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Bird’s Eye View By Turkey Vulture

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comforta­bly then I shall begin. Let’s go straight to The Whine of the Week. I was disappointed to miss the Sweet­hearts Dance on Saturday at The Grange to raise money for the AV Health Center. I hear it went very well. This ‘whine’ is offset by the fact that the reason I was unable to attend was that with my birthday on the 14th (the next day), Hummingbird had prepared a special evening at home featuring Chicken Cacciatore in roasted garlic tomato sauce over pasta, along with a delicious bottle of the 2007 Pinot Noir from Tou­louse Winery just north of Philo, followed by our own private ‘sweetheart dance.’ This versatile Pinot paired with virtually any Italian dish is a must-try and that’s why it’s the Wine of the Week!

Talking of fine dining experiences, I attended the Senior Center lunch last week and now understand what all the fuss is about. Despite a relatively low turnout I was nevertheless honored to find a seat at the ‘top table’ alongside Donna Reilly, Kyllikki ‘Kay’ Clark, Wilma Brink, Joy Frazer, June Lemons, Cleo Hixon, Frank Wyant, and the very friendly senior bus driver, Natalie Matson. Along with the good food, the conversation was lively and lots of fun for all, covering topics such as Valley life in the fifties, the wonderful fresh fish available at Lemons’ Market in Philo, and the fact that long-time center member Bobbie Peter­son had moved to Ukiah. At $5 for non-seniors, it was no surprise that local bargain hunter Burton Segal was also in attendance as Pastor Bill and Gloria Abbott served up a delicious meal featuring Brunswick Stew and Gloria’s ‘world famous’ salad bar. The lunch is every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:15pm, with a special dinner served on the last Tuesday of each month at 6pm — chicken fried steak etc. on Feb 23rd ($7 for non-seniors). I urge you to attend. Trust me on this and thank me later!

And for a Quote of the Week what better com­ment on old age than that of JFK’s Mother, Rose Kennedy, who said, “I am like aged wine. They don’t bring me out very often but when they do I am found to be well-preserved and fine company.” That’s cer­tainly the case of those sitting at the ‘top table’ for our Senior Center lunches, I can assure you!

Moving on to a couple of frequently discussed top­ics at The Three-Dot Lounge these days: the lack of a bar in the Valley and the local High School colors, both subjects that stir the passion in many, particu­larly the passionate.

…Many Valley folks have come to me over the past couple of months and commented that the owners of the Buckhorn Building (former home of The Buck­horn Saloon and The Highpockety Ox) could feasibly come to the Community’s ‘rescue’ as they have the perfect spot for a bar/restaurant. However, I am relia­bly informed that they are not ready to take the plunge in that direction at this point in time. That is their prerogative of course. One rumor has it that they are concerned about serving liquor in a place with a few steps outside for customers to negotiate. Hopefully this is not a deciding issue as I imagine hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bars deal with such a situation and operate without a problem; besides, the actual bar/restaurant owners are responsible for get­ting insurance on this, not the landlord. In time, the owners will perhaps come to see that such an estab­lishment, if run by people who know what they are doing and allowed to operate under a fair and reason­able lease agreement, would be good for them and certainly beneficial to the Valley, providing the much-needed gathering place that so many crave. But I do wonder, “has someone talked them out of it for some reason?”

…Just down the street, rumors abound with regards to what David ‘I’m not the devil’ Johnson plans to do at his ill-gotten (in the opinion of many) location formerly known as The Boonville Lodge. A couple of small tasting rooms for local wineries does not now seem likely. A very sensible decision, I must say. However, the latest I hear is for a beer and wine establishment to be installed in the main room with The Lumberjack Pizza guys returning to the restau­rant section, the same location that they infrequently frequented when pretending to be in business there a couple of years ago. I couldn’t possibly comment fur­ther.

…As for the school colors, for almost its entire his­tory these have been brown and gold/yellow. I am informed that in 1999 there was a vote taken among the senior class (student athletes who would wear the colors for one more year) and they decided to change to black and gold/yellow, greatly disappointing the vast majority of the alumni from the previous 60 years or so. The disappointment simmered over the years and has turned to a level of annoyance that sees rum­blings taking place to resurrect the ‘real’ school colors.

Coach Ben Anderson’s school baseball team now plays in the traditional brown and gold/yellow, as do the football Cubs — not actually a school team but one made-up of younger kids attending the school and run by high school alumni. However, the school foot­ball team still wears black and gold/yellow, while the soccer boys inexplicably wear black and white. The argument that the brown and gold/yellow are either difficult to get or are more expensive is spurious; in fact Lemons’ Philo Market currently has a line of wonderful Panther gear available in the traditional colors. Meanwhile, many of the regulars at The 3-Dot are AV High alumni and don’t be surprised that, if and when they manage to re-form the Alumni Asso­ciation, one of their first acts will be to take steps to ensure that the Panthers once again do battle in the true AV colors. I’d drink to that (if there was any­where to go and do so).

Time to take my leave. Be careful out there, stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts, and, with the hot weather now with us, please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle. May your god go with you. And of course, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or by e-mail at

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