March 13, 2014
Recently Grace Butcher, an Ohio-based poet and writer who contributed four poems and a short story to my book, Girls Got Game, shared an anecdote involving her 11-year-old granddaughter, Kate. It seems that Kate, who lives with her family in New Hampshire, was studying poetry in her fifth-grade class. Her teacher brought in a poem for a lesson on metaphor and noticed that the last name of the poet was the same as Kate’s. “That must be my grandmother,” Kate said. “Is your grandmother a poet?” the teacher asked. “Yes,” said Kate. “Was she a champion runner?” the teacher asked. Kate again replied, “Yes.”
Kate’s teacher was using Grace’s poem “Track,” which has a cheetah metaphor. (“My track shoes turn me into a cheetah….”) Grace’s bio in the book notes that she started running track in 1949, and that she was the U.S. champion in the 800 meters three times.
Since Kate wasn’t even born when Girls Got Game was published in 2001, it’s great that the book has endured. “Kate was so excited—as was I,” Grace told me. “What a neat thing. What are the odds that my poem would turn up in my granddaughter’s classroom in New Hampshire?”
Several of the sports stories and poems from Girls Got Game have found new life beyond that anthology, but none with such charming results as this one. As Grace says, it was a terrific example of synchronicity.
February 3, 2014
Yesterday, the groundhog saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. Today, that prediction came true with a vengeance. Mother Nature has dumped about five or six inches of snow on Englewood, and it's still coming down. I saw this bike shackled to a pole on a walk to town this morning.
January 3, 2014
I admit that I had to mentally scroll through my junior high grammar lessons to be sure the error on this sign truly was a mistake. But I was right. Can you find it? Seen near the corner of Lakeview Avenue and Merselis Avenue in Clifton, New Jersey.
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After more than two years of "Misspelling of the Month" photos, it seems that it's time for something new. Check back here soon for a new regular feature. In the meantime, keep an eye out every time you see the word "sandwich" spelled out on a sign or a menu. Based on my observations, it's got to be the most frequently misspelled word around.