By Ken Martin

RETURN TO NORMALCY: As much as they were anticipated, the Holidays have passed and many of us, even though we enjoyed them, are now breathing a sigh of relief.

Patty and I celebrated Christmas quietly. We opened gifts with our son and granddaughter and had a nice dinner at a restaurant. On even-year Christmases our entire family comes home for this event but this wasn’t the year so all was quiet at our house.

While we didn’t do New Year’s Eve, we damaged the quietude on New Year’s Day by holding an open house for several dozen of our friends with plenty of food and drink available. We do this every few years just to nurture present friendships, rekindle some old ones, and make some new ones.

Whatever your approach was to the Holidays, we hope that you had good ones that will provide a good launch into the upcoming year.

COMING EVENTS: Like every year, there are always some exciting things that happen in Castro Valley throughout the year. Most of them are well established annual events but, now and then, something new appears.

We’re all familiar with the great events that we all enjoy like the Rodeo Parade and the rodeo itself, the Fall Festival, the Run to the Lake, the programs at the Performing Arts Center, gatherings at the Moose Hall, the Buon Tempo Club  Open Bocce Tournament, and various happenings created by local groups and individuals during the year. But new ideas continually surface.

One such idea that has been advanced by one of our local leading citizens is to have an Italian Festa at Adobe Park. Not a great big one but one that would fit the venue. Right now it is only in the idea/talk stage but it is an exciting idea. It has been a few years since the last East Bay Italian festival, which was at Oakland’s Jack London Square, disappeared and left the next nearest event of this type in San Jose. It could really be fun for all to have one here. Maybe it won’t come to pass, but remember, if it does, you read it here first. Keep an eye on this space.

HONORED: Sam Nuov, the operator of Lee’s Donuts that was so brutally robbed and hospitalized last October, and his wife, Lori, were invited to be guests of the Buon Tempo Club at the club’s January Family Dinner. Even though the funds that were raised to help them were presented to them earlier, a more formal presentation was made at the dinner. Also recognized at the event were Steve and Marianne Dimick.

It was at Marianne’s suggestion that the Buon Tempo hosted a very successful bocce tournament to raise funds and Steve spearheaded the Chamber of Commerce drive, also with good success. The two efforts collected a total of almost $6000 to help the Nuovs cover medical expenses.

Great going, Castro Valley!!