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Bird’s Eye View (July 2, 2014)

Greetings one and all, if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. On Sunday morning, as I drowned my sorrows following Mexico’s exit from the World Cup after a heart-breaking loss in the last minute to the Dutch, I tried to remember that when things seem at their lowest ebb there is a need for optimism as there is nearly always a silver-lining to be gleaned from somewhere. In this case, it was the wonderful dining experience at Coq au Vin restaurant on Sunday evening. This was an invitation-only special “Thank You” event hosted by owner Marie Richard and her family for the volunteer fire fighters/ambulance crews whose care and professional attention probably saved the life of her husband Francis when he suffered a heart-attack a few months ago. It was a lovely evening and gathering, certainly one that emphasized many of the positive aspects of life in this Valley. Well done to one and all!

With that thought in mind, Quotes of the Week are on Optimism. Jane Austen (1775-1817), the English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism and biting social commentary gained her historical importance among scholars and critics as her works take on an overall bright view of life, preferring to “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Then of course there is this classic from Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the Irish writer, poet, and wit: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” However, perhaps the comment that most closely follows my own Vulturesque and curmudgeonly point of view, is this from Havelock Ellis (1859-1939), the British physician and psychologist, writer, and social reformer who studied human sexuality: “The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum.”

Public Service Announcements Calendars and pens at the ready. #610. The Old Time 4th of July Celebration will take place at The Fairgrounds in Boonville on Friday, July 4 from noon to 4pm. Adults $4 and Under 18 free! This event will benefit the AV Education Foundation and will feature the Red, White, and Blue Parade at 12.30pm, followed by events such as the Crowing and Clucking Contest, a Cake Auction, the Tug O’ War, bbq sandwiches by the Lions, and much, much, more. (I should take this moment to announce the retirement of Master Clucker, Alan Thomas. After many years struggling to find an “athletic activity” that he was good at, Alan finally found his vocation and was a three-time winner of this challenging event. However, he has decided to step away this year and, although he will bring his knowledge and talent to a new role as the judge, his undoubted talents will be missed by regulars around the Clucking Arena). #611. The AV Historical Society and Museum presents a book-signing event on Sunday, July 6 from 2-4pm. This will feature co-authors, Valley old-timer Wes Smoot and my good friend Steve Sparks, who will be signing copies of their soon-to-be-published book “Then and Now: an Anderson Valley Journey.” Complimentary refreshments and snacks will be available and all proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Museum. #612. A much under-utilized resource should be mentioned once again. Through a private grant to the AV Senior Center, generous gas-money reimbursements are available to drivers who take our local seniors to necessary medical appointments out of the Valley. Volunteers, while not paid for their actual time, will receive as much as $20 for driving the senior to Ukiah, $60 to Santa Rosa, and $100 to the Bay Area. Call Gina at the Senior Center 895-3609 to offer your time to help with this important service. #613. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be visiting the Valley twice in July: on Thursdays 10 & 17. #614. Because of the holiday weekend, this month’s Barn Sale, always at The Big Barn alongside The St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way, has been put back one week until Saturday/Sunday, July 12/13.

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, July 3, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Sesame Noodles and Chicken, Asparagus, Quinoa Salad, Apple/ Cabbage Slaw, and Cherry Crisp for dessert. Then, next Tuesday evening, July 8 at 6pm, the dinner will feature Chicken w/ Kale, Brown Rice, Farro Salad, Raspberry Gelatin, with Kahula Cake. As this is the 2nd Tuesday of the month, the dinner will be followed by Bingo at 7pm. Hopefully you will be able to attend, and remember. ALL ages welcome! Hope to see you there.

Until we talk again. Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle; and may your god go with you. Oh, and of course, one final request, Let us prey. — Turkey Vulture. pleased in the knowledge that the old hare has returned safely to his burrow. PS. Contact me 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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