Valley People

by AVA News Service, April 20, 2011

ANDERSON VALLEY said goodbye to Fritz Kuny last Sunday at graveside services conducted by Pastor Willie Roberts followed by a gathering of the old logger’s extensive population of family and friends at the Apple Hall. Out in front of the Apple Hall was Mancher Pardini’s lowboy on which rested a temporarily commemorative caterpillar tractor, a display that surely would have touched and amused Fritz whose legendary skills as a catskinner were always in demand by the logging companies and by CDF who always summoned Fritz to the frontlines of major wild fires.

AN ENTERPRISING youngish couple named Tim Ward and Regina Williams are poised to assume responsibility for the Lambert Lane parcel previously occupied by Farmer John Volcker’s varied ag projects. The fecund parcel is owned by Burt Cohen of Boontberry and will eponymously and rightly be called Boontberry Community Farm by its new proprietors, and good on Ward and Williams for their energy and commitment to the latest small farm start-up for the Anderson Valley.

AND THEN there’s roadside harvesting by the Chinese traveling back and forth to the Mendocino Coast for abalone season who stop in Philo to help themselves to great bunches of the perfect watercress growing wild in that trickle of a stream flowing alongside 128 at Scharffenberger Winery.

THE YELLOW IRIS now in bloom at the upper end of Scharffenberger Trickle are worth a trip to Philo all by themselves.

“WHY DON’T you ever say anything nice about the wineries?” Scharffenberger’s irises qualify as a nice thing to say about the exterior of at least one winery, and I’m not the only person to note that migrating duck and geese now put down at one or another of our innumerable vineyard ponds. Used to be the big birds hardly ever flew over the Anderson Valley, let alone paused to enjoy the sights.

AND THE NEW metal sign at the revived Buckhorn Boonville brewpub is a true work of art designed by Ginny Island, inscribed by Tom Rodriguez of Maple Creek Winery, and put together and erected by Mark Boudoures, the whole show more evidence of the abundant talent in the Anderson Valley.

KINDA SAD to see the Jim Ball Winery go under. Jim’s always been a gent who answered every impertinent question we put to him without blowing his top. He’s a smart guy who may yet pull his chestnuts off the bankruptcy pyre, and here’s hoping he does.

IF YOU HAVEN’T yet enjoyed a meal at the Buckhorn Boonville, you’re in for a real treat when you finally get yourself there. The remodeled interior is a kind of aesthetic marvel in itself and the food is gooder than ever.

THE BOONVILLE GENERAL STORE invites everyone to stop in this Friday, April 22 “for our first of the season Pizza Night and Egg Dying Party. We’ll be serving up our delicious, gourmet, hand-thrown and baked on stone pizzas as well as dinner specials, soup, salads and deserts, all made by hand, with love, from 5:30 P.M. until 8 P.M. And while you’re enjoying that fantastic pizza, you can dye easter eggs for your weekend festivities! We’ll be dying eggs from 5:30 P.M. ’till 7 P.M., so bring hard boiled eggs and any dying materials you have (we will have some extras for the wee ones) and get creative, all ages are welcome.”

RESTAURANTS come and go, and Yuri’s, a nice little Mexican place next door to the Boonville Saloon, is gone. Not quite enough eating business to go around, in the tough competitive food business of the happening Anderson Valley. But in place of Yuri’s, and opening soon, we have Mis Potrancas, restaurant, market and deli, brought to us by Mr. Raul Mendoza.

THE MERMEN, “with special guests,” appear Saturday night the 30th of April at Lauren’s, Boonville, and you better get there early because the popular Coast-based band packs ‘em in.

MEANWHILE, down the road in Philo, Bruce Hering tells us that Grange Groove “is happening again, complete with the famous art car from Burning Man as a chill space. DJ Pete to keep you moving, and visuals, too.” Friday at the Grange 8pm.

TERRY RYDER was in charge of the Sheriff’s Department’s prescription drug drop-off Saturday afternoon at the Fairgrounds parking lot. Terry popped up out of her chair when I pulled in to ask her how it was going. “Well,” she said. “Are you here to get rid of your old meds?” I don’t have any meds, old or new, I said. Whiskey is good for toothaches, I’ve found, and you don’t need to see a doctor to get it. No Terry, I said, I was just driving around taking in the impressive commercial bustle of a spring Saturday afternoon in Boonville when I spotted the fresh bouquet in the parking lot that turned out to be you. I worried that the dopeheads, if they knew that only a little lady stood between them and their much coveted oxycontin that Terry might find herself being besieged by dope fiends. Not to worry. All was serene. The drug drop-off’s success was soon confirmed by Deputy Squires when he, too, stopped by. The deputy and Terry worked out the logistics of seeing to it that the collected drugs made it over the hill for safe disposal on the streets of Ukiah. (Which is a little joke I couldn’t resist. Sorry.)

BREGGO CELLARS has bought the 52-acre Savoy Vineyard, “one mile north of Philo” the press release says. The press release doesn’t say what Breggo paid but it had to be lots and lots. Savoy himself is the founder of San Francisco’s famed Green Apple Book Store.

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