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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. First up, I have pretty good news on the Prather Pups situation. On speaking to Sam a few days ago he has managed to find good homes for five of the seven Border collie pups he was unexpectedly presented with by his excellent female working-dog three months ago. The final two should go soon and hopefully we can then put this Valley Tale in our ‘Job Well Done’ file. Thanks to those who helped with this, particularly Christy Clark with her invaluable flyers.

Public Service Announcements. #228. This coming Saturday evening, Feb 12th, you’ll get the chance to see local resident and very accomplished actor of stage, screen, and TV, René Auberjonois appear in a play, ‘Off Their Cuffs,’ with co-star Howard Hesseman (Johnny Fever, hip d.j. on television’s ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’). It’s at The Grange for one night only, with a 6:30pm social hour and curtain at 7.30pm, and is a fundraising event for the A.V. Education Foundation. (PS. There is an interview by Steve Sparks with Mr. Auberjonois in this week’s newspaper). #229. This month’s Grange Meeting is at 7pm, on Tuesday, Feb 15th. #230. A reminder from Beth Swehla at the AV High School Ag Department. “Our hens are in laying mode now. We have lots of yummy eggs. Just $3.50 a dozen. Tell a friend! Call me at 895-2514. Thanks, Beth.”

Rather than a fly-on-the-wall, I decided to be more a bird-of-prey-in-the-rafters as I joined a crowd of maybe 60 people in attendance at the Unity Club’s post-luncheon gathering with Sheriff Tom Allman as guest speaker. Ostensibly, I was there to see how the Sheriff would respond to some penetrating questions from the audience concerning the future of Deputy Walker here in the Valley, given the ‘last hired; first fired’ policy that will see him gone when the next budget cuts are made. This is a policy in which job security is not based on merit, and which sees ability and effectiveness on the job, along with an acceptance and appreciation by all of the Valley’s various communities, all count for little. That’s the way it is apparently — ridiculous and unfair, but it’s the same in most public/civil service positions. Unfortunately, the probing questions on this matter were not forthcoming and Allman easily dealt with those he was confronted by in his usual slick yet competent manner. By most accounts he is a good sheriff, and is undoubtedly very personable. But if he’d said one more time that he meant something ‘from the bottom of my heart’ I think I would have had to swoop down and make a mess on his perfectly ironed shirt. Overall it was an opportunity lost I fear, but at least let’s get going with a petition of some sort. It may be all we can do. Meanwhile the drunk drivers remain un-checked, no patrols are carried out, and the Valley’s tweekers and petty criminals behave virtually without restraint and, perhaps of greater concern, they continue to slowly encroach further on the Valley’s law-abiding citizens.

That’s all very pessimistic I know so let’s think on a potentially brighter side and, for the Quote of the Week, remember the words of Robert Kennedy who said, “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” Precisely. Too bad he wasn’t at the Unity Club luncheon, eh?

Moving quickly on to a couple of the topics under discussion this week at The Three-Dot Lounge — “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.

…The big topic of conversation around The Three-Dot this week has been the wonderful Crab Feed put on by Gloria Ross and her team of volunteers last Saturday evening in Boonville. With a record attendance of over four hundred eager guests, the vast majority from the Valley, the crab was particularly good this year; the service by high school students was very efficient; the raffle kept many in the crowd absorbed; the pacing of the evening was perfect — from the social hour all the way through; and the many post-meal mini-gatherings around the bar and throughout the Apple Hall once again convinced me that this is surely the Valley’s most community-centric event of the year.

Loretta Houck’s excellent Laughing Dog Book store in the heart of Boonville has new hours. They will be open from 10am-6pm except Tuesdays when they are closed all day. I believe this excellent little store deserves your support and there is a wide range of wonderful books to choose from. Reading a good book is a wonderful pastime, and hopefully not a dying one.

With the 94 year-old Zsa Zsa Gabor suffering with some serious health issues, I shared the thought with a couple of regulars that I felt that she was perhaps the Paris Hilton of her day — somebody not particularly talented in any way other than being a ‘face’ at many celebrity functions and parties. However, Zsa Zsa, who basically began the ‘famous for being famous’ character that today’s D-List celebrities adopt so poorly and tediously, had some class and a degree of sophistication that the current versions can only dream of.

Sticking with the world of entertainment, several regulars and I watched ‘This is it’ — the 2009 American documentary — concert film that documents Michael Jackson's rehearsals and preparation for the concert series of the same name that was canceled due to his death. Two things really struck me, and both reinforced opinions already held by myself and many, many others — firstly, he was very talented in his field — no, incredibly talented; and secondly he was treated like royalty by everyone around him, the Director being particularly humble and obsequious, virtually bowing his head when talking to MJ, while the dancers and musicians were simply in awe. Yes, he was certainly the ‘King of Pop’ in every sense.

Time to leave. Be careful out there; stay out of ditches; think good thoughts; may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Poking & stroking egos where necessary and, as always, humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Keep the Faith. PPS. You can contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at PPPS. On the sheep, Grace.

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