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Turkey Vulture

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Senior citizens and two-year old children, loggers and shepherds, chefs and caterers, journalists and hack writers, schoolteachers and AVHS alumni, brewers and winery owners, tasting room staff and waitresses, carpenters and bus drivers, social activists and socialites, sheriffs and scoundrels; Bloyds, Pardinis, Burroughs, Hiatts, and Walkers; Okies, Arkies, Mexicans, and even a hippy or two. All these and more were gathered at The Boonville Lodge for its final day of operation on Sunday after 88 years of serving the Valley. Quite a cross-section of Valley folk, I’d say, all enjoying each other’s company at a place that some regard as a second home and view as an excellent place to have a drink, eat classic American food, and share time with friends and loved ones. It’s gone now, and that’s a terrible shame.

Many folks at various gatherings throughout the Valley last Thursday evening no doubt enjoyed a wonderful New Year’s Eve. The AVA’s Bruce McEwen has probably reported on the event at The Boonville Lodge elsewhere in this week’s newspaper, although how anyone can drink that amount and still write I do not know — I kid the Brucester. Anyway, The Lodge did have a good crowd for its last big night of business. I had a great time with many friends and owner Tom Towey put on a fine spread of complimentary hors d’ouevres and welcomed many customers with a glass of delicious Moet & Chandon champagne as they arrived. At about 10pm I received a call from Hummingbird who had gone to Lauren’s Restaurant to see a few friends. She told me that there were ‘Lauren Fries’ being served with a beer so I was there in less than two minutes to see if this was true. It was and I enjoyed both immensely, along with the company I kept of course. Those who had attended the annual sushi party thrown by Bert Cohen (of Boont Berry Farm fame) began to show up at Lauren’s at around 11pm and the dance floor was soon packed with revelers gyrating to the sounds provided by the many talented musicians on stage. Elsewhere in the Valley, there were also significant gatherings at Wellspring and Susan Sullivan’s house, while most of our Mexican brethren celebrated at their homes.

I am well aware that many in the Valley talk of the ‘melting pot’ of people here in the Valley but, as I have observed many times, when it comes to significant celebrations the three main segments of our community, with some exceptions obviously, generally celebrate among ‘their own.’ The Old Families and AVHS Alumni (1965-2005) at The Lodge. The socially active/politically correct over-45s at Lauren’s with their under-45 brothers and sisters down the road at the Sushi Party; and the Mexican community who generally remain at home to celebrate. This is absolutely fine of course, and not something to be denied by those who would have you think we are all one big family hanging out together. We often do all work together, sometimes play together. The Lodge’s last day for example. We frequently do our own thing within our own scene. And you know what? It’s all good.

Well that’s enough AV Sociology 101 for this week. Let’s get to the Public Service Announcements, Crab Section: Many of you will be keen to attend one or both of the upcoming Crab Feeds here in the Valley. Both will take place at The Apple Hall in downtown Boonville with the first one, The Senior Center Crab Feed, happening on Saturday, January 16th, social time at 5.30pm, dinner at 6pm. Contact Gina Pardini at 895-3609. The second Feed is ‘The Original’ Crab Feed, this year on February 6th, with the social hour at 6pm, dinner at 7pm, and raffle to follow. Contact Gloria Ross (895-3071), Eva Holcomb, or John Schultz.

Those at The 3-Dot Lounge took a vow of silence this week in sympathy for the loss of The Boonville Lodge, so I have nothing to report from my favorite gathering place in the Valley, at a location known only to those in the know.’

Time to take my leave. I have to see a man about a sheep. 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 by e-mail at

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