Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, April 11, 2012

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Well, good readers, it’s good to be back from the “real world”! Following my mysterious disappearance (that I could not possibly comment upon) I have returned to The Nest and I’m once again fully energized and ready to observe and comment.

And talking about “mysterious disappearances,” one of the more unsettling ones was that of Valley resident, Jamal Essayah (a personal friend of mine), who two weeks ago, for reasons that were unclear, cancelled his cellphone and Facebook accounts and simply disappeared, curtailing all contact with family and friends. Once this became apparent, many Valley folks were very concerned, knowing him to be a very well adjusted, competent, and gifted young man. Finally, over a week later, news of his disappearance was posted on Facebook and as a result many more people far and wide were adding their concern. Fortunately, their very worst fears were relieved last Friday when it was reported that he was alive, but had been in a road accident in Redding, California and was recovering in hospital. Although his behavior had been erratic at the time of this incident, and the reasons behind his actions remain unclear, his life was not in danger and the Valley could breathe a collective sigh of relief. “Get well soon, Jamal — your many friends in the Valley have you in their thoughts for a speedy and complete recovery.”

As I zoomed around the Valley this past week, catching up on Valley affairs and people, perhaps my most enjoyable experience was at The AV Lions Club Easter Breakfast and Egg Hunt held at The Apple Hall in the Fairgrounds in Boonville on Sunday morning to benefit the FFA and High School Ag class. There was an excellent turnout of Valley folks who no doubt enjoyed the splendid breakfast presented by the Lions’ Cooking Crew of Judy Long, Derek Wyatt and wife Nicole Johnson, Renée and Kevin Lee, Patty Liddy, Christy Reilly, Bob Sites, and Robin Harper, plus assistance from Fair Board member, Morgan Baynham. With Lions’ President, Christine Clark, overseeing the event, Terry Ryder and mother Muriel producing the Easter baskets for the raffle, Joanne Clark on the door, and the cheerful and hard-working volunteers from Beth Swehla’s FFA group and AVHS Ag Class, the event was a big success — and that’s without even mentioning the delicious food. This was so good that I was a little greedy and unable to partake in the ensuing egg hunt! Yes, it was what I would call a “classic” Valley occasion — all sorts of people, young and old, coming together for the common good — ya gotta like that!

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #255. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will return to the Valley on two more occasions this month — tomorrow, Thursday, April 12th and again next week on the 19th, from 2-3.30pm on each occasion. They have asked me to inform you that you do not have to arrive early and then wait a long time — everyone showing up at anytime before 3.30pm will be seen. #256. The Winter Market continues its weekly “show” at the Boonville General Store on Saturday from 10.30am to 1pm, featuring locally made foods and crafts. #257. The AV Grange has its monthly meeting next Tuesday, April 15th. This is the best time to become a new member as throughout April you will receive a year’s free membership! The evening also features a potluck competition with prizes. Call Don at 2214 for details.

Topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge — “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…A hearty congratulations are offered by the 3-Dot regulars to Antonia Perez who last week received her US citizenship. It is no exaggeration to say that with all her hard work for the schools and at many Valley social functions, she has been regarded as a wonderful ‘citizen’ for many years.

…Regulars were pleased to have heard through the sports grapevine that Youth Soccer is to be resurrected here in the Valley. Thanks to the efforts of Elementary School Principal, Donna Pierson-Pugh, among others, there are plans to field three or four teams this fall, providing a much-needed outlet for the youngsters aged between 7 and 12 who have greatly missed playing ‘the beautiful game’ over the past year or so.

…One topic under discussion at the 3-Dot this past week was ‘Jobs we would hate to do’ and I surprised some regulars with my choice of air steward. Having spent time on many long haul flights I am convinced that this line of work is not at all the glamorous occupation that it’s frequently depicted as. You are dealing with a grumpy and frequently overly demanding public and basically you are a waiter/waitress in a very cramped restaurant serving quite poor food. So job seekers, trust me on this — you can thank me later.

Talking of traveling, for your Quotes of the Week here are three of my favorites on this subject. First up it’s these words from Richard Burton (1925-1984) the Welsh actor nominated seven times for an Academy Award (without ever winning) who said, “Travelers, like poets, are mostly an angry race.” And then there is this comment from Paul Theroux (1941-?) the American travel writer and novelist: “Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” Finally, how about this from Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) the Irish writer and poet who typically remarked, “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on one’s travels!”

Finally this week, I must just comment on a letter I received a few weeks ago regarding my critical remarks about those who attend charity events and bring their own food, in this particular case the AV Film Festival. The author of the note defended his/her actions and stated that I was part of a “group of people who look down on brown-baggers, seeing them as some sort of cheapskates.” Err, when people attend charity functions with their own food then yes I do, and why would I think otherwise? Please don’t tell me that a $2 taco or $1 cookie was too expensive for anyone. It is not. With films offered all-day long for just $7 in total, quality food and drink on sale for very reasonable prices, and every penny of profit going to local charities, calling them “cheapskates” is being very polite I’d say. In fact “Tight-fisted, miserly buggers” is more along the lines of what I really think. (I’d use the word ‘niggardly’ but that would be far too controversial for those unfamiliar with this word who are not inclined to look it up in a dictionary.)

Time to take my leave. So, until we talk again, 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.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at turkeyvulture1@earthlink.net. PPS. Hi, Silver Swan — behaving yourself? Hopefully not!

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