Greetings one and all. Are you are sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. The rise of Donald Trump in this country is another example of the kind of right-wing populist politics that is gaining ground in many western democracies. Think France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, and, less surprisingly, Hungary and Poland. It doesn’t seem to matter what the leaders of these movements say to gather support; they are often self-important egomaniacs who have made an art form of putting their feet in their mouths, but they are being listened to. Hence the rise of France’s Le Pen, Austria’s Norbert Hofer, and of course Trump, hardly a great thinker and certainly a big talker. As a result, we have a xenophobic, trust fund kid with a hugely inflated ego, accompanied by arrogance that has no bounds; a shameless racist who quotes from the National Enquirer, peddles conspiracy theories, routinely calls women fat and ugly, who has advocated torture and bombing of women and children, and yet has managed to capture the hearts, minds, and votes of a majority of Republicans. Surely the opponent of such a candidate, even one with several serious shortcomings of her own, would easily win a national election between the two? Not necessarily. Is it really time to fly off to my private isolated island in the Pacific to escape the madness?
Public Service Announcements. #543. Tomorrow, July 21, from 2-3.30pm, the Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital make their second visit this month to the AV Farm Supply on Highway 128, north of Philo. Arrive around 3pm; you will definitely be seen. Previous visitors can call 462-8833 so that the pet’s charts are on-hand. They plan to be here twice again next month, August 4 and 18. #544. The Bookmobile returns to the Valley next Tuesday, July 26; alternate Tuesdays for 45 minutes at: Navarro Store 9am (for just 30 minutes before heading out to Comptche); the Floodgate 12.30pm; Philo 1.30pm; Boonville (Apple Hall) 2.30pm. Phone 463-4694 for further details. #545. The AV Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday, from 1-4pm in The Little Red Schoolhouse next to the Elementary School on AV Way, a perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a weekend afternoon. “The Best Little Museum in the West.” #546. The Increasingly Difficult Living Fair (sometimes referred to as the Not So Simple Living Fair) will take place at the Fairgrounds in Boonville over the weekend of July 29-31. For more information go to http://notsosimple.info/. #547. The Boon Dogs of Aquarelle Cafe and Wine Bar fame are now being served outside the AV Brewery Visitor Center on Friday and Saturday afternoons. An idea someone I know had many years ago. Keevan the DogMan is on the grill from Noon to 6pm or so — a very tasty treat while sipping fine beers or playing frisbee golf. #548. This coming Saturday, July 23, it’s Open Mic at Lauren's Restaurant in downtown Boonville. Dinner served 5pm to 9pm. Open Mic starts at 9pm with sign-ups at 8.30pm. All are welcome: musicians, singers, poets, writers, impressionists, magicians, comedians, actors, fire-eaters, pole dancers, sword swallowers, ventriloquists, raconteurs, exotic dancers, animal callers, etc. No clowns, apparently they would scare any kids who might be there (and we definitely cannot have that), and no mimes, please. They scare almost everyone else! For more info call 895-3869.
Here is the menu for the Community lunches and dinners next week in the Senior Center at the Vets Building in Boonville. $6 donation from Seniors for both lunches and dinners and $7 for Non-seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, July 21, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Beef & Chicken Tostada with Mixed Berry Nachos. Next Tuesday, July 26, the evening meal at 6pm, will feature BBQ Ribs and Texas Sheet Cake for dessert. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. What a deal. it maybe the best value for money you’ll get all week! Tai Chi is now available every Tuesday at 11am, while on Thursdays at 11am it is Easy-stretch Yoga, as part of the Active Life Club that runs from 10am to 2pm and which also features games, crafts, and music. The Senior Center/Community Bus goes to Ukiah on Monday's and Santa Rosa on the first Wednesday of the month. These trips fill up fast so don't forget to sign up early at 489-1175. Hopefully you will be able to attend some of these events and certainly the lunches and dinners, and remember. ALL ages welcome! Hope to see you there.
Topics and Valley events 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.
…“Is Yorkville in Anderson Valley?” Well technically “Yes,” and historically the answer would be a resounding “Yes, of course.” However, as some folks pointed out, geographically there are several significant hills/ravines/small valleys in between “the High Rollers” and us, so maybe it is debatable. Furthermore, I know of several Yorkville folks who feel they are not included in the overall Valley’s mindset, some of whom are annoyed by that fact and some who are quite pleased about the situation.
…Second question: “Does a Book Club need to serve wine at its gatherings?” I personally believe to get to the heart of the book, to its very essence, and to fully digest the author’s intentions and message, then wine should most certainly be served. But I could be wrong.
…The Anderson Valley Advertiser has moved its world headquarters out of the Farrer Building to a new location alongside the Redwood Drive-In. They/we are now situated in a compound of well-guarded buildings and heavily fortified bunkers. It was inevitable. I should add that there is no truth to the rapidly spreading rumor that J. Schmitt and Associates, owners of the Farrer Building and its exclusive parking area alongside, had secured the parking lot concession at the AVA’s new location and were planning to charge a $5 per hour fee. Those familiar with the wheelings-and-dealings in and around the Farrer Building in recent times would perhaps not have been too surprised if the rumor had been accurate. And personally speaking the $5 fee did seem a very fair rate for the opportunity to catch a glimpse of, and perhaps even talk to, the AVA’s Supreme Leader, Lord Anderson, and his loyal accomplice-in-flame-fanning, Major Scaramella, as they toil away at the arduous and thankless task of producing America’s Last Newspaper.
…New Principals at both the AV Elementary and High Schools are expected to be confirmed very soon. My claws are crossed in the hope for insightful choices of individuals who, in the eyes of parents, students and faculty alike, will provide strong leadership; exhibit good people skills; show ability to balance “tough love” and discipline with earned praise and encouragement; demonstrate fairness and consistency; are organized and prepared; have good listening skills; and are visionaries in the world of modern education. This decision is clearly going to have a great influence on the futures of the Valley’s schoolchildren. I am cautiously optimistic (how can one be anything more in this day and age of turmoil and disconnection) that those entrusted with the decision. Superintendent (and former High School Principal) Michelle Hutchins and The School Board. will “do the right thing.”
Time to take my leave. So, “please take me drunk, I’m home.” Until we talk again. Be careful out there; if you break a leg don’t come running to me; stay out of the ditches; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; show love to your pets, they will be faithful and true to you to the last beat of their hearts, and remember to keep your windows cracked if you leave them in your vehicle; think good thoughts; Keep the Faith; try to not let life get in the way of living; may your god go with you, and may your dog go with you too. A final request, “Let us prey.” Sometimes poking, often stroking, but almost always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. Contact me through the Letters Page or at firstname.lastname@example.org. PS. Keep on humming, Hummingbird. Missing the Venerable Pheasant. On the sheep, Grace.