Hill Muffins

from the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Boonville, CA Nov. 17, 1999

Dear Editor:
We have seen reference to "hill muffins" on several occasions in the AVA. Would you care to give us a definition and origin of "hill muffins." We presume it has some pejorative or derogatory inuendo toward those who live in the hills above Anderson Valley.
Fred and Frances Martin
Holmes Ranch

Ed reply: Yer basic hill muffin is just about extinct around here, but can still be found in isolated tins, so to speak, deep in the hills of Yorkville and way, way out Nash Mill. The last of the muffs are pretty much confined to the vast, wild area northeast of Willits between highway 101 and I-5, although there are pockets of them in the Mattole. If you ever get out to Covelo, head north on the Mina Road for Alderpoint and on up to Weaverville; the true muff likes it rough and you can find him out there in fairly large numbers. Typically, especially in the winter when both male and female muffins "layer-up" for winter -- thermals plus five sets of original Eddie Bauers, the two sexes are indistinguishable. Up close they both tend to look like Wavy Gravy. The authentic hill muffin drives an old box-type Volvo and calls his wife his "old lady," even if she's 13 (and she often is). The hill muff is ordinarily an amiable personality type but turns surly and suspicious in the fall during the annual harvest of you know what. If you absolutely have to visit Deep Muff Land during these nervous months, I suggest you take Troll Brandon along with you to smooth the intros. In Anderson Valley the hill muffin is just about extinct. The people in the hills these days are more like scones, you might say. None of this is intended pejoratively of course; only as an informal sociological observation, a sort of naming of parts.