Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. Thanks to my ace team of investigative reporters, along with various Valley sleuths and historians such as Pat Hulbert and others, I can now bring you the names of the 'The Oldest Five Valley People in the Valley' *... The oldest is Walter ‘Shine’ Tuttle, who was born May 1915 making him the Valley’s oldest resident at the age of 95. In second place is Harold Perry, born November 1916, making him just five months older than the 3rd place Austin Hulbert (April 1917). These gentlemen are both currently 93 with Harold turning 94 in a couple of months. In fourth is Freda Fox who is 92 and therefore the Valley’s oldest woman, and fifth it is Ross Murray, who turned 92 years young just last week. It should be pointed out that ‘Shine’ came here 73 years ago, in 1937, when he was 22 years old, and Harold came to the Valley in 1950, a mere 60 years ago, when he was 33. However, Austin, our third eldest, can lay claim to being our longest resident as he has lived here for his entire 93 years! (*There could be somebody we’ve missed off this top five list, but after weeks of research this is what we’ve come up with. By the way, in case anyone was wondering, Bobbie Peterson, who now lives in Ukiah at The Brookside Retirement Home, would have been the sixth person on the list as she turns 92 in December.)
Public Service Announcements: #173: Unbeknownst to me and many others, the Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital made their monthly visit to the Valley last week (Thursday, 16th). I was disappointed not to be informed and the office manager there has assured me they will not forget to call me next time, as they usually do. Meanwhile I can tell you they will be back twice in October (on successive weeks for some reason?) on both the 7th and 14th. Put it on your calendar, although I will remind you. #174: The Boonville Farmer’s Market gathers for its weekly get-together on Saturday 25th from 9:30am to noon in the Hotel parking lot. It’s Tomato Tasting Day so try to get down there and do yourself a favor! #175: There will not be a Barn Sale in September.
Here’s my annual ‘fast, furious, yet fair’ County Fair review.
Friday evening. It seemed to be the smallest crowd I can remember for the Friday night for some years, a sign of the times or perhaps people concerned about the weather forecast? Excellent victory (8-0) for the AVHS boys’ soccer against Mendocino in the Apple Cup. Rave reviews on the corn dogs (although the after effects can be unpleasant), not nearly as positive comments for the pizza. Lots of very loud screaming on the rides. Hopefully the carnies were behaving themselves. (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.) Ridiculously high prices for bangers and polish sausages — $7.50!? Plenty of drinking by Valley folks in and around the Lions Club ‘Bar’ — even more than at the AVA booth! Lots of meeting and greeting of old friends and familiar faces.
Saturday evening. Good crowd, perhaps above average for most Saturdays in recent years. Some wonderfully presented and cared for animals, particularly the pigs and sheep. One fight between two drunks; each claiming to be a “better hillbilly” than the other — that’s true — before they were swiftly dealt with by the authorities. Delicious cheeseburger courtesy of the AV Volunteer Firefighters — gets my ‘Best Food at the Fair’ award. 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 nibble on but I only took a few bites. Sprinkling of rain at about 10.45pm as the dance heated up in the Apple Hall.
Sunday morning/afternoon. A great performance by sheepdog Puma and her handler, Navarro Winery’s Sarah Bennett, in the Sheep Dog Trial earning them a very impressive 3rd place. A more exciting Fair Parade than in recent times I must say. A wide variety of interesting looking people passing by the AVA booth and quite a few stopping to chat. The delightfully decorated (by Karen Ottobani and friends) Elder Home booth. Someone suggested it was better than the Elder Home itself! The Green-haired balloon lady who may have scared as many adults as kids she entertained. Only one sheep escaped from the Lamb and Wool Palace. The Gravitron, The Wheel of Fire, and The Zipper at the carnival looked less threatening in the daylight but still far too scary for me to risk so the bumper cars were my carnival highlight once again. Lots more meeting and greeting. Yet another fine time was had by all, although Fair Manager Jim Brown’s gut feeling on Sunday afternoon, before any actual numerical count had been taken, was that numbers were down a little once again this year. Thanks to all of those concerned for their hard work in putting together “The Best Little Fair in the West.”
I’m outta here. Please remember to keep your windows cracked if you have pets in your vehicle. Otherwise, be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Poking and stroking egos wherever necessary and, as always, humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Keep the Faith. PPS. Contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at email@example.com.