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Happy Tail: Punxsatawney Kelsey

When Peg Schaeffer made the trip to Punxsatawney, it was to take an Amish family from Gradyville there because of a death in the family. Kelsey, her miniature Aussie mix went along. Pop Yoder of Gradyville made the return trip, and he, of course, made special moments. Though it's a long way from Adair County, Peg Schaeffer highly recommends the trip.
Next earlier Peg Schaeffer column: Happy Tail: Tasha, tougher than nailsPosted February 2, 2014.

By Peg Schaeffer

Last Sunday was Groundhog Day and sadly Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter. (I've seen jokes posted of poor Phil in the stew pot.) The appearance of Phil's shadow means winter will extend well into March. According to folklore had Phil not seen his shadow, it would have meant spring is around the corner. Since the Groundhog's first prediction in 1887 (through 2013), Phil has seen his shadow 100 times and not seen it on just 17 occasions. \

A few years back I went to Punxsutawney, PA which is the "Weather Capital of the World". I transported an Amish family from Columbia who had a death in the family in Punxsutawney. So I took Kelsey, a miniature Aussie mix, and we went on a road trip. I left Irvin and Liz with relatives and while they were at the funeral, Kelsey and I visited the town of Punxsutawney, PA.

The streets are lined with "Phantastic Phils". These are 6 foot tall fiberglass groundhogs, 32 of them to be exact. Each "Phil" is an individual work of art created by artists from across the state. The first one is named "Phillage" and made his debut on Groundhog Day 2004. He sports a top hat which is part of the traditional dress of the caretakers of Punxsutawney Phil. Each Phil has a sponsor and each one is unique. My favorite was "Philatelic Phil" who is sponsored by the Employees of the Punxsutawney Post Office. All of the Phils are painted front and back and this one was covered with paintings of postage stamps throughout the years. I spent the most time at this one checking out all of the stamps which included JFK, Ronald Regan, Elvis and even Snoopy. Snoopy was Kelsey's favorite.

After taking our walking tour Kelsey and I went to Gobbler's Knob which is where Punxsutawney Phil waits for his shadow. Kelsey gave it a try and I must admit she's much prettier than Groundhog Phil. On the grounds of Gobbler's Knob is a picnic area with various ironworks such as a train, a motorcycle, and a small merry-go-round with Phil figurines.

Kelsey and I stayed at a hotel in town overnight while Irvin and Liz visited with family. We were bringing back another Amish gentleman to Columbia with us. Everyone in Gradyville knows him as "Pop" Yoder. On Sunday I drove to the town where Pop was living to pick him up. I got there as Pop was hooking up the buggy. He and his wife were going to visit a sick friend in the neighborhood. So Kelsey and I went along for the ride. We rode in the back seat as Pop and his wife chatted with us and the horse trotted down the street. I had to laugh to myself. Here I was, wearing a Harley tank top, with my dog, riding in the back of an Amish buggy. If my friends could only see me now.

Later in the afternoon Pop and I drove back to Punxsutawney. We would pick up Irvin and Liz in the morning and drive back to Columbia. So we checked into the hotel I had stayed at previously. This must have made the caretaker wonder. The first night I checked in at the hotel I was with Irvin. Irvin is very tall and in his 30's. After we checked in I drove him and Liz to their friends' home. But I don't think the caretaker knew that. Now I was checking in with Pop, an elderly Amish, who was spending the night with me. The room did have two separate rooms - Kelsey and I slept in one and Pop in the other. But I wonder what thoughts were going on in the room clerk's mind.

Although Punxsutawney is not a short drive I recommend that if for any reason you are in the area you be sure to stop. The Phantastic Phils, Gobbler's Knob, and the area are a fun visit - one you won't forget. - Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email:

This story was posted on 2014-02-09 08:59:33
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Kelsey looks for her shadow in Punxsatawney, PA

2014-02-09 - Punxsatawney, PA - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
KELSEY LOOKS FOR SHADOW: "We went to Punxsutawney, PA, in August, and saw where Phil looks for his shadow. This is a picture of my dog, Kelsey, looking for her shadow." writes Adair Countian Peg Schaeffer, who, after four years, gives the rest of the story about this picture we ran some 4 years ago.

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Phantastic Phill, favorite Philatelic Phil in Punxsatawney, PA

2014-02-09 - Punxsatawney, PA - Photo by Peg Schaeffer. This is Phantastic Phil - my favorite Philatelic Phil. - Peg Schaeffer
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