Dueling Groundhogs, start the banjo music

Jason Werling
Feb 11, 2013

 

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
 

Comments

Centauri

Today is February 11 and groundhog day was over 10 days ago. Get with the present time Jason. I know that you hate my guts because I try to expose the truth.

wiredmama222

@centauri...I love you....but lighten up, ok?

Centauri

You are correct wiremama. I had one of my moments.

Just Thinkin

Jason, do a story on the groundhogs around mid July, Thats when the young ones are about 2 to 4 pounds and at thier best on the table, If you never ate one your missing out.People can make all the stupid remarks they want just shows thier childish sides,Really they do taste good they graze on grass/crops unlike your expensive beef lol

Centauri

Childish? "Generally speaking, to be naive means you do not think enough. People who are "naive" tend to believe in whatever they are told, without questioning whether it is right or wrong. As for age, it can be anywhere from 1-100. Anyone who has not lived through and seen enough of this world is generally referred to as naive."

Use an internet search engine to find the above.

wiredmama222

@jt....YUCK! How could you even think of eating these two? That's like eating hansel and gretel for crying out loud! Have you no common decency? OMG.... lOL

Centauri

*

wiredmama222

Cool, dualing woodchucks. How cool. Nice photos, too
I think it's kind of nice that we have two. One for everyone else and our very own Ohio woodchuck.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, chuck....you all know the rest.

Did you get coffee at Horton's? Great place! Again, great pix's Jason. Don't pay any attention to all the boo hooers' around here. I think it's fantastic that you went AND got pictures. They are just jealous we don't do anything cool like that around here. I think we should, like something in May to hearld in the spring or something just before cp opens.

Jason Werling

Wow, I leave for a few hours and the comments start blowing up.

Centauri, you are both right and wrong. I probably should have posted this earlier, but we waited to publish the story in the paper to where we had enough room for both Jess and my stories and also a few photos. Groundhog Day was February 2 and your comment was posted on February 11. One of the reasons I chose photojournalism as a career was it didn't involve a lot of math. But that is not over ten days.

The woodchuck recipes are nice and as I tell my boys, I will try any food once. Even had muskrat at the annual feed at the Elk's Lodge in Sandusky. A little gamey, but not too bad. Nothing beats deer jerky, though.

Thanks for reading and the conversation.

Centauri

Jason, I am sorry and apologize to you for that first comment. I was having a Mel Gibson moment at the time. Once a spoken word is heard or a written word is read, it cannot be taken back.

Just Thinkin

@CEN Chill, Grammer is over rated . got to go, Sucker's will be running up the river's soon need to get ready,

Just Thinkin

@CEN Chill, Grammer is over rated . got to go, Sucker's will be running up the river's soon need to get ready,