Prognosticating from Beyond

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POLK TOWNSHIP -- Saturday morning we will find out if there will be six more weeks of winter, or we'll have an early spring.

While Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous prognosticator of prognosticators, his late cousin does just as good of a job in the Poconos, but from the grave.

It's Sammie "the first."

He's the Poconos "Prognosticator of Prognosticators," and has been predicting if there will be six more weeks of winter, or an early spring. in the Poconos for the past three years.

Sammie "the first" is now stuffed.

"This one was familiar with the group, and he might have been more willing to speak his mind," said Robert Andrews of Groundhog Lodge #6.

Andrews is a board member with Groundhog Lodge #6 in Kresgeville.

He said it's a process to raise another groundhog.

Keeping Sammie "the first" around in fur and in spirit helps celebrate Groundhog Day which is much more than just a silly party.

"It's about a language, a culture, a tradition, and a value system that is slowly but surely slipping away," said Andrews.

Andrews is Pennsylvania Dutch and a big part of keeping the Groundhog Day celebration "alive." Well, you know what I mean.

Andrews said the Pennsylvania Germans were proud people who believed in respect, responsibility and common sense.

To celebrate the tradition, Groundhog Lodge #6 organizes the annual ceremony at Cherry's Sunset Family Restaurant for everyone to come out and take part.

Around 7 a.m. everyone meets at the restaurant, in the back parking lot area to witness first hand, Sammie's prediction.

Sammie "the first" will communicate from the grave because after all, he's the seer of seers.