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Re: Happy Groundhog Day
Posted By: Terry Gale, on host
Date: Sunday, February 2, 2003, at 16:31:02
In Reply To: Happy Groundhog Day posted by Jessica on Friday, February 2, 2001, at 13:08:56:

> Have you hugged your neighborhood rodent today?
> I was born in western Pennsylvania, and spent most of my childhood a few miles from Punxetawny, where the most famous groundhog in the world lives. I was on the pom-pom squad for my school's marching band when I was 11, and we marched in Punxy's (as the locals call the town) Groundhog Day parade every year. That town is as crazy about groundhogs as the Bill Murray movie portrays them. I remember a big wooden statue of a groundhog in the middle of town. Maybe it's because that groundhog gets the town media attention, but I think it's mostly just because people in western PA are weird.
> I once asked my father how they get the groundhog to come out if he doesn't want to. Dad told me they shove a broomstick down his hole and poke him in the bum until he shows himself. I still don't know if he was kidding or not.
> I hope they have "Groundhog Day" playing on the Superstation or whatever tonight. I love that movie.
> --Jez"stamp out groundhog abuse"zika
When I first met a real native of Punxetawny it was 20 years ago and the first subject to come up was "goundhogs". I found out that we had a lot in common beside the fact that we were both in music school...since then I always wanted to find out the fascination with a furry rodent that gets its respect from prognosticating the duration of winter in Western Pennsylvania.
At 2:00 A.M. today the alarm went off and we prepared ouselves for the 2 hour drive to Punxetawny. Upon arrival we found ouselves surrounded by thousands of happy Phil followers who seemed to love Phil as much as the family dog or cat. One dollar took us from the car to "Knob Hill" where we saw Phil-ites, people dressed in Phil hats, costumes, Phil -teeth, ect.
At 06:30 fireworks started, and why not? This was the day that Phil made his voice heard around the world. The atmosphere was electric, who could have imagined that a goundhog could stir the emotions of so many, and also be the definitve barometer of the next six weeks. We were becoming "Phil" followers, and we knew it, but that was alright because we knew that we were not the only ones. Punxetawny is truely a remarkable town with beautiful people and a beloved rodent named "Phil". Next year, when we go to see Phil, I'll have my own tribute to Phil to take along.