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Bird’s Eye View (July 23, 2014)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. I am very pleased to report some very heart-warming news. Pat Hulbert has been announced as The Grand Marshall at this year’s Mendocino County Fair in September. The Hulberts arrived in the Valley in the 1920s while Pat’s family on her mother’s side goes all the way back to the Beesons who were among the first white families to discover and settle in the Valley in 1851. Today, Pat is one of the family’s senior and most revered members.

This is particularly wonderful news given that just a few short weeks ago Pat was concerned that due to her current cancer treatment, and therefore her inability to operate her “Country Kitchen” at this year’s Fair, there was a hurtful rumor that she may lose the spot at The Fair that she has had, and her mother Ruby before her, for 49 years! Now, with the rumor firmly squashed, she will occupy the Grand Marshall position this year and hopes to return to the “Kitchen” with her crew and goodies for the 2015 Fair. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to contact Pat during her treatment to wish her well, please contact me (see email below) and I will pass on her contact information.

I have been in touch with Pat and she gave me the details for the “Country Kitchen” stand during a typical week before and during the Fair. It is quite an operation. Pat does about 200 hours on this operation overall and runs a crew of five for 24 hours to mix the dough; then 23 folks roll it out, taking 72 hours; 38 crew members will bake and wrap, taking them 277 hours; 35 of these do all of the kitchen prep; and those 35 invariably work the stand during the three days of the Fair. They make 210 fruit pies, each with seven slices; selling them at $3 a slice or $4 with ice cream, with cookies and various donated cakes also available. Pat’s pies will be missed this year but folks will no doubt be looking forward to them even more than usual in 2015.

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #485. Known to many of us as “The Very-Difficult-at-Times Living Fair,” the event officially called “The Not-So-Simple Living Fair,” returns over the weekend of July 25-27 at the Fairgrounds in Boonville. #486. Saturday, July 26 sees the “Community Singing” night at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. It’s always on the last Saturday of the month at 9pm. #487. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be visiting the Valley until Thursday, August 7. #488. The Mendocino Bookmobile was not here for its regularly scheduled visit on July 15 but they will visit the Valley next Tuesday, July 29. They are normally in the Valley on alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am; the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Phone 463-4694 for further details.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches and dinners over the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans’ Building 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 24, the lunch served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Garlic Chicken, Peas, Pasta, Tabbouleh Salad, and Coconut-Lime Berry Cake. Then next Tuesday, July 29, the menu will feature Beef Stroganoff, Noodles, Cauliflower, Kasha Salad, Orange Gelatin, and Banana Pudding for dessert. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

With the Three-Dot Lounge closed for a very private function, I thought it might be a good time to inform you of some other options for your leisure hours. Here are the summer hours for dining in the Valley. These are the actual hours when dinner is served and the list does not include the Valley’s general stores and coffee shops. Lauren’s Restaurant: Tuesday-Saturday from 5pm to 9pm with summertime lunch Thursday-Sunday from 11.30am to 2.30pm (Closed Sunday evenings and all day Monday). The Buckhorn: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 11am to 9pm; Friday 11am to 10pm; Saturday 10am to 10pm; Sunday 10am to 9pm, with brunch at weekends from 10am to 4pm. (Closed Tuesday). The Boonville Hotel: Thursday-Monday evenings. Call for hours and reservations. (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday). Aquarelle: Friday-Sunday 5pm to 9.30pm; Monday 5pm to 9pm. (Closed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). The Redwood Drive-In: Monday-Friday 6am to 10pm; Saturday and Sunday 6am to 11pm. Stone and Embers at The Madrones just south of Philo: Friday, Monday, and Tuesday 4pm to 8pm; Saturday noon to 8pm; Sunday noon to 4pm. (Closed Wednesday and Thursday). Libby’s in Philo: Tuesday-Saturday lunch noon to 2pm and dinner 6pm to 9pm. (Closed Sunday and Monday). Coq au Vin at The Floodgate: Thursday-Monday 5pm to 8pm. Reservations necessary. (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday).

While The Lounge may be closed, our Three-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, still insisted that we include another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching” in this week’s issue. Buzzard reports, “So basketball ‘God’ (probably his thought, but certainly not mine) LeBron James is heading back to his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, no doubt taking with him his cavalcade of sycophants. James’s departure from Cleveland in 2010 left deep psychic wounds on the city and its sports fans. Four years after he bolted to Miami in pursuit of the NBA championships he is returning and apparently all is forgiven.

Sports illustrated photographer Walter Iooss Jr. once described a photoshoot he had with LeBron (directly after “The Decision.” the circus-like event that surrounded James’ move to Miami): “It was huge. When LeBron arrived, it was as if Nelson Mandela had come in. Six or seven blacked-out Escalades pulled up, a convoy. LeBron had bodyguards and his masseuse. His deejay was already there, blasting. This for a photo shoot that was going to last an hour, tops. This is how crazy it was: I wasn't even allowed to talk directly to LeBron. There was a liaison guy and I would say to him, ‘OK, have LeBron drive right,’ and then he'd turn to LeBron and say, ‘LeBron, go right’.”

Maybe James has matured a little since then but in his world that is probably not an easy thing to do and, given the fact that the sports” media continue to even agonize over his delay in choosing his new jersey number, I imagine the idolatry will soon resume back in all-forgiving and desperate-for-success Cleveland. What a world! With ever-increasing tales of war and suffering in so many places over the past few weeks in particular, the tragic irony that these events are coinciding with the deifying of a man who can simply put a ball through a hoop better than anyone else on the planet reach heights previously unknown even in the surreal world of NBA superstardom. Please pass the sick bag, Bruce, the Apocalypse is certainly closer than even I had thought.

* * *

Well said, Buzzard. I couldn’t agree more. Ok, well now I think it’s time to take my leave. So, 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.” Poking and stroking but humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. Skylark, read any good books lately? … Is that “lafter” I hear, Carroll? … Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin.

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