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Bird’s Eye View (Aug 3, 2016)

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

‘How did it come to this?” According to polls, a total of some 20% of the electorate, comprising voters from all sides of the political spectrum, express the view that they do not like either presidential candidate. As a result, folks are theorizing that the election in November will actually come down to a choice between the lesser of two “evils.” Has it ever been this bad? The percentage number of eligible voters who have turned out on election day has been below 50% on only two previous occasions. 1920 and 1924, with each of these coming in at around 49%. Unfortunately, given the choices this year, and the resulting disillusionment among many voters of both parties, we could see large numbers of folks deciding to not vote for either of the two main candidates thus leading to perhaps the lowest turnout ever. I sincerely hope this is not the case and that the people of this country get out on election day and seize their right to vote. Given that so many people around the world do not possess such freedom and power, it would almost seem like a crime not to.

Meanwhile, following the recent political conventions, which I must say contrasted greatly in terms of quality, it is apparent that one party has chosen a leader who is talking of creating a country in which folks turn against each other, and which turns away from the rest of the world. Who does he think he is? Surely the spirit and greatness of this country has never been based on, as Barack Obama said last week, “following some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way.” Does this country really want to be “ruled” by an ill-informed, bigoted, and egomaniacal dictator? The other party, whose convention witnessed some particularly good speeches, has chosen someone who “ticks many of the right boxes” required to meet the needs for a civilized, open, and successful nation, but who, I must say, is certainly no “angel.” It seems very likely at this point that the election will result in a victory for the candidate who is not the most popular, but the one slightly less detested.

Onward. Public Service Announcements #539. Local guys, Bob Day and Nathan McMath, are two members of the five-piece jazz combo that will be performing at The Buckhorn on Friday, August 5 at 7.30pm. There’s no cover charge to be entertained by this top quality live band and obviously all the food and drink you may wish to enjoy from the bar or in the beer garden. #540. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital have two visits this month to the AV Farm Supply on Hwy 128, north of Philo: the first and third Thursday from 2-3.30pm. I.e., tomorrow, August 4; the second visit Aug 18. #541. This coming Saturday, August 6, The Subdudes make what has become an almost annual return to the stage at the Navarro General Store amphitheater. This year they will have Mendocino’s Gene Parsons (formerly of the Byrds) and David Hayes (Van Morrison regular) in support. #542. The only confirmed Barn Sale this month will take place this weekend, Saturday/Sunday, August 6/7, from 9am-3pm at The Big Barn next to the St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church Refectory on AV Way just north of Boonville. The Barn Sale hopes to be on the first and third weekend of each month. I will try to confirm this. #543. The Bookmobile returns to the Valley next Tuesday, August 9— 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. #544. The AV Museum is open Saturday and Sunday, from 1-4pm in The Little Red Schoolhouse next to the Elementary School on AV Way, a perfect thing to do when you have a couple of hours to spare on a weekend. Easily, “The Best Little Museum in the West.” #545. The 17th annual Boonville Aviation Knowledge and Folklore Convention, aka Airport Day, is the weekend of August 12/13 feature a Friday evening Happy Hour at the AV Brewery Visitor Center with festivities on Saturday beginning at noon, culminating in a pot luck dinner (drinks provided) at 5pm. Contact Cindy or Kirk Wilder at 895-2949.

Here is the menu for the Community lunches and dinners next week in the Senior Center at the Veterans 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, August 4, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Chicken Bleu Casserole with Birthday Cupcakes followed at 1pm by music and singing with Ken Montgomery and Friends. Next Tuesday, August 9, the 6pm evening meal features Pork Normandy and Cranberry/Orange Pound Cake for dessert. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. What a deal, the best value for money you’ll get all week! This is the 2nd Tuesday of the month, Bingo after dinner at 7pm. Tai Chi is available every Tuesday at 11am; on Thursdays at 11am: Easy-stretch Yoga, part of the Active Life Club from 10am to 2pm with games, crafts, and music. The Senior Center/Community Bus goes to Ukiah on Mondays and also Santa Rosa on the first Wednesday of the month. These trips fill up fast so sign up early at 489-1175. Hopefully you will be able to attend some of these events and certainly the lunches and dinners. ALL ages welcome! Hope to see you there.

Ttopics and Valley events at The Three-Dot Lounge: Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (yet surprisingly reliable) Rumors from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…The new Principals for our local high/junior high school and elementary schools will be up for confirmation by the School Board in the near future. Selected by School Superintendent Michelle Hutchins, they are: Mr. Keri St. Joer at the High School and Ms. Katherine Reddick at the Elementary. Along with many other folks, I believe that both should live in our community and be seen in and around the Valley, not to mention meet all the other qualities we need in the leaders at our schools: strong leadership; good people skills; the ability to balance “tough love” and discipline with earned praise and encouragement; to demonstrate fairness and consistency; to be organized and prepared; have good listening skills; and be visionaries and open to change in the world of modern education.

…Several regulars pointed out that as summer progresses, some peculiar folks, unable to get rid of the vast crops of squash/zucchini that they have inexplicably grown, in your absence sneak up to your parked vehicle and put 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; not unlike that feeling you get when your underwear draw has obviously been tampered with. I think you know what I mean.

…I was unable to attend the July 4th celebration a few weeks ago but did hear about the performance of Alan “The Clucker” Thomas, the judge (and three-time winner prior to that) of the annual Chicken-Clucking Competition. Alan’s talent in this “sport” is something that has been applauded in this column before, but this year, at the end of the competition and with his judging duties completed, he took things to a new level when he stood in the middle of the Redwood Grove at The Fairgrounds and actually laid an egg. Some people were shocked. Several folks wanted to check his nether regions. One person fainted; one or two offered to pay to see him lay another one. One middle-aged gentleman went home crying. with joy or in grief, nobody could tell. Did Alan go too far? His brother, Geoff, tells me that with the advancing years, Alan now actually thinks he is a chicken. I suggested to Geoff that perhaps he should gently inform Alan that he really isn’t. Geoff said he had thought about breaking this earth-shattering news to his brother, but is reluctant to do so because they need the eggs.

I’m outtahere. I’ve got see a man about a sheep. 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, 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. And, “Let us prey.” Sometimes poking, often stroking, but almost always humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. Contact me through the Letters Page or at PS. Keep on humming, Hummingbird. Missing the Venerable Pheasant. On the sheep, Grace.

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