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Another View: Happy Groundhog Day wishes to you and yours a week early

Several years ago, George Taylor, editor of Bethlehem Press, used this space to share his experience of a generation-defining outdoor concert. What began as a road trip to see a Joan Baez concert brought him to Woodstock - yes, THAT Woodstock - and, to borrow his words, “I realized I was part of a big world made up of a lot of individuals who matter, who can make things happen.”

He, of course, tells the story better than I, and allow me to recommend you check out his piece on the Lehigh Valley Press website.

This small story, albeit not of an outdoor concert featuring the likes of Jimi Hendrix, did broaden my horizons, and a celebrity is tangentially involved.

I was in school in another part of the country near the end of the 20th century in a place I never truly imagined I would ever see: the Pacific Northwest. Up to that point, the farthest point west I had been was Colorado, thanks to the generosity of my brother and a fascination with snowboarding.

Very far from home and on my own, I attended a student meet-and-greet for new arrivals. As we mingled, we shared where we were from.

The polite smile of a student from Korea opened in a broad grin on hearing Pennsylvania was home.

“Pennsylvania?! Like Groundhog Day?”

“Yes! Like Groundhog Day.”

For those who may have forgotten, the 1993 comedy tells the story of television weather forecaster Phil Connors who annually covers Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction and the surrounding festivities. Connors gets stuck in a time loop and relives Feb. 2 repeatedly until he experiences a revelation and breaks the spell, or space time continuum - or whatever it is that causes the problem.

Groundhog Day.

At this time of year, memories of that meet-and-greet event often return.

Why would someone from somewhere on the other side of the world know about Groundhog Day? The world for me expanded, thanks to Punxsutawney Phil.

And every Groundhog Day, in celebration in a way, a text crosses the miles from Pennsylvania to the Pacific Northwest, once or twice to Cambridge, Mass. (where my friend went on to study for her doctorate at Harvard), and, once, I’m pretty sure, to Seoul, Korea.

Happy Groundhog Day! Enjoy the (worldwide) Pennsylvania-centric holiday, held Feb. 2.

April Peterson

editorial assistant

East Penn Press

Salisbury Press