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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. “The Valley’s Most Senior Senior” — an update: Several people have been in touch with regards to the recent discussion in this column about the oldest resident in the Valley. They have suggested other candidates for the list but following further investiga­tions and input from another Valley sleuth, Yorkville’s Master Shepherd, nothing has changed and the Top Five remain the same. Here it is one more time: The oldest Valley resident is Walter ‘Shine’ Tuttle who was born in May 1915 and that makes him 95. In second place it's Harold Perry, who was born in November 1916, making him almost 94, five months older than the third placed Austin Hulbert, born in April 1917 and now 93. In 4th, it's Freda Fox who is 92 and therefore the Valley’s oldest woman, and in fifth it’s Ross Murray, who recently turned 92 years young.

Public Service Announcements. Coming soon, at 6pm on Saturday, October 23rd at the Apple hall in Boonville, it’s the return of The South West Dinner to benefit the Senior Center. Meanwhile, before then, the Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital are back in town tomorrow, Thursday October 14th at the AV Farm Supply from 2pm. Then we have a busy weekend, so here we go. On Saturday morning the 16th there’s the Boonville Farmers Market in the parking lot at The Hotel in Boonville from 9:30am to noon but at Lemons’ Mar­ket in Philo, Pat Hulbert’s much-anticipated Bake Sale to benefit the Philo Methodist Church has been cancelled due to her recent successful knee surgery. Hope to see you up and running around soon, Pat; besides, we’re missing the pies! Also on Saturday it’s Dusty Rhodes and Her Handsome Cowboys performing at 9pm at Lauren’s in Boonville. On Sunday, October 17th, at The Toll House on Highway 253 from 3-7pm, there is a community benefit with live music, Johnny Schmitt and friends preparing the food, and tours of the new Bell Valley Farm. Call 895-2572 for details. And all week­end, from 11am to 4pm each day, there are wagon rides and pumpkin-picking at Gowans’ Oak Tree on Highway 128 a couple of miles north of Philo. Finally, all next week, 16th-24th, it’s our local public radio station’s pledge drive, for which you can volunteer and earn membership of KZYX&Z. Call 895-2324 for more info.

Last Saturday afternoon, with blue skies above and many beautiful views below, I made one of my regular flights up and down the Valley. My first stop was at the AV Museum in the Little Red Schoolhouse. There, I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the docents on duty — John and Linda Hulbert — two very pleasantly hospita­ble people indeed. They certainly know their Valley ‘stuff’ too, both having lived here their entire lives, close to 70 years. However, when I mentioned the Hanes/Crispin feud that culminated in 1922 with a shootout near to the Hanes Ranch, Linda (born Crispin) pointed out that there were two sides to that story and that all would be revealed at some point in the not too distant future. I for one am looking forward to that. I flew on towards town and noticed that the ‘amateur’ shepherd with one of his dogs was working the sheep in the field behind the Barn Sale building. I zoomed down to watch him and his Border collie, Beth, doing a fine job moving the flock around. He told me that he had lost two sheep in the past three weeks to causes unknown, although with the many sharply contrasting temperatures we’ve had this summer it is felt among shepherds around here that pneumonia would be the most likely cause. Meanwhile, he wanted me to pass on his gratitude to my Turkey Vulture cousins for ‘taking care’ of the remains of the two deceased sheep as only they can. It's their pleasure, I'm sure.

I continued into Boonville and noticed quite a gather­ing in and around the Laughing Dog bookstore. Hope­fully some of them were buying books. I continued down the road and it appeared that the new Mexican restaurant, ‘Yuri’s’, next to The Boonville Saloon, had already been decorated for Halloween. Strange but true. I flew a little further south to the Rookie-To arts, crafts, clothes, and jewelry shop to get a little something for Hummingbird’s birthday. This store is a bit of a hidden secret for many Valley folks but if someone special is having a birthday they have quite a selection of quality items, many of which are quite unique. It might just save you that trip over the hill to Ukiah. From there I flew down the street to get a card from All that Good Stuff. The store cer­tainly has a wide choice but when you have to listen to the incessant loud giggling and general unruliness of three unattended children it was not a pleasant experi­ence. This went on for about 15 minutes and merely confirmed to me that the Wise Owl was correct all those years ago when she stated that “little children should be seen and not heard.” I did get a good card though. The rest of Boonville was quiet in comparison. but there was activity at The Buckhorn where new owner Tom Towey was putting in the new bar top, among many other pro­jects. He informed me that they would be open sometime in early/mid-November, most likely, when not only will he be serving many of popular Boonville Lodge items (classical American Grill with Pub Grub too) that he produced there, but a pizza menu will also be available as evidenced by the new pizza ovens he proudly showed me. A pepperoni pie with a refreshing beer anyone? You betcha!

With that in mind, for our Quote of the Week here’s a wise thought from comedian Dave Barry. “Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”

I’m outta here. With the warm weather still with us, 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 through the Letters Page at

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