Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, March 31, 2011

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. First up I must offer apologies on behalf of Gloria Ross and her crew for the cancellation of the monthly Barn Sale event last weekend. The weather was too bad and with a very muddy parking lot already an issue before more rains they decided to call it off. The next Barn Sale will now be the weekend of April 9th/10th. (They do not do one later in April due to Easter.)

Moving on. I’d venture to say that you can do a lot worse things for a couple of hours on a Monday afternoon in the Valley than stand outside Lemons’ Market in Philo and listen to two old-timers’ reminisce about the old days.

That’s what I found myself doing last week and how I wished the conversation could have been recorded somehow. I was talking about sheep with ‘Young’ George Gowan, as I do, when Willis ‘Willie’ Tucker came out of the store, spotted us, and joined in with a variety of tales of his own. With his wife Bobbie, Willie moved to the Valley in his early 20s from Arkansas in 1947, one of the earlier members of the ‘Arkie invasion,’ and now they have quite an extended family here. Some people would not be aware of this because they had five daughters (one of whom died as a young child), and so when these four remaining gals married they gave up the Tucker name, marrying a Titus, a Slotte, a Knight, (all well- entrenched Valley families) and a Crabb. George, meanwhile, was born in 1942, a third generation Valley dweller whose grandfather first came here in the 1890s. The Gowan clan has spread far and wide in the Valley since then, and although he has not always lived here, he has plenty of Valley stories too. At one point Willie told George that one of the finest men he ever met here in the Valley was George’s father, George Sr., who passed away a couple of years ago. It was quite touching and the normally very stoic and unemotional George seemed to be taken back a little – in a good way.

Before we went our separate ways, nearly two hours later, something they both agreed on, as various people had come and gone at Lemons that whole time, was that “We don’t know any of these people anymore.” I asked them if they thought the Valley had changed for the better and both thought it had in some ways but not in others — “no more fishing” and “too many wineries owned by outsiders” were a couple of their bugbears. Anyway, this wonderful little interlude in the day led me to dig up for your Quotes of the Week by two other very wise men about change/progress. First let’s hear from Thomas Edison who commented that, “Restlessness and discontent are the necessities of progress,” and of course it was Martin Luther King Jr. who observed that “All progress is precarious and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another one.” I think perhaps Willie and George might well agree.

Public Service Announcements. #141: The first annual ‘PawFest’ takes place this coming weekend – Saturday, April 2nd from 2-6pm at the AV Brewery in the lovely setting of ‘Brewery Park’ alongside their facility on the edge of town. This very special event will benefit the marvelous Anderson Valley Animal Rescue and will feature a chicken, tri-tip, and veggie bar-b-q by the Lions Club, beer from the Brewery, music by the Valley’s own Peanut Butter Jam Band, dog obedience displays, a raffle, and even a special commemorative t-shirt by famed local animal artist Paula Gray available for purchase. It sounds like a great time and it’s all for a wonderful cause, so with that in mind, while admission is free, there will be a donation box available for any much-appreciated contributions. Oh, and dogs on a leash are welcome too! #142: A heads-up to get your tickets for this upcoming event benefiting the Anderson Valley Ambulance Service, it’s ‘James Taylor Roberts’ Tour of His Home & Garden.’ Nationally renowned for outstanding interior design, Jim has been featured in Island Home, House & Garden, Trends and Options Magazines. This event will feature wine pairings with small tastes and local artisans will be displaying and selling their ornamental garden oriented sculptures, pots and totems on the central lawn. It takes place on Saturday, June 4, 2011, from 1-5pm; $40/person, sales limited to 250 tickets. Tickets to this event will be sent by May 15, 2011 and checks should be payable to AVAS and sent to Ginger Valen, AVAS, POB 222, Boonville, CA  95415.  Include your return address. For more information call Ginger Valen at 707-895-9424.

Eating and Drinking News. There seems to be a little confusion about the opening hours of the new Buckhorn so let me clear that up for you — until May, when hours will increase, they will be open Monday (yes, somewhere to go on Mondays), Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 5pm until 11pm or so – with dinner served until 9pm; Fridays will be 11:30am to midnight, serving lunch and then dinner until 10pm; and on Saturdays and Sundays it’s 10am to midnight, serving ‘the soon-to-be-famous’ brunch and then dinner until 9pm. They will be closed on Tuesdays. The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz held every Thursday at 7pm at Lauren’s Restaurant continues to be a popular Valley event and last week, with people no doubt going cabin crazy due to all the rain, Valley folks ventured out in big numbers for a total of 54 players at The Quiz! The winners were a large team comprising the Schoeneman Family and friends from the local Farrington Winery with the runners-up, featuring our own Major Scaramella, ‘The Ellis-Ryder Girls’ and the Fashauer Clan, losing out by just half a point.

Time to go. Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. Oh, and of course, one final request, “Let us prey.” As always, humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at turkeyvulture1@earthlink.net. PPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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