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Concord Charlie Predicts An Early Spring
ATHENS - “I did not see my shadow. Spring will be here soon!” That’s the text message Concord Charlie sent to Concord
Grand Groundhog Watcher Scott A. Martin
University President Gregory F. Aloia on Groundhog Day morning, Feb. 2, 2011. Aloia shared the much anticipated message with guests at Concord’s 33rd Annual Groundhog Day Breakfast held in the Jerry L. Beasley Student Center Ballroom.
According to Groundhog Day tradition, if Concord Charlie sees his shadow the morning of Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter can be expected. An early spring will be on the way if he doesn’t see his shadow.
The famed groundhog weather prophet has a standing appointment with Concord University’s President each year to offer his predictions and insights on the duration of winter.
The Concord Charlie tradition was originated in 1978 by the late Professor R.T. “Tom” Hill. As chairman of both the geography department and the Appalachian Studies program at Concord, he started the Groundhog Day Breakfast as a means to celebrate a bit of Appalachian heritage and highlight the program.
The yearly gathering of food, fellowship and folklore – which features a hearty ham and eggs breakfast – is also time to recognize the Grand Groundhog Watcher. This honor is bestowed on an individual who has positively impacted life and culture in West Virginia.
The 2011 honoree is film industry personality Scott A. Martin. A Mercer County native and 1993 graduate of Concord, Martin has made his mark in the film industry as an actor, director and producer. He is known for his work with Sorry Dog Productions, a company he started in 1998, and a list of other film related endeavors.
“I’m humbled to be here,” Martin said about his name being added to the list of Grand Groundhog Watchers calling the group a “terrific cast.”
Martin was born in Princeton, raised in the Athens-Lerona area and attended high school in Athens. He received a bachelor’s degree in communication from Concord.
“Concord felt like home,” he said. Martin said his family’s ties to Concord go back for generations noting that he is a descendant of the Martins who donated land for the establishment of a school in Athens.
On his career path, Martin said he has worked a variety of jobs and even “sold frozen food door-to-door.”
He moved to Chicago in 1996 and opportunities began to come his way. He worked for Jenny Jones and was a stand-in for John Cusack in the movie “High Fidelity.”
“Any dream takes persistence,” he said.
“I don’t think I’m some star…I just want to be like a working actor,” he said.