Ground Hog Day, Feb. 2, was cold with bright sun. I’ve never paid much attention to Ground Hog Day or its alleged weather forecasting use. As a big kid, I followed one up a tree once that my dog had treed. I thought I would kick him out to the dog. When I got on the same limb with him, the ground hog decided I looked like a safer bet than the 20 ft. drop so he charged me. I gladly elected to go one limb higher so I wouldn’t block his progress…or get bit.

When the ground hog got to the ground, my collie dog got him

Well, this past Feb. 2, I wasn’t thinking about the day when I pulled open the north blinds in preparation of letting Bella, Kimball and Adrian’s cat, go on one of her precious “outs.” There on the north patio was a young groundhog doing the freeze. I had no desire to go out and mix it up with him so we just eyeballed each other for a minute or so. Bella go in on the act looking suspiciously at the brown critter with the black tail that was about her size. When the ground hog turned and ran into the carport, I hurriedly let Bella out the north door and went to the east window in time to see the wood chuck go off the carport headed for his or her home in the den under the deck.

A few years ago Kimball and I and Bella were enjoying an early evening in the glider on the patio when a big ground hog, twice the size of my latest sighting, walked nonchalantly by on its way back to the den. Bella went to full attention and followed… at a discreet distance.

– Our Mt. Zion correspondents, Marge Zink and Julia Snethen, said they have a friend who has crocus blooming.

– Gwen reports that both her children have recovered from the respiratory flu after a five-day battle.

– We received a letter this week from Paul Vaughn’s daughter which we included in this paper. She remembered her dad founding KESM radio when she was young. I didn’t know her although I spent time at the station when I was in high school hanging out with readio personalities Ainslee Fowler and Scotty Winter. My favorite memory was when Scotty was queuing up a record, I think it was “The Alley Cat,” with the mic live when he got his lips too close to the mic and static electricity got him. Scotty said, “That SOB bit me,” not bothering to use the initials. It was either Paul Vaughn or a subsequent owner which might have been Marvin Bredemeyer, who was listening at home a hundred yards away, and came charging into the station saying, “We’ve got to get that record off the air. It’s got cursing on it.” Scotty complied and pulled the record without comment. KL

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