Letters (Jan. 25, 2017)

by AVA News Service, January 25, 2017

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MEMORIES OF SHEP

To: Byron Spooner via The AVA

Dear Mr. Spooner:

I really appreciated your article on Jean Shepherd which appeared in the January 11, 2017 edition of the Anderson Valley Advertiser.

http://theava.com/archives/64456

It brought back many memories of my New York past. In the 1950s I went to high school bleary-eyed in the morning because I surreptitiously stayed up from 9:05 until 1:00am listening to Shep. I was one of the Night People who helped support John Cassavetes’ experimental film “Shadows” at Shep’s urging. Once, as an amateur radio operator, I spoke with him on one of the short wave bands, but didn’t realize who it was until I later looked up his call sign. In the 60s, I got to meet him when he spoke at my college about his undercover involvement with the military regarding foreign arms being smuggled into Lebanon.

Later, I would go to see him when he broadcast live from The Limelight in the Village. I suspect there are not many of us here on the west coast who remember him. Many thanks for the memories!!!!!

David Jackness,

Boonville

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ON THE SKIDS

Editor,

Random thoughts on "downtown Ukiah."

With the exception of the looming smoke shops in the criminal "injustice" industry, our big city, like the Palace Hotel, is on the skids. The motel we've been sitting at for the last week since my friend Tom Allman gave me a five week kick to get me out of jail out of kindness is called the Sunrise Inn. The service is still first-rate. The bathroom shower is made of beautiful tile. But the ceiling plaster is cracking. The furniture used to be first-rate -- fireproof and attractive. Now it's old and weathered. It's all kind of sad. Yet life goes on. Babies keep getting born. The unemployed youth (bums) appear strong and well fed. The nearly empty restaurants and bars still manage to stay open. Our union, the IWW-Earth First! #3, the fish and lumber industry and all are on are all on life-support systems. Begging is on the rise but there's little whining. This depression is not the first or the worst.

On Cops -- Unlike most hipneck families my number one ex- Tami-Diane and yours truly come from law enforcement families. The police are not gods or devils. Most are just upper-level working-class folks doing a sometimes dangerous job that is not all that well paid.

Their take-home pay as regular uniforms with benefits probably does not equal that of a railroad brakeman or a sea urchin diver. If cops give other cops a break on motor vehicle infractions, big deal. When Alan Graham was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific line we could probably ride on any railroad in the United States on my Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen card. The point being: Treat cops just like you treat a railroad brakeman and you'll all get along just fine.

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham

Ukiah/Albion

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I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR....

Editor,

If members of the press don’t stand up for one another each time Donald Trump tries to steamroll someone whose views are not to his liking, then eventually, the only press activity that will be allowed is that which praises Trump.

That is not what this country needs and is light-years from the hard-hitting reporting and investigative journalism a Democracy requires to function and survive. To all members of the press, I say, stand by your fellow reporters. If they are not allowed to ask a question, then you must press the question until it is answered. If you don’t, you will all eventually be silenced. And then we all lose.

Katherine Bowman

Berkeley

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OUR SHAKY PAST

Editor:

Don’t any of those water brains crying about Trump being an illegitimate president know we have already lived through shaky chief executives? I mean, Hayes and Tilden ignored the Constitution and cut their Jim Crow deal in 1876. And Congress changed the Constitution to allow Jerry Ford to be appointed to the White House to replace Nixon.

Cynicuss

Ukiah

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THE BIG PICTURE

Editor,

The wealthiest 5% will be taken care of. We are asking the incoming administration just how the remaining 95% will benefit during the next four years. Hello. I hear nothing. Ha’penny, the vice president — silence. Not a peep from our national asshole, Mitch McConnell. Suddenly a trembling murmuring was heard. Innasukktur? That was the voice of Johnny Nipple R-Oklahoma. What he is trying to say is "infrastructure."

Now the scene shifts to excuse me! This is Sarah Palin. Listen you dumb jerk. You want benefits? You will get your benefits as soon as we Make America Great Again.

Now the scene shifts to the Huffperson D-Marin. Is that the Marin County of the Sir Francis fantasy? Where one of the streets is named Sir Francis Drake Boulevard? The greatest hoax known until the global warming hoax was exposed by our friend R.Fred Frijol, owner of the Blue Skies Coal Mine? "Blackie" Frijol is expected to be named to an important post in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Now the Huffperson who has served as a decorative symbol long enough. You will now be given something useful to do. You will become an infrastructure reporter with a pork pie hat with a white card tucked into the hatband at a 45° angle that says "press." Huff, as he is known to the news hens, will prepare a monthly report which names the infrastructure projects completed the previous month, those underway this month, and those to be started next month. He will prepare three copies, one for each of the three unremarkables: The Willits Snooze, Fort Bragg Advo-Cat and the lively, fun-filled irreverent Ukiah Daily Journal.

Now it is well-known that Sister Yasmin from over there at Fish Rock (or where ever the hell it is that she lives) likes to do public service. It is also known that she is not a shrinking violet. I’ll bet Sister Yasmin would be delighted to be chosen the county infrastructure czarina.

As the Huffperson dispatches begin appearing in the three unremarkable newspapers it became evident that some free gifts might become available. Proposals were offered such as enough money be transferred from the military budget needed to build 5,000 affordable houses to be sold to the residents of Mendocino County. If you want to buy an affordable house just write a letter to the infrastructure Czarina, Fish Rock, California. Fish Rock became a popular destination. Real estate bandits were there in large numbers to see what they could get their hands on. Prominent Ukiah lawyers were observed trolling for clients. It was like 50 head of cattle fighting over a single bale of hay on a frozen Wyoming range. Charles Peterson set up a hot dog stand.

One popular program is the continuation of the 1862 Homestead Act. Instead of the government opening up vast sections of the country for 160 acre homesteads, the prospective homesteader will look for 160 acres he likes and file a claim at Fish Rock. If it happens to be on Mendocino Redwoods timberland — no problem — the infrastructure czarina will pay the timber company a little something and turn it over to the settler. This program is designed to help the Middle East refugees get off to a good start when they arrive. Realistically, most applicants for homesteads will want to "do agriculture."

The principal venue in this county is Hales Grove which has zero infrastructure, none whatsoever. Hales Grove sits in a large clearing in the middle of a vast forest of many square miles, far from the bright lights and temptations of Leggett to the east and Rockport to the west. Unwanted tanoaks have been removed by hugging and squeezing until they died in a kind of orgasmic throbbing ecstasy.

The first that happens is a large shelter built of logs is constructed. Then the homeless of SoMendoBoldt are scooped up and brought in to begin their vocational training. Each homeless person will learn a useful trade and begin their intellectual development by reading the books of Henry Miller and other literary luminaries. This community will be reminiscent of the collaborative vocational community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, that Eleanor Roosevelt championed, visited often in 1934. Residents learned trades and live together in peace and harmony. Mrs. Roosevelt declared that this was the most wonderful concept she had ever seen or heard of. Republicans said it was pure communism.

Trades learned at Hales Grove consisted of 18th century at occupations such as blacksmithing, horse-shoeing, soap making, learning to play the fiddle, learning to grow the essential vegetables — potatoes, carrots, turnips, and parsnips. While Williamsburg has been restored as an 18th-century colonial Virginia town, Hales Grove will resemble an 18th-century Pennsylvanian village.

It was not long before missionaries started arriving. First the Seventh-day Adventists, then the Latter-Day Saints. They were checking to see whether such activities as buggery were taking place. The missionaries were also looking around to see whether any copies of the AVA wwere hidden. They found one clipping — "Meth, Mold and Muck Manner, Willits" by J.S. Holts. Someone had written in the margin: "This piece takes first prize for something or other."

A typical day at Hales Grove: General assembly. Everyone listens to the Thom Hartmann program. Next comes C-SPAN2, the Book Channel and a discussion of "Hard Times In Paradise," starring Peggy Bates and Homer Mannix by David Colfax. A guest arrives. He is Hal Wagenet who explains why he is the smartest, best qualified candidate for Third District Supervisor. Cannabis is served but nobody takes any.

Ralph Bostrom

Willits

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GENTLEMEN, PLEASE

Editor,

First and foremost, Jewel Dyer is a dirtbag for what he did to his father. But I do not know him nor do I care about him. This letter is about scumbag Alan ‘Sonny’ Crow and how much of an idiot he is for 99% of the garbage that comes out of his mouth. He talks trash about people and about how people are homosexual. But peep game as soon as you hit the San Quentin reception center you cell up with the biggest homosexual on the 50 cell-tier. You have been arrested in a skirt, fishnet stockings, a wig and full face makeup. I hit reception in San Quentin October 1, 2015 hoping you'd be there for the fact that you stole my ex’s car and then tried to smut me up in the AVA about some really stupid shit that was all lies. I'm writing about facts.

Another funny thing is I cannot go to Soledad because you put me on your 8-12 enemy list, yet you claim to be such a bad ass. You are just a lowlife, homeless junkie who ain’t about shit but spreading bullshit and stealing from hard-working women and beautiful children who ain’t got it coming. So who's the real weirdo?

Noah Lurenhatt,

Lancaster State Prison

Lancaster

PS. My outdate is 10/2/19. See you Mendolanders soon.

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