Our first solid draft of Be More Dog was quite a tome. We cut many scenes once we realized just how long that early version was. With another Groundhog Day recently behind us, it seems appropriate to share one such scene. It didn’t happen on Groundhog Day. But it’s all about our visit to the official home of Groundhog Day – Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Playing the tourist with our Chief Fun Officer that first year on the road took us to many small towns and roadside attractions. When we found ourselves near Punxsutawney, we knew we had to visit Gobbler’s Knob.
Most tourists visit Pennsylvania to learn about history, Amish culture or play in the Poconos. But not Jerry’s pack. They went out of their way to see the state’s silliest attraction, Gobbler’s Knob.
– Be More Dog Editor’s Cut
Snow had long since melted away and no crowds had visited the empty fairgrounds for months. But the kitschy Groundhog Day distraction was a great opportunity to rack up another fun milestone for Jerry’s epic road trip.
TV cameras did a good job making Phil’s podium look like an actual tree stump, but when they approached they could see that Gobbler’s Knob was just a fake metal replica…It wasn’t the photogenic moment Jim had planned. “Whoah, it’s hot. Hurry up and take the photo!”
Too Hot for Groundhog Day Photo Op
The sun was beating down that late summer day in 2007. I remember being surprised at how hot the podium felt. But Jerry was always up for pleasing his fans. A photo-op was in order, but it didn’t quite go as planned.
Jerry gave his dad a look as if to say, “Are we done?” But Jim had already hoisted him up off the hot surface. “We can check that one off the list,” Jim noted as they headed back to the truck.
“Ha, that’s a keeper!” Rene was looking at the screen on the camera, laughing at the silly photo, and all the silly things they were doing to make fun memories with Jerry.
The Groundhog Day scene was one of our more silly memories for sure. Perhaps that’s why it was so easy to cut from our final edition of Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now. Others weren’t quite as easy to cut. But as Hemmingway may have said, sometimes you must kill your babies – or darlings, if you attribute that to Faulkner.
Why No Groundhog Day Scene in Be More Dog?
Every day of that summer in 2018 which we spent seriously writing Be More Dog felt like Groundhog Day. The result was a first draft far too long for publication. Once we found some professional editing assistance, plenty of our babies ended up on the cutting room floor. Stay tuned for more, and read all our darlings from those silly travels with Jerry in your favorite format of Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now.