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Valley People (May 10, 2017)

A TRULY memorable Thursday can be yours every Thursday at Navarro's fine restaurant, the Bewildered Pig, offers a weekly special for $17 or less... Friday nights we have FUnky G Fridays~Thelonious Monk style jazz and three courses for $30 (pre-fixe) which, my friends, is a very good deal for food of this quality, and from all accounts it is very, very good indeed.

AND, COMING RIGHT UP at the Perplexed Porker on MAY 19 & 20 PINOTFEST WINEMAKER DINNER featuring BLACK KITE CELLARS! We’ve changed the seating arrangements: Reservations for the Multicourse winemaker dinner will be Friday and Saturday at 5:00. We will begin regular menu service at 7:30. To book for the Winemaker dinner, please visit the ~menu to be posted shortly, but insanely hyper local! You should be here! To book your dinner après winemaker dinner (from 7:30 on), just call the Pig. (Tasting menu available) 895-2088.

MAY IS LYME DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH: The Mendocino Lyme Support Group has several events scheduled this month. Phyllis Mervine, national founder of, will speak at our monthly support group meeting on May 16 at NCO at 413 North State in Ukiah. Meetings are from 6 to 8pm. Also we will be showing the great Lyme documentary film “Under our Skin, “at the Ukiah Library 105 N. Main. Showing will be from 5:30 till 7:30pm on Wednesday, May 24th. Come and learn about Lyme from a very informative film . We are also on Facebook at Mendocino Lyme Support Group.

ODD OCCURRENCE at the Boonville Post Office the other day. A local woman appears at the counter to say, "This letter absolutely must reach this Boonville box by tomorrow.” That address is ten feet from the counter. Postmistress Collette says, "You want the overnight guarantee insurance, too?" The customer says yes. Postmistress Collette says, "$27 for overnight delivery, $27 for the guarantee." Customer, with a shrug, "It is what it is,” and forks over.

AND A SECOND odd occurrence down the street at architect Steve Wood's office where in the late hours one night last week, a burglar, maybe two, climbed the fence and tried to break in to Steve’s office. Unable to gain entrance, but maliciously squirting glue in Steve's door lock before departing.

THIS IS the first reported Boonville burglary, or attempt at a burglary, in a long, long time. Deputy Squires tamed this burg and his successor, Deputy Craig Walker, has kept it that way. Those of you who live in places where burglaries are so commonplace cops yawn at them and laugh at reports of attempted break-ins, please know that there is one little town where burglaries aren't common and attempted burglaries are fully investigated.

CHATTING with a local Grange guy who says he wants to stay with the National Grange because he doesn't think there's enough revenue to sustain a breakaway Grange/Guild. He was leaning pro-Guild until last weekend’s presentation by both sides at the Philo Grange. This guy doesn't like National's "pseudo-religious rituals" (based on its midwest roots), but the big revenue from the National’s Grange insurance program makes them pretty much sue-proof. He also thinks as a guild Philo would be tied up in wasteful court fights over who owns the breakaway group's buildings. Given the legal system’s partiality to litigants with big money, there's a good chance the breakawayers would lose after wasting lots of money on lawyers. This is all occurring in a context of dwindling membership.

ANDERSON VALLEY FARM SUPPLY’S el grande Customer Appreciation Day will occur on Friday, May 19th from 9:00am-6:00pm. Food, drinks and Farm Supply vendors with some very cool samples. All this and a raffle!

I ONCE SAW a tourist couple step tentatively into Boonville's brochure-festooned Chamber of Commerce ad shack, the only touri I’ve seen from my perch across the street to risk it. The elderly gent cautiously peered in before beckoning his wife to follow. They were soon back out in the sunshine, empty-handed because there's nothing inside of interest or in any way associated with life in this place as it is lived by us.

MAYBE the Chamber of Commerce could jazz it up a little with, say, a roster of the world class maniacs who once called The Valley home — The Manson Family; Pastor Jim Jones; Ken Parnell; the Moonies; Tree Frog Johnson; Leonard Lake and Charles Ng. Of course, the macabre isn't ordinarily celebrated by the tourist industry but it is our distinctive hook, as they say in the business.

SERIOUSLY, though, visitors on foot seldom venture past the Hanes Gallery on one end of town and the buildings clustered around the freshly rehabbed Live Oak Building on the other, most because they can't get any farther without breaking an ankle or getting run over. And there are lots of tourists stopping for a look these days, many of them not particularly mobile once they're out of their vehicles. Sooooo…

WE need sidewalks on both sides of 128 from the junction of 128 and Mountain View Road and the junction of 128 and the Ukiah Road, which would enable visitors to have a close look at the splendors offered by the whole town, not just its ice cream cone core.

AS FOR THE KIOSK, the Chamber needs to haul it down around the fire station where tourists are more likely to investigate it, and when it's re-located put stuff in it that tell the visitor what he might see other than tasting rooms and Hendy Woods. As is, for instance, there's no mention in the kiosk of the absolutely unique store right next door, Boont Berry Farm, which is really Boonville's beating heart.

SOMEONE DID A NICE JOB redoing the rail fence in front of Hulbert Ranch. I thought I saw Tony Pardini out there a-workin’ away on it, but whoever did it’s artfully done.

ON THE SUBJECT of art, Anderson Valley’s 15th Annual Open Studios is on for the last weekend in May and, for those of you who’ve never taken the tour, you will for sure enjoy it. There’s a lot of talent in our little population.

AND NOW, please indulge me while I lead you on a forced march through my eclectic art collection, if it can be called a collection; I’ve never had the dough to collect in the formal sense, but a major perk of being an old beatnik is proximity to artists and, over the years, I’ve accumulated some very cool stuff, mostly through trades and on terms — ten bucks down, twenty a month — for art I really feel I absolutely want to look at all my days. The result? I seem to be the only person who admires the Anderson Collection, but that’s the point, isn’t it. Collect what you love. I once overheard a visitor to my home whisper to her friend, “My god, look at all this crap.” Fortunately, after 70 years of insult I’m offense-proof; besides that’s exactly what I say every time I go to SFMOMA.

I’M PARTIAL to landscapes, especially Northcoast landscapes, defining Northcoast as San Francisco to Crescent City and inland to I-5. I’ve got several things by my late friend, Frank Cieciorka of Alderpoint; two Mary Robertsons (of Guerneville); a wonderful Joe Cave that Joe painted from Peachland Road looking out at Octopus Mountain. (Joe went on to live and paint in North Carolina and is now quite renowned.)  A Peter Allegaert, formerly of Elk and the only fine arts guy from Mendo with a sharp political edge in his paintings; I’ve got a Winston Smith, formerly of Ukiah, presently Frisco; an absolutely unique painting of the Golden Gate Bridge by Nikki Ausschnitt, an omni-talented Boonville farmer;  a Lucille Estes, Anderson Valley’s premier gardener and a fine painter; some limited edition R. Crumb creations; a bunch of posters, including one published by the defunct Communist Party USA advising citizens not to talk to the FBI (this was in the middle 1950s, well before the government had us all under round the clock surveillance); Asian masks, a Pee Wee Herman talking doll, an authentic blowpipe from interior Borneo — a little of this, a little of that.

AT A PARTICULARLY desperate financial juncture some years ago, I tried to get a loan on my collection, which was extremely naive of me because to bank loan officers art is like kryptonite; they shrink in disgust at anything more challenging than chipmunks surfing off the Mendocino Coast. So it was, “Ha-ha, Mr. Anderson, this isn’t exactly what we have in mind by ‘collatoral.’ Security will see you to the door.”

BUT IN ANOTHER time of extreme need (there have been many, a natural condition of citizenship) an art auction house placed an ad in, of all places, the ava, telling us bumpkins their reps would be passing through, and on the off chance that any of us outback louts thought we might have something of value, they would come to our houses and appraise it. I immediately signed up, and a couple of weeks later an icy couple was sneering in my living room. “You have something that might interest us?” I hauled out the item pictured below, which I bought at a Ukiah garage sale from an elderly woman. “My husband brought it back from the War,” she said, “and the darn thing’s just been sitting around collecting dust for years.” I instantly produced a twenty. “That’s too much,” the old lady said. “It’s worth a lot more to me,” I assured her. I would have given her my car for it, whatever she wanted. I knew that the post-War Japanese were starving, and folk art, sold to the troops of the Army of Occupation was one way Japanese artisans could keep eating. The two art house snoots looked carefully at this primo piece of folk art. The male snoot said, “We can offer two thousand.” I said I wouldn’t take anything less than ten. They said No, and that was that. I’d never sell it. Look closely and you can see the desperate ingenuity of it — a toy battleship and gray human hair as ship’s smoke against a skillfully painted Grandma Moses-like Yokohama. This baby is a pure one-of-a-kinder:

DEPUTIES were summoned to a Yorkville home a little before 8am yesterday morning (Tuesday) where an argument between a brother and sister ended with the 18-year-old brother punching his 38-year-old sister in the face.

BEN SHAPIRO is in the process of funding a research grant for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in memory of his father Mike Shapiro, who we lost to a rare and aggressive form of leukemia, AML. Ben has decided to fund a research grant by fundraising for LLS, and in doing so was nominated for LLS’s SF Bay Area Man of the Year. Please help Ben reach his goal of $150,000 fundraised for research. His deadline to do so is May 30th so please donate today: You can also mail a check to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 101 Montgomery Street, Suite 750, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Please put Ben’s name in the notes section). If you are willing, please share this with our community through your networks. Every donation helps. Thank you for your help supporting Ben and his family during this difficult time.

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