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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. ‘Shine’ Tuttle, at 96, was the Valley's oldest resident at the time of his recent passing. Harold Perry, currently 95, now has that honor. Harold is followed by Freda Fox, who will be 94 next month, and then Ross Murray, who turns 94 later this year. I think that’s it for our nonagenarians but I am well aware of several Valley folks in their mid- to late-80s, including Ray Pinoli, Emil Rossi, and Donna Reilly. Two former full-time Valley residents, who are nonagenarians and who spent many years living in the Valley, are Clyde Price Jr. and Ben Van Zandt. They are 91 and 90 respectively and were both here in the Valley last week as guest panel members for the AV Historical Society’s Roundtable Discussion at The Grange, at which the topic was ‘Anderson Valley in the 1930’s and 1940s’ — a time that these two gentlemen showed they have many fond memories of.

Moving inevitably on. I would humbly suggest that around these parts I am among the more outspoken supporters, and there are many, of Deputy Sheriff Craig Walker and the wonderful work he has done since he arrived here in the Valley back in late 2008. Enforcing the law in a community where you live, and are on first name terms with so many of the residents, is not an easy thing to do and Walker has adapted to the challenge with remarkable skill on both a professional and personal level, reaching out and connecting with each of the communities in this rural melting pot. However, as the old Latin proverb goes, ‘Even Homer nods’ — meaning that even the great ones make mistakes. Yes, folks, I have to report that our venerable deputy has made a faux pas! This occurred a couple of weeks ago when at 12:15am on the morning of Sunday, February 5th, with not another car on the road, he pulled over one of the Valley’s finest citizens and the organizer of that same evening’s magnificent Crab Feed event at the Apple Hall in town — Gloria Ross, aka ‘the Bishop of Boonville,’ who was approaching her home on AV Way in Boonville. Craig, along with his lovely wife Marissa, had attended that very event a few hours earlier and was observed by yours truly devouring crab like there was no tomorrow; clearly having the time of his life, although he was sipping coffee not wine so it couldn’t have been that great. But I digress.

Anyway, while not quite the same ‘cardinal sin’ as pulling over his own boss, Sheriff Allman or the DA, David Eyster, turning on the red and blue lights behind the saintly Gloria because she had her vehicle’s ‘brights’ on in town, an offense that I suspect many are unaware of, was not a good move on the part of the good Deputy. He assumed he was following a drunk driver who had not realized their full headlights were on. But on discovering just who it was, a simple verbal warning was given and no ticket issued to a quite shocked Gloria who in turn, being the forgiving-kind, decided not report this to any ‘higher power.’ As a result there is little doubt that Craig’s position in heaven is still assured. However, there are limits, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that the price he has to pay to attend next year’s Crab Feed will be at least doubled! After all, as it says in the Bible, Exodus Chapter 21, Verse 23-25, “a life for life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a very expensive crab feed ticket for the threat of a driving ticket.” And here endeth today’s lesson on the concept of social and reciprocal justice.

And so not surprisingly, for your Quotes of the Week, we turn to some words of wisdom referring to law enforcement. First up it’s this rather skeptical, yet amusing, view from Brendan Behan (1923-1964), the Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright, who said, “I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.” Then there is this from French novelist Charles-Louis Philippe (1874-1909) who interestingly remarked, “One always has the air of someone who is lying when one speaks to a policeman.” This is not the case when talking to Deputy Walker, for most of us anyway! And finally, from Robert F. Kennedy, there were these words that perhaps sum up the excellent law enforcement that we have here in the Valley, “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists upon.” Keep up the good work, Craig!

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #174. They’re back! I’m referring to the delicious, freshly laid eggs courtesy of the hens at the high school. Ag teacher, Beth Swehla advises ‘Come by and get some or call the classroom at 895-2514. $3.50 a dozen. We also have six Buff Orpington x French Copper Maran cockerels (young males) that are looking for new homes. They are quite big. We would like $10 each, but make us an offer.’ #175. Next Tuesday, Feb 28th, at the 6pm dinner served at the Senior Center, not only will there be a fine feast available, but also it’s time for the Seniors to vote for their Board members. If you are a senior and want to use your vote, you must be there. #176. Just around the corner, the 21st Annual Variety Show is coming up in a few weeks, March 9th and 10th to be precise, at The Grange on Hwy 128. Call 895-3580 to sign up; you don’t have to be a musician to do so! #177. The fight to keep open the Valley treasure Hendy Woods continues and this week sees the publication of the very first newsletter from the group led by Kathy Bailey that is working so hard to ensure that their goal is attained. Their website is at and the Facebook page is ‘Hendy Woods: Keep it Open.’ The next big fundraising event is a BBQ in April at the Navarro Winery and Vineyards. I’ll keep you posted. #178. In the more distant future, is this year’s PawFest 2012 that will take place on Sunday, July 15th at the AV Brewery to benefit the invaluable AV Animal Rescue organization. I know it’s very early but I thought I’d get it on your calendars now so that you don’t miss this excellent event. After all, along with the usual bbq and live music etc., you’d no doubt hate to miss this year’s carcass-eating display by some cousins of mine — think ‘very exciting hot dog eating contest with some extra bite’!

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

…Regulars inform me that there was no General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz at Lauren’s this past week. They have gone to every 2nd and 4th Thursdays until May (so there will a quiz on Thursday, Feb 23rd). Unfortunately, rumors that clearly confused ‘Quizlies’ were seen around town, in an agitated state, sharing various facts and trivia to whomever would listen, are proving to be true.

…Regarding the controversial Valley events that originally surfaced during ‘Black January,’ there is not much to report at this time. The Boonville Saloon (formerly The Lodge) remains closed with little information regarding its future being shared, although a couple of local folks have expressed interest in buying the license. The whole ‘Johnny, Roger, Melinda, & Farrer Building v ’All that Good Stuff’ local store’ episode appears to have calmed down for now, although when the business finally closes its door at its current location in the ‘almost human’ Farrer Building expect to see a ‘little gathering’ of some sort. The High School ‘Fight Club’ incident, resulting in the recent lunchtime lockdown, has now been overshadowed by the possible expulsion of a senior following a fight with another student — an issue that is causing quite an uproar with student protests, lawyers, petitions, and special sessions for the School Board all being involved. And finally, a 3-Dot regular with a friend close to the investigation into the alleged financial irregularities within the Parent/Teacher organization remarked that in his opinion the ‘irregularities’ will be satisfactorily explained by careless accounting methods rather than any calculated crime and that the ‘accused’ will then have some serious grievances against those who would seem to have failed miserably to follow a basic rule of law — ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ We shall no doubt find out.

…The Old Buzzard has nothing to depict the ‘Approach of the Apocalypse’ this week, unless of course you feel that a second term for President Obama is a bad thing. He reports, “My good friend Leah the Lark was on the guest list for last week’s $38,500 per head fundraiser dinner at the home of Robert Mailer Anderson and Nicola Miner, in honor of the special guest, President Obama. The Prez did not join in on the song “Let's Stay Together” with legendary soul singer Al Green but, after shooting a few hoops on Robert’s basketball court, he did speak Malay with Ling Anderson, Robert’s aunt and the wife of AVA Supremo Bruce Anderson. Other musical guests were Booker T. (of the MG’S) and Anderson’s good friend and harmonica genius Charlie Musselwhite. As for the basketball, Obama doffed his jacket after missing his first shot and then he got serious. “By facial expression.” said Anderson, “he let me know he was clearly a formidable opponent on and off the court,” and that “I could trust him hitting the clutch shot when it counted.” Even with home-court advantage, Anderson lost “fair and square,” he said. Following the evening’s activities, the hosts all agreed, Obama is “just like a regular guy.”

I’m outtahere. 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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