Chuck Terrill: A local flair for Groundhog Day
The New England States are expecting 30 inches of snow, and here in Cassville, Missouri we are experiencing the lowest temperatures so far this winter.
With that much snow on the ground up North, Punxsutawney Phil will have a hard time getting out of his burrow. It is doubtful that he will see his shadow on Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, Penn.
If Groundhog Phil was in our neck of the woods, we would have our own way to forecast the weather. If we had our own groundhog, we could promote him as the true predictor of an early spring. He wouldn't often see his shadow around here on the second day of February. Then we could always have six less weeks of winter.
I haven’t seen any groundhogs around here, though. We do have an abundance of opossums. Our city Leaders might consider phasing out Groundhog Day to embrace Possum Night. Dignitaries would line up wearing their top hats and tails, just like they do in Pennsylvania.
They could drag an old possum out of a hollow log in the middle of the night. Thousands would gather to watch the spectacle under Cassville’s blazing football stadium lights. “Cassville: A Great Place to Play Possum” T-Shirts would be sold by the score. Millions of dollars of tax revenue would come into the city treasury as thousands of tourists came into town for the event.
I can’t fully imagine the impact of flash bulbs going off in the face of that wide awake, startled possum lifted aloft by a politician. I have never seen a possum go berserk, but TV crews would broadcast the spectacle live, by satellite, around the globe.
If the possum saw a dignitary loaded into an ambulance headed for the emergency room at midnight, it would signal an early end to winter. Most years we could guarantee that winter would end early. The entire nation would celebrate. Cassville, Missouri, would be in the limelight.
It might be difficult to find a dignitary for The Second Annual Possum Night. Maybe we could bring some in from D.C.
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.