By Ken Martin

TODAY’S YOUTH: Much criticism is heaped on our teenagers for sloppy dress, bad manners, lack of respect, etc. While some of it is merited, much of it is not. Encounters with them prove this.

A case in point is the experience that I had a week ago Saturday night. Eden Garden Club held their annual fundraiser dinner that evening at the CV Moose Lodge. As is common practice among the various organizations that use that hall, high school students were asked to be servers. They come from various local high schools – San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Arroyo, Castro Valley, etc.

On this particular evening the servers were Choir students from Castro Valley High. Their performance, both required and voluntary, brightened the entire evening.

There were eight of them. They arrived early, actually before they were needed (my fault). Soon two young ladies began playing the piano. As they did, the other students gathered around and started singing. As the singing progressed, they moved to the center of the dance floor and entertained the early arriving guests until they were needed for dinner chores.

After doing an outstanding job of serving dinner, and in response to many requests, they again gathered and serenaded the diners. All this was voluntary and the attendees loved it.

In addition to doing a great job and entertaining, these were eight of the nicest people that I have met in a while. They were hard working, cooperative, and a pleasure to be around and were the antithesis to the concept of today’s youth. Maybe we are better off than we think.

DEAR READERS: November, 2005, marks the third anniversary of “CV Side Trips”. It’s been fun for me writing it and I hope you have enjoyed reading it but I need a rest.

For one thing, on the day you are reading this, I am having both of my old, worn out knees replaced. Yes, both of them at the same time! While I expect to get through this with minimum down time, I want to concentrate on a speedy recovery with no distractions. Since this will slow me down a bit and will make getting material, doing interviews, etc., difficult, “CV Side Trips” is going on hiatus. This will be the last column until at least the first part of 2006.

I won’t be writing any columns during the Holiday Season, so my wife, Patty, and I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, as well as a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

So long for now!!