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Punxsutawney Phil
by Ben Dover
published February 2017

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The modern legend of Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog, since 1887, might be considered to have some validity by believers located in the state of Pennsylvania. It is a wonderful falsity, and a thing that creates hilarity for some. There is a huge celebration each second day of February in that state, and I certainly applaud its existence.

I don't suppose it is important, nor even germane to include all of the claims, suppositions and other contributory stories that attend this celebration. I do know however that this celebration is real and if you don't believe the facts involved, you might just be stricken by the Yahoodie bug. So there! If Phil sees his shadow, we are going to have six more weeks of winter, and that is that! Incidentally, according to record, he has been right about one half of the time. Just a little history there.

One of the unique facts about the date, Feb. 2, lies in the fact that my own son was born on that date. The story involved with his christening and naming seems to refer to the groundhog story in part. When I was five years old. My mother gave birth to a baby boy. The folks named him Phillip Edmund. Well, eleven months later that child died of Scarlet Fever and Double Pneumonia. My older brother and I then added the names Phillip and Edmund to our own names. I then became Bernard Louis Edmund Raiche. (One of my reasons for using the name Ben Dover)

When I became twenty five years of age, I married and fathered a daughter and a son. I named that son, Phillip Edmund II. Since he was born on the second day of February, the name seemed to fit in more ways than one. He also then became my reason for identifying with groundhog day.

Isn't it interesting how we Americans seem to identify and compare things that in other countries might not have reason for concern at all? Anyway, I celebrate my son's birthday along with remembering that today must be also celebrated and officially named as Groundhog Day.

Have a nice day ...

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