Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. The early reports on attendance at this year’s County Fair in the Valley were encouraging and Fair Manager Jim Brown thinks it will be better overall than two years ago, last year not being a good comparison and numbers were low to inclement weather. Meanwhile, how about a few brief Vulture-esque observations on this year’s event?
Friday night saw the High School Homecoming activities take place with a big win for boys soccer against Mendocino and narrow defeats for girls soccer (against Calistoga) and the football team, who went down to Point Arena in a game they perhaps should have won, after holding a half-time lead and spurning many second half chances.
This year’s Homecoming King and Queen were Irving Jimenez and Mariela Espinoza, and hard-working elementary school secretary, Nicole McClain, won the $4200 in the 50/50 raffle! I can only assume she’ll get me a beer next time I see her at The Buckhorn. Surely it would be rude of her not to. I decided to save my ‘Corn dog experience’ until late on Saturday, just before I would leave for the cozy confines of my own bathroom, and went instead for the cheeseburger at the Ambulance concession stand. Very good, I must say. Many, many familiar faces were assembled in the alumni section of the grandstand for the games and I never did make it down to the rides and exhibition halls, although word did reach me that Cindy Hollinger’s garden installation had won the first prize. ‘Way to go, girl!’ as they say. Anyway, I ate, drank a little, and was merry, but left the scene at about 9.30pm and headed for The Nest in anticipation of a very busy Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon I found myself hovering around the Lions Club beer booth as Hummingbird toiled away behind the bar. This is probably as good a spot as any to see many of my favorite Valley folks and three of them, Amy Bloyd, son Eric, and daughter Mea, regaled me with news that Mea had won first prize for her Jar of Cookies, second for her Carrot Cake, and third for her Apple crumble! Meanwhile Eric had won the first prize in the scarecrow competition with his very scary depiction of deceased stepfather, Richard Reitz, a former Fairgrounds employee. Eric reminded me that last year his scarecrow based on his mother had also claimed the top prize! I also thoroughly enjoyed my time with Bill and Eva Holcomb and after discussions with several other old-timers it was discovered that Eva has the record for most Fairs attended: SEVENTY-THREE! She has not missed one since first attending as a four year old in 1938. Surely at this point Eva eats, drinks, and goes on as many rides as she likes — all for free?! Talking of rides, Saturday’s joyous mood was brought crashing down when I discovered that there were no bumper cars this year. A Fair without bumper cars is just not right and a full inquiry into this grievous error is being held as I write. With Hummingbird in charge of transport, I was able to have several beers before enjoying Saturday’s culinary highpoint found at the sausages and curly fries stand, run once again very efficiently by the always friendly and hospitable Dwayne. Therefore I delayed my Corn dog exploits for a another 24 hours.
Sunday saw a very sluggish start up at The Nest and the sheep dog trials and parade were missed, not for the first time, it has to be said. However, I did get there by about 2pm and took over the AVA booth from the overworked Bruce McEwen. Over the next three hours I was visited by many people and even sold several t-shirts, books, and newspapers subscriptions. The visitors included Supervisor Dan Hamburg, explaining that his daughter’s planned medical marijuana dispensary in town was not providing anything near as harmful as the hard liquor stocked by the nearby AV Market and Pick ‘N Pay establishments. Somewhat true, I guess; Cory Morse — Valley caterer bar none; ‘Young’ George Gowan who didn’t buy a t-shirt; Mark Pittner, Valley carpenter and proud new owner of an impressive red-on-black AVA t-shirt; an Englishman who got me a beer but then ‘passed wind’ in the booth as if I had to pay some sort of compensation for his kind gesture. (Odd people, the English); Tim Bates, who like the smelly Englishman also bought me a beer but was very pleasant about it; Dennis Busse, yet another kind man who went to the beer stand on my behalf; Tamara Karsay, carrying her three-week old granddaughter and seven goldfish she had bought from a stall and was going to keep in her luxury fish tank and thus rescue from the certain death that befalls so many that are won as prizes; Karen Ottobani, who shares many of my thoughts about Valley life; Bill Harper – likewise; Pearl Basehore and husband Scott who were very generous with the curly fries; and a very attractive woman from Comptche who had never read the paper but who was going to start doing so after listening to my spiel! I had a wonderful time and left with a 5-inch corn dog – which was delicious and had no after-affects! I love the Fair!
Public Service Announcements… #103: It’s the final weekend of the month and that means it’s 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, Sept 24th/25th; and the bbq grill will be operating on both days! #104: Due to a shortage of staff there will be no visit by the vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital this month; sad but true. Even more disappointing news is that at this point in time there are no plans for a visit in October either. We have gone from two visits a month to zero. Clearly not a satisfactory situation for anybody. I’ll keep you posted. #105: The cooler weather is approaching and your flu shots are due. These are being offered at the AV Senior Center in Boonville, sponsored by Rite Aid Pharmacy, on Tuesday, Sept 27th from 4-6.30pm. Appointments are not necessary and you can call 895-3609 for further details. #106: The next Guest Chef Dinner to benefit the Senior Center will take place on Friday, Sept 30th, when chef Cory Morse will be serving Garden marinated salad and, using Janie Morse’s (of Philo’s Janie’s Place fame) secret recipe, her Famous Pan Fried buttermilk chicken, Rosemary Pesto, Red Potatoes, Fire Roasted Corn, Crunch Top Apple Pie a la mode (i.e., with ice cream), all with a complimentary glass of wine. Dinner is served at 7pm and seating will be limited to 60 guests. Beer and wine will be available 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. And remember: you just can’t get traditional and real fried chicken like this anywhere these days.
I’m almost outtahere. But first a reminder that with the hot weather still 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org .