Friday, January 31, 2014

where are you going?

I begin today's entry in San Francisco. I was going to start it on the first leg of my journey but instead I slept most of the flight from LA. Should be boarding the plane to Chicago soon, then a drive to Woodstock and the weekend gets underway.

On the official list of events, I will have missed four by the time I get there: the Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast last Sunday morning, the "Awakening of the Groundhog" Thursday morning, and Groundhog Trivia and a Chocolate & Wine Pairing also on Thursday. There's a Groundhog Day Dinner Dance tonight. I won't make it in time for the dinner, but I do hope to make it to the dance, not that I intend to dance or anything. The dance is at the Woodstock Moose Lodge which, apparently, is where they filmed the banquet for the movie so it would be cool to see it, get some photos.

...

Continuing this entry in the air headed out of San Francisco. A bit of a delay at the airport, but on the go again. Got Captain Philips playing on a small screen in the back of the seat in front of me, got my iPad and wireless keyboard on the tray table, and no particular topic planned... so how about a little more preview of the weekend ahead?

There's Groundhog Bowling at Wayne's Lanes from 8 AM to 4 PM tomorrow, Saturday. That's the bowling alley seen in the film, and unless it's undergone some expansion since the time of filming, it's only got about 7 lanes, so even though Woodstock doesn't get nearly as crowded as Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day, the lanes could easily be filled up. I may not get to bowl, but hey, Phil didn't bowl in the film anyway. Still, I'll go check the place out.

Classic Cinemas Woodstock Theater, the Alpine Theater in the movie, will be screening Groundhog Day three times, Saturday at 8 AM and 10 AM, Sunday at 10 AM. I plan to go to the 10 AM screenings both days.

I'll be skipping probably, Jim May's Groundhog Tales, the Chili Cook-Off unless I happen to be near it, the Woodstock Rotary Bags Tourney... which I'm not even sure what that is, something to do with "throwing bags." That actually could be interesting.

There's a Walking Tour of Filming Sites at 1:30 Saturday, 12:30 Sunday. Bob Hudgins, location scout for the movie, leads it and I may go both days.

The big event for me is the "Groundhog Day" Movie Symposium run by "educator and film enthusiast, Dr. Mitchell Olson" with whom I've exchanged emails. And, the special guest this year is supposed to be none other than Danny Rubin, the writer of Groundhog Day.

Sunday morning, just like in Punxsutawney, Woodstock has its Groundhog Day Prognostication. No Punxsutawney Phil, of course; rather the've got Woodstock Willie.

And, after the prognostication, there's the Official Groundhog Day Breakfast, with a polka band and "actor Richard Henzel will recreate his role from the film," the description says. As I'm on the plane and don't have internet access, I must admit I don't know which guy that is rather than just fake it and check on IMDb (or even look at my printout of the cast and crew list in my binder--I left the binders at home).

For now, though, I'm at 35,000 feet up, somewhere over Nevada--there's a nice map setting on these back-of-the-seat screens, and we just flew past Hawthorne--traveling at 620 mph. And, it's time for a break from typing.

...

Over Nebraska now. Captain Philips has just ended. Will be turning on Groundhog Day soon. There was a city out the window just now, in the distance south, barely visibly through the cloud cover--plus, the sun has gone down behind us so it's dark out there. I guess it's dark out there everyday. What is this, Miami Beach?

...

Ands it's a few hours later now. Made it to Woodstock. Later than I hoped but still made it. Stopped by the dance which had died down already--and apparently I missed Danny Rubin stopping by. Wandered around Woodstock Square (Gobbler's Knob in the film), with hardly any people around. My old camera probably didn't get too many great night shots, but it was still cool to see the town empty of people and already get the lay of the land. Really, as I tweeted under my personal account:

@robertegblack: Weird thing (or maybe not): i kinda know my way around woodstock even though i've never been here

Mentioned my blog to the bartender at the dance and had a conversation with a few people in the attached bar in the Moose Lodge. One guy--and I should've gotten his name--told me his Lutheran church showed part of Groundhog Day recently in making the point that we should do good for the sake of doing good.

Back at my motel room now, going to get some sleep so I can do a lot the next two days. Photos will have to wait until I am home, as I cannot connect the camera to my iPad. But, anyway...

Today's reason to repeat a day forever (in Woodstock): to drink at every bar a la The World's End... not pints though, because I don't like beer. The Moose Lodge bar (the dance side, at least, maybe not the actual bar) had $4 shots of vodka tonight, so I could just do that... except there are a lot of bars in this town, so it might still end up a) costing a lot of money and b) killing me.

P.S. Richard Henzel was one of the DJs on Phil's radio every morning.

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