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Valley People (Oct. 12, 2016)

NOT TO ALARM YOU, Anderson Valley, but all those rumors about the dead man found in Upper Peachland? True. There was a page out last week of local emergency services people. Phrases like “coroner confirmation” and “injuries not compatible with life” were heard on local scanners. A 39-year-old man had been found dead in the Upper Peachland. He had probably been dead for several days. There was added speculation that the blackened condition of his head might mean that he’d burned to death, and there was speculation that his face was blackened from the lividity that occurs when a person is suspended by his feet for a prolonged period of time. All speculation at this point, but it is known that the dead man was not burned while the cause of his death, if known, has not been revealed. But his age and, presumably, his name are known, and “he is not local.” We should know more soon.

JOHNNY RAY HARDING was helicoptered outtahere with chest pains the other evening, and all of us hope the strapping Boonville Fairground’s worker is ok.

THE LATE JOE CERVETTO owned a place up on Redwood Ridge west of Boonville, and I bring it up because Joe was famous as the guy who, for years, played Columbus coming ashore in the New World in annual ceremonies at Aquatic Park, San Francisco.

ADD to your long list of Valley luminaries, Brian Padilla, part-time resident of Indian Creek Road, renowned blacksmith and creator of high-end jewelry.

ANDERSON VALLEY ARTS presents “It’s About Time”, a live auction fundraiser featuring time-inspired artworks created by Valley artists. The event will take place at Lauren’s in Boonville on Sunday, October 23rd, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Proceeds will support supplemental arts programs and scholarships for Anderson Valley students. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, visit

TAMARA PITMAN of Rincon Valley Christian was so impressed by the tip-top sportsmanship and all-round nice guy behavior of our visiting football team and its coach, Gentleman John Toohey, that she relayed her commendations to AVHS’s athletic director, Pinoli: “Dear Robert Pinoli, Coach Gray informed me that this is your team! You need to be so proud. Your players showed great sportsmanship on Saturday as well as respect for our team! After we won with great clean fighting from your team, they knelt on a knee while we prayed after the game before they did their jumping jacks! This respect blew my mind. As a Christian school we tend to get disrespected at times! When there was a play they shook hands and helped our players up! What fine young men you have! It was hard to be excited over that win! Thank you and your coaching staff and players! Tamara Pittman, secondary administrative assistant, Rincon Valley Christian School, Santa Rosa.”

THE AV AMBULANCE SERVICE will hold its annual meeting on November 14, 2016, at 7 PM at 13325 Estate Drive in Boonville. The Ambulance Service board of directors and managers welcome anyone interested in attending. (Well, maybe. These annual gatherings have always been insider parties which, over the years and because of that exclusivity, has not been helpful in the ongoing recruitment of new people.)

FRESH ORGANIC CHESTNUTS from Chestnut Ridge Ranch in Boonville are for sale at $8/lb. Chestnuts are being harvested as we meet here today. “Email me your telephone number and how many pounds you need. The farmer will contact you directly. Delivery may be possible on the coast. Sam:

THE AV Panthers football team roared past Upper Lake at Friday's home conference game by a score of 64-38.

OUT EARLY for my daily hour of strenuous aerobics, a coat and tie-clad tall man looms out of the dawn’s mists, striding purposefully in the Philo direction. I got an immediate flashback to 1955. “Who the heck is this guy and what is he doing in Boonville?” Some kinda plainclothes cop? Turns out early morning Retro Man is Arthur Folz, English and drama teacher at Anderson Valley High School on a faculty that mostly looks like they spent the night in doorways and just rolled on into the classroom. But Superintendent Hutchins tells me “Mr. Folz was hired last year and is a great addition to the staff. He has a roommate, Matt Bullington (another big guy), a temporary teacher in history replacing Julie Honegger while she is on special assignment. The two are known as the twin towers. See them standing in a room full of AV teachers and you'll know why.”

GREG KROUSE, looking askance, “I was wondering if you could mention our First Friday special film this Friday Oct 14th, at 6 and 7 PM at the AV Grange hall. The film is The Lunchbox, is a warm Indian movie about two strangers who get connected by an accidental message in a lunch box and the use of the same for a sort of lunch box internet. Six PM is a short social hour followed by the film at 7 PM.”

SPEAKING of movies we’ve got Pat Boone, Ed Asner and Diane Ladd starring in a made-in-Boonville epic called, “Boonville Redemption,” now available on DVD. We’ve annotated the press release’s account of the film’s story line to bring it more into line with Boonville’s contemporary realities...

“Thirteen-year-old Melinda is angry about the hand life has dealt her. Born out of wedlock and scorned by many, she struggles to find out who she is in this world, to herself, her family and to God. Melinda desperately wants to know what happened to her real father.

(Paternity is a tricky subject in the Anderson Valley, always has been.)

“No one will tell her. Alice, Melinda's mother, feels that God has abandoned her because of her past decisions, so she now relies on superstitions to deal with her guilt and get her through the day. Maddox, Melinda's stepfather, is the top employer in Anderson Valley. He lords his control over the small town of Boonville. The local pastor is the only person who doesn't treat Melinda with disdain. But he is mysteriously killed and Melinda is left with no one to talk to.”

(References to ‘top employer’ could be to the Roederer Winery, a French Catholic imperial enterprise located in Philo, and undoubtedly hostile to American fundamentalism. Several Boonville pastors of various denominations have in fact disappeared over the years, but are rumored to have merely opted for anonymous new lives in the fleshpots of San Francisco.)

“Mary is Melinda's ailing and sometimes delusional grandmother. Under much protest, Melinda is sent to take care of her. Mary shows Melinda the love and acceptance that the girl has never experienced. When Grandma Mary is delusional, she speaks in a long forgotten language of the valley called "Boontling." With the discovery and understanding of Boontling, Melinda begins to learn about her father. Melinda is happy at her grandmother's and never wants to return home. She enjoys the peace of no longer being under the heavy thumb of Maddox. But that comfort is soon ripped from her with Grandma Mary's sudden passing.

(Boontling being heavy on ethnic slurs and sexual innuendo, Melinda undoubtedly got an earful from ol’ gran.)

“Now determined to do all within her power to find her father, Melinda's bravery compels some of the townspeople to reveal the dark secrets that they have kept for years. Her example gives them strength to bring the truth to light and ultimately to find forgiveness and redemption. Along with Boonville's residents, Melinda learns that when you look for the truth, that's where you'll find grace.”

(It’s probably wiser to look for the truth than find it, discovery being a disillusioning experience. Here at Boonville’s beloved newspaper, if we revealed even half of the ‘dark secrets’ we know, we couldn’t leave our office without Seal Team Six and an armored vehicle.)

O BOYBOYO. “You're Invited! Coffee with Congressman Huffman in Boonville on Tuesday Oct. 18. “As part of my ongoing public outreach throughout California's 2nd Congressional District, I will be hosting "Coffee with your Congressman" at the Boonville Hotel on Tuesday, October 18. I look forward to answering your questions and sharing recent updates from Congress on the work I’m doing on behalf of California’s North Coast. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me for what I hope will be an informative and lively discussion. If you have questions, please contact my San Rafael District Office at (415) 258-9657. Hope to see you there. — Congressman Jared Huffman”

AWESOME PAVEMENT. Loren Rex, local boss of state parks, tells us: “The Hendy Woods Campground and road by the shop have been completed. The next two weeks they will be focused on repairing the main road as well as staging the concrete pumper on the road for the tank foundation. The park will remain open to people who park at the entrance kiosk and walk in but due to construction the vehicle access to the day use will be affected until the 28th (weather dependent). We are looking forward to having this awesome park improvement project finished so we can focus on the many other projects at Hendy. Things should be back to normal by the end of October.”

BLACKBIRD FARMS, the burgeoning educational and hotel complex in the hills west of Philo, is also available for weddings, as we see on the Blackbird website at

ANDERSON VALLEY FOODSHED SHINDIG Saturday, October 15th at 6:00 PM The Shed (Behind Paysanne Ice Cream Shop)

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