Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. They’re back! No, I’m not referring to the delightful blossoms on the apple trees; nor to the buttercups and daisies scattered around the hillsides; nor the newborn lambs prancing in the pastures; not even to the sound of the metal bats of the high school baseball team crushing balls into outfields and beyond. No, folks, I’m talking about something that, unlike these bucolic sounds of the Valley in late spring, is not welcomed at this time of year: the ridiculously loud, freeze-protecting fans used by certain wineries in the middle of the night!
Valley dwellers who have seen us close-up will be aware that Turkey Vultures need their beauty sleep more than most so when, at 2:30am last Friday morning, the deafening noise started up and then continued for five hours or so, I was ready to peck the eyes out of any winery owner I could get my claws on. This would have been a little unfair as there are just one or two culprits at this point, to my knowledge, but for those average working folks living in the Christine Woods/Floodgate area of the Valley just trying to get a good night’s sleep, one or two ‘bad guys’ is definitely more than enough to make it virtually impossible. Did I use the word ‘deafening’ yet? Good, because that what it is. “Like helicopters in our driveway” is one description I have heard from those living close by!
I’ve been reliably informed that there are fans which are much quieter although more expensive. So why haven’t they been installed? Or have I answered my own question? This sort of noise pollution is particularly short-sighted and selfish and it goes without saying, although I’ll say it, that the absentee owners of wineries in this Valley wouldn’t put up with it if they ever had to spend a night in its midst. Instead they get to sleep soundly through the night in their mansions and ivory towers many miles from here. There could be several more nights of this abomination still to come for local folks to endure, but what do those people care? It’s shameful, that’s what it is.
Not for the first time I turn to Mark Twain for our Quote of the Week and with the topic of ‘shame’ cropping up why not go with his classic, “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” Are you listening in Napa? Please pass me the sick bag.
On a more positive note I feel it is time to once again mention the wonderful attitude and service one invariably gets when visiting the post office in Philo. Joe, Sheila, and Anne are always a pleasure to see and never fail to offer a smile and a cheerful ‘Hi’ every time a customer walks in. They are a credit to their profession and their demeanor is always welcoming, which is unlike my experiences in some post offices I could name...
This week’s big sporting event in the Valley will be the Alumni Basketball tournament that’s taking place at the school gym on Saturday evening. Four teams will compete, each representing a different era of AV High hoops, and the hottest ticket, particularly among some ‘lady vultures’ I know, is for the rumored appearance of the late 80s/early90s team in contemporary uniforms. No surprise there: short shorts and high tube socks on a grown man is always going to be a big draw. Good on them, I say, it’s all for a good cause and hopefully a good crowd will show up to enjoy this feast of Panther basketball history.
Talking of Valley history, this month we celebrate the birthdays of these seniors in the Valley: Robert Fowler, Tom Burger, Linda Stewart, and Charmian Blattner. Congratulations, well done so far, and may you each have many more! And talking of Seniors, they and all concerned at the Senior Center welcome you one and all to the Bingo Night and Spaghetti Dinner that will be held at the Veterans Building on Tuesday, May 11th, the first in what is hoped will be a regular event on the second Tuesday of every month. Bingo and spaghetti — ya gotta like that!
Public Service Announcements. #91: The Grange Groove will be taking place this coming Friday, April 16th from 7:30pm to 10pm at The Grange on Hwy 128. With music by D.J. Pete and lighting and effects courtesy of the indefatigable Cruncher, what’s not to like? #92: As a precursor to the Annual AV Wildflower Show coming up on April 24th and 25th, this Saturday, April 17th at 1pm is the Wildflower Walk organized by the Land Trust. Call 895-3150 for details. #93: Those of you thinking of joining The AV Grange should go for it this month when membership is free! The all-important meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, April 20th at, where else?, The Grange! #94: Not so much an announcement as a warning: check your propane gas bills and make sure the gas company you use has not suddenly hiked up your price in the last couple of months. I am told its something they have been known to do as your usage goes down and their revenue stream begins to be affected. I just thought you should know.
Time to take my leave; I have to see a man about a sheep. Be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request: “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PD. Contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. PPS. Hi, Silver Swan; nice to see you last Friday evening, even if it was just for a brief, carefree wave across a room full of diners.