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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Like many other folks around here, and in places not that far beyond, today is a Monday for recovering following two of the biggest events of 2013 — and it’s only February 4th! As a result this will be an abbreviated column, to the delight of some, I’m sure!

Let’s start with the Valley’s big social event that took place last Saturday night: “The Original Crab Feed.” This event has been produced by Gloria Ross and her crew for about ten years now, and by all accounts, including my own, it just keeps getting better and better. The capacity of over 325 tickets was sold out a week in advance and there were many disappointed crab lovers on a waiting list for any cancellations. As always, the food was very good and plentiful, although some folks did find the crab a little too salty for their liking. Many did not. There were many kudos for the other dishes, the garlic French bread in particular; the raffle was a huge success, and not just because the Priest did not win any prizes this year; I’m sure the auctioneer could surely have got more money for the Giants and 49er blankets/wraps from his brief appearance; the beer, wine, and margaritas flowed until after 10.30pm at which point the gibberish being spoken was quite significant; and one particularly impressive thing about the whole evening, commented on by many guests, was the really excellent job done by the wait staff, recruited from Terry Rhodes’ high school food service class. As someone who not only worked in the service industry for many years, but who also now spends most of my social life enjoying the fruits of other’s labors in the bar and restaurant field, I was very impressed indeed by the performance of the waiters and waitresses. On an evening when deserving praise should be spread among many people, this group of high school students should certainly receive a special mention. (PS. These comments are not in any way influenced by the fact that, in terms of crab and wine, the wait staff seemed to favor the table at which I was seated.)

But I digress. With the servers in mind, here are a couple of comments on the “art” of service for your Quotes of the Week. From winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), let’s have, “To serve is beautiful; but only if it is done with joy, and a whole heart and a free mind.” It seemed as if the students certainly met those criteria. And this from Spanish prose writer, Baltasar Gracian, who wisely commented, “To oblige persons often costs little and helps much.”

As for the other huge event – the Super Bowl, I would apologize to those who, after listening to my advice, placed wagers on the 49ers to win but I assume nobody did such a thing, as it would have been illegal. On reflection, through the blur of Sunday afternoon and evening, I cannot help but feel that the local team somewhat beat themselves, particularly with silly penalties and turnovers in the first half; the poor effort on the second half kick-off that was returned 109 yards for a touchdown (and therefore provided the points that ultimately gave Baltimore the victory), and the four ineffective plays from the Ravens’ five-yard line with less than two minutes to play, and a game winning touchdown needed that resulted in nothing. It was very disappointing result indeed and one that will not easily be put aside for Niner fans in the Valley and beyond. Most Raider fans will no doubt be quite happy, some probably deliriously so, which is strange given their many recent seasons of futility. However, such is the prevalence of Schadenfreude among sports fans that this is entirely understandable. I’d feel the same if the Raiders were in the 49ers situation, which is highly unlikely any time soon, of course.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #214. The Art in the Cellar event at Handley Cellars on Hwy 128 takes place this Friday thru’ Sunday, Feb 8-10, from 11am-4pm each day. The event features wine, food, art and music, and is a part of the AV Alsace Varietals Festival happening all over the Valley this weekend. Call 895-9643 for further details. #215. The Vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will visit the Farm Supply in the Valley on two occasions later this month, Thursdays, Feb 21 and 28. #216. A Fiesta Celebration sponsored by the Anderson Valley Adult School on February 23 at The Apple Hall from 5-10pm. Celebrate our adult school and all those who because of it have become citizens. The Big Band, actually a class of the Adult School, will play as well as a Latin Band for live swing and cumbia dancing, plus Salsa lessons by Kevin. There will be a fresh taco dinner 5:30-7, a salsa competition, and children's activities! Tickets are $10 per person or $25 a family and can be purchased in Boonville at All That Good Stuff, Boont Berry and AV Market, plus Lemons’ Market in Philo.

The menu for next week at the Senior Center. (The Center asks for a $5 donation from Seniors and $7 for Non-Seniors for lunches, and $6 and $8 respectively for the evening meals.) On Thursday, Feb 7 the lunch, always served at 12.15pm, will be Jared’s Clam Chowder, French Bread, Broccoli Salad, Wheat Berry Salad, Apple Mint Salad, Banana Pudding. Next Tuesday evening, Feb 12, at 6pm, Marti Titus and her crew serve a dinner of Chicken Diana, Potluck Potatoes, butternut Squash, Raspberry Gelatin Salad, Kasha & Beef Salad, Pineapple Upside-down Cake, a feast that will be followed by Bingo at 7pm. Hope to see you there.

Time to take my leave, so 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. Bobwhite Quail: keep up the knitting! PPPS. Skylark, read any good books lately?

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