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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. So how was your Turkey Day? Exces­sive and “over-the-top” I hope. I was kindly invited to an event attended by a cross-generational group of Valley folks from a wide range of backgrounds. It was very enjoyable indeed and the variety of folks in attendance just accepted a basic Valley principle: the Turkey Vul­ture gets the Turkey Leg. So an “ugly scene” was avoided on such a day of thankfulness. And for your Quote of the Week, and to perhaps explain my philoso­phy regarding the Thanksgiving Day festivities, may I offer these words from the wonderful novelist and short story writer, W. Somerset Maugham (“Of Human Bond­age” (1915)) who wisely observed, “Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” Good stuff, William. Of course I could have given you the classic comment on this topic by William Blake. In fact, as this is the mantra for any self-respecting Turkey Vulture, I think I will anyway: “The road to excess leads to the palace of wis­dom.” Who can argue with that?

And from the Quotes let’s go straight on to Letter of the Week. This is the latest contribution to my mailbox from one of my biggest fans, “Confused of Comptche, California.” ”Dear Turkey Vulture, I read with interest that the US Air Force has decided to replace the nude paintings of popular topless models on the side of their drones with plain silhouettes for fear of offending the Muslims they are currently bombing the s*** out of with their strikes. I wholeheartedly applaud this display of sensitivity to another culture.” One to ponder briefly and move on.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. It appears that there’s certainly lots for you to do over the holidays. #144. The Boonville Winter Market is now on its winter schedule and at the new venue. It can be enjoyed on Saturday mornings at The Boonville General Store from 11am-1pm. #145. The Independent Career Women have their Christmas Party this Friday, December 6. to which their Dependent Job­less Men are invited. #146. The monthly Barn Sale returns for its final weekend of the year on Sat/Sun, Dec 7/8, at The Big Barn on AV Way just north of Boonville, and runs from 10am to 3pm each day. Bargains galore for your Christmas shopping. #147. The Annual Holiday Bazaar organized by The AV Unity Club to benefit Stu­dent Scholarships and the AV Library is on Saturday, December 7 from 10am-4pm at The Apple Hall and will feature Xmas Gifts, homemade baked goods, and an auction. #148. At Lauren’s Restaurant on Saturday December 7 at 9pm it’s live music with Boontstomp and Soren Sun. #149. The Community Holiday Dinner is on Sunday, December 8 at The Grange. #150. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will next be in town at the AV Farm Supply on Thursday, December 12 from 2-3.30pm. #151. On Saturday December 14 at 8:30pm it’s the return of Pop Up Cinema with a screen­ing of Chasing Ice, a documentary that follows acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog, once a skeptic about climate change, on his Extreme Ice Survey from which he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. #152. The AV Histori­cal Society’s always-enjoyable Christmas Gathering is from 2-5pm on Sunday, December 15 at the Little Red School House. #153. The AV Lions Club has their annual Xmas Party on Tuesday, Dec 17 at The Buck­horn, a venue where there is now a Smoked BBQ Ribs special every Wednesday, along with the continuing Mexican Mondays and Prime Rib Thursdays. #154. Lauren’s Annual Christmas Caroling Party with Lynn Archambault is on Saturday December 21 at 8:30pm. Songbooks will be provided.

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are on Wednes­days this year and in between them is, of course, the annual New Year’s Eve Party at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville with Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys with Susan Clark. Dinner served from 5-9pm and Dance Party to follow. $10 cover. And of course the Valley will have the two extremely popular annual crab feeds in the first few weeks of the New Year. The Crab Feed to benefit the AV Senior Center will be held in the Apple Hall on Saturday, January 18. The Original Crab Feed is sched­uled for Saturday, February 1, also at The Apple Hall in Boonville. I’m giving you plenty of notice on these two major Valley events because some of you may wish to give Xmas gifts to loved ones in the form of tickets. If so, please contact organizers Gina Pardini at 895-3609 for the big night out on January 18 and in a week or so, Gloria Ross at 895-3017 will begin ticket sales for the feast on Feb 1. Remember. both events sell out every year.

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, Dec 5, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Chicken & Dumplings, Brussels Sprouts, Rolls, Farro Salad, and Lemon Pudding Cake for dessert. Then next Tuesday evening, Dec 10 at 6pm, the dinner will feature Sweet Mustard Chicken, Rice, Carrots, Orange Gelatin, Tabbouleh with a dessert of Brown Sugar Pound Cake. This will be followed by a short performance by the Anderson Valley Community Choir that will lead right into Bingo! 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.

…Over-officious bureaucracy and narrow-minded­ness notwithstanding, a license to sell “proper” alcohol, along with beer and wine of course, is on its way to The Buckhorn in Boonville! This is obviously wonderful news for the many Valley folks who enjoy a civilized martini at the end of the day, or perhaps a single malt Scotch at the end of the night. Well done to owner Tom Towey for his hard work and diligence, community-minded spirit, and excellent business sense in making sure such options are available to Valley folks. Just like a post office and church, every community should have one.

…Belated congratulations to the high school boys soc­cer and girls volleyball teams on their recent big championships. Is there a small school that can even come close to the annual achievements of these two pro­grams? I think not. There must be something in the Val­ley’s water is one theory. In the case of the volleyball team, this success comes with more than a hint of sad­ness to many with the announcement that Flick McDon­ald, the program’s legendary coach, is retiring. Needless to say, after leading the girls to so much suc­cess over the years, his presence on the sidelines will be greatly missed.

…The Independent Career Women celebrate the holi­days with their annual party on Friday, Dec 6. This is one of the most sought after tickets of the season — for men anyway. I hope to be there, representing my gender and species, and, as is my custom over the years, I shall endeavor to be the last to leave once again. I think I’ll have a good chance of keeping up that record, unless of course I am asked to leave earlier in the evening follow­ing some kind of “unfortunate misunderstanding.”

…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apoca­lypse is Approaching.” Buzzard reports, “Black Friday! What about Ugly Grey Thursday?! Yes, the once ‘sacred’ Thanksgiving Day itself is now under attack. With the opening of so many large stores, insisting their staff work on such a holiday, not only does the corporate world wallow in even more greed and distastefulness, but the intense consumer activity and bargain shopping is truly astounding, not to mention the way many of them behave when they are doing so. This ‘scene’ was previ­ously reserved for ‘Black Friday,’ though contrary to popular belief, this name was not due to the injuries and deaths that periodically occur during retail stampedes. Perhaps I am missing something but I thought Thanks­giving was a day of quality time spent with family and friends. I guess I am naïve but this increasing trend is, in my humble opinion, quite sad, and one which indicates far too vividly both an ugly side of America and the fast approach of the Apocalypse.”

Thank you, Buzzard. Hard to disagree. Oh, dear, have we upset somebody? Well, in that case, Buzzard and I will get our coats and leave. Until we talk again. 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 through the Letters Page or at PPS. On the sheep, Grace. … Hi, Silver Swan, behaving yourself? Hopefully not! … Bobwhite Quail, keep up the knitting! 

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