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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. I hope your Labor Day weekend was enjoyable and, while it symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events, hopefully many of you also remembered to take a moment to reflect on its real purpose as a celebration of the economic and social contributions of workers.

With this in mind, for your Quote(s) of the Week, let’s start with British comedian and former Monty Python member, John Cleese, who in a serious moment said, “If you want creative workers give them enough time to play.” And what about this from Walter Gilbey (1935-?), a British politician and entrepreneur, who from experience commented, “The employer generally gets the employees he or she deserves.” And of course I have to include this classic from our almost weekly contributor to this section of the column, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the Irish writer, poet, and wit, who wisely observed, “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #235. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital continue to make regular visits to the Valley and they will be here twice in the month of September. Their next visit is tomorrow, Thursday, Sep. 6 when they will be at the AV Farm Supply from 2-3:30pm and again on Sept 20. #236. Next week sees the second Tuesday of the month and that means ‘Dinner and Bingo Night’ at the Senior Center. That will be Sept 11. Dinner is served at 6pm with bingo immediately following. #237. This month’s Chamber of Commerce Mixer is at the AV Historical Society’s Little Red Schoolhouse at 5.15pm on Wednesday, Sept 12. Call 895-2379 for further details. #238. I’m sure almost everyone must know, but just in case some cave-dwellers have not surfaced in recent weeks, the County Fair is taking place in Boonville over the weekend of Sept 14, 15, and 16. #239. An early heads-up for an Elder Home benefit dinner at Libby's Restaurant in Philo on Sunday, September 30. One for your calendar.

Topics and Valley events 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.

…On a recount, the number of winery tasting rooms in Anderson Valley, between “downtown” Yorkville and Navarro, was put at 29, not 27. Now, with the closure of the Standish Winery tasting room on Highway 128, the current count of such businesses in the Valley slips to 28. However, I do believe, based on reliable information, that two more are on the way. Yes, folks, we’ll soon hit 30 and so, with drive-time included, on a three-day weekend with 11am to 6pm opening hours on each day, you would have about 30 minutes in each one. Who wants to join me?

…Following the compilation of the results from the 2010 census, new signs at each end of Philo depicting the town’s population and altitude have finally been installed. Regulars at The 3-Dot were shocked, and in some cases downright scared, that this new figure was 349. Philo’s population on the previous sign based on the 2000 Census had been 1098. This means that 749 people have “disappeared” from Philo in ten years. Who or what is responsible for this? Aliens? Zombies? Angry Villagers? Pig-feeders? What is being done about it? Does anyone miss them? Is anyone looking for them? I think we should be told.

…Fellow AVA contributor, Bruce McEwen, has left the Valley – for the time being at least. Certain people in the hospitality business may say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” and even some regulars at The 3-Dot may concur — but not me. BMac is/was a ‘character’ and one capable of fine banter at times. However, when the ‘demon drink’ took its hold he could turn quickly and become quite belligerent, rarely physically but certainly verbally. I wish him well and hope our paths will cross again at some point. One gambling man has already suggested he’ll be back in a week or so, his new domain Garberville being the home of too many of those rural hippies and p.c. extremists he would have little time for. The betting line has him back in the Valley in time for our usual shared stint together at the AVA booth on the Sunday afternoon at the County Fair?! First one’s on me, Bruce.

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series, “The Approach of the Apocalypse.” Buzzard reports, “On my travels through the Valley recently I stopped by at a local store and witnessed the following interchange. A customer had just walked out forgetting a bag of his purchases and upon his return to collect this from the clearly amused cashier he sheepishly said, “And I’m not even stoned.” The next customer in line, with a wide grin on her face, said “I’m not stoned either.” At which point the cashier commented, “Well, neither am I.” Now, while this is obviously not a sign of the Apocalypse’s approach, it is certainly a sign of our times and a undoubtedly an accurate slice of Valley life for some folks.

Time to take my leave. Until we talk again, Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; 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. Keep on wagging that tail, Fred.

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