How the most famous marf lives on the planet

Phil from the town of Panzatoni in Pennsylvania every year predicts the arrival of spring. Today is his day!

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

“Do not want to wait for the bus, pay for a taxi in two ends: 80 miles there and back. Because a taxi driver in Panksatoni will never find a passenger on the return trip, ”the guard explains to me at the Pittsburgh bus station. – Tourists come in the season, buses run more often, and so – twice a day. Why more?”

In an evening bus moving along a winding road, except me and a driver, no 1. About three hours later I go out in the center of Panksatoni. It’s dark and quiet here. Of the three hotels that were previously found on the Internet, two were closed, another, as it turned out, burned down. I am on the highway, at the building with boarded up windows, curse the groundhog day and my curiosity.

“You know what you have on your face? – I hear unexpectedly from an elderly man, busily walking by. – It is written on it: wow, what am I doing here?”

He said that to the nearest hotel in Hyveya, surrounded by forest, one and a half miles: “Yes, baby, this is Panksi, there are no buses, no taxis, sorry, I can’t help anymore”. As a result, I get to the place of the night as a criminal – in the back seat of a police car that grabbed me along the way.

History with geography: Mosquito edge

Panxatoni – This is a bore, a special territorial unit of the United States. Located in the north of Pennsylvania. Approximately 6,000 inhabitants live on an area of about nine square kilometers.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

“To serve venison in a restaurant, you need special permission, but it is very difficult to get. Therefore, in no local establishment of game, you can’t try, ”says Monica. – And at home – yes, many prepare, grew up. Well, someone hunts exclusively for the sake of adrenaline, and then sells stuffed animals. Yes, this is local life. In general, we live here as in a movie – every day the same thing … “

Finally, I notice: in the restaurant there are figures of Phil and, apparently, his wife. On the wall – a couple of children’s drawings with a marketing margin. I am interested in why so little.

“So our frozen is now a trademark. If someone wants to use his image or even just a name, then he must pay for it,-explains Monica. – The local hunters Phil are not interesting, and tourists stop only one night. It makes sense to pay for a groundhog only for a large restaurant. “.

Phil in the assortment

“I do not like it when girls stand with Khayveya with an expression on the face“ wow, and what am I doing here?“ – the Pikapa door opens the next random acquaintance in front of me, as soon as I leave the hotel in the morning. I think I heard this phrase somewhere “.

1 /5)How the most famous marf lives on the planet

“For us, Phil is not only a way to make money. He made our life much more interesting, allowed to communicate with the world without leaving Panksy, ”George White argues, taking me to meet with a photographer to the city center. George is a former teacher of a local university, one of the best educational institutions in Pennsylvania. Having retired, he bought an old building in the city center and arranged a hostel for students in it. But in the afternoon on the street of university youth you will not meet.

“This is not New York for you,” Jordge explains. – In the big city you can be a student forever and parallel to work. There is nowhere to work here, and therefore everyone is studying from morning to night to finish faster and leave here. Because of students here, and renting housing is more expensive than in neighboring towns. “.

White allows us to shoot the city from the roof of the hostel. From the height of the four floors of Panksi, the whole is visible in the palm of your hand, and in the light of day I notice the sculptures of Phil. Only his large figures in Panksatoni 32 pieces: Phil in the image of a statue of freedom, musician, cook, graduate … near the local McDonald’s fil with packaging potatoes.

Yes, there is a threat here on every wall, a window, a cup, a T -shirt, in public toilets … Kids flaunts in clothes with the inscription My First Groundhog Day (“My First Surrika”), and adolescents prefer WTF, Phil inscription?, What in censorship means “what the hell, Phil?”Mary Ann Jackson, a saleswoman of one of the souvenir shops where we go, is no different from other citizens – sweaters, jeans, boots.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

Phil himself does not live in the club. All the information about the animal over the past 100 years is stored here, there is a box with Phil’s letters-local kids write him more often than Santa Claus. And only the club members know how long the previous thunder has died and began the duties of the current.

“Our marmot is all the same beast that predicted the weather in 1886, which means that it is more than 127 years old. Every summer, we, the club members, have a magic drink, which lengthens his life for seven years, ”Ron Paluch reports smiling – one of those who look after the groundhog, one might say, his“ personal coach ”.

He went to the club today at our request, taking with him Phil in special transportation from thick Plexiglus. The whole bottom in it is strewn with fresh sawdust, and in a plate with food – delicious bread, beloved food of an animal. Ron confidently takes the toothy Phil in his arms. He is no less confidently posing the photographer.

“Phil is not afraid to act, I have long been used to it! – says Ron. – And he does not bite me, because he knows my smell and voice … I am not a professional trainer, I just take care of Phil. Each member of the club has a profession, no one on a march does not earn. There is a lawyer, doctor, teachers, and I’m already retired. And my favorite pastime now is to show Phila to people “.

“I remember, the governor of Pennsylvania, an adult, a politician, and reacted to a groundhog as a child! I like to go to schools with a beast – with a special educational program. We talk about the traditions associated with the ground of the groundhog, about the animal itself “.

“Ron, well, it is clear that a groundhog cannot live for 127 years. Like him with understudy?” – I ask.

“Well …” Ron laughs. – Our groundhog has the wife of Philomen, there are children, so in which case … “

Phil lives in the building of the local library. Its maintenance costs the club about $ 3,000 annually. Anyone can admire the Phil and the spouse through thick glass. In the harsh house climate control, always clean and dry sawdust, fresh water and delicious food.

The room next to the “hole” is glued with reminders like: “Was it received a fresh food and water today? Was it prepared according to the rules?’Immediately a report on the last veterinary check. In general, the beast is in good hands. This is understandable – it is the main source of income of the city treasury: almost all enterprises in Panksatoni were closed fifty years ago.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

Prior to the release of the film “Surka’s Day”, sources of income for local were a university, a district hospital, several private schools, the sale of animal stuffed animals and the organization of hunting for visitors. And if not for the beast, many would have to go to work in neighboring cities. The post of film is the second most popular object of replication in the city.

“The film has changed our life,” says Ron. – And we coped well with these changes well. Every year we have to place and feed a crowd of tourists exceeding the population of the city by five times! The biggest problem today is the lack of decent hotels. Ashamed…”

For goodbye, Ron presents us with “golden” coins with a groundhog image.

Miracles on the hill

Gobbler’s Knob, or turkey hill, is a special place. The same where 15 funny men in cylinders and tuxedos lure Phil from the house. From the city center here about two miles. It is inconvenient to get on foot – the road uphill. Therefore, during festivals, buses run, who usually take schoolchildren to study.

Two soural festivals are actually two: the well -known passes on February 2, the second is a long holiday for children – within 4-5 days in the middle of summer.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

Thick forest, a small office and a square with a scene – this is what a turkey hill looks like. The line is extended to the office – these are local residents lined up for free gifts for children. Such promotions are held here constantly, and for different categories of citizens: pensioners, poor, disabled ..

In the interval between festivals on the hill there is nothing to do. Unless read interesting historical information on special shields. One of them reports that it is not known who and why called this place Gobbler’s Knob. Either because it was here that the hunters prepared and ate their trophies, or because a huge number of turkeys were once in these places at these places.

One and a half centuries ago, only a few residents of Panxatoni determined the weather in the seas. In early February, they came to the hill with candles and made a noise, trying to wake the marmots, so that in their behavior – fright or indifference – to understand when it warms up. These people were most likely German immigrants.

The day of prediction on February 2 was considered an intermediate between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In Germany on this day, peasants with candles went into the forest to wake up animals in hibernation – hedgehogs, badgers ..

Ceremonial: Spring will be?

How the most famous marf lives on the planetHow the most famous marf lives on the planet

February 2 At about two o’clock in the morning, a large bonfire is bred on a turkey hill so that the arrivals do not freeze.

IN 2:45 Free buses to Gobbler’s Knob begin to run around the city and surroundings.

IN 3:00 The viewers begin to launch the mountain. February 2, it is forbidden to come here with animals. It is not recommended to take small children with you. You can not bring chairs (places only standing).

IN 6:30 On the stage near the “house” of the groundhog, stylized for a stump, a concert of local creative groups begins. Fireworks are launched.

IN 7:10 Members of the Surka club in cylinders and tuxedos are raised onto the stage. On the stumps are two pieces of paper twisted in tubes – in one of them the forecast in the late spring, in the other – in the early. The club chairman makes a small speech glorifying a groundhog.

IN 7:25 The chairman knocks on the pine with a cane in which Phil sits – he is put there a few hours before the start of the celebration. Then the “mink” doors open, and Phila pull out two rangers. The crowd chants: “Phil! Phil! Phil!”

The animal is planted on a stump, the chairman asks him about the forecast for the spring, the frisky allegedly responds to the ancient German dialect (only members of the club can understand it), the chairman certainly clarifies:

“You are sure?” – and with a cane pushes the right tube to one of the caretakers. The answer is read to the cries of the crowd. Direct television broadcast is underway from a turkey hill.

Why did the residents of Panksi once chose only a groundhog from the whole list, no one knows anymore. But the date when the custom was turned into an occasion for a celebration with fireworks is known: February 2, 1886.

On this day, in the local newspaper Punxsutawney Spirit, still popular among the townspeople, there was a playful note that, according to the information received from the groundhog, spring will come quite soon. Surka forecast coincided with reality. And the next year, a large number of citizens gathered on a turkey hill, eager to find out what to expect from the spring of 1887.

The interest of citizens and brought the adherents of the tradition to start a special groundhog, because not every campaign at dawn in the forest with candles guaranteed that the animal would be found. It was much more convenient to have a personal groundhog for predictions. Then the townspeople created a groundhog club.

And a year later, a special house for the animal was built on a turkey hill. Already in 1889, Surka’s day passed with a large pomp.

For the town forgotten by God, this holiday has become a very remarkable event. Club members came up with the name Surk – Phil, the Vytzets of the Vydsev, the sage of the sages, the predictor predictor. They awarded Panksatoni the title of World Wide capital. However, for 100 years, only local. But in 1993, the comedy “Surka’s Day” was released – and it started.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

According to the plot of the comedy “Surka Day”, the hero Bill Murray, the weather recreation center Phil Connors, who has arrived at the Panksatoni festival, enters the loop of time and worries the same day again and again, gradually turning from a narcissistic Globe into a disinterested Simple.

The funny thing is that the film was shot not in Panksatoni, but for the most part in Woodstock (Illinois). But Murray was twice biting a surk truly.

In the service of His Majesty

We came to the local police chief without warning, descending from a turkey hill. Actually we wanted to see the mayor, but he was sick. The city hall is located in the same building with the police department, the main cop of the city Thomas Fedigan accepted us cordially and without formalities. Under his leadership is 12 people.

“Why so few?”

“There is enough work for us,” Thomas replies. – just for such a number of inhabitants as ours, it is just such a number of police officers. Yes, in our places a rather low crime rate, for example, do not steal cars at all. But shortly before your arrival, the murder took place for the first time in many years, they found a criminal and detained literally in a day. “.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

The police chief is dressed in an impeccably white shirt, on the right sleeve of which the patch indicating his belonging to the police. In the center of the strip – he is the most hazard Phil! Thomas grabs my gaze and silently takes out the same strip from the drawer of the table: “A gift for you!”

Leaving, we looked through the glass wall into the closed office of the mayor. All the decoration of the tiny room is in the palm of your hand: table, chair, computer, Phil – one figure, second, third ..

And on the door of the office – an announcement of a missing dog. The owners have been trying to find this dog for several months, the ads have been pasted throughout the city.

“Why did you need the mayor?” – the police officer on duty, a pretty slender lady of a middle -aged.

“Yes, they wanted to know how you live here between festivals …”

“Boredom!” – the lady smiles.

Panxaton time

“Time is moving here differently,” says the waitress in the Panxy Phil’s restaurant, which is clogged with Phil to the eyeballs. – Two -thirds of all tourists eat with us, we counted. Leave beautiful tips. I have been here for six years, left pharmaceuticals and do not complain, I earn very well!”

The menu of the restaurant advertising of all kinds of local services is more than dishes. Funeral houses, shops, sale and repair of cars, banks, manual therapists, dentists ..

“We urge you to compare costs, quality and service,” the smiling owners of the funeral business ask potential customers. On cups, also advertising ritual services.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

“People die, as everywhere, not more often, but a funeral houses ten,” laughs a local resident who came to drink tea. – So they lure customers as they can “.

“This year, our former mayor died, John Hallman, a wonderful person. And you know, it happened on February 1, but they announced death only after Phil predicted the weather. And this year, almost all the inhabitants who exceeded 100 years, six people died of us. Helen Hass died, she was 104 years old. The children said about her that she, like a marf, would live forever “.

After the restaurant, we looked into the boutique in the neighborhood and for the first time in the whole day we saw not women hunters, but I will give heels, with hairstyles and exquisite brooches selling beautiful jewelry and trinkets for the bedroom.

“Every time you see this, remember us,” the mistress of the Beverly store holds out an elegant large bead in the box. I thank and consider a gift – familiar teeth and sharp claws – and here is Phil ..

“Everything is connected with the surk,” as if reading my thoughts, says Beverly. – And you, by the way, were at Nicky? Try it sandwiches, we are local, we only consider them real. They are almost the same symbol of the city as Phil “.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

We go out into the street, the sun is just leaving for sunset, beauty: pink sky, snow, picturesque hills, bell tower of churches, which are here, like funeral houses, no less than a dozen. Tiny restaurant Nicky Grezoka is called Nick’s Corner Lunch. All day his owner Nick, who is already 73 years old, spends on his feet by the stove – he himself prepares the same sandwiches. Helps him wife Barbara.

“Our slab is 86 years old,” she says, knocking out a check on the cash register, which looks not much younger than the stove. – The recipe of our sandwiches has survived without changing since the same time. And in general, nothing has changed for many, many years here: marmot, tourists, hunters … But I like it so much. It’s like living in a fairy tale, even if we ourselves came up with it. “.

A 1940 banner hangs under the restaurant ceiling, which is advertised by the Surka summer festival – looks like new. It seems that the time in Panksi is really moving differently.

In the evening of the same day, I am sitting in the building of a local bus station, waiting for a bus to Pittsburgh. Phil smiles at me goodbye from the cash desk and from all schedules.

“Hey, you have a new facial expression, something like“ I don’t want to leave, ”-the same Mr. White is on the threshold of the station. – Liked?”

“Fairy tale!” – I answer.

Memo traveler

Panxatoni, Pennsylvania, USA

SEE The weather center in which any weather phenomena are recreated, such as fog, tornado or thunderstorm.

How the most famous marf lives on the planet

LIVE in the roadside motel Country Villa, the only hotel in Panksatoni, the refuge of local hunters.

MOVE in school buses during the festival (free travel), on foot or by car at another time.

BUY As a gift, a souvenir coin depicting a groundhog (94 cents), for himself – the poster of the film “Surri Day” with Bill Murray and Andy MacDowell made under the old days.

Photos: John Beale / AP especially for “Around the World”

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