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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comforta­bly then I shall begin. First may I wish a very happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone — the Irish, the Irish-Americans, the Irish Mexican-Americans, etc. With that in mind, hopefully those involved in The Variety Show, on-stage, backstage, as a volunteer, or in the audience, have all sufficiently recovered from their exploits, and can now move on to supporting another very worthwhile event in the Valley: The St. Patrick’s Day Dinner to benefit the Senior Center, featuring classic corned beef and cabbage. It’s this Saturday, March 20th, at the Apple Hall in Boonville. Things get underway with a 5.30pm social before dinner is served anytime from 6pm to 7.30pm. There will be a beer and wine bar and the raffle prizes will feature desserts prepared by the seniors themselves. Tickets are $15/adult and $7/child under 12. See you there. I’ll be the one doing security, making sure things don’t get out of hand. You never know with this particular crowd. (?)

Talking of St. Paddy’s Day, as someone with many years of experience in the bar/restaurant business, I believe I can say with some certainty that apart from the obvious monetary rewards it is not a pleasant day for those in such a line of work, nor is it for those just trying to have a few celebratory drinks and a pleas­antly civilized time. In the past I have expressed criti­cal opinions about the boorish actions of some people on New Year’s Eve but the worst night for such behavior surely goes to St. Patrick’s Day. This is not only an occasion for the poorest “amateur” drinkers to show their true colors but, unlike New Year’s Eve which is primarily an evening affair, many on St. Pat’s indulge in a long day of heavy imbibing well before the nighttime drinking and inevitable sloppy behavior becomes really obnoxious. Of course, this is mainly a “city problem” and little of this is seen in Anderson Valley. I expect very few such incidents at the Senior Center on Saturday evening. However, if you do come across any anti-social acts being perpetrated then my advice is to simply smile and walk away, after all nobody has ever achieved anything by trying to reason with a slobbering drunk. Trust me on this; you can thank me later.

Here are a quick couple of Public Service Announcements way in advance. The Vets from Mendocino Animal Hospital will return to the Valley next Thursday, March 25th, to provide all of your pet’s needs. They will be at The AV Farm Supply from 2-3.30pm, and while you’re there may be pick up a little something for your pet from the Farm Supply. Their prices are competitive on most items and they are helping to provide this very useful vet service for our four-legged friends. Then on Saturday and Sunday, March 27th and 28th, it’s the first Barn Sale of the year at the Big Barn between AV Way and Hwy 128 just north of Boonville. More details next week.

Moving quickly on to a couple of the topics under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge: “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…The Boonville Lodge is still empty. Many regu­lars at The 3-Dot were also customers at The Lodge and they remain very unhappy with landlord Dave “I’m not greedy” Johnson. The “For Rent” signs in the window are not helping their mood; their obvious conclusion being that his actions led to the closure of the town’s only bar, a viable business concern enjoyed by many folks, and yet he had no plans for the space, thus really shafting the Valley for no obvious reason. Johnson, not a Valley resident, may by now have finally realized the effects his actions have had on the social lives of many, but that is of little consolation to them and so he’s probably better off staying in Sonoma, far away from the Hanging Tree on Anderson Valley Way and the hungry pigs on Ornbaun Road.

…Not as important as the aforementioned events in Boonville obviously, but I wasn’t the only 3-Dot regular commentating on the lack of traffic and people out and about in Ukiah these days. I had not been over there since before Christmas and when I visited last Wednesday afternoon the place was like a ghost town, with many businesses closed and boarded up. In fact, as a sign of the times perhaps, I have to say that when I stopped at the Raley’s supermarket, significantly it was the nearby Dollar Store that was very busy indeed.

…A couple of customers at The 3-Dot tell me that they spotted several ducks (?) swimming in the huge pond (known among the regulars as “Bill Hill’s Hole”) besides Hwy 128 opposite Breggo Cellars, a couple of miles north of Boonville. I could not help myself from commenting that I hoped they had not mistakenly eaten any of the six-legged frogs that have apparently been spotted in that vast water hole. One of the regulars replied that the ducks could not have eaten any such frogs because there’s been no harmful pesticides sprayed around here that may result in such mutant creatures being formed. I felt I couldn’t possibly comment any further.

Such creatures may be ugly and deformed to us but as French philosopher Voltaire wisely pointed out, if you were to ask a male frog what beauty is “he will answer that it is a female with two great round eyes coming out of her little head, a large, wide, flat mouth, an extended belly, and a wrinkly brown back.” In other words, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” (Voltaire didn’t mention the six legs, you’ll notice.)

Time to get my coat and leave. Be careful out there, stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts, and may your god go with you. Of course, a 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 PPS. Try your best to support the small businesses of the Valley. You know it makes sense.

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