July 7, 2003

THERE'S GOOD NEWS, and there's news packed with goodness. Pastor Ron Hunt and his lovely wife Lisa returned to the Little Brown Church of Sunol on June 1 after four years in Minnesota. Their return is especially sweet in light of Ron's recent battle with leukemia. He is doing great and the staff and congregation at LBC are excited and grateful to have him back.

Ron and Lisa are busy figuring out little questions like where they'll live, as well as getting back in the swing of things at the church. Along with many other Sunol friends, I wish the Hunts a very warm welcome and hope their return brings them as much joy as it brings us. Pastor Ron can be reached at the church office 925-862-2004 or you can email him at PastorRon@littlebrownchurch.com.

BIG NEWS AT LITTLE VALLEY: Sandi Bohner and Bill Webster always have a scoop for me. This one's a real feather in downtown Sunol's cap: Diablo Magazine recently published its "Best of the East Bay" issue, and Little Valley Winery and Bistro was chosen as the best place in all of the East Bay to hang out. That's right, that was the category: Best Place to Hang Out.

If you've been to the Bistro, you know that means meeting friends to share all sorts of yummy coffee drinks and award-winning wine, sinfully delicious pastries and tasty lunches. Most weekends it also means having a great time enjoying terrific music. The intimate atmosphere and friendly audiences have made the Bistro a favorite among musicians. So many of them comment during their shows on how much fun it is to play at Sandi and Bill's.

There are lots of opportunities coming up for y'all to check out what Diablo Magazine's superlative recognition is all about. For starters, Frankie Ramos Band plays the blues Saturday at 8 p.m., and July 19 at 8 K.C. entertains with air-flute and harmonica. There's more blues happening when Georgi & the Rough Week have a CD release party at the Bistro Sunday, July 20 from 1 to 4 p.m., and then on Friday, July 25, there will be an open stage poetry reading and you can take the mike to read your own poems or favorites by others.

The August Bistro calendar is packed with acoustic, blue grass, blues and another poetry reading, capped off with the Harvest Celebration on Sunday, August 31. There's usually a small cover charge for Saturday events, while most Sunday afternoon shows are free. Check the Little Valley page at www.sunol.net, stop in (11986 Main Street), or call 925-862-9006 for info and reservations.

GREAT EATS AT ELLISTON: While I'm plugging away here for Sunol vineyards, the summer events calendar and menus at Elliston are out and sure to get your appetite aflutter. Sunday there's "From Wine to Cheese," an education in tasting and pairing presented by Chef Brian Krediet. A light lunch will be part of the event, which is from 1 to 4 p.m. and costs $40.

Your funny bone will get activated along with your appetite Friday, August 15 at Elliston's Comedy Nite and Buffet Dinner, starting at 6 p.m. and costing $55 per person. Elliston will also be participating in the Harvest Wine Celebration, with a weekend long extravaganza including wine tasting, barbecue lunch and life music for $35.

The Chef's Table at Elliston is definitely a must for dining among the vineyards and under the stars.
Sip your Pinot Gris and feast on an array of dishes, including three entree selections every first and third Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 for $36 (tax, tip & beverages not included). The summer menu includes mesquite grilled tri-tip, warm Delta asparagus, caramelized shallots, heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella with basil pesto, and on and on. Gotta go get some lunch! For reservations or information please call 925-862-2377.

DON'T MISS THE FLEA MARKET: This is your final reminder from me about the Sunol Glen Super Summer Flea Market on Saturday. If you have items to donate, please call Lori Nielsen 925-862-2970 evenings and 510- 376-9097 in the daytime, or Nancy Davis at 925-862-0809. On Saturday, come on down and buy a bunch of cool stuff and support our school!

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