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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Belated “Happy September Birthdays” to these Valley folks: Gloria Abbott, Neil Darling, and Mattie Winkleman. Onward to the Fair.

I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone around these parts about this wonderful event but for my thousands of readers around the World this coming weekend (Friday 13th-Sunday 15th) Boonville will once again host The Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show, or as it is commonly called, “The Best Little Fair in the West!” All the usual events (Rodeo, Sheep Dog Trial, the Apple Bowl high school football game and the Apple Cup for the boys soccer team; live music at the Saturday night dance, games, rides, etc.) will be taking place, plus the many exhibitions and displays that show off the County’s best livestock and agriculture, not to mention all the various talents in terms of arts, crafts, gardening, etc, that so many people in the county possess. With food and drink in plentiful supply and so many familiar faces to see, I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t be there.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #173. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital in Ukiah are back in the Valley for two visits this month. tomorrow, September 12 and next week, September 19. They will offer a full service featuring house calls in the morning and your entire vet needs from 2-3.30pm in the afternoon at the AV Farm Supply. Call 462-8833 for further details and if you are a previous client you can call them 48 hours in advance to ensure that your pet’s charts are brought over the hill and order any medications your pet might need. New customers and their pets are always welcome. #174. The cooler weather is approaching and your flu shots are due — offered at the AV Senior Center in Boonville, sponsored by Rite Aid Pharmacy, on Tuesday, Sept 27 from 4pm to 6.30pm. Appointments not necessary. Call 895-3609 for further details.

Here is the menu for the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Seniors for both lunches and dinners and charges $7 for Non-Seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, September 12, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Chicken Piccata, Polenta, Zucchini, Bulgur Salad, and a Peach Cobbler dessert. Then next Tuesday, September 17, the menu will feature Tostadas. Pork or Chicken, Black Beans, Cheese, Lettuce, Avocados, Salsa, Corn, Quinoa Salad, and a dessert of Zucchini Cake. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

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

…Here are some intriguing questions that I tend to raise every year with regulars at The 3-Dot with regards to this weekend’s County Fair. Will the infamous “Large-breasted Boonville Flasher” once again expose herself to County Sheriff Tom Allman as he rides in the Parade? Will there be a local winner in the Sheep Dog Trial? (A fairly rare occurrence that happened last year when Bren and handler Kevin Owens were victorious.) Is Pickles the Clown going to show up and scare lots of small children? Will anyone be happier than Sadie the Balloon Lady? Will any local teenage girls run off with a Carny? Will any local schoolboys run off and become a Carny? Will the corn dogs be as good and as unhealthy as ever? And most importantly, will I win the Carrion-Eating Contest for the seventh year in succession? All this, and possibly more, will be revealed this coming weekend.

…At this point in our discussions, I got up on my perch behind The 3-Dot bar and gave my annual pre-Fair speech to the assembled masses: “I would like to remind some of you, particularly the younger generation, that it is not all about the carnival rides and looking cool with your date, important though such pastimes certainly are. Try to also check out the various display halls of arts, crafts, agriculture, etc, along with the impressive livestock corrals, the traditional rodeo, and the always-exciting sheep dog trials. This Fair is a really unique event and one of a dying breed, so why not broaden your horizons and enjoy everything “The Best Little Fair in the West” has to offer? In my humble opinion, that would be cool too. Trust me on this; you can thank me later.”

…Meanwhile, while competition in the various agricultural events will be tough at the Fair, an almost equally competitive gardening arena was that at the Boonville Farmers Market Tomato Tasting last Saturday morning in the Boonville Hotel parking lot. The results are now in and, in a stunning upset, rookie Bunny Bill in his first time entering with his very own variety, “Tigorilla” (red with yellow stripes) narrowly beat ten-year reigning champion grower, Brock Farms. Suffice it to say, Bunny celebrated in fine style and was last seen giggling to himself as juice from his succulent tomatoes and beer ran through his whiskers and down his chin.

…In the local Boontling dialect, a “modocker” is a homosexual. I learned about this from members of the local gay community last weekend who proudly displayed the word on t-shirts. According to local Boontling expert, Wes Smoot, the term comes from a time when folks working with sheep would occasionally find some lambs in a flock that were “hermaphrodite,” i.e., having both sets of sex organs. This soon became shortened to “mafrodite” and one fellow, no doubt after several drinks on a lonely night in the hills, found himself saying “modocker” instead, and it had soon stuck as a Boontling term for folks deemed to be gay, lesbian or bi-sexual. An alternative explanation, one which Wes finds to be unlikely, came from the tale of a fellow who once visited the California town of Modoc, where he met a shepherd with a particularly “close relationship” with his sheep. This fellow’s “odd” or “queer” behavior was termed to be that of a “modocker” and over time entered the Boontling lexicon as the term for homosexual. Either way, it is what it is, and the t-shirts are selling quite well.

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. A 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. Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin.

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