You know you’re in Bodega Bay when:
1. The local Public Utility District enhances its security not just with a friendly dog but with a macho Wild Tom Turkey. If you dawdle when exiting your truck or leaving the office, the Turkey in the yard blows up to full size, and challenges anyone daring to walk too slowly in the parking lot. The two hens blissfully scratch away while the “feathered pit bull “snaps at all visitors.
2. The local postmaster not only remembers your name but knows what state you come from. Thanks Kevin.
3. The local population is outnumbered up at Bodega Head with visitors from Palestine, Egypt, New York, Ohio, Sacramento and even Two Rock. Everyone laughs when the most recent arrival wants to know when the whales will arrive; and the docent, with a straight face, looks at her watch and says, “well, we asked them to get here between one and two, but they are late.” We’re pretty sure they will be back, mothers and calves, in April. Come enjoy.
4. The narcissus bloom just outside the sign that says “Community Garden” where they – and hope – spring eternal.
5. You are working to raise money to fund scholarships for college-bound teens and to maintain a community hall (for flea markets, fishermen and firefighters). You go to the local wine shop to ask if it would be possible to get wine at wholesale prices – and the proprietor says “I have a better idea. Why don’t we just donate it?” (Thanks, gourmet au bay).
6. You wander by the local firehouse on the second Tuesday of the month and see 15 to 20 people lying on the floor, half kneeling beside the other half, feeling heads, looking for pulse points, asking questions. These are just citizens preparing for any disaster (CERT training). Kudos to the firefighters who put it together and even feed us, and to Linda Stout who is the real sparkplug.
7. People are welcoming Supervisor Efren Carrillo at the annual Grange Crab Cioppino, which he never misses. Good on him for coming to help raise money for scholarships.
8. Fisherman’s Chapel is desperately trying to find a substitute pianist for March (4) and July because their usual one insists on going to Washington to help American Women for International Understanding and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcome ten Women of Courage (each one nominated by the US Ambassador to their country). If you play the piano, you would be welcomed with open arms. Just call 875-3695 to volunteer.
9. You wait too long to get tickets to Cabaret (February 25) or the Grange Russian event (set for 7 p.m., April 7) and can’t get in. Tickets celebrating the Tall Ship, and the Russian explorers’ landing in Bodega Bay 200 years ago, will go on sale March 1 for $25 at Candy and Kites, gourmet au bay and Shona’s Business Services Unlimited. Only 140 tickets available and 20 folks are waiting to pay on March 1. Cash or checks only. THANKS to the merchants who help a worthy cause. Come see the theater in the round (the program will have performers in Russian costumes, the high-kicking Cossacks, Russian music and a cultural event – a storyteller accompanied by Russian music) at the Grange Hall, April 7. Because of limited seating, no kids’ prices this time.
10. Bay Flat Road and Highway One are full of slowly moving, binocular-toting bird watchers. We have such a variety that few complain that seldom (if ever) is there actually a Rail at the Rail Pond, or huge numbers of birds visible from the Bird Walk. Often there are more dogs than birds at the latter, but dog owners appreciate the chance to go walking with their best friends (and nearly all keep them on a leash and most even clean up after them – unlike some horse riders.)
11. When the Tall Ship planning to visit Bodega Bay April 4-7 needs deeper water than is available at the planned dockage at the Tides; and Noah, at the Spud Point Marina, pitches in and finds a deeper mooring at Spud Point Marina, and then the community groups sponsoring it work together to come up with docking costs.
12. When people still read real books as well as e-books, and sometimes get together to talk about them (and famous authors like John Lescroart think enough of Bodega Bay readers to personally respond to comments about the excellent novel, The Hunter – which has a local [John Jones] twist.)
13. Where columnists run out of space before the possible list of Bodega Bay uniqueness is finished (like telling you 700 people participated in the clam chowder taste-off) you know you’re in Bodega Bay. ENJOY.