Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. I must sadly report the passing of one of the best herding dogs to ever come out of this Valley. Ten-year old Bren of Yorkville, who with owner Kevin Owens was the winner of the Mendocino County Fair Sheep Dog Trial for the past two years, died recently after a short illness. To compound the sadness, her daughter Meg, potentially a champion in her own right, was the victim of a fatal rattlesnake bite in the middle of the night just a few days later. Kevin and those close to him, myself included, who had known both dogs and seen them work the sheep in the Yorkville Highlands many, many times, are inevitably greatly saddened at this loss. It is the passing of an era that saw some of the finest displays of a working dog’s relationship with man, and the deep and enduring mutual love and respect that this kinship so often produces. R.I.P. Bren and Meg, and thank you.
Another passing, one far more widely felt obviously, has been that of Robin Williams. The outpouring of sadness at his death certainly shows how he affected the lives of so many people in a positive way by the joy and laughter he brought to them. To many, his suicide, following severe bouts of depression, is hard to understand. This issue was previously addressed by a another comic genius, Groucho Marx, in his 1959 book “Groucho and Me,” who wrote: “I'm sure most of you have heard the story of the man who, desperately ill, goes to an analyst and tells the doctor that he has lost his desire to live and that he is seriously considering suicide. The doctor listens to this tale of melancholia and then tells the patient that what he needs is a good belly laugh. He advises the unhappy man to go to the circus that night and spend the evening laughing at Grock, the world's funniest clown. The doctor sums it up, ‘After you have seen Grock, I am sure you will be much happier.’ The patient rises to his feet, looks sadly at the doctor, turns and ambles to the door. As he starts to leave, the doctor says, ‘By the way what is your name?’ The man turns and regards the analyst with sorrowful eyes. ‘I am Grock’.” R.I.P. Robin.
Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #916. The Hendy Woods Campfire Program continues on Saturday evenings until the end of August at the Wildcat Loop Campfire ground. Led by Jeanine Pfeiffer these interactive discussions begin around the campfire at 8.30pm. #917. The Lions Club BBQ, this one to benefit the AV Ambulance, will take place at The Fairgrounds this coming Sunday, August 24 from 4pm to 7pm. #918. The Mendocino Bookmobile next visits the Valley on Tuesday, August 26. They are in the Valley on alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am (for 30 minutes); the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Phone 463-4694 for further details. #919. The next in the Guest Chef Dinner series to benefit the Senior Center is on Saturday, August 30. This will be prepared by Chris Rossi and friends and will feature Hawaiian Style Roasted Pork and all the fixings. Happy Hour is at 5pm followed by dinner at 6pm. Tickets available at the AV Senior Center, Lemons” Market in Philo, and the AV Market and Rossi Hardware both in Boonville. For full menu and information call the AV Senior Center 895-3609. #920. An another reminder of the top notch live music coming to the Navarro Store Amphitheatre next month. First on September 6 it’s the original line-up of the Subdudes and then on September 27 it’s the return to the Valley of the great electric blues harmonica man, Charlie Musselwhite. Tickets now available. call 895-9445. #921. The Vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be back in the Valley until Thursday, September 18.
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 August 21, the lunch served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Tacos, Ground Beef, Cheese, Black Beans, Tomatoes Salsa, Corn, Tabbouleh Salad, with Strawberry Whip as dessert. Then next Tuesday, August 26, the evening meal, served at 6pm, will feature Salisbury Steak, Noodles, Rolls, Zucchini, Orange Gelatin, Quinoa Salad, and Texas Gold Cake for dessert. 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 surprisingly reliable) Rumors from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.
…Some Valley Old-timers gathered at the Three-Dot last week commented on the large amounts of money that flow in and around the Valley and could not understand why there was no bank here. They remembered when there used to be one in Boonville many years ago and with commerce greater than in a long time it seems to many that such a business would be busy all day, every day.
…On this subject, a couple of the group thought a bank and a pharmacy situated in the Live Oak Building, currently being renovated, would be the perfect scenario if the owners were to be so community minded. An excellent idea, I’d say.
…Several regulars and myself are wondering whether we shall be sipping some “well-balanced and delightfully smokey” 2104 Pinot Noirs at some point in the next couple of years or so? Hopefully not.
…The AV High School Soccer team begins its season next Tuesday, August 26 with a home match at Tom Smith Field against Clear Lake. Kick-off is at 4.30pm. The football team begins on the road at Point Arena on the last weekend of the month before traveling to Round Valley the following week. They play their first home game against Mendocino on Friday night (Sept 12) at The County Fair. The volleyball girls are some way off before their league season begins. Their first game is away on September 23 before playing their home opener two days later on Thursday, September 25 against Round Valley. Try to get out and support our school sports teams. I guarantee a good time!
…Not for the first time, Jay “how to make a short story long” Williamson of Santa Rosa wasted more paper space. This time with his tedious, meandering, and predictable letter about “Crows vs. Turkey Vultures” in last week’s edition. What was not so predictable was his announcement therein that he has a “friend”! Who knew? Regular readers of this newspaper will be aware that Jay is clearly not a fascinating man, but I for one was glad to hear that he has a “buddy” to share his strange little world with, assuming the friend isn’t imaginary. (Surely that’s not the case?)
…From our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series. “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching’. Buzzard reports, “The ludicrous comments made by Rush Limbaugh on the passing of Robin Williams, did not really surprise me. His continued presence on the national airwaves is one of the more obvious examples that the Apocalypse is approaching. The man is an insensitive moron and I shall leave it to Bill Shields to sum up my thoughts with these remarks addressed to Limbaugh. ‘Rush, the day Robin Williams died thousands upon thousands of people around the World mourned the passing of a truly unique human being, and gave a thought and human empathy for the pain he struggled with to have forced him to such a tragic end to a life that had brought laughter to so many. Your comments regarding Robin’s death being the result of his leftist leanings were not only remarkably stupid but merely confirmed that you are, and always have been, one large stain on the blister on the scab on the hemorrhoid on the anus of Humanity.’ Well said, that man!”
Thanks for sharing, Buzzard. 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. A final request, “Let us prey.” Sometimes poking, often stroking, but always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. We Turkey Vultures are monogamous and mate for life, and sometimes, to prove our loyalty, we like to indulge in an “erotic” display dance on our nesting grounds. Contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or at email@example.com. PS. Keep wagging that tail, Fred. … Is that “lafter” I hear, Carroll? … Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin.