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Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, December 12, 2012

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Isn’t it about now that the ‘13 Days of Christmas’ begin? And how come we almost never hear the 13th day sung about? You know, the one that goes ‘On the thirteenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – thirteen Turkey Vultures preying’ – arguably the best line of all. Certainly more poignant that any lines about swans swimming, geese laying, colly birds, French hens, Turtle doves, and a silly partridge in a pear tree.

Another opinion, but one hopefully shared by many, is to echo the sentiments of the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce when I ask all you Valley-folk to shop, eat, and drink locally this holiday season. Support your local businesses; they need your business if they are to survive both the slowest time of the year and the current woeful economic climate. I am of the opinion that these businesses are beneficial to the Valley and we need them to be successful or we run the risk of losing them completely. Then we’d be faced with dealing with that loss — just like my Mother predicts that I will feel when she says, “you’ll miss me when I’m gone.”

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #813. The Vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will return to the Farm Supply in the Valley tomorrow, Thursday, Dec 13 from 2-3:30pm. If you are a previous client you can call them 48 hours in advance (462-8833) to ensure that your pet’s charts are brought ‘over the hill’ and also order any medications your pet might need. New customers and their pets are always welcome. They will be back in the Valley for their final visit of 2012 in two weeks time on Thursday, Dec 27. #814. You are invited to join the AV Chamber of Commerce for a Holiday Soiree at the Downtown Boonville stores — Paysanne, All That Good Stuff, Farmhouse Mercantile, & Laughing Dog Books. It’s tomorrow, Thursday, December 13 from 5:30 pm until 7. Bring a treat or beverage to share. Celebrate the holidays! Support local shops! #815. The Crab Feeds are coming up! Yes, folks, two of the most popular events of the year are just around the corner and both will sell out. The first, to benefit the Senior Center, is on Saturday, Jan 19 followed just two weeks later on Saturday, Feb 2, by the event to benefit the Catholic Church organized by the irrepressible Gloria Ross. A ticket for either — or both! — would be a great Christmas gift. For the first call 895-3609, the second 895-3071.

As a bonus PSA here is the menu for the two lunches over the next week at the Senior Center. The Center asks for a $5 donation from Seniors and $7 for Non-Seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, December 13 the lunch, always served at 12.15pm by chef Marti Titus and her crew, will be Smothered Steak, corn, Garlic Red potatoes, Rolls, Apple – Spinach salad, and Texas Sheet Cake for dessert and then next Tuesday, December 18 the crew will be serving a very festive Roasted Turkey, Cornbread Dressing, Green beans, Gravy, Rolls, Cranberry- Raspberry Gelatin, Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake. That will be the final feast of the year before the Center closes for the holidays, re-opening on Thursday, January 3, 2013 for lunch.

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

…The Community Dinner held last weekend at The Grange is another one of the Valley’s most popular events and why not? Everyone coming together to share in a ‘community feast’ and a celebration of the good things in life — including all of the many wonderful local agricultural products that we as a community harvest every year. Well almost all of them. Quite a number of Valley folks were a little peeved that this was deemed a no-alcohol event despite wine being a huge part of this community’s agricultural endeavors. For reasons that are far from clear it was not available/allowed. I have no idea why but, speaking for more than just a few locals, there was disappointment that such a decision was made when a glass or two of local wine would certainly pair wonderfully well with many of the delicious foods that were served. “We’re not kids or idiots,” seemed to be the general consensus among these folks — “we promise to behave ourselves!”

… Meanwhile, a further piece of cross-community bonding and enlightenment, in the form of some current insights to the world beyond the bucolic balloon that is so often Valley life, may be gleaned from a recent (Nov 24) pullout section in The Economist magazine. This particular section focused on Mexico — its economy, demography, health services, drugs and violence, migration, and government — a fascinating read for any serious high school student and adult. It was passed around among the regulars at the 3-Dot and now I humbly suggest that one (or several) of our educators at the local high school seek out this very readable, interesting, and informative piece and make it available to all of the students at the school library. If I was making decisions there, such a non-partisan account would be mandatory reading for every one of them. But I’m not.

…‘Little children should be seen and not heard’ — a phrase that seems to have long passed into oblivion. Not necessarily a good thing, some might say.

…And to offset my curmudgeonly thoughts, here is a more “joyful” outlook from The Old Buzzard in another in his insightful series, ‘The Approach of the Apocalypse.’ Buzzard reports, “Having frequently witnessed the white-bearded grin of AVA Mighty Leader, Bruce Anderson, and heard his jolly laughter on many occasions, I am unable to get over the thought that the red-coated stranger who struggles to come down all of our Valley chimneys in the early hours of December 25th may not actually be Santa Claus. I just thought you should know and if indeed it turns out to be the local newspaper Supremo then that is as big a sign as any warning I have mentioned all year long that the Apocalypse is approaching!”

Time to take my leave. Until we talk again, Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; and may your god go with you. 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! PPPS. On the sheep, Grace – three years and missing you still.

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