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Bird’s Eye View (Sept. 21, 2016)

Let’s get straight to the topic of the week at The Three-Dot Lounge: The County Fair.

…Friday evening. It seemed to be a smaller crowd than in recent years, a sign of the times perhaps. Excellent victory for the AV Varsity football team in a good game against Laytonville; a not so happy set of circumstances for the Boys Soccer team who were very disappointed when Geyserville canceled the game due to transport and/or coaching difficulties depending on who you ask. Pathetic. Rave reviews on the corn dogs (although the “after effects” were felt by some I am reliably informed). Lots of very loud screaming on the rides, hopefully not because the carnies were misbehaving! I feel I can say that because I once was a carnie myself, working the bumper cars on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey, during the summer of 1980.

Talking of which, the bumper cars have not been a presence at the Fair for four years or so now — it cannot be a real carnival without them. There was no clown to scare the kids (and many adults) but there was Sadie the Balloon Lady, my personal favorite if only because I cannot help but admire just how incredibly excited she gets about her balloon creations. The good cheeseburgers courtesy of the AV Volunteer Firefighters gets my “Best Food at the Fair” award once again, just beating out the teriyaki chicken-on-a-stick. Plenty of drinking by Valley folks in and around the Lions Club “Bar.” Lots of meeting and greeting of old friends and familiar faces.

…Saturday afternoon and evening. Good crowd, perhaps above average for most Saturdays in recent years. Some wonderfully presented and cared for animals. particularly the pigs and sheep. I’ve never seen such large and well-kept yearling ewes. Some fine rodeo performances providing lots of excitement to the fans packed in the stands. Delicious looking prize-winning produce that was displayed in the exhibit halls and that was very difficult not to devour feverishly, but I restrained myself and only took a few bites.

…Sunday morning/afternoon. Sheep Dog Trial, that saw some very ornery sheep, and featured a radio commentary by my Master Shepherd friend, Kevin Owens of Yorkville, who after thirty years of competing won this event with the wonderful Border Collie Bren in 2012 and 2013. I thought it was a more exciting Fair Parade than in recent times I must say, despite the fact that the well-known Bareologist of Boonville who normally flashes her mountainous mounds at various parade participants, particularly the County Sheriff, was not to be seen. A wide variety of interesting looking people passed by the AV Museum booth and many stopped by to chat. At the carnival, The Gravitron, The Wheel of Fire, and The Zipper looked less threatening in the daylight but still far too scary for me to risk. On the food and drink front, I attempted and failed to take on a huge portion of curly fires, about the size of a small child, and a few pints of Boont Amber from the AV Brewery which some might say led me to act like a small child.

All told, I had a good time and left with a five-inch corn dog which was delicious and had no after-affects! It seemed that everyone enjoyed themselves and on their behalf may I be so bold as to thank all of those concerned for their hard work in putting together “The Best Little Fair in the West.”

Public Service Announcements. #544. I made a mistake last week (you must be shocked!?) but I can now rectify it by informing you that the Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital actually do have one more visit this month to the AV Farm Supply on Highway 128, north of Philo: tomorrow, Thursday, September 22 from 2-3.30pm. Best to turn up at around 3pm; you will be seen. The Vets return twice next month, on Thursdays, October 6 and 20. New customers and their pets are always welcome. Previous visitors can call 462-8833 and the vets will bring your pet’s charts. #545. The Boonville Farmers Market continues every Saturday in the parking lot of the Boonville Hotel, 9.30am-Noon. For more information, call Cindy at 895-2949. #546. The AV Lending Library run by The Unity Club is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays at The Fairgrounds. Tuesday 1.30-4.30pm and Saturday 2-4pm. #547. The County Dump is open from 9am-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Remember, no dead animals!

Here is the menu for the Community lunches and dinners over the next week in the Senior Center at the Veterans Building in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from seniors for both lunches and dinners and charges $7 for Non-seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, September 22, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Shredded BBQ Beef Sandwich and Strawberry Pie Dessert. Then, next Tuesday, September 27, the 6pm evening meal will feature BBQ ribs, and Cherry Crisp for dessert. This is the 4th Tuesday so the dinner will be followed by Bunco at 7pm. 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! Tai Chi is available every Tuesday at 11am. On Thursdays at 11am is Kathy’s Easy-stretch Yoga class, and the Active Life Club runs from 10am to 2pm and 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. Sign up early at 489-1175. All ages are welcome at the Senior Center events! Hope to see you there.

More topics and Valley events under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge.

…“Another Gun Owner for Trump.” On my travels through the Valley I have now spotted three bumper stickers featuring this phrase (otherwise they seem like reasonable people). Each to his own, I guess. Hey, that’s why they call it a democracy.

…A few of our 3-Dot regulars have offered very positive reviews for the 4 Bar K Ranch in Boonville that is offering premium grass fed beef for sale. This is local grass fed beef, raised in the Valley with no shots or hormones, just excellent, lean, grass finished beef. They raise their beef free range, organically, in a humane, safe, and stress free way. This insures that the beef is the best quality, raised and sold in the right way. Contact Dave Kooyers at, (707) 895-2325.

…I spent most of the Fair sitting with my good friend Steve Sparks at the AV Historical Society and Museum booth. It was next to the one representing the Mendocino Democrats, and backed on to the booth run by the Republicans. Suffice it to say it made for an interesting couple of days of banter, and a steady business in book sales for the Society.

…Speaking of that banter, here are a few examples of comments I heard being directed to the hosts at the Democrats booth. “I can’t vote for Hilary; she is a crook and a woman in bad health.” “These two candidates are the worst ever; it’s too bad Obama can’t serve another term.” And, “How come the guys working the Republican booth are so miserable?”

I’m outtahere. I’ve got see a man about a sheep. So “please take me drunk, I’m home.” 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 please 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 PS. Missing the Venerable Pheasant. Keep on humming, Hummingbird. On the sheep, Grace.

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