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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. And while it is a little late, I’m sure the sentiments still apply when I pass on the best wishes for many happy returns on the Birthdays of these Valley folks, who all will enjoy their special day in January: Shirley Hulbert, Jim Nickless, Vicky Center, Gene Walker, Eva Johnson, Sue Davis, Patrick Ford, and Maureen Bowman.

This past Saturday night saw the first of the Valley’s two Crab Feed gatherings, arguably the best “pure” Valley events of the year in the sense that the vast majority of those who attend are from across the wide spectrum of Valley folks. This one benefited the AV Senior Center and with a turnout of over 250, a very brisk business at the bar, and the sale of many raffle tickets, I’m sure that the Center will be most grateful for the community’s very generous support. So many people come together to put together an event of this size, from the Senior Center Board led by the effervescent and tireless Sheri Hansen, to the many volunteers on the night, including the very capable wait staff from the AV High School cheerleading and football teams, led by coaches Keri Sanchez and John Toohey, to Harold Hulbert, who organized the crab, and of course the various donating wineries and the AV Brewery, plus the local folks and small businesses who provided raffle prizes. With Dean Titus and fellow musicians Craig Titus, Chris Rossi, Brian Wood, and talented singer Susan Clark, providing both background and dance music, the atmosphere was wonderful and it was a joy to be a part of such a special event. Well done to one and all!

That’s enough “gushing” for this curmudgeonly Turkey Vulture. Let’s move on to the Quote of the Week and share with you some words on the continuing major talking point about around here – the weather. As you read this, hopefully the rain is pouring down outside because, as everyone will readily let you know — we need it! Here’s a good one from Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900), the American essayist, novelist, and friend of Mark Twain, who very perceptively said, “Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” And if it really does come down in torrents this week, let’s hope it’s not too much all at once so that we have to recall William Shakespeare’s great line, one used by myself often in the company of Hummingbird, “’Tis a naughty night to be naked in.”

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #422: Crab Feed tickets are still available for the second of our two crab feeds but it is anticipated they will sell out once again. This is the “Original” Crab Feed that will be held on Saturday, February 4th for which you can get tickets by calling Gloria Ross at 895-3071. Just like the “feed” this past weekend, it is to be held at The Apple Hall in Boonville and, as I’ve said many times, together with the similar Senior Center event this is one of the best Valley gatherings of the year. #423: The vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital return for a second January visit to the Valley next Thursday, January 26th. They will be at The AV Farm Supply from 2pm-3.30pm. #424: Coming up is the 6th Annual AV Film Festival that will take place at The Grange on Friday/Saturday, January 27th-28th. The program is as eclectic as ever with some excellent documentaries, a film for all the family on the Saturday night, and the usual assortment of socially aware and environmental films, plus the recent work of the AVHS Film Class. All the details can be found on the Festival website .

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

…Raised eyebrows, comments of incredulity, and questions as to the man’s sanity, were all in evidence in the 3-Dot upon hearing that dedicated newspaperman, Bruce Anderson of the AVA, last weekend declined an invitation to the 49er play-off game against the Saints. It was not just a regular invitation though. Let Bruce explain” “Such is my commitment to an unfettered press, I turned down my nephew Robert Mailer Anderson’s conditional offer to watch Saturday's playoff game from the owner's box. He said I was invited but I couldn't write about the experience. So, with a heavy heart, I declined.” I must say that this was an amazing act of sports martyrdom, which modesty no doubt forbade the esteemed editor from mentioning in his column. Obviously most of our regulars at the 3-Dot just thought the man had taken too much of his medication to turn down such an offer, but hoped he was able to watch this fantastic game, that saw the 49ers gain a famous victory, from the comfort of his luxurious leather Barcalounger, the Presidential model obviously.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series, “The Approach of the Apocalypse.” Buzzard reports, “It’s quiet around here. Following a relatively slow holiday period, from the point of view of our local small businesses, the first couple of weeks of 2012 have not been great either. January is always a little slow but February and March generally slower. With that in mind I encourage the community to support your local businesses even more than ever at this time of year and, if you have a choice, put your hard-earned dollars back into the Valley before you think about ‘going over the hill’ to Ukiah. It would be very disappointing, although perhaps not entirely shocking given the current financial climate, if anyone had to close-up shop but hopefully with us all pulling together and thinking locally, this will not happen. If it did, I would have to see it as yet another sign that the Apocalypse is fast approaching.”

After this emotional rollercoaster of a column, now I think it’s time to take my leave. Until we talk again, 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 either through the Letters Page or at, PPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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