fluffy wild woodchuck gnawing nuts sitting on grass
Featured, Fiction, PHCE Now, Uncategorized

Groundhog Day: Balzac Billy or Bill Murray?

By Emmy McKirgan

When you hear of Groundhog Day what comes to mind? Is the cute furry little creature from Balzac (or the numerous other critters throughout the world) or is the classic movie with Bill Murray? Let me know what comes to mind first in the comments below.
I for one, think of the movie first and foremost! It came out in 1993 and became a classic that most people have watched at one point or another. Bill Murray is a cynical weatherman- who seems like the typical well to do man who has it all – but is missing love and meaning in his life. He relives February 2nd over and over – it appears that maybe, on a deeper level he isn’t learning the life lessons that a “do-over” day is allowing him, at first. Spoiler alert: By the end of the movie he figures out what the deeper meaning of life is! What makes this movie so great is the comedy and laughs along his journey to finding that meaning.
What did surprise me about the movie? I always assumed the movie was totally fictional. Recently I’ve learned that there really is a Punxsutawney Phil and a town called Punxsutawney. The original Punxsutawney critter was the great great grandfather of the current one. The first time he foretold the weather was back in 1886.
Even though the movie wasn’t filmed in Punxsutawney. (It was filmed in Chicago) Additionally, Punxsutawney Phil wasn’t used in the movie – which seems a shame. But he is a local hero and he’s pretty famous – perhaps his calendar was already booked up. But both Phil and the town get credit by being named in the movie and literally putting Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on the map.
Balzac Billy, on the other hand, has been celebrated since 1970- officially for the past 18 years. So he hasn’t had as much practice – even though the rate of accuracy by the groundhogs seems to be about 50 % – regardless of how long they have been doing their job. It’s not much different than our weather team – they are right about 50% of the time. Well, some of them have better odds than others. So we need to cut them all some slack, especially the furry weather-people.
This year due to COVID Blue Grass Nurseries and the town will be going online with the event on Instagram at 8 am. Balzac Billy should be coming out of his burrow shortly after – at which time we will find out if there will be 6 more weeks of winter (if he sees his shadow).
If the day is cloudy and he doesn’t see his shadow we will welcome spring more quickly. And let’s be honest we could all use some good news! Let me know in the comments below if you celebrate in any special way on Groundhog Day?

Let’s stay in touch.

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing
the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
~ Romans 10:17

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