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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Here’s this month’s birthday boys and girls from among the Senior Center regulars: Joan Spears, Judy Basehore, Jim Lindsey — ‘Many Happy Returns’ to each of them!

This coming Sunday, as I hope you all know, it’s Mother’s Day, a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. Originally, in the 1870s, it was a call for women to join in support of disarmament and it did not really become a celebration of motherhood until it was made an official national holiday (2nd Sunday of May) when President Woodrow Wilson made it such in 1914. The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a “Hallmark holiday,” i.e., one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. But, for all that, it does give us an opportunity to sit back and think about how appreciative we should be of our mothers. After all, where would we be without them?

For your Quotes of the Week, here are some words of wisdom on the subject. Let’s begin with a Jewish proverb that goes, “God could not be everywhere, therefore he made mothers.” And another proverb, from Spain, “An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.” From Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the American abolitionist and author of ‘Uncle Tom's Cabin’ comes the observation, “Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” And from Honore de Balzac (1799-1850), the French novelist and playwright we have “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” It was Florida Scott-Maxwell (1883-1979), a playwright, author and psychologist who said, “No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.” I imagine quite a few of the Valley’s Moms were in her thoughts at the time she said that! And finally, from the British actress and director, Janet Suzman (1936-), comes a comment that might be appropriate around here, “Motherhood is the most emotional experience of one’s life. One joins a kind of women’s mafia.” And there’s nothing wrong with that!

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #73. As mentioned last week, this summer sees a new time for the weekly gathering of the Boonville Farmer’s Market in the parking lot of The Boonville Hotel: it’s from 10am to 12.30pm. #74. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will return to the Valley on three occasions this month — tomorrow, Thursday, May 10th and again on the 24th and 31st. They will be at the AV Farm Supply from 2-3:30pm on each occasion but have asked me to inform you that you do not have to arrive early and then wait a long time. Everyone showing up at anytime before 3.30pm will be seen. #75. There will be a fundraiser for AV Youth Football in the form of a Fish and Chips Dinner at the Senior Center on Friday, May 11th from 6 to 9pm. You get one free beer too! #76. The 16th Annual Beer Festival is this Saturday, May 12th from 1pm to 5pm. Enjoy a drink or ten, and then let someone else drive you home! #77. The next meeting of the AV School Board is at 7pm on Monday, May 14th at the Career/Family Resource Center at the High School. If you want to see if the board members are doing what they claimed they would do at election time, then come along. All are welcome. #78. And finally this week, you should be aware that the next Barn Sale is not on the last weekend of the month as is usually the case. That will be Memorial Day Weekend so the good deals and fun of the Barn Sale on AV Way are on Sat/Sun, May 19/20 instead. Oh, and in case you need further temptation, on the Saturday, Gloria Ross will be serving her “world famous” pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad; then on Sunday it’s bbq burgers and hot dogs!

Moving quickly on to a few of the topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge. Yes, it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley where people gather and share their thoughts about Valley life.

…In my humble opinion, and those of a few other regulars too, those wonderful eggs provided by the hard-working chickens at the High School Ag Dept are as tasty as any in the Valley. Apart from the shape, there is little comparison with those you get from the supermarkets! Call teacher Beth Swehla at the school to make sure she is there and has some available. 895-3496. You will be glad you did.

…Following last week’s meeting at the high school, attended by Principal Jim Tomlin, Athletic Director Robert Pinoli, High School Soccer Coach Steve Sparks, School Board member Ben Anderson, school groundsman, Mike Foucault, and representatives of the three adult soccer teams who call the Valley home — Roque Guerrero, Vidal Ferreyra, and Ysidro Pandilla, it was agreed to allow the teams to play their home games on Sunday’s at Tom Smith Field in return for a team fee ($400 each) and assurances that the field would be maintained and school rules regarding alcohol adhered to. The meeting ended with handshakes all round and hopefully it was the ‘beginning of a beautiful friendship.’

…I was pleased to be invited to the AV Theatre Guild’s after-show party that followed the final night of their splendid production of ‘Cocktails for Mimi’ presented at The Grange over the last two weekends. The champagne flowed, the euphoria of success was palpable, and the cast’s potluck was plentiful and delicious. Many cast members praised the job done by Director Marcus Magadeleno and expressed their desire to work with him again next year. I agreed with everyone and everything that was said. It was that kind of night.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series, ‘The Approach of the Apocalypse.’ Buzzard reports, “In Afghanistan in recent times, apart from the obvious stuff that makes it into the main headlines, eight people have been killed by two bombs at a dog fight in the volatile southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Dog-fighting competitions remain a popular pastime in Afghanistan for some ungodly reason. A year or so ago, at least 65 people were killed by a suicide bomb at a dog-fight, also in Kandahar. Meanwhile, a few weeks ago, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a buzkashi match in northern Afghanistan, killing at least three people. Buzkashi is a precursor of the modern game of polo, although with a difference — it is played with the body of a headless goat that is filled with sand. Nothing wrong with that of course, although the continuing suicide bombing is obviously deeply wrong. For centuries it has been clear that this is a country that wants and needs to be left alone, to practice its own customs, to enjoy its own culture — even if this means that unmarried men and women should never be alone in the same room (if that happens they must ensure a door is left open), and men and women should never touch one another under any circumstances in public. Fine. Good. Enjoy. So to lose one more life in a vain attempt to change things there is not only a clear sign of the approach of the Apocalypse, but for the loved ones of the deceased, it is the Apocalypse.”

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. You can contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. Hi, Silver Swan — behaving yourself? Hopefully not! PPPS. Hope you’re doing well, Jamal.

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