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Valley People (Aug. 14, 2019)

LAST FRIDAY EVENING the weather radar indicated that a mass of storm clouds would move across northern Mendocino County overnight with a patch of rainfall making landfall on the south coast late afternoon and then dissipating by Saturday morning as it approached Willits. As expected, rain (over a tenth of an inch as it turned out), lightning and rolling thunder arrived in Boonville around 8:30pm, scaring cats, dampening the ground, and sparking fears of lightning fires, especially for those of us who went through the 2008 Lightning Complex Fires. By 9pm or so the system had moved further inland, but not before touching off a few local fires.

AV FIRE CHIEF ANDRES AVILA REPORTS: “One small fire north of Philo in the area of the north fork of Indian Creek on Friday. As of Saturday afternoon, it was boxed in with retardant and helitack crews reinforcing the line. Cal Fire crews made ground access for full extinguishment Sunday morning.

Several other small lightning starts throughout the county on Saturday. Elk had two which had aircraft flying over Anderson Valley Saturday as well. By Saturday afternoon, things seemed to be holding but access to these remote areas is a challenge. Aircraft have been an essential player in this process. We will be watching closely for new breaks over the next few days because of the possibility of holdover fires popping up with the weather changes [warmer temps].”

SHERIFF ALLMAN on Friday night’s freak rain/thunderstorm: 

“In 2008, our county was rocked with 134 fires overnight with a lightning storm. Last night (Friday, 8/9/19), another lightning system came from the southwest corner of Mendocino County and left over the northeastern corner. Another system came over Laytonville and traveled to the northeast also. 

At this point [Saturday evening], there are 7 known fires in Mendocino County. Trinity County is also experiencing fires from the same system. Because lightning doesn’t usually strike near roads, emergency access to these fires is limited but Calfire and local fire departments are gaining access. These experts are excelling, and I have a great deal of faith in their abilities.

Some places in our county received almost 1/2” of rain, which has greatly helped in slowing the spread.

If you know of a fire which may not be reported, please call Calfire (707-459-7404). This is the time of year to be vigilant, prepared and not overreactive. 

We’ve all been through this before, I know we can do it again.

Education and Preparation are the keys to success.

Please, use common sense. Even though it rained, no burn piles or fireworks. We are smarter than that.”

ODD that football practice is beginning this week most places around Mendocino County but not in Boonville for the first time since Anderson Valley unified its schools to include a high school, which would have been about, I think, 1920, prior to which Anderson Valley youth aimed at higher education boarded either in Ukiah or Cloverdale for their high school years. I have a dim memory of the late Cecil Gowan saying that he attended high school in Cloverdale.

OUR REMAINING OLD TIMERS, Don Pardini and Wes Smoot come to mind, and the more numerous younger old timers who grew up here, will testify as to how rapidly and how thoroughly the Anderson Valley’s population and even its topography have been changed by the wine industry. Prior to the middle 1980s we had a community here. Now we don’t. Community has been replaced by unaffiliated affinity groups whose twain never meets. 

GET YOUR YCBA KLEEN KANTEEN Water bottle at the Yorkville Ice Cream Social, Sept. 2nd for the bargain price of $18. This is our small effort to reduce single use plastic waste. This highly functional water bottle is even Sierra-tested. More info about the September 2 Ice Cream Social in upcoming weeks as the event nears.

MEET COOL NEW PEOPLE. (Hell, why not?) “Anderson Valley peeps! This is the second festival for OmRising at Camp Navarro this August 16-19th. It's really a festival about being in the redwoods, dancing, yoga-ing, listening to music and getting to know some cool friendly new people. It's all in the name of creating kindness and community in a time that really needs us to connect other than on social media. I will be teaching a workshop there as well, on developing your intuition. A skill we ALL have, yet under-utilize.”

HIGHWAY 128 was closed for a couple of hours a week ago last Tuesday morning. A local contractor pulling a back hoe managed to overturn the trailer carrying the tractor on Haehl Grade, which is on the far, far side of Yorkville, and perhaps best known for the site of the pioneer collective, Pomo Tierra. The road was closed to southbound traffic at the junction of 128 and 253, although the accident was miles down the pike. A hopeful rumor went quickly around that a bloody home invasion had caused the road closure but, alas, the event was exciting only to the man whose rig had spilled.

A NATIVE DAUGHTER of Boonville's depleted ranks of natives, Joan Burroughs, transplanted to Lake County, writes: "I am back home after being evacuated for two days. The official word stated we had to evacuate because it was a threat to life and limb. I get the life part but my limbs? I spent time with Jeff and wife Julie in Boonville, went through the thunder and lightning, and Friday night's downpours with the rest of the Boonters - all okay in spite of their scaredy cat racing in and out of their place. Lake County is dry as a bone of course. I cannot see where the fire burned on Konocti from my house, but the fire was obviously below our subdivision - we could see the water being dropped by the helicopters on Soda Bay Road. Sheriff’s Office was going house to house,  but finally, the UPS guy with wild round eyes, told us to get out, so when we heard that it became very official so we all immediately left." 


Boonville Flea Market, Labor Day Weekend

Anderson Valley Senior Center Will Again Host The Community Flea Market On Labor Day Weekend

14410 Highway 128, Boonville CA 95415, Veterans Building

August 30 - September 2, 2018, 9 AM to 6 PM

To Sell; $20 p/day or $40 for 4 days

This will be an open air, flea market, in the parking lot of the Anderson Valley Senior Center and Veterans Building.

We hope the Snack bar will be serving breakfast, lunch and homemade goodies 9:00 to 2:00 Friday through Sunday

Antiques, household items, artist supplies, bird cages, tools, blacksmithing equipment, anvils, equipment, clothing, electronic equipment, and just about everything else you could imagine will be for sale.

OUR SCANNER crackled to life last Saturday morning to report “a 21-year-old male, rattlesnake bite on the hand." AV Ambulance said hey would be "transporting one patient Code 2 (no lights/siren) to UVMC." Since we haven’t heard otherwise, the snake-bit 21-year-old survived.

THE SEEMINGLY ineradicable star thistle continues its inexorable westward march from Ukiah to Boonville. Seems to me that there's more than ever on the Ukiah Road. Knowledgeable people say burning will kill it dead, but burning along 253 is unlikely because property owners would have to do it and CalTrans is not known to have focused on eradication of this reigning monarch of pest plants. I've pulled it up by the roots with some success where it appeared in small patches at my place, but just the other day I noticed another growth in another area of the ava's crowded acre.

MAGGIE VON VOGT: "The fall semester class schedule is out. We have some new classes as well as some old favorites. Registration is 8/14 and 8/15 5-7 pm. 895-2953 for more information/questions. Please spread the word."

KARAOKE! Right here in Boonville at La Cantina, Thursday nights.

MILLIONS of annual words pass into the ethers having to do with food and exercise as Americans grow fatter and fatter via the fatal combination of gluttony and sloth. I was hugely amused the other day when this diet advice from Coast blue collar guy, Al Nunez, popped up on the MCN chatline: "Stop eating meat or fish or birds, skip a few dinners, work till you sweat or not, and if not then also skip lunch and always have a good breakfast and drink plenty of water. Just seeing how long I can go without fresh kill, three-months now and the water tastes good." 

AL’S  DIETARY recommendations seem awfully eccentric, but the guy does lots of hard physical work, so if it keeps him out of motorized carts to shop at Safeway more power to him.

A FRIEND, also of ancient vintage, was reminiscing about our early years. "I don't remember any fat kids, do you?" he asked. I didn't. And neither of us could remember fat people of any age until around 1980. Mass media scenes from the 1970s rarely include the merely portly, and never the super-abundant poor creatures so plentiful today, so terribly obese that any movement at all for them is a painfully major effort. But it was in the mid-70's that bad food became the primary fuel for millions of us and movement became trips back and forth to the refrigerator during television commercials. Today, despite all the advice about what to eat and how to exercise, the obese are everywhere.

I'M IN A SEDENTARY line of work which, if I didn't exercise, would also make me a balloon man which, at a couple of intervals in my odd life, did indeed threaten to convert my relatively svelte form to energy-depleting bulk.

AND THE POINT, you garrulous old coot? Nothing in particular, but some of you fatso-watsos might find my daily regimen helpful if not positively inspirational! 

LIKE MOST GEEZERS, my hours correspond to those of the chicken coop, 9pm to 5am. Or a little earlier. Two cups of coffee and out the door for forty-five minutes of brisk walking with a cheapo Walkman-like radio for company. Listening to the highly annoying spin on the latest catastrophes from National Government Radio, via our local public radio station, quickens my pace over an average of three miles a day. A couple days a week I walk up steep hills. I used to jog every day until the habit ruined my knees. These days, my only investment in new apparel is in shoes, Hoka brand, the best I’ve ever owned.

BACK AT HEADQUARTERS, I do a hundred push-ups in two sets of 50 each. At night, I do a hundred more fifty at a time. I've done push-ups for years, ever since I was a kid in the Marines. During the day, mostly spent seated before the magic screen, to wake myself up I do a few minutes of the Chinese Thinker, also a Marine Corp legacy, which consists of the prone position balanced on toes and elbows. I've never had back probs, which I attribute to the push-ups and The Thinker. That's it. Total workout time one hour, if that, every day. Anybody can walk, and anybody can do push-ups, even starting from zero upper-body strength. The more you do, the more you can do. And you can do both without joining a gym or exercise groups.

FROM what I can gather, most people straining to keep their proportions as God intended them, go wrong by dieting, or trying to diet, without exercise. Or they do both but with an obsessive focus on calorie counting and all the rest of the Lean Cuisine strategies out there. My experience, however, recommends that you eat whatever you want but faithfully do the hour of exercise and you'll stay reasonably slim and reasonably fit.

WHY just last week I downed an apple fritter from Sunny's Donuts, my fave Ukiah pit stop, and a cream puff the size of a catcher's mitt from Schat's Bakery. At Sunny's, they throw in a half-dozen donut holes along with the deep fried fritter, for a total dining experience consisting entirely of negative food value items. I don't eat bread, don't drink much anymore, seldom eat candy, sleep the sleep of the true and the just, and I yam what I yam, your basic exercise compulsive who the gods of hubris will soon destroy for bragging about it.


  1. john ignoffo August 18, 2019

    200 pushups/daily quite impressive (especially for one’s 9th decade!). Damn those gods of hubris.

    • Bruce Anderson August 18, 2019

      I’m waiting for someone to call me out, as in, “No way.” Disbelievers welcome at one dollar per.

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