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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Let’s start with these October Birthdays that are being celebrated in the Valley. ‘Many Happy Returns’ to Jo Gowan, Sheri Hansen, and Bobbie Tucker. And of course there is also the AVA’s Major Contributor, Mark Scaramella, who on October 4th reached an age somewhere between 50 and 104. I was fortunate enough to attend his extravagant celebration held at the General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz that evening at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville which saw the former Captain guzzle down an unknown number of beers before wallowing in the adoration as the 43 people at the Quiz sang “Happy Birthday.” This hedonistic display culminated in him confidently blowing out the candle on his “cake” before waving people away devouring it like he hadn’t eaten for a week.

“The former Captain?” I hear you ask. Absolutely, and the Quiz's final question of the night was, “Which one of the following positions was once held by “Birthday Boy” Mark Scaramella? Captain in the Coast Guard; Captain on a Cruise Ship; Captain in the Air Force; Captain in the Fire Service; or Captain on his high school chess team?”

Of the ten teams competing, four got this right — he was a Captain in the Air Force. The same number thought he was the school chess team captain. Oddly, nobody chose the Cruise Ship option. Following more wildness, Mark finally scuttled out of the restaurant at about 9:15pm after his team, that included the brilliant Muriel Ellis, the competitive Terry Ryder, the brilliant, competitive, and lovely Anne Fashauer, the delightful Robyn Spector, and Ms. Spector’s pleasant significant other, had won by one point. Clearly the evening could not have been better for the “guest of honor” and I would suggest it was one of the greatest nights of his life — certainly since his days in the Air Force.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #364. Don’t forget, Valley dwellers, if memory serves me right, PG&E is turning of the power for many of you from 9pm this coming Saturday evening until about 8 o’clock the next morning. #365: The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital continue to make regular visits to the Valley and they return here tomorrow, Thursday, Oct 11, when they will be at The AV Farm Supply from 2-3.30pm. If you are a previous client you can call them 48 hours in advance (462-8833) to ensure that your pet’s charts are brought over the hill and also order any medications your pet might need. New customers and their pets are always welcome. They will be back in the Valley on Thursday, Oct. 25. #366: This weekend sees the AV High sports teams in action to celebrate 2012 Homecoming. On Friday, Oct 12, at The Fairgrounds, it’s JV Football at 3:30pm, then the Varsity at 5:30pm, both playing against the ‘hated’, or perhaps the ‘very much disliked,’ Mendocino Cardinals, and finally, under the lights at 7:30pm, it’s the Boys Soccer team playing against arguably the league’s best team, Roseland University Prep from Santa Rosa. #367: The Hendy Woods Jamboree takes place on Saturday, Oct 13 and will feature a campfire sing-a-long with Patty Liddy, a pot luck dinner, and overnight camping. Call Janet Anderson at 895-2575 for further details. #368: It’s that time of year again! The U-Pick Pumpkins and Wagon Rides will be at Gowan’s Oak Tree and Fruit Stand for two consecutive weekends, 11-4 on Saturdays and Sundays, Oct 13/14 and 20/21. #369: The final Guest Chef Dinner of the year, benefiting the AV Senior Center, is on Friday, Oct 19 when the Guest Chef will be the AV Brewery’s Fal Allen and friends. Fal will serve Wild Pork Sausage, Beer-steeped Sauerkraut, German-style warm Potato Salad with bacon and onions, and for dessert it’s German Chocolate Cake made by Fraulein Loretta Houckuchen. This event will sell out. Call 895-3609 for details.

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

…To those of you who think being the County Sheriff is all glamour — you may be right! I spoke with Sheriff Tom Allman on Saturday morning but he had little time to pick my brain for any insights as he was rushing off to judge at The World Championship Abalone Cook-Off in Fort Bragg before playing his tuba in a polka band at an Oktoberfest Celebration in the afternoon. It gets better… On Sunday lunchtime he was the bbq cook at a Public Safety Foundation Fundraiser before later in the day heading to Laytonville where he performed as the auctioneer at a fundraiser for the Humane Society. Lots of food and music, all while helping the animals — nice work if you can get it!...

…The Valley’s top men’s soccer team, Valladolid, won their league championship for the fifth time in eight years last Sunday when they defeated Fetzer 5-4 in Ukiah. The post-game celebration and season-ending awards event held at the A.V. Senior Center was a wonderful affair featuring delicious goat stew, lots of Modelo Especial cerveza, and some very funny and frequently moving speeches expressing the love and team spirit that this team clearly holds for each other, their families and their fans. It was a very special and memorable time…

…I am indebted to Eva Johnson for pointing out that there was no County Fair in the War years, from1942 to 1945. As a result we actually just celebrated the 82nd, not the 86th as previously stated — good to know!...

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. Contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or at PPS. Hi, Silver Swan — behaving yourself? Hopefully not! PPPS. Keep on wagging that tail, Fred.

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