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Bird’s Eye View (Mar 25, 2015)

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Not much to report this week other than one particularly momentous occasion, tomorrow, March 26, the Valley’s oldest citizen, Freda Fox, turns 97 years young. If ever the vastly overused word “awesome” can be applied then this would certainly be the occasion. Yes, Freda, that really is awesome!

Freda was born in 1918 when World War One was still raging and, when the US became involved in the Second World War, Freda was one of the first nurses to go to Europe with the troops, staying there for three-and-a-half years straight without leave. After the war, she spent many years in the Bay Area, before she, husband Joe, and their three children, Jeff, John, and Terry, moved to the Valley in the sixties. She recalls, “I didn’t want to move here. It was the middle of nowhere remember. It has changed a lot since the early 60s. But, I learned to love it and the people here certainly helped in that. everyone has always been so friendly to me here although my friends from those days have all passed away except Carolyn Short. My life has gone full-circle I suppose. I grew up in a small town, did many things out on my own in the world, and have now come back to a small town.” And when reflecting on what she has learned about life and what advice she would give others, she comments, “I do try to follow this expression. ‘Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and possess the wisdom to know the difference.’ I think of that often to keep myself in check.” Wise words indeed. Many happy returns, Freda. (Meanwhile, for those who were wondering how he’s getting on, the Valley’s second oldest resident, Ross Murray, who will turn 97 in September of this year, has recently moved into the Elder Home complex in Boonville where he is settling in well.)

Obviously, for your Quotes of the Week, we must turn to the topic of age. Here we go. From assassinated President James Garfield: “If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon our heart. The spirit should never grow old.” H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), the American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English: “The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” The French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand, Coco Chanel (1883-1971), a prolific fashion creator whose design aesthetic was also realized in jewelry, handbags, and fragrance, and who incidentally is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century: “Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50.” In a similar vein, from Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-1970), the American burlesque entertainer famous for her striptease act, although she was also an actress, author, and playwright: “I have everything now that I had 20 years ago, except now it’s all lower.” Actress Katherine Hepburn: “I have no romantic feelings about age. Either you are interesting at any age or you are not.” Ultimately, it is what it is, and as Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the English philosopher, statesman, and scientist said, “Age will not be defied.” although Freda is making a wonderful effort to do so.

Public Service Announcements. #364. Here’s a heads-up on a very special event that will be held in a couple of week’s time. On Sunday, April 12 at The Grange on Hwy 128 beginning at 1.30pm, it’s the next installment in the series of Roundtable Discussions put on by the AV Historical Society to which you are cordially invited. Having previously covered the 1930s/40s in the first roundtable and then the 1950s/60s during the second one, on this occasion it is the Valley of the 1970s that will be revisited through the recollections of a discussion panel featuring a dozen or so Valley folks gathered rather from those who lived here during those years or those who arrived in the Valley to start a new life at that time and who never left. This is the Society’s big annual event and everyone is encouraged to attend what will surely be a fascinating afternoon of old Valley stories and memories. #365. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have three upcoming confirmed dates when they will be in the Valley. Thursdays, March 26, April 9 and 30. #366. The Boonville Big Band will be playing at Lauren’s on Saturday, April 4. The show asks for a $5 cover and begins at 9pm. #367. The Winter Farmers” Market continues in front of the Boonville General Store, 10-12:30, rain or shine. #368. The AV Lending Library run by The Unity Club is open Tuesday and Saturday at The Fairgrounds. Tues 1.30pm-4.30pm and Saturday 2pm-4pm.

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, March 26, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Chicken enchiladas, corn, spinach apple salad, black beans, farro salad, and Mexican chocolate cake for dessert. Then, next Tuesday evening, March 31 at 6pm, the dinner will feature Chicken with Kale, Pasta, brown rice, cabbage apple slaw, strawberry gelatin, and Carrot cake for dessert. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. Hopefully you will be able to attend, and remember. ALL ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

Now, Topics and Valley events from the at The Three-Dot Lounge. Yes, “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (and surprisingly reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…More missing dogs in the Valley this past week and following lengthy discussions, the regulars wanted me to pass on the need to get tags for you dogs, or better still have them micro-chipped. The tags are easy and cheap at and all those hard working volunteers at the Animal Rescue, plus the many other animal lovers in The Valley, will certainly appreciate it.

…One Valley wine-owner always gives a case of wine to every Valley fundraising event, and when attending in person, more often than not he makes sure a couple of hundred dollars finds its way from his wallet to the donation jar. He is not alone with his generosity among winery bigwigs of course, although these folks put those others who donate just one bottle to shame. I am very aware that the wineries get asked repeatedly for donations, but one bottle? Yes, it happens! Keep your &@#+ing bottle, I say. The person in question donates very surreptitiously so I do not wish to give out his name, suffice it to say that it is greatly appreciated by many folks around the Valley in fundraising circles and I find that his 2013 white Riesling goes extremely well with a Thai chicken curry.

…With bud-break either with us or about to be, depending where you live in the Valley, and frosty nights also expected, we will probably soon have to put up with the ridiculously loud “helicopter-like fly-overs” that some winery’s frost protection fans sound like to anyone living anywhere within a mile or so of such businesses. One 3-Dot regular told me that certain wineries are providing complimentary bottles of wine and free earplugs to those who go in and complain that they simply cannot sleep through the noise. I suppose he could have been pulling my claw, but if true then that’s quite a decent gesture, although I’m sure most folks would prefer the noise pollution to end for good. Meanwhile, a number of people may be somewhat appeased with the wineries’ offer of wine, although let’s be honest, it would be rude of them not to.

I’m outtahere as I’ve got see a man about a sheep. 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 almost always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

(Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PS. Skylark, read any good books lately? Keep on humming, Hummingbird. Everything cool with you, OJ? Of course it is.) 

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