Under The Top Hat: Chief Health Man

Local News

Chief Health Man Jon Johnson was introduced to the Inner Circle the same way most members are, through family. 

Johnson explained, “My father was an Inner Circle member for 49 years.”

It’s the same way he got into his profession of dentistry.  He tells us that “Chief Health Man” is more of a honorary role, so, he never thought he’d have to apply his profession to Punxsutawney Phil. He explained, “Ron asked me one day, he says ‘hey, Phil’s having a problem, I think he broke a tooth.” 

He continued, “Sure enough, he had broken a tooth. He likes granola bars and there is a ton of sugar in those things and I think he was over imbibing in granola bars. I try to get those guys to stick to the spinach and root vegetables a little more.”

A lifelong Punxsutawney resident, he says it wasn’t ever a part of his plans to be in the Inner Circle. You just sort of get asked as a reward for service to the community. It’s the joy that Groundhog Day brings to everyone who comes into his hometown that he says is the best part of it all. 

He said, “I love it when we take pictures afterwards and I get to talk to people. It’s always a quick interaction usually, but no matter how miserable the weather is, the people who are coming up to get their picture taken with Punxsy Phil, they are just happy to be there, they are thankful that somebody is putting on the show. You know, all of that. It’s gratifying and it’s fun to see people having so much fun.”

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