By Ken Martin

AMAZING CV: Castro Valley is an amazing community. It sits in the middle of a huge metropolitan area and still retains its small town attitude. There are not many areas in this situation where you would find:

The barber that offers to come to your house to give you a haircut when you are recovering from surgery; the grocery employee that offers to deliver your groceries during the same time; the pharmacist that “loans” you pills when yours run out before the insurance will pay for a refill; the contractor that will do work outside his specialty to help you in an emergency; the auto repair shop that installs a part to see if it solves the problem (which it did) and doesn’t charge you for the service; the high school students that greet you when you pass them on the street; the restaurateur that will find you a table for ten even when the place is packed; the body shop that does a very special bit of paint work for you and then can’t remember how much the bill was; another restaurateur that lets you use his banquet room for community meetings without requiring that you buy dinners; the grocer that offers you a cool drink and time to socialize in the back storeroom.

For nearly forty years I lived in a neighboring incorporated city with a population about the same size as Castro Valley and never had these kinds of experiences. Castro Valley residents need to be aware of how unique our community is and appreciate this uniqueness.

And how great is it to deal with merchants with names like “Al’s” and “Pete’s” and “Rudy’s” and “Frank’s” and “Doug’s” and “Grady & Dave’s” and “Jenny’s”? We have a great place to live here. Enjoy it.

GREAT ENTERTAINMENT: The very talented drama students at CVHS are going to present “Beauty and the Beast” at the Performing Arts Center. This will be the full Broadway production. Opening night is November 30 and the show will run every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM through December 9.

I have yet to see any show put on by our high school students that wasn’t first class. I am assuming that this will be no exception. The depth of talent at the school is unbelievable. Here is a chance to see live entertainment at its best.

Tickets are on sale now at the Center box office and Castro Valley Adult School.

BOCCE COURT PROGRESS: Things are still on the move. Larry Lepore, HARD’s Superintendent of Parks, tells me that they are now finalizing the plans for the Adobe Art Center park remodel. Because the park is on CV School District land, some details still have to be worked out between the two agencies. Hopefully we’ll see some action by spring.

Meanwhile, there are several other courts around for public use in places like Toyon Park in San Leandro, Lincoln Park in Alameda, and in Pleasanton and Concord. At least you can keep your game up while we are waiting.

You can contact CV Side Trips at or (510) 727-9296.