Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, June 19, 2013

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Before we get into the ‘meat and carrion’ of the column, may I just remind you once again of a key guideline for a happy and healthy life in the country: “Be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth.” Onward!

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #114. Due to staff shortages the Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital do not plan to be back in the Valley to check on our pets and animals until Thursday, July 11. If this changes I shall let you know. #115. If any Valley dwellers haven’t heard already, their cave being particularly high up in the hills, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (SNWMF) returns to the Valley for the its eighth successive year this coming weekend - June 21-23. Yes, it has been coming here since 2006! Thousands of reggae-loving visitors will be here and many locals will no doubt join them. Most of this particular crowd will be very nice and polite, and the ‘female of the species’ is often very pleasant on the eye, so let’s give them a big Valley Welcome, hope they support our locally-owned small businesses, and then wish them merrily on their way come Sunday night. For details go to #116. The next in the series of Guest Chef Dinners that take place every two months to benefit the Senior Center is coming up later in the month. Usually a Friday night event, on this occasions it is a Saturday. Saturday, June 29 to be precise, with Happy Hour at 5pm followed by an Hawaiian-style pig roast cooked and then served by Chris Rossi and friends at 6pm. Tickets will certainly sell out so call Gina at 895-3609 to reserve yours. #117. Later that same evening, you can take a short stroll down the road and stop off at Lauren’s Restaurant for the monthly ‘Sing-along-a Liddy’ community singsong with Patty Liddy. It starts at 8.30pm and I defy anyone to show up and not join in. You’ll know most of the songs and will be unable to contain yourself!

Here is the menu for the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $5 donation from seniors and charges $7 for Non-Seniors for lunches and for the dinners it is $6 and $8, respectively. Tomorrow, Thursday, June 20 the lunch, served at 12.15pm, will be BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans, Roasted Veggies, Garlic Bread, Broccoli Salad, Mud Slide Dessert . Then next Tuesday, June 25 at 6pm, the dinner served by Marti Titus and her crew will be Chicken Diane, Potluck Potatoes, Peas, Orange Gelatin, Rolls, Kasha Salad, Lime Berry Cake. This is also Game Night so bring your favorite game to play or hang out and visit with friends. Hope to see you there.

The above-mentioned music festival almost a tradition around here at this point, although I realize that to some Valley folks it is not a tradition until is has been happening for 50 years; just like you are not a ‘local’ unless you arrived before World War II. How about a couple of Quotes of the Week on the topic of ‘tradition’?

First let’s turn to W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), the playwright and novelist, who observed that “Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” So are we to assume that miserable Maugham probably wouldn’t see the benefit in having the festival every year? He probably wasn’t much of a reggae fan. And secondly let’s go with T.S. Elliot (1888-1965), the playwright, literary and social critic, who remarked wisely, “A tradition without intelligence is not worth having.” Perhaps a veiled comment on the demeanor of people in town who will clearly be under the mellow and, in many cases, the intelligence-altering influence of various substances. My response is, in the words of several young Valley folks of my acquaintance, “It’s all good.”

Topics and Valley events this week at The Three-Dot Lounge. Yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (and often Reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…Several regulars in the Three-Dot expressed their great satisfaction when I informed them that Deputy Craig Walker had recently told me that his Sheriff’s Office dog, Zeke the German Shepherd, had passed his certification and was now accompanying Walker on patrol as our local deputy carried out his duties. Having met Zeke a few times I was also very gratified. He’s extremely smart and good-natured dog, unless of course you’re one of the ‘bad guys.’ Then he’s downright nasty. You have been warned.

…Speaking of ‘warnings,’ one regular, not against the big music festival itself but certainly not partial to uninvited guests camping on his property, already has a sign prepared: “Camp here and you’ll wish you’d kissed a wild Hog’s snout instead.” I guess that makes it pretty clear.

… Enquiring Minds at The Three-Dot want to know: Where can I get my sheep sheared? Well, this is one I have a good answer for. There is a young man from the coast who will certainly oblige. His name is Matt Gilbert and he has already done a fine job on many of the smaller flocks in the Valley during the past month or so, as he has been doing for the last few years around here. He is accommodating, very reasonably priced, and can be reached on his cell phone at 972-9144.

…School Newsflash. May I extend a warm welcome to the newly appointed AV High School Principal, Michelle Hutchins? Ms. Hutchins is coming here from Trinity County where she was the principal at Hayfork High School, a public school serving 98 students in the 2012-13 year. She was also the superintendent of the Mountain Valley School District. I hear, and I don’t think it’s just a rumor, that she may wish to get involved in the community’s events and social scene perhaps more than her predecessors, which is very encouraging. Personally speaking, as long as she supports school fundraising events such as the recent Drive-Thru Tri-Tip BBQ Dinner to benefit the FFA program then she has the support of the Valley’s premier meat and carrion eaters such as myself. If she also spends a leisurely weekend visiting our winery tasting rooms; exercises her brain with the Trivia Quiz at Lauren’s Restaurant; devours the Prime Rib Special at The Buckhorn, gobbles the Kale Caesar’s at Aquarelle, scarfs Libby’s carnitas plate, or even sips a few libations at the Lodge (Saloon) then any/all of those would be a bonus! Looking forward to seeing you around, Ms. Aitch.

I’m outtahere. 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. You can contact me through the Letters Page or at PPS. On the sheep, Grace. PPPS. Skylark, read any good books lately?

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