Opening Speech 2023
Delivered by Benjamin Torcellini at Duck Day.
Welcome, welcome, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dogs and cats, and everyone else watching on the tube, and in Cyberspace. Welcome to the 9th annual Duck Day.
Since the beginning of time, people have wanted to know what the future is, especially what the future weather is. Mankind has tried time and time again at predicting the weather but has not succeeded. Man has used the badger, who messes up, man has used the groundhog, who messes up, and man has even used the pig, who messes up predicting.
Nineteen score, and twenty years ago, Germans immigrated to Pennsylvania. They believed that if a groundhog emerged from his hole on February 2 and saw his shadow, winter would last 6 more weeks, but if he emerged and there was no shadow to be seen, spring would arrive early.
The earliest known recording of a groundhog being used for weather prognostication, was by James L. Morris of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, in the year 1840. The first reported news of Groundhog Day was recorded in the Punxsutawney Spirit, a newspaper from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in 1880.
However, most are terrible at predicting the weather, especially in New England. “I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don't know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerk's factory who experiment and learn how, in New England, for board and clothes,” said the great scribe, Mark Twain.
New England is a strange place with very irregular temperatures, it is hard, very hard to predict the weather. Mark Twain also said “a great, great deal has been said about the weather, but no one has ever done anything about it”. Not one has ever figured out how to predict the weather in New England, so Micah and Isaac Torcellini started looking for a better predictor.
What they found was not a person, or a groundhog, but a duck. This Duck graduated from Stormy Heights Academy as the valeducktorian of his class. His astounding skills in predicting the weather, and communicating it with humans, meant he was chosen to be the greatest weather predictor of all times. For seven years, he served faithfully as Eastford’s prognosticator, and not once did he lie. As he aged, he left his son to follow in his web steps, and his son, who also graduated valeducktorian from Stormy Heights Academy, is once again, the greatest weather predictor of all times.
We would like to give a humongous thank you to 1st Selectman Deb Richards for permission to host this event, State Representative Pat Boyd and State Senator Jeff Gordon for years of support, and my brothers and founders of Duck Day, Micah and Isaac Torcellini, who are managing the website, social media, and press releases from college. We would also like to give an immense thank you to our volunteers Pastor Tim Howard as the assistant director of technology, Adam Minor as our photographer, Aaron Minor, Dinah Cohen, Timothy James Howard, and Karissa Howard as duck handlers, and all who have attended Duck Day over the years.
AND NOW WE PRESENT...ducks like drumrolls, so help us out!
Scramble the Duck!
Please do not use flash on your cameras during the prediction as it could cause false shadows. Thank You!