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Bird’s Eye View by Turkey Vulture

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. The much-needed rains continue and it’s very, very muddy out there but so far life in the Valley has been relatively undisturbed, certainly compared to the Coast with its many power-outages. Keep your claws-crossed. Last Thursday, with Highway 128 closed at each end (or thereabouts) I zoomed up over Highway 253 in a bid to reach the outside world but as I reached the top of the grade the snow was falling quite heavily and sure enough traffic was down to one-lane as another slide had occurred. Despite causing difficult driving conditions, the plus side was that there were some wonderful wintry views that I took time to enjoy by stopping in a short turnout section. That was until a CHP officer pulled up and sternly asked me what I was doing. He was not impressed with my explanation that I was simply enjoying the views of nature and he suggested strongly that I move along. I reluctantly complied. As I flew off, I couldn’t help but wonder why he wasn’t busy earning his money by preventing or solving a crime. I certainly felt he had not ‘protected and served’ me in any way.

With this disappointing incident in mind I am reminded of the classic line by Irish poet, playwright, and novelist, Brendan Behan, who said, “I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.” I would now add, ‘or a lovely moment that they could be so unnecessarily spoilt.’ And that’s your Quote of the Week.

A couple of early-ish heads-up in terms of Public Service Announcements. #174: The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be in the Valley at The Farm Supply twice this month, on Thursdays, Feb 4th and 25th from 2pm to 3:30pm each day. Please support this great service and save yourself a trip over the hill at the same time. #175: ‘The Original Crab Feed’ is coming up next Saturday, February 6th at the Apple Hall in Boonville. The uniquely wonderful social hour begins at 6pm, dinner will be served promptly at 7pm, and the unsurpassed raffle will follow. Call Gloria at 895-3071 for your tickets. They will sell out!

Topics under discussion and review this week at The Three-Dot Lounge. Yes, it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley, at a location known only to those in the know.

…Many regulars were talking about the upcoming AV Film Festival at The Grange over the upcoming weekend of January 29th-31st. They inform me that all proceeds will go to local good causes such as the Elder Home, the Animal Rescue, the AVHS Film Class, the Senior Center, and The Grange itself. Ya gotta like that: benefiting old people, animals, and kids! Lots of local stuff will be on view and much more. For more details and screening times check out

…I spotted a few more 3-Dot customers at the memorial for Bob Mathias last Friday at the Apple Hall in Boonville. It was a very impressive turnout, extremely well put together by Bob’s lovely family. A very fitting tribute to a man who clearly lived life to the full and who positively left his mark on the lives of many.

…The following day some of the same suspects were gathered at Wellspring for the surprise party thrown by Jill Derwinski for her good friend and owner of ‘All that Good Stuff’ store in Boonville, Leslie Hummel. Impressive turnout. Over 150 Valley folks and Leslie had no idea it was to happen. Wine and food were plentiful. I loved the satay chicken and had far more than my fair share. Mingling with so many familiar faces was a joy and something we need to do more often. Who’s 60 next week?

…Although some 3-Dot regulars teased me for missing the ‘Fries Special’ at Lauren’s Restaurant during Friday Happy Hour, 5-6pm ($2 for a plate of these delicious award-winners), along with many revelers from Leslie’s Party I did make it down there on Saturday evening for the live music of The Blushin’ Roulettes. A good time was had by all. I managed to drink Lauren out of Guinness! However, I must say that the fries that mysteriously appeared before me on the bar did offset the blow somewhat.

Time to take my leave. Be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts, and may your god go with you. Of course, 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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