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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. So there is a new Royal Baby! An event that was part historical “happening,” part nativity play, part soap opera, and one that was greeted with hearty congratulations from leading politicians and dignitaries the world over, including Iran, Russia, Scottish nationalists, and royal-watching Valley folks. With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, third in line to the British throne, as someone with “special connections” to The Palace, I feel the need to actually put into perspective what this means.

Elizabeth II is moving steadfastly towards the “record” held by Queen Victoria (63 years on the throne), which “Liz” will reach in 2017, after her 90th birthday. At that point, the first in line, Prince Charles, will have been waiting for his “promotion” far longer than any previous heir in history, a mark he actually passes in a few weeks time. Charles is currently 64, so his son, Prince William, second in line, will probably be well in his late-50s when he gets to sit on the throne, around 2040. Therefore, barring disease, accident, or another ill-judged attempt to rule the “Empire” without Parliament (Charles I was beheaded for such an egregious error in 1649), the royal baby may finally be crowned George VII sometime around 2070, when he is in his mid-fifties. You will be pleased to know that I have already started on plans for a party to celebrate George’s Royal Accession, a spectacular affair to which all regular readers are invited.

On an almost as important issue, President of the Anderson Valley Historical Society, Sheri Hansen, writes, “Our local museum gem known as The Little Red Schoolhouse will no longer be open on Fridays due to a shortage of available docents. We are hoping this is a temporary situation. If you know anyone that can work a three-hour docent shift once a month, please call Bob & Sandra Nimmons 895-9020.”

The AV Historical Museum at The Little Red Schoolhouse opposite the Elementary School on AV Way is now open on just Saturday, and Sunday afternoons from 1-4pm. I encourage local folks to check it out. It really is very impressive and I guarantee you will learn something you didn’t know about the Valley if you do. You might even feel like offering a little of your time to help on those Fridays once a month. As I’ve said before, and I haven’t heard differently from anyone, it’s the best little museum in the West and it is a crying shame that its hours of operation have been cut back.

That provides a decent segue to the fact that Volunteerism seems to be a frequent topic of discussion in these parts. So, for your Quote of the Week, here are some fine examples of what some wise people have said about this worthy pastime. From Margaret Mead (1902-1978), the cultural anthropologist, we have, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” And there is this simple but insightful thought from Lily Tomlin (1939-?), the American actress, comedian, writer, and producer. “I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” Muhammad Ali (1942-?), generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history and highly regarded by many for his thoughts on religious freedom and racial matters, provides us with, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” And the observation “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve,” comes from Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), the philosopher, physician, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Finally, I leave it with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948). “Mahatma” to most of us, to sum it all up with his comment, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Public Service Announcements; calendars and pens at the ready. #379. Remember when the movie crews came to the Valley last summer? Well the “fruits of their labors” are now complete and we get the chance to see the “world premier” of “Goodbye World,” presented as a fundraiser for the AV Education Foundation. This event is this coming Friday, August 2 at The Grange on Hwy 128. Doors open at 5.30pm for a social hour featuring a variety of small plates along with beer, wine, and soft drinks. The movie is shown at 7pm with a Q&A afterwards (about 8.30pm) with the film’s director, Denis Henley. Tickets are $15 per adult and $7 for children 17 and under and are available at Laughing Dog Books, All That Good Stuff, and Lemon's Market. Funds raised from the event will help support the Education Foundation's three primary activities: Summer Internships, Scholarships and Grants. #380. The monthly Barn Sale returns on Sat/Sun, Aug 3 and 4, at The Big Barn on AV Way just north of Boonville, and runs from 10am to 3pm each day. #381. The next visit to the Valley by the vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital is next week, Thursday, August 8: unfortunately, due to staffing issues, this will be their only visit of the month. #382. On Saturday morning, August 10 at the StudioSoBo, behind All That Good Stuff, there will be a Yoga Benefit with classes by Mary Paffard: 8:30-9:30 active asana, 9:30-10:30 gentle asana and 11:00-11:30 Meditation. From 11:30-12:30 Abeja will have a Primal Posture introduction. No need to register. Donations will go towards bolsters and chairs for the studio. Check it out and also the regularly scheduled classes at #383. The annual Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival takes place on Saturday, Aug 10 at Yorkville Cellars on Hwy 128 opposite the post office. The event benefits the Yorkville Volunteer Fire Department and runs from noon to 5pm, featuring bbq, music, silent auction, games, and the always popular grape-stomp. #384. And also on that very busy Saturday, August 10, it’s that time again: the Annual Airport Day! This takes place at the airport in Boonville from noon onwards, with free plane rides over the Valley in the afternoon and a pot luck dinner at 5pm.

Here’s the menu for the next week at the Senior Center in the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $5 donation from Seniors and $7 for Non-Seniors for lunch. Tomorrow, Thursday, August 1, the lunch, always served at 12.15pm, will be meatloaf, mashed potatoes w/gravy, peas, rolls, quinoa salad, birthday cup cakes. Then next Tuesday, August 6, the lunch served by Marti Titus and her crew will be sausage skillet, noodles, carrots, apple spinach salad, bulgur salad, no melt sundae dessert. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

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

…Several regulars commented that KZYX local public radio did a splendid job on Sunday afternoon of informing listeners about the smoke that was permeating the Valley. To their credit, led by Rich Culbertson, staff regularly interrupted the station’s live broadcast of the Newport Folk Festival to tell us that the smoke was not a local issue and was in fact coming to us from the fires in Oregon. This no doubt eased the concerns of many Valley folks and was much appreciated by many I know.

…Meanwhile, surely that relatively short period of smokiness does not mean that we will be getting smoky 2013 varietals from our wineries as with those “interesting” 2008s that were produced?.

…Who do you ask to learn a little more about the Valley’s history? After visiting the museum of course, your next move would be to talk to any of these Valley “experts.” — Donald Pardini, Eileen Pronsolino, Pat Hulbert, or Wes Smoot. There are a few others perhaps equally as knowledgeable but this group would be a great place to start.

…Nothing this week from our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard. He was at St Mary’s Hospital, London, for the royal birth and hasn’t seen since he went off into the night to celebrate with the baby’s carousing uncle, Prince Harry.

I’m outtahere. 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 through the Letters Page or at PPS. Keep on wagging that tail, Fred. PPPS. Thanks for the correspondence, Round-eyed Robin.

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