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Limerick winners flex rhyming muscle

Fri., March 14, 2014

It’s March, which means more than just high winds, melting snow and St. Patrick’s Day. It also means limericks.

And thanks to their unerring sense of limerick literacy, not to mention adherence to this year’s theme of “Favorite Northwest Foliage,” Robert Nein and Grace Gilbert have emerged as winners of the 2014 Spokesman-Review/Spokane 7 Limerick Contest. Nein placed first in the open/adult category, while 10-year-old Gilbert finished No. 1 in the school-age category.

For their efforts, thanks to The Spokesman-Review, Spokane 7 and Auntie’s Bookstore, Nein and Gilbert will each receive $35 gift certificates from Auntie’s. The Spokesman-Review will provide Nein an additional $25 gift certificate to O’Doherty’s Irish Grille, while Gilbert will receive an additional $25 gift certificate to Boo Radley’s.

Nein, who lives in Chewelah with his wife, said he loves to support local farmers. His winning entry targeted the local version of the fruit that made Washington famous:

“I love the Green Bluff apple blossom

For the fruit it becomes is just awesome.

In crispy fall weather,

Those apples rule, whether

You pie ’em, or bake ’em or sauce ’em.”

According to her mother, Kari, Gilbert and her brother, 9-year-old Kyle, spent an “electronics-free snow day” writing limericks, and the effort clearly paid off. Grace’s winning entry is an ode that speaks to anyone who suffers from the wintertime blues (and includes a word, “sheaves,” that is uncommon for any 10-year-old):

“My favorite foliage are fern leaves,

They always come clustered in green sheaves.

They remind me of hiking,

Which I’m really liking,

’Cause long winters are one of my pet peeves!”

Contest participants Dennis G. Johnston and Marian A. Anderson placed second and third, respectively, in the adult category, while Taylor Davis and Kyle Gilbert finished second and third, respectively, in the school-age group. Second-place finishers earn $25 Auntie’s gift certificates, while third-place finishers earn $15 Auntie’s certificates.

All winners and runners-up are invited to read their limericks during a special “3 Minute Mic” night April 4 at 7 p.m. at Auntie’s, 402 W. Main Ave. The entire list of submitted entries will be posted online at

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