The Popcorn Stand: Do we trust Passy Pete or the Almanac?

We’re in for an Indian summer. Or at least in Maine. That’s according to Passy Pete.

Passy Pete is a lobster from Maine who predicts how much longer the summer will last in the same way Punxsutawney Phil (I really don’t care for that groundhog because every time I write about him I have to spell Punxsutawney) makes his winter prediction in Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day. During a ceremony last week, at least in Maine, Passy Pete decided there would be six more weeks of summer.

With all of the ways we have to predict the weather today from small animals to all the latest technology, I still agree with Myra Fleener, the character played by Barbara Hershey in “Hoosiers.” The Farmer’s Almanac is about the best source when it comes to projecting long-term weather patterns.

I’ve written about this before on how I love this scene from “Hoosiers” in which Fleener is laboring in the mud trying to plant her garden. Norman Dale played by Gene Hackman asks Fleener “do you always plant in the mud?”

Fleener responds by telling him the (Farmer’s) Almanac says it’s time. “Do you always go by the almanac,” Dale asks. “Always,” Fleener replies.

When it came to last year’s winter, the almanac was pretty much accurate, although not predicting any records, calling for a cold and wet winter. And the almanac is again predicting a cold, wet winter for 2017-18.

I’ll take the almanac over Passy Pete any time.

— Charles Whisnand


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