Bird’s Eye View

by Turkey Vulture, June 23, 2010

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. How was your Sierra Nevada World Music Festival? Apparently most Valley residents hun­kered down in the hills and those around town invested in some top quality earplugs (apparently on sale at Golden Eye Winery and usually sold to the residents in the Christine Woods region who continue to be kept up all hours by that winery’s all-night noisemakers at their “Narrows Vineyard”). On Friday, I spent a few hours at a house very near the Fairgrounds and the music, particu­larly the bass and drum rhythms obviously, were extremely loud. I’d like to think that, as some sort of compensation for this, the concert brought in loads of money to our local economy but I’m pretty sure it was minimal. Having said that, I know many Valley folks who did go and had a great time, and found the kindness and friendliness ‘vibes’ at a very high level; some even said it was better than the County Fair! So, even if all I personally get out of it is the sight of a few attractive and scantly-clad young women and a bunch of smelly, scruffy young men to look at disparagingly and make fun of as they stagger around behaving like people at the Beerfest, then it’s all good with me.

And while were talking about odd behavior let me share with you once again one of my guidelines for a happy and healthy life in the country: “Be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth.”

Public Service Announcements: #223: The monthly Barn Sale at The St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way just north of Boonville returns this coming Saturday and Sunday, June 26th&27th, 9am to 3pm each day. The bargains will be there, and the bbq of course, so you’d be missing out if you weren’t too. #224: The Symbiotics will be appearing at 9pm at Lau­ren’s Restaurant in Boonville on Saturday, June 26th. I am told they are Nature’s new R&R Band. What more can I add? #225: This coming Saturday morning (9.30-Noon on the 26th) sees The Boonville Farmers’ Market in the parking lot at The Boonville Hotel. This week it will play host to Mary Pat Palmer’s herbs, lotions, and potions, along with all the usual goodies of course. #226: There’s live music again in The Deep End (at The Navarro Store) this Saturday and Sunday. Check out the ad elsewhere in this newspaper for further details.

Moving quickly on to a topic that dominated discus­sions this week at The Three-Dot Lounge — the depar­ture of Mr. Ken Allen from his AV Brewery. With the sale some might think we have seen the last of ‘King’ Ken Allen. However, I am reliably informed that he sold ‘only’ the Brewery business and has held on to the prop­erty/land (or did the buyers not want it?), plus I believe he is on a short-term contract to consult with the new owners and has also retained the rights to the annual Beer Festival. Oh, no, folks, the old devil is still among us in one form or another.

I know that he has not always been seen in a positive light around The Three-Dot Lounge and by some Valley folks, but it must be said that he has provided employ­ment for many locals over the years, donated generously to local good causes from the Beer Festival, and there is no doubting his business acumen and skill, greatly helped by a fine product of course. However, based on my personal experiences, and hearing about those of oth­ers, in some of his dealings perhaps his ‘people skills’ were found wanting as his desire for the almighty $$$ swept aside everything in its way; Ken being first and foremost a businessman of the kind who will do what­ever it takes to be successful in terms of making money. He is entitled to do so, of course, and he probably doesn’t give a hoot about winning any popularity con­tests around here, but apparently his style has produced some disapproval and antagonism towards him on behalf of a number of Valley folks. Having said that, he undoubtedly has his fair share of ‘fans,’ acolytes, and sycophants and that’s fine too of course. On a purely personal level, despite our differences in recent times, if we were to meet before his departure, I’d wish him a healthy retirement, offer my claw, and hope he’d accept it. After all, we were amiable acquaintances, perhaps even friends at one point, and we had a healthy and mutually enjoyable business relationship for over a dec­ade. I’d probably end up saying something like, “Ken, you got to do it your way, you made a lot of money, you gave generously to the Valley, and you appear to have found a level of personal happiness. So good for you. But if you cross The Vulch again, just as you’ve done before, you will be dealt with in the same fashion and then put out on the street as carrion. Now get outtahere, you old bugger, take some time to relax, and enjoy your­self.”

Finally this week, I have a couple of comments about the return of ‘civilization’ to the Valley. I’m talking of course about the opening of one, and most probably two, new bar/restaurants in the downtown area of Boonville in the next couple of months or so. Most of you will be very aware that The Boonville Saloon will be up and running soon at the location formerly occupied by The Boonville Lodge. Two big questions remain here: Will the restaurant area alongside also re-open at some point soon? (as many people to whom I’ve spoken would cer­tainly encourage), and How is the AVA’s Mark ‘The Major’ Scaramella related to the bar’s new owner Shel­ley Scaramella?’ Ater all it is far from a common name, even in the ‘old country,’ and perhaps we should be told before the Valley rumors gather momentum leaving the poor Major in their ignominious dust. And with regards to the possibilities at The Buckhorn Building, they would appear to be very good, with a local top notch bar/restauranteur in advanced talks with Gary and Ginny Island about opening up a pub at their building in the next month or two. Now you are up-to-date.

I’m outtahere. But first, with the hot weather finally with us, please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle. Otherwise, be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request: “Let us prey.” Poking and stroking egos wherever necessary and, as always, humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Keep the Faith. PPS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or by e-mail at turkeyvulture1@earthlink.net.

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