Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, December 18, 2013

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. So here we are once again. The holi­day season and the end of yet another year just around the corner. What happened to 2013? It was just begin­ning and now it’s about to end. It would appear that, just like many others, I was just too busy living it to really enjoy it. That’s too bad and a lesson to be learned.

So now Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa or whatever is upon us and with that comes all of the razzamatazz, hype, and pressure that such times smother so many folks with. Every year it seems to get more frantic. How­ever, up here at The Nest we plan to have a relatively calm and very relaxing few days. In fact, let’s be honest, ultimately this time is really only for a couple of groups of people: children (for all the obvious reasons) and gay men. As a result of spending many Christmas holidays in San Francisco as the only straight Turkey Vulture on a construction crew of five, I feel that I can make that observation with a degree of authority. Not that there is anything wrong with this of course, and happy holidays to each and every one of them. Meanwhile, if you’re out Xmas shopping try to remember that I’m an XXL; oth­erwise fresh carrion is always good.

Appropriate Quote of the Week: let me refer you to this observation by one of the greatest of all Americans, Benjamin Franklin, who said, “How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! Oh! ’Tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” Yes, Ben, it would appear that it certainly is, but, as you uttered those words back in the 1700s, it would seem things were the same back then as they are today. That’s surprising. After all, in matters of piety and social behavior, I always assume things were so much more “civilized” back then. I don’t feel so bad knowing that maybe they weren’t.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #114. Useful numbers at this time of year. for road conditions and closures call 1-800-gas-road (427-7623) and for power problems and outages call 1-800-PGE (743-5000). I just thought you should know. #115. Lauren’s Annual Christmas Caroling Party with Lynn Archambault at the piano is on Saturday December 21 at 8:30pm. Songbooks will be provided. #116. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be in town at the AV Farm on two occasions in January 2014. Thursdays, Jan 16 and 23. Call 462-8833 for further details. New customers and their pets are always wel­come. #117. The always fun New Year’s Eve Party at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville features Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys accompanied by vocalist Susan Clark. Dinner is served from 5-9pm and the Dance Party will follow. $10 cover.

And remember, the Valley will have the two extremely popular annual crab feeds in the first few weeks of the New Year. The Crab Feed to benefit the AV Senior Center will be held in the Apple Hall on Sat­urday, January 18. And then there is the Original Crab Feed scheduled for Saturday, February 1, also at The Apple Hall in Boonville. I’m giving you plenty of notice on these two major Valley events because some of you may wish to give Xmas gifts to loved ones in the form of tickets. If so please contact organizers Gina Pardini at 895-3609 for the big night out on January 18 and Gloria Ross at 895-3017 for the feast on Feb 1. Remember, both events sell out every year.

The Community Holiday Lunch at the Senior Center at the Veterans Hall in Boonville is on Thursday, December 19. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Seniors and charges $7 for Non-Seniors. It is the final lunch of the year — what a special one it is too! Served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, this will be Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Gravy, Rolls, Quinoa Salad, and Pumpkin Cake for dessert. The Center will then take a break for the holidays until the New Year, re-opening for lunch on Tuesday, January 7. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

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

…Many 3-Dot regulars have observed the white-bearded grin of AVA Mighty Leader, Bruce Anderson, and heard his jolly laughter on many occasions. With this in mind, I am unable to get over the thought that the red-coated stranger who struggles to come down our Valley chimneys in the early hours of December 25th may not actually be Santa Claus. Now that’s something to ponder as you go to bed on Christmas Eve.

…A few regulars have commented that some KZYX chat shows have recently featured the opinions of various holistic healing advocates who seem to be suffering from some sort of illness and have had to explain their raspy voice or sniffling nose when they are on the air discuss­ing various healing techniques — ironic to say the least. My advice? Take some DayQuil/NyQuil medication made by a giant pharmaceutical company; serve up a few less veggies on your plate to make room for some extra red meat; imbibe a couple of glasses of wine or a few sips of warm brandy; have a roaring fire on the go; and curl up with a good book. I can almost guarantee that you’ll soon feel much better.

…I am very pleased to report that my #1 fan, “Con­fused of Comptche, California” stopped by the 3-Dot to offer holiday greetings and share some words to the wise. “My great Uncle Ernest was born in 1908, and he had all his own teeth until the day he died. This isn't as impressive as it might at first seem, however, as he died aged 16 when he choked on a turkey bone on Christmas Day 1924.” Thanks for the warning, Mr. Confused.

From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apoca­lypse is Approaching’. Buzzard reports, “My latest plan to boost the economy around here is one that, if suc­cessful, would certainly suggest that the Apocalypse is almost upon us. Allow me to elaborate. Not for the first time, and not for the last I’m sure, the conversation at The 3-Dot turned to the ‘luminaries’ who live here in the Valley. After skipping quite quickly through names of current residents such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning nov­elist Alice Walker (‘The Color Purple’), accomplished actor Rene Auberjonois, and Nobel Laureate Kary Mul­lis, inevitably the less celebrated but perhaps equally famous or rather infamous names of those who at one point lived here were discussed in greater depth. Many readers not from this area may not be aware of this but I am reliably informed that the list includes convicted kil­ler Charles Manson (of the Manson Family), formerly of Gschwend Road in the Christine Woods region; Jim Jones of People’s Temple fame and a member of the AV High School faculty in the late 60s; convicted sex offender and kidnapper Kenneth Parnell, resident of Mountain View Road in the early 70s; serial killer Leon­ard Lake, commune-dweller in Philo in the early eighties (just before embarking on his diabolical murder spree with Charles Ng in Calaveras County); and “Tree Frog” Johnson, formerly of Boonville in the 70s, another infa­mous child abductor/abuser. Obviously these days the Valley is an exceptionally friendly, harmonious, and community-minded place to live. However, these former Valley People, the perpetrators of some of the most hei­nous crimes imaginable, all once lived here and that fact is a small but unique part of the Valley’s history, albeit in a way that some choose to ignore and I’m sure this information does not appear in the Chamber of Com­merce’s literature. Yet! ‘Tours of Evil People’s Homes’ anyone? I think it might prove to be a big earner of tour­ist dollars.”

Well, thanks for that interesting idea, Buzzard.

Time for us to take our leave. So, 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. A final request, Let us prey. And Happy Holidays! Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or by at turkeyvulture1@earthlink.net. PPS. On the sheep, Grace. … Hi, George. hope you and Sheila are well. … Hi, Silver Swan. behaving yourself? Hope­fully not! 

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