For a Personalized Autographed copy of “STRAWBERRIES IN WINTERTIME” or “WOODEN & ME” mail a check for $25 to:
400 Roosevelt Court
Ventura, CA 93003
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Bird and Book Lovers Chime In
Picture a flock of seagulls flying in en masse for a sandwich left behind on the beach, or Harry Potter fans lined up for a midnight release, and you get an idea of how crowded my email in-box has been the past two weeks.
My readers, it is clear, love birds and books.
From Kathy Youngman: “I love birds, too. I have a birdfeeder outside my kitchen window. I watch yellow finches, orange birds and many others all day.
“We have a boat in Channel Islands marina and across the bay there is a huge eucalyptus tree. In this tree is a nest of blue herons – we watch it all the time. Sometimes we see a flock of pelicans diving into the water to get fish.
“Unfortunately, we had to stop feeding the birds because of rats. We called the exterminator and until the rats are gone, the birds will have to wait for their dinner.”
Joy Hart thinks banning books is a ratty thing to do, writing:
“I was shocked, angry, and very disturbed about the proposed book ban on Sherman Alexie’s ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian’ in the Conejo Valley Unified School District.
“This book was instrumental in getting one of my grandsons to actually become interested in reading when he was about 12-13 years old.”
From Elmer Barber: “I have two feeders and three birdbaths in my yard. The other day, I went out and filled the feeders and added fresh water to the baths.
“When this is going on, there’s not a bird in sight. After the fills, I like to sit and watch the birds come in from all directions. Sitting there watching, I figured it out – there’s one bird watching the whole process and when I’m done he puts out the word: ‘ALL CLEAR, THE SNACK BAR AND POOL ARE OPEN!’”
From Martha, who asked her last name not be used: “You failed to mention that we are concerned over pornographic material being mandated on English 11 AP students. These are minors!”
Karen Brooks was among numerous readers who disagreed with the above assertion: “I found the profanity, vulgarity and violence to be pretty tame compared to what my generation read in school, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
“I don’t recall the school board or parent groups threatening to ban ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ with its murder, mayhem, suicide and underage sex.”
From Sherrilynn Palladino: “Amazon says the book is for ‘Grade 7-12 and ages 12 -17.’ The grade level in Conejo is 9th grade and approximately 14 years of age.
“Parents of these ‘kids’ have had 14 years to instill their values and morals into their offspring. Kids need to be exposed in high school to those of diverse viewpoints beforethey go into the big, bad world (work/military/college), not kept in a bubble.”
Hoping to help burst such a bubble, Glenn, who has a free “Street Library” in front of his Ventura home, wrote: “How about we get a number of copies of the book and let people know they will be free?”
Readers? If you send me a copy (check woodywoodburn.com for my mailing address) of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian,” I will see that Glenn gets it.
Thanks to six birdfeeders in his backyard, Dick Holt’s residence has as many incoming flights as LAX. Birds flying into his 5-by-8-foot window is, he writes, “a regular occurrence.”
“Fortunately, most of the time the birds fall to the ground and lay there for little while, usually with their feet pointing up towards the sky, and then after five or 10 minutes shake their heads, walk around for a little bit, and then fly off slowly until they totally regain their equilibrium.”
From Audrey Hofteig: “We have had many episodes of downed birds and birds in the house!”
“I wonder though – why don’t you move your trash can so the mama bird doesn’t have to panic?”
She’s not the first reader to suggest I’m a birdbrain.
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Woody Woodburn writes a weekly column for The Ventura County Star and can be contacted at WoodyWriter@gmail.com.
Check out my memoir WOODEN & ME: Life Lessons from My Two-Decade Friendship with the Legendary Coach and Humanitarian to Help “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece” and my essay collection “Strawberries in Wintertime: Essays on Life, Love, and Laughter” …
- Personalized signed copies are available at WoodyWoodburn.com
- Unsigned paperbacks or Kindle ebook can be purchased here at Amazon