By Ken Martin

OLD COLUMNISTS NEVER DIE: When I stopped writing this column on a regular basis back in December of ’07, I figured that was the end. I did write a couple more columns since then but not on any kind of schedule. But I guess the Forum readers are a loyal lot.

It seems like everywhere I go anymore I hear, “We miss your column”, or “We enjoyed your column”, or “Are you ever going to write again?”. Actually I never intended to resume but it is hard not to respond. Ego? Maybe. But here I am again but not on the two-a-month regimen that I sustained before. Probably 1.4 columns per month or something like that.

I stopped writing because my personal time distribution had changed and I had very little time for writing. My time availability hasn’t changed but I can probably squeeze out one-plus columns per month on an irregular basis as worthy items emerge.

So here I am!!

GORGEOUS SOUNDS!: Make a note on your calendar for Saturday evening, May 16. That evening the Buon Tempo Italian American Club will hold its third annual Opera Night: “Viva, Giuseppe! I Suoni Belli di Verdi” (Long Live, Giuseppe! The Beautiful Sounds of Verdi), featuring operatic arias from the works of the renowned 19th century Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi.

“Rigoletto”, “Il Trovatore”, “La Traviata”, and “Aida” are some of the more well known operas from the dozens that he wrote. Arias from these and others will be performed by world-class singers from the Oakland Lyric Opera Company. Wendy Loder, soprano, Jorge Gomez, tenor, and Leland Morine, baritone, accompanied by Castro Valley’s own Alex Katzman, pianist, will fill the Castro Valley Moose Hall with classic sounds that evening.

The show will be preceded by a five-course Italian dinner of antipasto, salad, pasta, pork loin roast, dessert, and wine. The bargain price for the evening, for dinner and the fantastic sounds, is only $30.00 per person. A door prize drawing will follow the show.

The public is invited to this event. Cocktail hour is at 5:30 PM with dinner at 6:30 PM and the entertainment at 8:00 PM. The Castro Valley Moose Lodge is at 20835 Rutledge Road (behind Burger King) in Castro Valley. The Buon Tempo Club is a private social club and does not open many of its activities to the public, so don’t miss this opportunity!

Only prepaid reservations are accepted. Seating is limited and this event has sold out in the past. No tickets will be available at the door. To attend this gala event, send a check for $30.00 per person, made out to “Buon Tempo Club” to Opera Night, c/o Jim Pineo, 47 Georgia Way, San Leandro, CA 94577. No reservation confirmations will be sent out. For further information, call (510) 727-9296