Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Punxsutawney...and, one from the archive:

It's quiet, and there's not much to write about.  So, with Phil still on everyone's mind, have any of you ever visited the borough of Punxsutawney, PA?  (Not Gobbler's Knob, the town of Punxsutawney?)  As you might have suspected, the town's name comes from Indian words - meaning roughly "town of the sandflies." 

There is reportedly a German tradition that if the sun comes out on the Candlemas holiday, a hedgehog will see its shadow and six more weeks of winter will follow.  Early settlers in the area included a large Germanic population, and the tradition followed...using groundhogs instead of hedgehogs.   Hence, Groundhog Day.

My wife and I drove through Punxsy in the spring of 2012.  First established in about 1816, Wikipedia says the population as of 2010 was 5,962, with an unknown number of groundhogs in residence (a bit of tongue-in cheek humor there, I guess.)  Located roughly 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, and 100 miles southeast of Erie, on US Route 119 (two lanes, no interstates here), the borough has a total area of 3.4 square miles.

It's a neat little former railroad town...the B&O operated Riker Yard nearby.   Nowadays, the yard is still there, and in use.  But tracks are owned/operated by the Buffalo & Pittsburgh (B&P) Railroad.  A high grade soft coal was mined in the area, and former industries served by the railroad included glass works, foundries, ironworks, machine shops and planing, flour, feed and silk mills.  Population has varied from about 6,700 in 1900, to about 10,300 in 1920,  down to the current 5,962.

No regular passenger trains serve the area...and there have only been a few special passenger operations.  (Pittsburgh and Erie are the closest large Amtrak stops.) Though years ago, I was lucky to have been able to ride one of them! 

A stylized groundhog greets you on the way into town...

Want information or souvenirs?  They have 'em both!

Every town has a main street...and this one is even called Main St....

The Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center...

In town is a small weather museum.  On its website, it appears to be devoted to (and provides interactive experiences about) all sorts of weather phenomena.  Quite interesting for a town as small as this.  While we didn't visit that museum, on our next trip through town, we might.... 

The Pantall Hotel...we were looking forward to lunch in the dining room.  But it was closed...

The town square...

Anyone recognize this character?

Yep, it's me...in the early 2000's.  Unfortunately, the image has been transferred between so many different computers, so many different times, that the date has been lost.  But, since I'm wearing the sandals I wore at that car show back in 2002,  I'd guess this was probably taken in 2001, while my hair was still in the process of growing out.

Speaking of my hair, you might be able to see that it was much fuller then, than it is now...so that style actually doesn't look too bad in the pic.  I call it my "beatle-bob" days.  However I'm not sure I could rock it this way now...maybe not quite enough hair.  

I might see if I can buy an inexpensive wig in a female bob style, and have it shipped to my beauty salon.  Then they can try to make it imitate what I'd look like if my real hair was done that way, and wear it home to let my wife see what I'd look like if I cut my hair.   I just don't feel comfortable making the BIG mistake of having it cut, finding it causes a major issue for her, and then having her insist that I cut it the rest of the way into a men's style, just to keep the peace on the home front. 

What do you think of this prehistoric look?  And do those of you who wear wigs think the stylist could get my real hair up under a wig, flat enough that it looks OK?  Advice, please!


  1. That hair length (or a little longer) would suit you perfectly - especially with a little hair color applied.....

  2. Marian,

    I figured you might like this hair style! Yes, I agree that a little longer might be a lot better...and more womanly.

    Though it's going back a long way into my memory, I truly can't remember being addressed as a female all that often, 13-14 years ago. Nowadays, most people omit the "title" and go with none, or the rest of the time, just use a female greeting.

    And that's the way I prefer it. Don't know that I'm prepared to risk getting back into the "sir" routine...definitely not desired when I'm wearing a skirt, blouse and earrings, with makeup, and carrying my purse! So I'm definitely being careful to "not" do anything that has the unintended consequence of re-empowering my male identity!

    The wig idea is definitely worth developing with my stylist, to avoid cutting my hair until after my wife has seen me several times, and gone out with me with my hair much shorter. Hopefully she won't just have an immediate hissy-fit that it looks too womanly.

    But if she does, I'll still have my long hair...underneath the wig. "Think twice - NOT cut twice" will be my motto.


  3. I think that getting a wig would be fun. I have many and like to switch them around. All of my wigs are cheap and I do consider spending to get something more presentable.
    I think that you and the folks at the salon will have fun with it and I also suspect that at some point your wife will come along as well.

    1. Pat,

      I hope to discuss the matter with my stylist at my next appointment, and hopefully she will go along with the plan. It really could be a lot of fun, presuming that she can get my real hair all hidden (stuffed up there) under the wig...

      My only big concern is how my wife deals with it...especially when she finds out that I don't have to henceforth start wearing a men's hair style. We'll take it one step at a time, though.

      Gotta buy the wig first... Will keep you advised!


    2. Mandy -

      Consider this style....



    3. Thanks, I'll take that along with me as a possibility, and get her opinion...


  4. You look great in that picture! Nice legs from what I can see!

    In your more recent pictures I like how long your hair is, and it looks good too!

    1. Hi Jen,

      Thanks on my hair...you and some others have commented positively on my hair. But others (including my wife) want to see it shorter, like most women my age. I love my long hair - it's one of the things that highlights my femininity. I'm hoping to go shopping for a wig in August, when my wife is out of town. Not sure what I'll end up with...

      I wish I could wear skirts more often...but hopefully this summer and fall things will improve. My legs are one of my better features - 'cause I'm too heavy to have many other good ones! :-)

      Rest assured that I'm appreciative of the comments you've made! Feel free to look around and comment as you see fit!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and it's nice to get to know you...