Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, June 12, 2013

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. A great sadness descended over many folks in the Valley last week with the tragic news of the death of 21-year old Raul Malfavon, ‘Turkey’ to his group friends, in which I would certainly include myself. A member of the AV High Class of 2010, Raul was a polite, smart, and always very cheerful young man, who was very popular among all those who knew him. Inevitably, rumors abound, but suicide is reliably believed to be the cause of death. This would be an unusual and unthinkable deed to most people in our Mexican community, coming from a society that has relatively very low numbers for such an act.

It is even more confounding when it is someone who was always so positive and even-keeled. Nevertheless, getting over a break-up with a girlfriend, a traumatic experience that Raul was apparently having trouble dealing with, is difficult for young people of every ethnicity; a time when the feeling that there is no point in carrying on is overwhelming and it doesn’t matter what any family and close friends, who know that things will get better, may say. When you’re in the kind of mental state occupied by Raul in recent weeks then that just doesn’t seem possible. It is so very sad. We will miss Raul’s reliable friendship, smiling face, and good-natured demeanor; may he find peace and light.

For your Quotes of the Week, here are a couple that speak to the issue of suicide. From novelist and social commentator George Sand (1804-1876) here are some wise words that may help others, “At such times, it seems we should tear out a single page from the book of our life and burn it, rather than throw the whole book into the fire.” And from Brittany Snow of the young people’s suicide prevention help group, ‘Love is Louder.’ we have, “Our movement is hopefully going to bring some awareness and make some noise when it comes to teens and young adults who are feeling suicidal or even just very sad, outcasts, or being bullied, and really feel like they have nowhere to turn to.” (

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Last Saturday was a little on the warm side wasn’t it? I was told by several people that it was in the low 100s where they were, and at The Nest in the west end of the Valley we saw 98°F at 3pm. Earlier I had flown into Boonville where there was a very sparse group of vendors who had braved the heat to work the Farmer’s Market while quite a crowd of tourist-like visitors were across the road at the Paysanne ice cream store — good move, I’d say. Other than that there were lots of cars but very few people on the streets and even at the Drive-In nobody was sitting outside. A lot of traffic seemed to be heading out to the assumed cooler climes on the coast and who could blame them?, I suppose. Nevertheless, the wineries appeared to be doing brisk business and the Farm Supply guys were working hard, loading hay and soil into the back of trucks in the very hot sun. I would have offered to help but my old back injury was flaring up (?). Fortunately, up at The Nest, it finally cooled off by about 9pm and Sunday morning turned out to be very pleasant indeed for the Pancake breakfast at The Grange. This week is apparently going to see several days of mid-70s temperatures, reaching the low 80s over the weekend. All very lovely, wouldn’t you say? Weatherwisely yours, The Climaturkey.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #560. The monthly Community Drum Session is tonight, June 12; contact Rob 3897 or Andy 3020 for further details — at least it’s not bagpipes! (I’m half-joking). #561. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will return to the Valley just once in June — and that is tomorrow, Thursday, June 13 from 2-3.30pm at the AV Farm Supply just north of Philo on Highway 128. New customers and their pets are always welcome and the vets 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. #562. Dave Evans, hard-working owner of the Navarro Store and impresario in the world of local live music, informs me that the Deep End will once again be the scene for two very special live performances this summer — on July 13 it will be Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings and then, on August 31, electric blues harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite will make his much anticipated return to the Valley. In the meantime, the store’s BBQ grill will be opening up this week on Sunday, June 16 and Monday June 17 with new cook Guy Kephart taking over from the almost but not quite irreplaceable Pablo. Following that, Guy’s Grill will be serving some of the best bbq food around from 11am to 3pm every Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer, plus into the night at the live shows. #563. The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival returns to the Valley over the weekend of June 21-23. For details go to Most of you know the routine by now: great time for some; not so great for others —the AV way! #564. The Bite Hard Bicycle Road Race is on Saturday, June 29. #565. Later that afternoon/early evening, and surely an event that appeals to the majority, it’s a pig roast Hawaiian-style for the Senior Center Guest Chef Dinner prepared and presented by Chris Rossi of Rossi Hardware, Fal Allen of AV Brewing, Loretta Houck of Laughing Dog Books, and friends. This will be held outside at the Senior Center and tickets are limited. Call Gina at 3069 to get yours. #566. Finally on June 29, you can walk down the street a short distance from the pig roast to Lauren’s Restaurant where at 8.30pm it’s the ‘Sing-along-a-Liddy’ Community Singsong with hostess Patty Liddy. Sounds like a wonderful Valley Night Out to me!

Here’s the menu for the next week at the Senior Center. For lunches, always served at 12.15pm, the Center asks for a $5 donation from Seniors and charges $7 for Non-Seniors. On Thursday, June 13, the lunch will be Beef Tacos, Rice, Corn & Peppers, Salsa, and Avocados, with Pineapple Cake for dessert. Next Tuesday, June 18, Chef Marti Titus and her crew will be serving Chicken w/Kale, Rice Farro Salad and Kahlua Cake. Hopefully you will be able to attend, and remember: ALL ages are welcome!

Finally this week comes a brief comment from regular contributor, the often-despondent correspondent, The Old Buzzard. “By the time you read this the name of the new High School Principal will most likely have been announced. Claws and fingers crossed for the insightful choice of an individual who, to parents, students and faculty alike, will provide strong leadership; exhibit good people skills; show ability to balance ‘tough love’ and discipline with earned praise and encouragement; demonstrate fairness and consistency; be organized and prepared; have good listening skills; and be a visionary in the world of modern education. This decision is going to have a great influence on the future of the Valley’s schoolchildren. Hopefully those entrusted with the decision will have found such a candidate. Anything less would be disappointing and perhaps a sign that the Apocalypse is even closer than I thought.”

I’m outtahere! Until we talk again — Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; 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 PPS. Hi, Silver Swan — see you soon to share a bottle of wine?

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