I watched the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the umpteenth time last weekend. This Christmas fantasy drama film, produced and directed by Frank Capra, is now among the most popular in American cinema and has become traditional viewing during the Christmas season. The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, who shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born. Its storyline is as relevant today as it was when the movie came out in 1946, and the acting by the whole cast is tremendous with lots of sophisticated and poignant dialogue. No matter how often you see this perennial Christmas favorite, you will be entranced. In my opinion it is flawless and was a favorite of both leading man Jimmy Stewart and director Frank Capra. It’s easy to see why. Stewart gives the performance of a lifetime. Alternately affable and bitter, he is the movie's little-man hero. And if the movie is about broken dreams, its conclusion is that these broken dreams can turn out to be a blessing. I suggest you do yourself and your loved ones a favor over the holidays and warm your hearts and a shed a tear or two of happiness and gratitude as you watch one of the best films ever made.
Valley Restaurant Update. As I write this, and following the final closure of Libby’s in Philo and the temporary closing (until early February) of Aquarelle in Boonville, and of course the continuing absence of The Buckhorn, it would appear that evening dining options in the Valley are down to Lauren’s Restaurant, The Boonville Hotel, and The Redwood Drive-In in Boonville, and The Bewildered Pig in the Deep End (until they close from January 1-17 inclusive). Stone and Embers is not open in the evening as they continue to serve from 12-6 Friday-Tuesday, but they will then close for the Christmas week of December 23-27. A Turkey Vulture with a penchant for evening dining could go hungry around here.
Talking of eating, drinking, and being merry (or hoping to find places to do so), the annual Valley Crab Feeds are scheduled for a couple of Saturdays in the first few weeks of the New Year. Some of you may wish to give Xmas gifts to loved ones in the form of tickets. The first one is the annual benefit for the Senior Center and will be held on Saturday, January 21, tickets are $35 pre-sale, $40 on the door, and are sold at the Senior Center, AV Market, Rossi Hardware, and Lemons in Philo. Happy Hour is at 5.30pm, dinner at 6.30pm. Two weeks later is the Original Crab Feed on Saturday, February 4, $45, the same as last year, including complimentary wine. Tickets available through Gloria Ross at 895-3071. Both Crab Feeds are very popular Valley-centric occasions. They WILL sell out; you have been warned.
Public Service Announcements. #542. This Saturday, December 17, is the community singing of carols at Lauren’s Restaurant from 8.30pm. #543. Tomorrow, Thursday, December 15, the Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital make their final visit of the year to the AV Farm Supply on Highway 128, north of Philo. Good to arrive around 3pm. You will definitely be seen. New customers and their pets are always welcome and previous visitors should be aware that they can call 462-8833 and the vets will bring your pet’s charts with them. #544. The Boonville Farmers Market continues their Winter location and hours at The Boonville General Store, on Saturdays from 11am-1pm. For more info, call Cindy at 895-2949. #545. Need a burn permit? From 11am to 3pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays you can get one from the Firehouse in Boonville. Call 895-2020 for more information or stop by. #546. The AV Lending Library run by The Unity Club is open Tuesdays from 1.30-4.30pm and Saturdays 2-4pm at The Fairgrounds in Boonville. #548. The County Dump is open from 9am-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Dump Executive Director, Mike Mannix, rewards good customers with a star but will be very harsh with anyone thinking they can leave dead animals!
Here is the menu for the final Community lunch of the year in the Senior Center at the Veterans Building in Boonville. $6 donation for seniors and $7 for Non-seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, December 15, this lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will feature Macaroni & Cheese, with Rum Cake for dessert, and includes vegetables, salad bar and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea or lemonade. Maybe the best value for money all week! The Senior Center will then be closed over the holidays before re-opening for lunch on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. Normally, Tai Chi is available every Tuesday at 11am, while on Thursdays at 11am it is Kathy’s Easy-stretch Yoga class. Also on Thursdays, the Active Life Club runs from 10am to 2pm and features games, crafts, and music. The Senior Center/Community Bus goes to Ukiah on Mondays and Santa Rosa on the first Wednesday. These trips fill up fast sign up early at 489-1175. All ages welcome at the Senior Center! Hope to see you there.
The Three-Dot Lounge is closed this week due to pre-Christmas stress syndrome (PCSS) running rampant among many of the regular customers. However, no such worries for our 3-Dot regular, The Old Buzzard, who quite frankly doesn’t give a s**t about much of what happens at this time of year, and so here comes another in his insightful series – “Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.”
Buzzard reports, “A couple of things that were brought to my attention in the past few days lead me once more to realize that the Apocalypse is knocking on our door. Firstly, the news that the United Nations has launched a record appeal for humanitarian aid, seeking $22.2bn for 2017. It says the money is needed to help 93 million people affected by war and natural disasters in 33 countries. Well over half of these are as a result of war. What are we doing? And secondly, among the more astonishing elements of the American election was that it is obvious foreign hackers played a role in it. Now it is clear that the CIA briefed congressional bigwigs both before and after it, suggesting the Russians’ motive was not just mischief-making, but actively seeking Hillary Clinton’s defeat. President-elect Donald Trump dismissed the claims with characteristic nonchalance, but not all Republican congressmen agree: the Homeland Security Committee chairman has promised urgent hearings. Many senior figures distrust Vladimir Putin, but know that grassroots conservatives favor a Russian-style approach to government and foreign policy, particularly fighting Islamist terrorism, including backing secular autocrats and attacking targets with ruthless indifference to collateral damage. And now we hear that Mr. Trump will reportedly name as secretary of state Rex Tillerson, the boss of oil giant Exxon Mobil, as close to Mr. Putin as any American businessman. Oh, well. I guess at least another General will not be added to the new cabinet. there are three already. The times, they are a-changing, and a new world may soon be upon us.”
I’m outtahere. I’ve got see a man about a sheep. 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; 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 wagging that tail, Fred. Hi, Silver Swan – behaving yourself? Hopefully not! Keep up the good work, Round-eyed Robin.