charity, he had one question: “What’s your address?”

Once again, he wanted to help. He sent me the book pictured to help me study.

I only wish he’d sent me a lot of free time, because I’ve only gotten to thumb through the book. Not the intense studying we used to do.

Nevertheless, today and always, Mr. Heflin remains in my H-E-A-R-T.

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