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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, I believe an apology is probably due on my behalf for the comment in last week’s column that expressed my surprise that no teachers had attended the Pop Warner Fundraiser and offered their support for the young kids’ out-of-school football program. I should point out I was not the only person to think that way but on reflection I can see that the teachers are on their long break from the ‘little buggers’ (my description, not theirs) and they’ll be around them soon enough — school starting very early this year on Monday, August 15th. I’m sure they will be see plenty of them after that date both in school and at the many extra-curricular school activities that I assume our teachers are involved in. My comment was unnecessary and I apologize.

Moving on. What better place to start, given the comments above, than a Quote or two of the Week with the teaching profession in mind? First up is this compliment from Robert G. Ingersoll, a Civil War veteran, American political leader, and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, who said “One good schoolmaster is worth a thousand priests” — not much doubting that these days, eh? Then we have the following phrase from George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, Nobel Prize winner for literature, and commentator on education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege, who commented, “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches,” Oh, come on, surely a teacher must have a good sense of humor!

Public Service Announcements. #89: The vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be in the Valley once more this month, tomorrow, Thursday July 28th, at the usual venue — The AV Farm Supply, north of Philo on Hwy 128, from 2-3:30pm. And while you’re there why not support our local Farm Supply with a purchase or two? Without them there’s no vet visit. #90. A very special evening is planned to benefit the Senior Center this Friday, July 29th at 7pm. This is the first in a series of Guest Chef Dinners and Tom Rodrigues of Maple Creek Winery in Yorkville will be serving a special rotisserie-style Roast Pork dinner with some fresh and delicious side dishes, using local ingredients, plus dessert and wine. Seating will be limited to 60 guests and tickets are selling fast, so call the Senior Center (895-3609) for further details or get your tickets from Laughing Dog Books in Boonville. #91: It’s the final weekend of the month so that means time for another Barn Sale. As always it takes place at The St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way just north of Boonville, from 9am to 3pm on both Saturday and Sunday, July 30th and 31st. #92: Live music scene returns to the Navarro Store Amphitheatre among the giant redwoods for excellent shows on August 6th and 13th. On the 6th it’s the legendary (and I mean legendary — check out his bio) American blues-harp player Charlie Musslewhite (at 7pm) with the Steven Bates Band opening at 5pm. Then a week later it’s the always popular ‘House of Floyd’ — the Pink Floyd tribute band with laser light show. With beer and wine available at very reasonable prices from The Store, Pablo doing his ‘magic’ on the grill, and assuming you like the blues-harp and/or Floyd, these are two Valley happenings that are as good as it gets. #93: Finally this week, here’s an early heads-up that on Sunday, August 14th, it’s the annual Lions Club BBQ to benefit the AV Volunteer Ambulance Service at The Fairgrounds from 4.30pm to 7.30pm — certainly one for your calendars, I’d suggest. More details to follow.

A couple of the 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.

…I was out of the Valley so failed to attend ‘The Not-So-Simple Living Fair’ that took place here over this past weekend. This event dates back to the 70s when it was called ‘The Simple Living Fair’ and, according to some regulars, I missed a good event that was quite well attended. However, these regulars said a simple Turkey Vulture like myself, who just flies around all day looking for food and sleeps among the high rocks under the stars at night, would not have enjoyed it. I guess that means I won’t be going in 2012 either because that’s when the event is to be called ‘The Complicated Living Fair.’

…A former schoolteacher dropped by The 3-Dot and confirmed the vicious rumor that school starts on Monday, August 15th! That’s very early — but it does mean that the teachers will get a paycheck at the end of that month and not have to wait for wages until the end of September, as they have had to in previous years. Of course, as a result, this means they will be able to afford tickets to attend September’s County Fair and with their attendance I therefore envisage longer lines for rides on the Wheel of Fire and The Zipper, along with record sales of corn dogs and curly fries.

…Mark ‘The Major’ Scaramella, senior contributor to this esteemed organ of the press, tells me he was on the winning team last week at The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. Needless to say, my top investigative reporters are working round the clock to confirm this, particularly as The Major claims his teammates were the following trio of unlikely ‘Quizlies’ — Alan the English pig farmer, Nikola the Serbian handyman, and Marcus the Hispanic bartender — sounds like there’s a joke in there somewhere.

And here it is: “Three friends, having won the quiz, go out for a few celebratory beers. Marcus sits down and says, “Hey Señor, I would like the world’s best beer, a Corona.” Nikola sits alongside him and says, “No, I’d like the best beer in the world, give me a Jelen Pilsner from Serbia.” Alan sits down and says, “Give me a Coke, please.” The bartender is a little taken aback, but gives him what he ordered. The other guys look over at Alan and ask, "Why aren’t you drinking a Bass Ale? Alan replies, “Well, I figured if you guys aren’t drinking beer, neither would I.”

I’m outtahere. With the hot weather almost with us, please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; children too I suppose. Otherwise, Keep the Faith; 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 by at

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