That’s all for now, folks – again!

Dear Readers… To cut to the quick – whilst I have thoroughly enjoy conducting these interviews over the past four years, it is a commitment and task that I feel I can no longer do. It has become increasingly difficult to get people to commit to doing the interviews and this, together with my own ‘burn-out,’ has led to my decision. Therefore I shall not be presenting anymore unless my circumstances change or special cases arise.
It has been a very interesting project indeed and one warmly received by subject and reader alike. Every single person I have interviewed has either shaken my hand or given me a hug at the interview’s conclusion, yet the majority, when initially approached by me, would ask, ‘Why would anyone want to read about me?’ or ‘My life has not been that exciting’, or something to that effect. This, I pointed out to them, is not at all true. Everyone has a story and this has been emphasized every week to me in person and undoubtedly to the very supportive readership of the column. Besides that, these interviews are not only providing people with a way to learn a little more about their neighbors and/or friends, but they also give the reader an insight to the Valley, its character, its uniqueness, and perhaps most valuable of all, its history.
Many, many people have told me how much they enjoy reading the interviews and getting to know someone a little more than they normally would by simply chatting briefly at the Post Office or in the local store. Bruce Anderson, the A.V.A. newspaper editor, perhaps put it best when he wrote, “Steve is introducing the Valley to itself.” This has been achieved by interviewing 94 men, 63 women, one couple, and a dog!
I wish to thank the many people far and wide who have sent comments regarding either their pleasure at reading about people they had lost touch with or other positive remarks about the interviews. I should like to express my gratitude to those in the local community both for their supportive remarks to me personally and for their many messages of encouragement upon reading these small windows into the Valley’s community from week to week. Most of all, I wish to thank the 159 interviewees to-date who have shared their stories with me and whose interesting and informative tales have provided so many of the A.V.A.’s readers with a wide variety of the ‘lives and times’ of Valley folks.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation for the support of the A.V.A.’s Bruce Anderson and Mark Scaramella throughout this project.
Sincerely, Steve Sparks.

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Published in: on December 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming soon…

Dear Readers,
There is no interview this week. This month, with five Thursdays, the interviews will be published on the 3rd and 5th Thursday of the month and therefore the next interview will appear on November 15th when my guest will be David Jackness…
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on November 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming next week…

The series is published on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month and the next interview will appear on Thursday October 25th when my guest will be Jerry Karp, KZYX & Z dj and bookstore owner.
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on October 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming next week – definitely!

The series appears on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month and the next interview will appear on Thursday October 11th when my guest will be former Philo Postmaster, Joe Dresch. The interview following that will be with Jerry Karp, and that will appear on Thursday, Oct 25th.
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Efren Mendoza… June 20th, 1958 – August 31st, 2012

A memorial celebrating the life of Efren was held at the Senior Center / Veterans’ Hall in Boonville last Saturday afternoon. About eighty people showed up for this very moving and poignant occasion, with approximately half of those in attendance coming from the non-Hispanic community. Perhaps Efren is the only person in the Valley for whom such an evenly mixed community gathering would have been held, with many of those in attendance summing up, in their eulogies, the very significant and wide-ranging contributions Efren made to the whole community.
He achieved numerous things in his time here and no doubt has been an inspiration to a large number of people who come to this country in search of a better life. Through his work with Sueno Latino, the Knights of Columbus, St Elizabeth’s Church, the Health Center, the Adult School, and no doubt other Valley groups and organizations, he had a positive effect on the lives of countless Valley folks. Many of us can learn from his dedication and hard work for others.
I enjoyed just being around him and his positive outlook on life. He always made my visits to the Barn Sale so enjoyable with his big smile and warm greeting, not to mention the excellent burger he would serve up! Wherever he is, I send him my very best wishes and a hope that he is surrounded by some of his beautiful roses and continuing to listen to the Beatles as he enjoys some delicious Birria de Chivo.
Steve Sparks

My interview with Efren was in July 2010 and is featured in the ‘List of Interviews’ under ‘E’.
The interview with former Philo Postmaster, Joe Dresch, will now appear on Thursday, Oct 11th

Published in: on September 27, 2012 at 8:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming next week…

Dear readers,
There is no interview this week. You are invited to read an interview with Efren Mendoza (from July 2010) who recently passed away – see above.

The series appears on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month and the next interview will appear on Thursday October 11th when my guest will be former Philo Postmaster, Joe Dresch. The interview following that is with Jerry Karp, that will appear on Thursday, Oct 25th.
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on September 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming soon…

Dear readers,
There is no interview this week. The series appears on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month and the next interview will appear on September 13th when my guest will be Arline Bloom…
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on August 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Next week…

Dear readers,
There is no interview this week. The series appears on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month and the next interview will appear on August 23rd when my guest will be Peggy Ridley…
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on August 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Next Week…

Dear readers,
There is no interview this week. The series appears on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month and the next interview will appear on August 9th when my guest will be Walt Valen…
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Next week…

Dear readers,
There is no interview this week. The series appears on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month and the next interview will appear on July 26th when my guest will be Sharon Sullivan of Roederer Estates and so much more…
Thanks for your continued positive comments and support,
Kind regards, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on July 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm  Leave a Comment