By Ken Martin

    GREAT DAY!: The Buon Tempo Italian-American Club Community-wide Open Bocce Tournament went off as smooth as silk on Saturday, August 22. Thanks to a great staff and participants, there were absolutely no glitches.

Twelve teams started out playing for trophies donated by Engravit Awards and Trophies. Eventually the “De Boccery” team of San Rafael squeezed out a final win over the “Ricellanza Club” team of Castro Valley. Third place went to “The Classics” team also from Castro Valley.

It was great event. Several people brought food and drinks to share which created a kind of party/picnic atmosphere and added to the fun. Due to this success, the tournament will probably become an annual event. Watch for announcements next summer.

CHAIN REACTION: Apparently my column of August 26 triggered a couple of letters, one of which must have led to the other.

One reader suggested building a 6 foot wall between the skateboard area and the bocce courts at Adobe Park. I really don’t know why he suggested this because I never mentioned any problems with the skateboarders. It’s the inconsiderate little bicycle riders that damage the courts. Actually, the skateboarders, except for an occasional renegade, rarely bother the bocce courts. I guess they discovered early on that their boards don’t operate very well on the clay and oyster shell surface.

Most of the damage done by the skateboarders is to the very equipment that is put there for their enjoyment. The panels under the ramp have all been kicked in, the concrete is full of graffiti, and all the surrounding shrubbery has been decimated. If HARD ever decides to replace these plants, I might suggest a combination of poison oak and bougainvillea!!

The second letter from a J. Smith suggests that the bocce players lighten up and invite these youths to play bocce ball. Mr. (Mrs.?) Smith, you should have come down to the courts and asked more questions before you wrote. On several occasions we have done exactly that. A few of them have accepted but after throwing a few balls and, discovering that nothing explodes or has been destroyed, they lose interest and depart.

I am wondering if by “rambunctious” and “exuberant” he means loud, foul language and destructive, disrespectful behavior because this is pretty much what we hear and see emanating from many of the youths that use the park.

We, the bocce players, would be more than happy to have the young people join us. We are very willing to teach them the game. We’ll even furnish the equipment. All they have to do is ask and they’re in. Also, the Buon Tempo Club is currently initiating a program to bring handicapped people from CV Adult School to the courts to learn bocce. Future plans are to set up a bocce program for the students at Castro Valley Elementary School.

I point this out so J. Smith can see that we don’t exclude anyone from the great game of bocce. I invite him to come on down and join us.