The Boring Word About Groundhog Day

February 4, 1987

I couldn’t wait to turn on the news Monday morning. I mean each year the suspense is unbearable. Finally the verdict was announced – Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow!

Now I admit to disagreeing with lesser beings than a groundhog but on a day in February with a high of 47 degrees how could anyone find substance in Phil’s opinion.

The interest in Groundhog Day has always been a little of a mystery to me. Why do grown men want to dress in top hats and tails and poke a stick at a groundhog at the crack of dawn? And why do people travel hundreds of miles just to be able to say they saw the groundhog see, or nor see, his shadow?

I am especially curious about all this now that I’ve been told I could have called Sunday night and been told whether Phil would be seeing his shadow or not.

A few years ago I was in Punxsutawney and bought a book explaining the story. The kids took the book to school for show and tell but it did not do much in the way of enlightening me on this unusual tradition.

After the morning announcement about Phil’s shadow I usually forget about it being Groundhog Day. However, some neighborhood children dropped of a plate of groundhog shaped cookies and a wish for a happy Groundhog Day. Maybe they know something about Phil’s weather forecasting abilities that I have been taking too lightly. After all even though “Joe said it would,” it doesn’t always.