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Dueling Groundhogs, start the banjo music

Jason Werling • Feb 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

If you are interested in large rodents and whether they saw their shadow this winter, we have you covered. Reporter Jessica Cuffman and I wrote about our recent travels to Punxsutawney, Pa. and Marion, Ohio.

It was in Sunday's Register. In case you missed it, here are some excerpts...

From Jess's article...

“Buckeye, who?”

“Buckeye Chuck!”

So went an exaggerated number of conversations in the week leading up to Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, after I decided in contrast to photographer Jason Werling’s trip to Punxsutawney, Pa., I would visit Marion, Ohio.

Marion — hometown of President Warren G. Harding, the Popcorn Festival, and 1490 WMRN’s Buckeye Chuck, Ohio’s official weather prognosticating groundhog.

I worked as a reporter for three years in Marion. I remember my first conversation about Buckeye Chuck with my managing editor.

Everyone in the newsroom talked about him like an old friend, so I tried to decipher from the context of the conversation who he was.

Finally, I had to ask.

“Buckeye, who?”

“Buckeye Chuck!”

From my article...

5:45 a.m. — The crowd was filling up Gobbler's Knob as was the VIP section and the working media section. I decided it would be a good time to hunker down and pick my spot in the crowd to have the best vantage point for covering the prognosticator. I found a man and his daughter wearing Cleveland Browns gear and thought they may be the craziest people in the crowd of a Steeler majority. Mark and Halley Thut came from Wooster to Punxsutawney to be a part of the holiday.
6:00 a.m. — I woke up to the sound of Sonny & Cher singing "I Got You Babe" on my alarm clock and a radio voice welcoming to Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney.

6:00 a.m. — I woke up to the sound of Sonny & Cher singing "I Got You Babe" on my alarm clock and a radio voice welcoming to Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney.

6:00 a.m. — I woke up to the sound of Sonny & Cher singing "I Got You Babe" on my alarm clock and a radio voice welcoming to Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney.

6:15 a.m. — A line of top hats were like ants marching through the crowd as the Groundhog Club's Inner Circle members made their way to the stage.

6:30 a.m. — As scheduled, the fireworks started and a 25-minute show entertained the crowd. The show was a good one, including a massive finale that wooed the crowd.

7:10 a.m. — I felt like I was standing on two bricks inside my boots. Temperatures had dipped in the low single digits and everyone was ready for Phil to tell us about his shadow.

7:24 a.m. — Two of the Inner Circle members reached into Phil's stump and brought the groundhog to their ears to hear what he had to say in Groundhogese. Phil whispered to the Inner Circle on which scroll to read and it was announced there will be an early spring. The crowd erupted in applause.

Read more in Sunday's paper if you can find one or you can check it out by subscribing to our Epaper

Take a walk around Gobbler's Knob with me in the video above on the right

 

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