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Bird’s Eye View (June 24, 2015)

Greetings one and all. Are you are sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

It seemed to me that there were fewer local residents among the throngs at this year’s Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. Valley folks overall remained up in the hills or perhaps stayed in town at their homes and invested in some top quality ear-plugs that I am informed were given away free with an $82 bottle of Narrows Vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir from the Golden Buttock Winery, the ones that are usually handed out during the frost season to the local residents who are kept up all hours by that winery’s helicopter-esque frost protection fans in the Floodgate region where the grapes for this particular Pinot are grown. But I digress.

On Friday, I spent a few hours at a house near the Fairgrounds and the music. The bass and drum rhythms, obviously, were extremely loud. I borrowed some ear-plugs, drank some delicious Pinot, and slowly slipped into a stupor. Then on Saturday I attended the afternoon shows and had a wonderful time enjoying the sights and sounds. I’d like to think that the concert brought in loads of money to our local economy but I’m pretty sure it does not. Having said that, it was obvious that the Valley folks who were there were having a great time, and I found the friendly “vibes” of this crowd at a very high level.

It also seemed that the overall numbers were down from past years. I could be wrong but, it certainly seemed like fewer vehicles were parked on the streets of downtown Boonville. Furthermore, while marijuana smoking was no doubt being partaken in, the so-called “contact high” that some Valley people have said they get by just attending the Festival, and the accompanying overpowering smell of such activities around town, were both virtually non-existent this year. Either way, even if all I personally get out of the event is the edifying sight of a few scantily-clad young women, a flashback to my reggae listening teenage years of the early seventies, and a pair of ear-plugs, then it’s all perfectly fine with me.

Onward. The Old Buzzard writes, “The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims began fasting last Wednesday evening and now that we are a week into Ramadan I can only be grateful that being a Muslim for a month after losing a bet with Turkey Vulture will not happen again. Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar: the faithful believe this was when the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Between dawn and dusk Muslims are meant to abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex in order to devote their minds to Allah. They are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting. All of this has been hard, and devoting my mind to Allah at the expense of pursuits that I have indulged in for most of my adult life is not something I encourage others of my ilk to do. Meanwhile I will strive to continue until July 17.”

Keep it up, Buzzard! You look so good in that burka.

Public Service Announcements. #617. One of my favorite places to visit, anywhere in the world, is Hendy Woods. right here in the heart of the Valley. Now, to encourage more local folks to embrace this most special of places, the Hendy Woods Community is inviting Valley people to visit for free on the afternoons of the second Sunday of every month. To celebrate this opportunity there will be a grand opening of the renovated Day Use Area this Sunday, June 28 from 1pm-4pm. Music, appetizers and dessert will be provided, bring your own food to bbq. # 618. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be in town at the AV Farm tomorrow Thursday, June 25. Call 462-8833 for further details. They set up at the AV Farm Supply from 2-3.30pm and to avoid a line perhaps go around 3pm; you will definitely be seen. New customers and their pets are always welcome. Their next visit will be next week, July 2, but not again after that until August. #619. Coming to The Grange in a couple of week’s time there will be a special live show of “First Person Plural,” a series of original monologues performed by six women. It is for one night only at 7pm on Thursday, July 2; doors open at 6.30pm and there is a $5-$10 entrance fee. #620. The Mendocino Bookmobile returns to the Valley on Tuesday, June 30. They are here on alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at each of these places and times: Navarro Store 9am (for just 30 minutes); the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Phone 463-4694 for further details. #621. Burn Permits are no longer available at this time from the Fire Department. Cal Fire, in their office at the south of town (in the ugly prison-like building past the gravel pits) are now in charge of this. #622. The AV Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 1pm-4pm. Situated in The Little Red Schoolhouse next to the Elementary School on AV Way, this is a perfect thing to do in the Valley when you have a couple of hours spare on a weekend afternoon. It is not without reason that it is generally regarded as “The Best Little Museum in the West.”

Here is the menu for the Community lunches over the next week at the Senior Center at the Veterans” Building in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from seniors and charges $7 for Non-seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, June 25, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Sandwiches and Root Beer Floats, with salad bar and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea or lemonade. Please note. the Senior Center will be closed for the following week from Monday, June 29 until Monday, July 6, during which time a new stove will be installed. They will re-open for lunch on Tuesday, July 7. Hopefully you will be able to attend, and remember. ALL ages 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 (yet surprisingly reliable) Rumors from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…Last Tuesday evening saw the Golden State Warriors clinch their first NBA Championship in 40 years and there was nowhere for Valley folks to gather and celebrate together. bars/restaurants either being without televisions or closed that night. That was disappointing, although let’s be honest, the Valley has not been a community that watches much sport in public together for many years. I know, I have watched Monday Night Football in The Buckhorn in Boonville with about eight folks each week for a decade or more and, perhaps surprisingly to many, even occasions like the Super Bowl and World Series do not bring in a particularly large crowd.

…Several regulars at the Three-Dot pointed out that as summer progresses, one should be aware of those peculiar folks, unable to get rid of the vast crops of squash/zucchini that they have inexplicably grown, who will be sneaking up to your parked vehicle and putting bags of these things into your trunk or on your back seat. It is not the worst thing that can happen to you, and I am not really complaining, but it does feel a little odd when it occurs; not unlike that feeling you get when your underwear drawer has obviously been tampered with. I think you know what I mean.

I’m outtahere. I’ve got see a man about a sheep. 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 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, O.J.? Of course it is.


  1. Matt B June 24, 2015

    I should have added…So were there a viable part-time or full-time sports pub and grub alternative to the Buckhorn, especially one where both Caucasian and Latino were welcome, I think you’d see a very different story in AV.

    PS – I am in no way saying the Buckhorn does not welcome both communities.

    PSS – Nor am I in any way saying the Buckhorn isn’t a great spot. Hands down the best Crabs Bennie on the planet. I’m just saying they’ve done damage to their relationship with a certain type of client that likes to, and can afford to, buy what the they sell.

  2. Matt B June 24, 2015

    I take issue with the assumption that there isn’t a large sporting crowd in Anderson Valley. The Buckhorn doesn’t get a large local sporting crowd because the owner has both a “no-sound” policy during premier sporting events and engages in no marketing to capture the revenue upside of said sporting events. Add into the mix that the otherwise fairly friendly owner can be downright hostile about the issue, and you have the makings of a pretty good case to support my point of view.

    (Yes, I know the Buckhorn owner’s logic why the policy exists, but I think it’s proven deeply flawed on many levels – the most obvious being a significant loss of regular customers who can afford to buy a few rounds during a sporting event. And yes I know that on very rare occasions the Buckhorn is so full of out-of-towners demanding the sound be on for a Soccer game that it very reluctantly gets turned on for the second half of a match. I’ve been there and heard the cheers of 50+ people when the sound went on in conjunction with the owner’s sour look of disdain because a silly policy was breaking under the weight of all the money rolling in. I’ve also read the multiple one-star Yelp reviews wondering out loud exactly what I haven’t expressed publicly for years, until now.)

    More on the owner’s hostility towards customers wanting sound: Many local and wealthy part-timers have a “Buckhorn owner story” or three about how the owner has no problem playing music loud enough to kill the brunch mood and/or you can’t hear your friends talk, but he then acts as though you kicked his cat when you ask why an SF Giants playoff game sound isn’t on, even in a near empty place of business.

    As such, many locals just stopped considering the Buckhorn a viable sporting event option. I know of one part-time local who loves sports and had a group of eight friends up for the weekend. This part-timer was so offended by how the Buckhorn owner answered a reasonable question about why the sound wasn’t on when most people were there just for the playoff game that they paid their tab in the first quarter and went over to the now defunct Saloon – which most certainly wasn’t his style. He’s never been back to the Buckhorn and doesn’t hesitate to share his experience why.

    The dollar number in food and beer lost by the Buckhorn due to my house (and others) becoming defacto event lounges for SF Giants, World Cup, playoff Football and Basketball – by those very same people who all have negative Buckhorn sporting experiences – is staggering. Just last year alone I spent well over $2K feeding and quenching the thirsts of my guests during premier (i.e. special games) sporting events. That’s money I used to spend exclusively at the Buckhorn. My average monthly CC bill at the Buckhorn was well over $400 a month when I used to go there – have some brunch, watch the SF Giants game for awhile (no-sound so I wnet home for the last innings), buy a few beers for friends, plus tip…. $80 every time, no problem. There is nothing I love more than watching a sporting event surrounded by other fans. We are out all over this Valley; we just aren’t at the Buckhorn.

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