Today the worlds most famous woodchuck doesn't chuck any wood. He gets pulled from a stump at Gobblers Knob and has a quick conversation with a dude in a black coat and top hat. Be ready for six more weeks of winter. It's pretty much a lock each year.
For those not in the know, I grew up in a tiny Pennsylvania town called Marion Center. Only a population of 500 people. Just a few miles north lies the town of Punxsutawney where Phil makes his yearly appearance. I don't remember much about being in Punxsy as a kid. I've been there handful of times as an adult when visiting this past few years. The celebration has exploded in popularity after the Bill Murray movie was released. My favorite line? Don't drive angry.
Some little known facts:
The movie wasn't filmed in Punxsy.
Germans brought the tradition with them and the annual celebration started in 1887. In Europe they used a badger (stinking badgers?). The woodchuck is a logical replacement I guess.
Phil calls for delayed spring nearly every year. Only 20 times has he predicted early spring after not seeing his shadow. The shadow count is up to 107. Apparently they are missing ten years of data.
My Chinese friends and students think I'm kidding when I explain the basics of Groundhog Day. Cocoa had to have been thinking I was making it all up. Hog??!???!!!! A hog? It doesn't even look like a pig. Yeah, but have you heard it whistle? Seriously though, they are also called "whistle pigs".
Super late night last night. Poker game went until 2:00am. Several guys lost big, which was nice, because I raked majorly. Fun night. Looking forward to it again in three weeks after the holiday. As I wake up it sounds like I guessed wrongly about that wily Phil. Early spring. Enjoy it.