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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. I am indebted to Lady Dove for her response to my inquiry last week as to what happened to Bruce Bread, the local bakery originally opened by Bruce “Uncle Sam’ Hering back in the early 80s before he sold it 15 years or so later. According to Her Ladyship’s research, depending on whom you ask, the business has closed down for good, sometime between one and three years ago. Although they did change the recipes and it was never quite the same after Bruce sold up, that is still too bad. I have many fond memories of devouring Bruce’s delicious bread either in a roast beef sandwich or as toast used for dipping into soft egg yolk — it was one of the many reasons that I originally enjoyed the Valley so much.

So, with that in mind, let’s have some comments on bread from a few wise men. First up, it’s this definitive comment: “Without bread, all is misery” — William Cobbett, British journalist (1763-1835); or in a similar vein, how about “With bread all sorrows are less” from ‘Don Quixote’ by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). There is the poignant “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread,” from Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948); or perhaps on a more poetic note, “If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens” from English poet and playwright, Robert Browning (1812-1889). But my favorite, as I am a confirmed romantic who likes to eat and drink, is “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou” from Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) the Persian scholar, poet, and scientist. And those, good bread lovers, are your Quotes of the Week.

I thought you might like to be reminded that today, March 9th, is Ash Wednesday — the first day of Lent and one that derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of repentance. For those of the Western Christian persuasion, it is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting. For us Turkey Vultures and the such-like, it is probably going to be more of the same old wining, dining, and debauchery. I know that is not clever, or funny, and it’s certainly not healthy; but it’s what we’re good at and when shared with loved ones there is something almost quite ‘religious’ about it...

Onward. Public Service Announcements: #38. This weekend sees a special event to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day: it’s a Dinner and Dance to benefit the Senior Center with music provided by the one and only Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys! This will be the biggest event of the spring and it all takes place on Saturday, March 12th at The Fairgrounds in Boonville. Happy Hour starts at 5:30pm, a corned beef dinner prepared by honorable Irishman, Joe O’Hansen, will be served at 6.30pm, and the band and dance runs from 8pm to 11pm. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be there! #39: After a winter break, Pat Hulbert’s Bake Sale resumes on the porch at Lemons’ Market in Philo at 10am on Saturday, March 12th. All proceeds will benefit the Philo Methodist Church and Pat Hulbert’s cookies, Zuke bread, Huckleberry and Apple pies, and tarts, are not to be missed. They will sell out, I’m sure, so…

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

…According to a couple of regulars at The 3-Dot, our AV Fire Department Supremo, Colin Wilson, has almost completed his checks at The Buckhorn for that establishment’s opening in another week or so. Not knowing the Chief’s workload, but aware that this local business has been jumping through various bureaucratic hoops for nearly six months in its attempt to both provide a community venue and also over 20 jobs to local folks, one would hope this would be done with some haste. Other than that, when I stopped by to take a look around, it’s all systems go — a great looking place, certainly a very cozy pub/restaurant, and a venue that one would think all Valley folks can embrace and support, while enjoying fine wine, good beer and a menu featuring many delicious American classics, pub grub and pizza!

…I am reliably informed that the two new members to be added to the Senior Center board are Linda Boudoures, dance instructor of ‘Young at Heart’ — the Senior dance and exercise group, along with the AV Brewery’s General Manager, Fal Allen (absolutely no relation whatsoever to former Brewer Kingpin ‘King’ Ken Allen). This follows the other recent addition — Loretta Houck of the Laughing Dog Book store. These three have replaced the recent departures from the Board, for health and work reasons, of Grace Espinoza, Deborah Cahn, and Harold Hulbert. The other current members of the seven-person Board are Sheri Hansen, Eddie Pardini, Steve Sparks, and Patrick Ford. It would seem that the Seniors are to be ‘served’ by quite a variety of folks from all walks of Valley life and that has to be a good thing.

…Unfortunately, as these fine people arrive on the scene, cook Natalie Matson, who over the past year has turned the Senior Center’s lunches and dinner evenings completely around in terms of good food and service, has announced her departure. She will be gone in a couple of week’s time, to pastures new, near Chicago. This is where husband Clay, a Chicago native, who has been seeking work in his profession for nearly two years, has finally secured a horse-ranching job, of which none could be found around here unfortunately.

For the first time in several years, for reasons far too personal to share with my 13 lucky readers, I missed the Variety Show this past weekend. I heard mixed reviews, but that is always the case and as long as people realize it is a ‘variety’ show and not necessarily (but often in many cases) a talent show, then a good time is usually had by all. Congratulations to Colonel Raindrop and all his fellow-Varieteers on their 20th production, a show ‘by the people, for the people’ and a great Valley night out.

Time to take my leave. Try to ‘Keep the Faith’ but in the meantime 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.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. Hi, Silver Swan — behaving yourself? Hopefully not!

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