- Female Firsts
- Albion Plunge
- Munk or Squirrel
- Dirt Roads
- Avery Memorial
- Housing Fundraiser
- Police Calls
- Little Dog
- Richardson Grove
- Yesterday's Catch
- Criminal Economy
- Theatre Audition
- Severn Grumble
- Trump Apologist
- Remember Candice?
- Therapy Animals
- Church Signs
- LakeCo Tweaker
by Malcolm Macdonald
Women got short shrift in 19th century reporting. If married, a woman was almost always referred to in print by her husband's first and last name, with Mrs. in front of that. You could give birth on New Year's Day and the local paper would only note, “In Mendocino, January 1st, 1879, to the wife of A. Carlson, a daughter.”
A woman's first name in print was a designation reserved for the truly noteworthy in the 1800s. An earlier piece in the AVA (June 14) described some of the career of Clara Shortridge Foltz, the first woman to pass the California bar and practice law in the state. Her 'Shortridge' maiden name was seldom published, though her husband, Jeremiah Foltz, had run off and left Clara with five children to raise well before her days as an attorney. For a full length detailing of Clara Shortridge Foltz readers should turn to Barbara A. Babcock's Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz. (Hopefully you'll request it from your local independent bookseller instead of resorting to a quick fix like Amazon.)
Ms. Babcock proves a woman of distinction herself. Raised in Hope, Arkansas and Hyattsville, Maryland, Barbara A. Babcock (don't mistake her for the film and television actress of a similar name, best known for a recurring role on Hill Street Blues) is a graduate of Yale Law School. After serving as the first director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, in 1972, she became the first woman appointed to the regular faculty at Stanford University. She also taught the first “Women and the Law” courses at Yale and Georgetown. She is married to Thomas C. Grey a Professor of Law, Emeritus at Stanford, but has retained the Babcock surname with which she entered the world.
In the 1800s, a woman's name was more likely to pop up in newspaper print in a story like this describing circumstances in San Francisco, “The members of the Madame Rentz's Female Minstrel Troupe, performing at the Standard Theatre, together with the Proprietor and Manager, were formally arrested one night last week by a police officer on a warrant charging them with a misdemeanor. They were held to bail; after which the performance was proceeded with. This is the troupe whose performances are regarded so obscene by some of the papers that they will not advertise them.”
The article appeared as part of the “San Francisco Notes” column on page four of the March 22, 1879 edition of the Mendocino Beacon. Madame Rentz's Female Minstrel Troupe was something of a bridge between minstrelsy and burlesque. Though the troupe did dance, the main objective was a display of what was then considered scantily clad bodies and tights. A stage hand described one of the San Francisco performances this way, “We had advertised that we were going to put on the can-can. Mabel Santley did this number and when the music came to the dum-de-dum, she raised her foot just about twelve inches; whereupon the entire audience hollored [sic] 'Whooooo!' It set them crazy.”
Madame Rentz's minstrel troupe, though composed of an all female cast, clung to the pre-Civil War male minstrelsy tradition of white acts performing in black face. Apparently audiences weren't looking that high up. By the time Madame Rentz's troupe made it across the continent to San Francisco nearly a dozen other “girlie” dance shows sprung up to tour the country.
As readers may have guessed, the creator of Madame Rentz's Female Minstrel Troupe was not a woman, but Michael B. Leavitt, a one time black-faced singer. The name was purloined from a European traveling show called Rentz's Circus. Leavitt also stole or borrowed from European entertainers the idea of using lithographic posters for advertising instead of simple block printing.
While producing more legitimate performances, such as then widely followed magicians Herrmann the Great and Harry Kellar (both deserving of full pages of their own), Leavitt productions have earned him an historical footnote as the “father” of burlesque in America.
(The show goes on at the author's website: malcolmmacdonaloutlawford.com.)
MENDOCINO COUNTY'S TOUGHEST LOG TRUCK DRIVER
On Monday, Aug. 19, 2002 a fully-loaded Roach Logging truck driven by Albert Dompeling went off the Albion River Bridge landing nose down wedged into the river bank 125 feet below. Dompeling has been in the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital trauma center since the accident, but family members say his condition is slowly improving.
Beginning this week, information on the condition of Dompeling, and all other patients, is no longer available due to implementation of a federal act, enacted in 1996, protecting patient rights and privacy. The act covers any information that could identify a patient, even their room number. The government has established heavy fines for infractions of the act. Hospitals must have a written statement from the patient or close family member in order to give out patient information.
The California Highway Patrol has completed its accident report concluding that Neil Wood, driving a 1977 Toyota Celica, was at fault having crossed the center line on the bridge and hit the truck.
CHP Officer Rusty Smith said the results of Wood's blood test are not in, but it is suspected that the accident was alcohol related. Wood is also a patient at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Smith said he especially wants to thank the people of Albion. He said there were many heroes that day, people who put out a fire that erupted in the truck, those who cleared brush for firefighters and skippers who ferried people across the river to rescue Dompeling.
A trust fund has been established for Dompeling at Washington Mutual Bank, account # 4906006980, 120 E. Alder St., Fort Bragg, CA 95437.
Besides damage to the railing of the bridge, some structural damage was sustained. Caltrans has done two assessments. They have repaired the damage to the railing and replaced a couple of minor cross bracings under the bridge that were damaged in the truck's fall. After a brief closure and one-way traffic only, Caltrans opened the bridge to two-way traffic, deeming it to be structurally sound.
The Albion River Bridge is the last wooden trestle bridge remaining on the coast. It was completed in 1944 by the Army Corps of Engineers.
* * *
AVA, Sep 18, 2002.
THOSE PERPLEXED tourists we saw huddled over road maps in Boonville and Philo Monday morning were auslanders trying to figure out a route to the Mendocino Coast because Highway One was closed following an horrific accident on the Albion Bridge earlier that morning. At exactly 10:30am a double-trailer log truck, its driver frantically braking to avoid the Toyota Celica that had unaccountably appeared in the truck's lane near mid-span, struck the Celica then plunged over the side, falling 150 feet before landing on its roof on the river's southeast bank only a few feet from the water
THE NORTHBOUND Celica, driven by Neil Wood, 53, of Fort Bragg, was struck by the oncoming log truck and upended in the middle of the two-lane bridge, the last wood bridge in the state in use on a state-maintained highway. With Wood pinned inside the wreckage of his Celica on top of the bridge, Albert Dompeling, 51, also of Fort Bragg, rode his now airborne log truck to the Albion River below, his eerily slow-motion fall witnessed by a horrified number of motorists, campers and fishermen at Albion Flat, and several residents of nearby homes on both sides of the river whose attentions had been drawn to the bridge by the ominous sound of screaming brakes.
MR. DOMPELING, the driver of the log truck, was apparently conscious throughout his terrifying fall and was talking to the rescuers who immediately sped across the river by boat from the campgrounds on the Mendocino side of the river to offer him whatever help they could.
BUT Dompeling was pinned in the wreckage of his cab amidst a pick-up stick array of scattered logs he'd been carrying north to the Gibney Lane mill in Fort Bragg. A jaws-of-life apparatus from the Mendocino Fire Department soon appeared on the north bank of the Albion. It was ferried across the river by boat where it was put to work to free Dompeling, alert and talking to his rescuers, from what might well have been his death chamber. The trucker, fortunate to have survived the fall had, however, suffered major injuries. He was first taken to Coast Hospital before being airlifted to Memorial Hospital, Santa Rosa, where he remains in serious condition in the hospital's trauma ward.
MR. WOOD, the apparent cause of the accident, also had to be cut from the wreckage of his crushed, upturned Toyota, and also sustained major injuries. He remains at Coast Hospital. Both men are expected to recover.
CALTRANS FEARED that the bridge's south wooden support had been struck by the log truck as it fell, perhaps thus imperiling the bridge's structural integrity. As a small army of Caltrans personnel, emergency services workers and policemen swarmed the closed bridge, through traffic was turned around and routed through Comptche the rest of the day. One-way traffic shepherded by a Caltrans pilot car resumed Monday evening. Inspections of the old bridge are ongoing. It has not been announced when two-way traffic is likely to resume.
* * *
PS. Mr. Dompeling is now 66, retired, and living in Harriman, Utah.
CHIPMUNK OR GROUND SQUIRREL?
ANDERSON VALLEY UNIFIED BUDGET, 1946-1947
County Board of Education
James L. Snell, President, Fort Bragg
John W. Taylor, Secretary, Ukiah
Roy Good, Willits
Owen A. Cruce, Point Arena
Wildia Richmond, Boonville
Anderson Valley Union High School Board of Trustees
Wayne Lowery, Chairman, Yorkville
Lenora Ray, Clerk, Philo
Ernest Pardini, Boonville
Alex B. Willis, Boonville
Cash balance $8,658.14
Less current liabilities including payment due on bus, $2,403.27
Total available balance $6,254.87
State apportionment $10,014.35
Transferred from other districts, payment by elementary district for music and transportation $500
Total estimated current receipts and balances:
Eestimated amount to be raised by special tax, $9,937.62
Total receipts and assets, $26,706.84
* * *
Proposed expenditures and appropriations for the school year of 1946-1947
Operation and maintenance of administration: $150
Other expenses of instruction including textbooks, supplies etc. $2,000
Salaries of teacher and principal $13,700
Maintenance of school plant, $700
Operation of school, including janitor’s salary, fuel, supplies, utility services and other expenses $2,750
Transportation including bus driver salaries, fuel, bus repairs $3,465
Fxed charges including insurance retirement contributions etc. $610
Capital outlays including improvements in buildings, payments on new bus $300
Undistributed reserve not an expenditure but available for expenditure $2,000
Total expenditures $23,376
About 58% of the estimated expenditures are for teacher salaries. The second largest single expenditure is for transportation at almost 14%. Operation of school plant about 11%, capital outlays a little over 10%.
The assessed valuation of property in high school district is approximately $2,125,000. This is an estimated tax rate of $.46 per $100 of assessed valuation. Allowing 10% for uncollectible taxes the high school tax rate was set at $.49. Our receipts are distributed as follows: State apportionment, 28% District tax 37% Balance 26% miscellaneous 7%
(via, Norm Clow)
SAVE SCHOONER GULCH ROAD
I feel somewhat sympathetic to the folks on Fish Rock Road about their desire to have it repaved. But only somewhat sympathetic because of "repaved." I, and many other folks, live on Schooner Gulch Road (County Road 504). We would love to be in the situation of Fish Rock. Specifically, a paved road with potholes in it.
County Road 504 is not now, and never has been, paved. It is a busy dirt road. The traffic is not just the folks who live on it. You get to recognize your neighbors’ cars and trucks. We see vehicles that do not belong to our neighbors.
Schooner Gulch is the first county road south of Point Arena that connects Highway 1 with Ten Mile Road and the ridge. I think a lot of the GPS routed traffic through Point Arena to locations on the ridge and eastward is sent up Schooner Gulch.
It would be expensive to pave the 2.64 miles of County Road 504, but the county spends thousands and thousands of dollars every year to keep it in a more or less usable form. Perhaps it would be economical to pave it and save some of that annual expense? Does the County even have any idea just how busy traffic can get on County Road 504?
Like I said, only somewhat sympathetic.
And this is for everyone who ever drives on our local dirt road. Especially Schooner Gulch Road! The faster you drive on a dirt road, the more you damage it. If you have a lot of "washboarding" on a dirt road (frequent rippling bumps that are at a right angle to the direction of traffic), the average speed on that road is too fast. Rapidly accelerating up a hill can be just as damaging. Please slow down! Help keep our dirt roads smoother longer.
REMEMBERING BOB AVERY?
There has been some discussion of a memorial hoo-rah for Bob Avery who left the planet a couple of weeks ago in Virginia. The question is whether there is any local interest in such an event which, should it happen, would probably be in the second week of August. If you would like for such an event to occur, where we could gather and tell stories (lies) and perhaps have a drink or two, please contact me off-list, either by email or at 877-3215.
Peter Lit, firstname.lastname@example.org
AV HOUSING ASSOCIATION FUNDRAISER: Sunday, July 16th the Anderson Valley Lions Club is firing up the grill for a classic tri-tip barbecue to benefit the Anderson Valley Housing Association. Our hosts for this event are Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn at the lovely Navarro Ranch, 5601 Highway 128 in Philo. On the menu are tri-tip, baked beans, coleslaw, & watermelon, plus appetizers and desert by chef Jared Titus. Tickets are $35 and include your first drink. Tickets for kids 12 and under are $10. We'll have a great afternoon (4-7pm) chatting with friends and neighbors under the oaks, listening to a little live music, and supporting affordable housing in Anderson Valley.
HOW UKIAH COPS SPEND THEIR DAYS
(Compiled by the Ukiah Daily Journal for June 23-July 2, 2017)
WOMAN URINATING ON SIDEWALK: Caller in the 100 block of West Church Street reported at 8:23 a.m. June 23 that a woman was urinating on a sidewalk. An officer responded and reported that the woman had been drinking and she was advised to stop doing so and left upon request.
SHOPLIFTER: Caller at Safeway on South State Street reported at 12:13 p.m. June 23 that a man with a ponytail and no shirt had shoplifted. An officer responded and arrested a 48-year-old Ukiah man for theft. He was booked into Mendocino County Jail.
DOG IN VEHICLE: Caller at Safeway on South State Street reported at 3:03 p.m. June 23 that a dog was in a vehicle. An officer responded and reported that the dog was fine.
DOG IN VEHICLE: Caller at the corner of Clay and Oak streets reported at 4:33 p.m. June 23 that a dog was in a vehicle. An officer responded and reported that the dog was fine and the owner was contacted.
SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE: Caller at United Parcel Service on Cherry Street reported at 7:12 p.m. June 23 that a package appeared to be filled with drugs. An officer responded and took a report.
NEIGHBORS ARGUING OVER TRASH CANS: Caller in the 1900 block of Elm Street reported at 9 p.m. June 24 that neighbors were arguing over where to place trash cans for pickup. The matter was reportedly resolved.
BAKING SODA ON VEHICLE: Caller in the 800 block of North Oak Street reported at 7:18 a.m. Monday that soda and baking soda had been poured on a vehicle overnight.
DOG BARKING AT CAT: Caller in the 300 block of Warren Drive reported at 7:33 a.m. Monday that a dog in the area keeps getting loose and “barking at her cat through the window.” An officer checked the area but did not find the dog.
DOG IN VEHICLE: Caller in the 1200 block of North State Street reported at 2 p.m. Monday that a dog was locked in a hot car. An officer responded but the car was gone.
DOG IN VEHICLE: Caller in the 200 block of South Orchard Avenue reported at 3:07 p.m. Monday that a dog was locked in a vehicle. An officer responded and contacted the owner.
* * *
The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department regarding calls handled by the Fort Bragg Police Department.
SKULL TEXTS: Caller at Safeway on South Main Street reported at 1:16 p.m. June 24 that she received a text message with “three skull emojis on her cell from an unknown number.”
* * *
The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:
DUI: Edward Henry Steckel, 54, of Hopland, was booked at county jail on June 20 on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was arrested by the California Highway Patrol.
DUI: Cody Martin, 24, of Ukiah, was booked at county jail on June 21 on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was arrested by the California Highway Patrol.
DUI: Troy Alan Morgan, 42, of Smith River, Calif., was booked at county jail on June 21 on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He was arrested by the California Highway Patrol.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Lottsa perks come with fame. Thanks, Chuck!”
CALTRANS VS. RICHARDSON GROVE (AGAIN)
Richardson Grove Update-Another Lawsuit Filed In This Endless BattleGreetings,
Like the walking dead the Caltrans project to re-align Highway 101 through Richardson Grove returns to threaten the State Park, its ancient redwoods and safety on our rural roads all for the purpose of allowing access to more Interstate-size trucks. However, thanks to our allied environmental organizations the Environmental Protection Agency (EPIC), the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATS) and our savvy, hardworking attorneys, a lawsuit was filed on June 23, 2017 to again challenge the unneeded and damaging project. Just to bring you up to date, here is a summary of the grim history of our battle from CBD's press release:
Caltrans first proposed the project in 2007, claiming the highway-widening is needed to accommodate large-truck travel. However, Caltrans acknowledges that Highway 101 through Richardson Grove is already designated for larger trucks and does not have significant safety problems. The agency cannot demonstrate that the project is necessary for safety or would benefit the local economy.
There has been substantial local opposition to the project, led by the Save Richardson Grove Coalition, a diverse group of community members including economists, business owners, scientists and Northern California tribes with longstanding ties to the grove. In 2012 a federal court stopped the project, citing numerous errors in Caltrans’ mapping and measurement of affected old-growth redwoods and stating that the agency had been “arbitrary and capricious” in its use of what the court called “faulty data.” In 2014 a California Court of Appeal ordered Caltrans to reevaluate the environmental impacts of the project under state law, finding that it had failed to fully assess impacts on ancient redwoods or provide measures to reduce potentially severe harm to the trees.
Caltrans re-approved the project again and now claims it made changes to better protect old-growth redwood trees, such as impacting fewer trees, less excavation, and less depth of surface pavement.
However, the “changes” to the project do not markedly differ from what the courts previously rejected as inadequate, and Caltrans has not answered the questions and concerns raised about structural damage to redwoods from cutting into their roots.
You are welcome to read the entire complaint at:
The Richardson Grove project is one of a number of projects Caltrans is pursuing to open the North Coast to Interstate-size trucks. Highway 299 has already been opened. Interstate-size trucks have access from Redding to Humboldt County. Another project along Highways 197/199 from Grants Pass to Crescent City threatens Jeddiah Smith State Park and the Smith river.
In addition to threatening our ancient tress, endangered species and increasing greenhouse gases (CO2), Interstate-size trucks are the most dangerous and damaging vehicles on the road today. If you think our rural roads are in terrible shape now, just wait until these big trucks take their toll. Right now the gross weight limit is 80,000 lbs. However, in the anti-regulation climate of the Trump administration the push is on to increase the gross weight limit. See https://www.trucks.com/2017/06/30/trucking-industry-push-toward-heavier-trucks/  . If you read the article toward bottom a particularly alarming statistic states that 60% of big-rig truck accidents occur on rural roads! When a big-rig and a car collide there is a 97% fatality rate for the auto occupants.
Caltrans routinely ignores these potential threats, refusing to acknowledge that there will be an increase in truck traffic. If that is the case, why are they spending millions of dollars on these coordinated projects in total disregard for the safety of area residents? While larger trucks might benefit a few businesses there has been no objective analysis in the documents to substantiate that claim or to justify the cost now approaching an estimated $30 million.
While on the subject of wanton spending on projects of unproven utility take a look at the price tag for the six-mile Willits ByPass. Investigative reporter Jennifer Olney of KGO (ABC Channel 7 in the Bay Area) has revealed it is now approaching $500 million and the project is still underway. See http://abc7news.com/traffic/hidden-freeway-costs-revealed-willits-bypass-50-percent-more-expensive/2134239/ .
Opposition is already ramping up once more to protest this insanity. Indigenous and environmental activists completed the "log walk" and float from Richardson Grove to the Caltrans maintenance station in Redway on Sunday June 25 where a rally was held and the log passed along to activists who will transport it to the Mattole where actions are underway to protest logging activities by Humboldt Redwoods Company. The log will them be transported further north to the Klamath to protest the Jordan Cove LGN pipeline project. The log is symbolic of the interconnected threats to our environment.
We’ll keep you posted on opportunities for public comment. If you are moved to donate please access EPIC’s website at widlcalifornia.org and earmark your donation for Richardson Grove. Many thanks! Very truly
Yours, Barbara Kennedy
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 2, 2017
BRITTON AZBILL JR., Covelo. Community supervision violation.
TALON BRITTON, Willits. DUI.
DANIEL DAMIAN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MARISSA DIAZ, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CYNTHIA DOMINGUEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BILLY EATON, Ukiah. Shoplifting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
JOSHUA FREEMAN, Potter Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
DAMIAN GARRAMONE, Willits. DUI.
DAVIC LOCK JR., Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
PHILLIP LOPEZ JR., Ukiah. Protective order violation.
SHIDEEWUM MARTINEZ, Laytonville. DUI.
JOSE NUNEZ, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, resisting, probation revocation.
MARK REGALADO, Prunedale/Ukiah. Lewd-lascivious acts upon a child under 14, Acts with child of 14-15 with perpetrator at least ten years older.
JARED ROGERS, Willits. DUI.
DUSTIN STAFFORD, Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance.
SERGEY TOLPINSKY, Sacramento/Redwood Valley. DUI.
HOLLAND VANHORN, Willits. Grand theft, receiving stolen property, appropriation of another’s property without trying to return it, vandalism.
RUSSELL VILLALPANDO, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JUSTIN WILHELMI, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JOHANNA WRIGHT, Willits. Grand theft, appropriation of someone else’s property without trying to return it, receipt of stolen property, vandalism.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I would argue that crime is actually a rational life choice in the current social environment. The rich are every bit as criminal as anyone else out there, they’ve just (wisely) bought the pols off to legalize their bullshit. We now (and have for some time) live in the professional criminal economy.
AUDITIONS FOR HURRICANE SMITH!
Gloriana Musical Theatre
Directed by Andrew Atkinson and David Kosonen.
Where: Teen Lounge, 208 Dana St, Fort Bragg, CA
When: Saturday, July 15 - 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Call: You will be assigned an audition time slot.
Ages 10 to adult preferred. Will make exceptions based on comedic ability/maturity/previous experience with Gloriana. This is comedy/satire show that needs to flow non stop. Auditions will consist of singing and reading from the script. Please prepare a song that shows off your vocal range.
Sign up at www.gloriana.org/audition-form
Show dates: Performances will run November 3 - 19. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and Sundays at 3:00 (must be available for all performance dates)
Rehearsals begin late August/early September. Rehearsal schedule TBA based on the availability of cast and crew.
Interested in Tech/Stage Crew? Let us know by e-mailing email@example.com. We can always use help behind the scenes.
JOHN CESANO, of the Anderson Valley Winegrower's Association, told a podcaster that the following was typical of the libels routinely dished out by Boonville's beloved weekly newspaper. I suppose "x-rated" might be considered libelous by the literal-minded as it suggests the pinot people were also lewdly engaged as part of the festivities. Libelous? I wouldn't say so. Evidence that we routinely make stuff up? Nope. I mean really, why go to the effort of creative lit when there's so much self-satire around. Heck, all we have to do is write down what we see.
* * *
In your self-defense relative to the publishing my article on the 2016 AV Pinot Fest you referred to it as "opinion". Here it is and I challenge you or John Cesano in your challenge of the veracity of my coverage of the event. —David Severn
* * *
5/26/16 — Here are a few things about the 19th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Festival that you might have missed — the Severn grumble. First off it was an X rated affair with no children allowed even when in tow by a designated driver — a conscious bow, I suppose, to the profanity or obscenity of it all. No dogs (pets) either, which is strange in that such would therefore preclude AV wine's favorite local and supportive public official from attending. Go figure.
Of the 51 listed local wine producers promised for the main event, Grand Tasting, on Saturday, 39 of them were owned by non-residents of Anderson Valley. Of the 28 Open House establishments on Sunday, 17 were out-of-the-Valley owned. Given that the resident vintners tend to be the smaller outfits it is easy to see where all the big money flows and it sure isn't into the Mendocino County economy. And other than the token bottles of wine for fundraisers where does one find these rich people and their gophers giving back to community?
It was interesting to discover that the young pot grower busted on Cameron Rd., Elk and Chardonnay Lane, Holmes Ranch, two years ago, Kelly Boss, has rebranded himself as Panthea Winery and Vineyard holding an Open House at The Boonville Hotel inviting everyone to come in and meet him and his "lovely wife Jessa." A true entrepreneur, Boss has also taken out fictitious business names as Panthea Events, Panthea Enterprises, Panthea Gifts, Panthea Vacation Rentals, Panthea Produce, Panthea Hot Sauce, and Panthea Vinegar. Quite a guy.
Sticking with marijuana, two vintners from Sonoma County calling themselves Lioco wines and claiming to buy grapes grown in Anderson Valley were pouring a couple of "Mendocino County" wines, one named Sativa and the other named Indica. For those of you drug ignorants, Sativa and Indica are the two main strains of pot. Some Anderson Valley people have noticed a difference in attitude between people immersed in our small, local wine ambiance and the pretense of those representing estates from valleys south. This was evidenced during the Pinot Festival, most noticeably from a couple of Sonoma based lulus somehow associated with Ken Wilson, the new owner of the Greenwood Ridge brand. This pair had heads shaking, tongues wagging and a few guffaws prompted by their pretentious and arrogant demeanor. Go AV Wine!
And talking about Ken Wilson. This guy, now so ominously situated in Anderson Valley, holds the distinction of being the only wine person in Sonoma County handed a jail sentence for environmental degradation. In fact he routinely runs afoul of the law and gets in dutch with Sonoma County officials. From a quote I found reported in the Press Democrat in response to county concerns over traffic dangers at wine parties he holds on small country roads he appears quite arrogant. "I have a right to do anything I want and I don't have to tell you what it is." He was nailed on this one as well. No jail time but he had to cease and desist along with covering all the court costs.
The Balo, Madrones, Domaine Anderson, Goldeneye complex regularly brings us an issue similar to the one pointed to by Sonoma County against Wilson:
Big clumps of roadside parking often navigated by tipsy people both in cars and on foot. Pinot Festival Saturday found hundreds of imbibers moving back and forth across Hwy 128 while often confused drivers would stop in the middle of the Highway scratching their heads wondering where they could or should squeeze in to park. It would be nice if our government officials were to be as responsive to potential disaster as Sonoma's.
Interesting, too, is that a full week after the Pinot Festival none of the dedicated wine writers, preeminent or otherwise, have written a word about it that has made the internet. With one exception, non-resident John Cesano the Executive Director of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association on his personal website johnonwine wrote of the hard work and gave thanks for all the help. Given the amount of platitudes wine writers usually like to heap on Anderson Valley wines, the 19th annual AV Pinot Festival would appear to have been the non-event of the year. Go figure.
"WE'RE A LITTLE CROWDED in here now," the old lady said. "Oh I wish you could have seen the house we had in Lowell! 12 rooms. Oh, it was a lovely house; but we had rats. Oh, those rats. Once I went down cellar to get a stick of wood for the stove and this big man rat jumped at me, jumped right at me! Well, he missed me, thank God, went right over my shoulder, but ever after that I was afraid of them. I mean when I saw how fearless they was. We used to have a nice centerpiece in the dining room. Fruit, you know, or wax flowers, but I come down one morning and there was this nice centerpiece all chewed up. Rats. It broke my heart. I mean it made me feel I didn't have anything I could call my own. Mice too. We had mice. They used to get into the pantry. One year I made a big batch of jelly and the mice chewed right through the wax tops and spoiled jelly. But the mice was nothing compared to the termites. I always noticed the living room floor was kind of springy and one morning when I was pushing the vacuum cleaner a whole section of the floor gave way and sagged into the cellar. Termites. Termites and carpenter ants. It was a combination. The termites ate the underpinnings of the house and the carpenter ants ate the porch. But the worst was bedbugs. When my cousin Mary died he left me this big bed. I didn't think anything about it. I felt funny in the night, you know, but I'd never seen a bed bug in my life and I couldn't imagine what it was. Well, one night I turned on the lights good and quick and there they were. There they were! Well, by this time they had spread all over the house. Bedbugs everywhere. We had to have everything sprayed and, oh, my, the smell was dreadful. Fleas too. We had fleas. We had this old dog named Spotty. Well, he had fleas and the fleas got off him into the rugs and it was a damp house, the fleas spread in the rugs and you know there was one rug where when you stepped onto it there would be a cloud of fleas, thick as smoke, fleas all over you. Well, supper’s ready!"
— John Cheever, The Wapshot Chronicle
Once I am sure there's nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence.
Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new -
Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.
Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches will fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
A few cathedrals chronically on show,
Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases,
And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?
Or, after dark, will dubious women come
To make their children touch a particular stone;
Pick simples for a cancer; or on some
Advised night see walking a dead one?
Power of some sort will go on
In games, in riddles, seemingly at random;
But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,
A shape less recognisable each week,
A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
Will be the last, the very last, to seek
This place for what it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
Or will he be my representative,
Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation - marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built
This special shell? For, though I've no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;
A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognized, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.
— Philip Larkin
THERAPY ANIMALS ARE EVERYWHERE. PROOF THAT THEY HELP IS NOT.
The popular embrace of pets as furry therapists has raced far ahead of the scientific evidence, researchers say.
THIS WEEK IN CHURCH SIGNS
(via Susie de Castro)
LAKE COUNTY TWEAKER
by Spec MacQuayde
The old highways of Mendo's valleys are shaded by a canopy of trees—mostly live oaks on 128 or Anderson Valley Way. Towering deciduous oaks reach like umbrellas over North State, or the former 101, from Ukiah to Redwood Valley. Thanks to the tinted "moon roof" in our red Toyota Tacoma I notice things like that, and think back to the days when people either walked, rode horses, or followed them on buggies and wagons. "I bet in those days they intentionally left trees to shade the roads," I told my pregnant girlfriend, Jetta, as we headed towards Boont Berry to pick up supplies before embarking on what has become an arduous journey over the mountain, past Ukiah to our garden in a holler up Parducci Road. "Nobody thinks about stuff like that anymore. What about when we all run out of fuel? Who's gonna walk down the damn freeway in the heat of the day?"
"Look. It's Josh! At Gulf Shores beach in Alabama!" Jetta attempted to hold the smart phone at an angle where I could glimpse our buddy Josh, shirtless with tanned muscles, his latest Facebook profile.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm driving."
The starter was out in our Toyota, so I turned right before the Redwood Drive-In, and thundered up the slight hill to the parking lot in front of the AVA. I backed up to the fence, leaving plenty of slope for roll-starting in second gear. After shutting off the engine, I noticed Mark Scaramella watering plants.
"Starter's out in my truck. Have to park on an incline," I told him.
He nodded as if I had just spouted off pompous plattitudes at a Board of Supervisors meeting.
Gradually, Jetta climbed out of the cab. With the oversized tires the task is not convenient for someone in her condition. As we finally strolled down the drive, crossed busy 128 en route to Boont Berry, I had second thoughts about the statement I'd made to Mark. "People probably wonder why the hell I'm telling them my starter's out."
"You're over-thinking it."
"I need to get it fixed. But if you go into labor and it won't start, we'll just call the Anderson Valley Ambulance. It's better than the Toyota, anyway. They're trained professionals."
"You're NOT calling an ambulance! I don't want to talk about it!"
At the Boont Berry counter the amiable Kevin noticed to his chagrin that we both sported the same cheap fedora hats. Awkwardly, Jetta and I ordered bacon flautes with kale salad on the side. Kevin and I shared some kind of old west dynamic for a minute—a few Clint Eastwood squints, two men with graying beards donning the same fedora.
After lunch, we trudged back up the incline, past the AVA's ornamentals, noticing their progress with the summer heat. It took a minute for Jetta to climb in. "I think I have to go use the bathroom," she said. "I can't believe that."
By the time she'd returned from the Redwood station, she had to go back again. Now the situation had become obvious. Her water had broken. It continued as we accomplished a roll-start. Fortunately we'd done our laundry that morning at Pic'n'Pay, and there were plenty of dry T-shirts available. With the delays on 253, the endless lines of trucks hauling pecker poles that claim to be marketable redwood and fir stalled on the uphill slope, it took an hour to reach the birthing center on Hospital Drive. At the entrance they provided parking vallets like at a posch hotel. Jetta climbed out, and I found a place to stow the truck up a slope across the road in case the starter didn't work. In partial shade, I took a nap.
After waking up, I wandered into the facility to check on Jetta. They had her in a room, they said. She wasn't coming back out.
"Are you the father?" they asked.
"I don't know. Strong possibility."
The women hooked me up with a bracelet and nametag. "She's in 302."
In 302 we hung out.
"They say I'm not dilating," said Jetta. "They're planning a C-section for 9."
"So can you go for a walk or something?"
"I don't know."
When the nurse arrived, I inquired about the walking thing, but she said that was a no. I decided not to argue. Since they'd scheduled the C-section for much later, I returned to the Toyota, had a few beers, smoked a jay, and listened to an interview with Tom Petty on KOZT. After that I felt ready to witness a C-section. Inside, they had me insert my carcass into scrubs, complete with the mask, and ushered me into the operation room where about ten women surrounded Jetta. I was the only guy in the place. I held her hand through the procedure.
Once the baby had safely been removed from the womb, they told me to go to room 312 where a nurse would bring the infant for "Skin-to-Skin."
"Take your shirt off," said the nurse, who had blonde hair and was probably in her late 20's.
After I'd removed my T-shirt, she handed me the baby girl, who immediately started tugging on my beard and chest hair, while the nurse observed. This went on for maybe twenty minutes.
"Did you wash your hands?" asked the nurse, suddenly remembering to ask.
"No. I mean, yes, but not since you've been here."
"You need to wash your hands before you handle the baby!"
"Right." I handed the baby back.
That night we barely slept. I stole out before dawn to jumpstart the truck before too big an audience arrived. At the garden up Parducci I finished hoeing weeds out of the sweetcorn, transplanted some late seedless watermelons, and returned to the air conditioning for lunch.
In the afternoon my oldest son, who is 20, stopped by the hospital to demand a paternity test. "I want to know if this is my sister," he said.
"We're all rainbow family," said Jetta. "What's the difference?"
The nurses said we'd have to go to downtown Ukiah, to CPS, and get mouth-swabs to determine the paternity thing.
"Looks like we'll have to wait til Monday," I said.
Out in the parking lot, my son helped roll-start the Toyota. Once we got the motor running, he wished me good luck on my endeavors.
"I get the feeling, around those women, that they think I'm just the douche who knocked her up," I said before he left.
"Have to be honest, Dad. With the flip-flops, the beard, the cheap fedora, the beer on your breath, they probably think you're a Lake County Tweaker."
They made Jetta and the baby stay for three days, under observation. Meanwhile I stole off to the garden at every opportunity to hoe weeds or run sprinklers on the sweetcorn. After two days my feet were covered with dust and mud, though I tried washing them off. I never changed clothes or took a shower, and sweated under the sheet on the sofa they conveniently provided. Room 312 reminded me of the digs in a hotel. One of the nurses said she also worked in places like the Bay Area and we were lucky to enjoy such spacious luxury, privacy. On the second afternoon, as I attempted to nap and enjoy a respite from the blazing sun, a CPS worker showed up to do an assessment of the new parents. By this time I realized my son was correct about the stereotyping.
"Do you have a job?" asked the social worker.
"Nobody believes me, but I'm actually growing watermelons and sweetcorn on a ranch north of town. Other than that, I write for the Anderson Valley Advertiser. You heard of that publication?"
He said he had. The fellow interviewing us seemed apologetic and hesitant, stuttering profusely while he filled out the paperwork. He appeared to be barely coherent. By the time he had completed his examination, I felt sorry for him, and recalled reading class in third grade when the teacher would force a boy of slow intellect to stumble through paragraphs filled with three-syllable words out-loud while the smarter students snickered.
After he'd given his stamp of approval, and departed, Jetta commented that the guy might have been under the influence of something. "These people are really nice, but I feel like I'm in jail," she said.
"Well you got to figure we're the general public, in their eyes. We fit the demographic. I look like a Lake County Tweaker who grows pot and makes up weak lies about actually planting sweetcorn. I'm demanding a paternity test. For all they know, we're homeless vagrants or violent thugs."
When they finally released Jetta, a long-time friend from Anderson Valley agreed to drive her dusty Prius to pick up the baby for the trip back to Philo. By this time I had dropped the Toyota off at Dorsey's where they replaced the starter, which turned out not to be the problem. It still wouldn't start any better than before.
In the parking lot, as I prepared to push-start the truck again, a skinny fellow with missing teeth approached. "Battery dead?"
"Nope. Just replaced the starter. Guess that wasn't the problem."
The guy said he was from Lake County. He brandished a crescent wrench and crawled under the motor. Thanks to the oversized tires, there was plenty of room. With the wrench, he tapped. "Your solenoid's stuck. Try her again!"
It finally started, and I followed Jetta and the new baby who rode in the dusty Prius to Chavez Market on the south side of town, for tacos, before returning to Anderson Valley. This time I didn't shut off the truck.