Friday, February 02, 2007

Doggin' the groundhog

I trudged into the newsroom yesterday morning and, as soon as I rounded the corner toward my office, Bruce Bishop, our chief photographer/Internet trailblazer, said, "Hey, Patti, I have an idea.
"I want to go to Gobbler's Knob."
I just looked at him.
"Punxsutawny," he said.
For the uninitiated -- or those of you who don't like Bill Murray -- that's the Pennsylvania town where the groundhog Phil is asked every year on Feb. 2 to predict the end of winter.
"Sure," I said. "You don't have anything else to do?"
He assured me he had everything under control -- and Bruce is one of the good ones. When he tells me he has everything under control, I know I can believe him.
"Well, shoot, get going," I told him.
By about 4 yesterday afternoon, Bruce was trolling the town, located in the hills of Pennsylvania about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, looking for something he could write about on the eve of Phil's appearance.
He called at regular intervals as he was driving and once he got there to keep us posted.
One time, he said, "EVERYTHING is groundhog ... Groundhog Car Wash, Groundhog Plaza. The basketball team is the Woodchucks."
And then, just after 5 p.m. came the breathless call. "You would not believe what I have! I found Phil's handler and he's making an appearance for a bunch of people from Ohio. I'm going to go. It is very cool. I'll send back pictures and write a story."
And that's how we ended up with Groundhog Day coverage in the paper today -- ON Groundhog Day. Most other papers won't have anything about it until tomorrow.
Hope you liked our coverage. Please excuse us if we overdid it -- we were just SO excited, we couldn't help ourselves. Plus, it was just plain fun.
Oh, by the way, Punxsutawny Phil did NOT see his shadow. That means spring can't be too far away. Hmmm, perhaps that was Phil's gift to his new buddy, Bruce ...

1 comment:

Kelly Boyer Sagert said...

Patti . . . when the news is that The Groundhog Himself says that winter will not be prolonged, there cannot be enough coverage or shouting from the rooftops.

Bring on spring!!!