November 4, 2009

THE RECORD-REVIEW "Talk of the Town"

By BONNI BRODNICK

If you know Tom Rizzo, you know a good hugger. He doesn’t shake hands, he hugs. What you might not know though, is that Tom, who is 84 years old and has lived in Pound Ridge since 1971 with his lovely wife Athena, is also known as the “Pound Ridge Poet.” As a prestigious retired attorney, his formative years were with Mayor LaGuardia and Congressman Vito Marc Antonio, both of whom encouraged Tom to get into politics (but that’s another story). An organization he once represented to fight against “sweetheart contracts” between racketeer labor unions and employers found Tom testifying on television before the U.S. Senate Rackets Committee, where Bobby Kennedy was attorney and his brother, Senator John F. Kennedy, was a committee member.

On top of all of Tom’s professional accomplishments, he is also a lyrical poet. “Writing poetry gives me a chance to express my feelings about life, the world, and relationships,” he said. “A burst of thoughts come to my mind, and I’ve got to write them down. It’s really an honor to hear people tell me that they like my poetry or when they ask me to give a poetry reading.” His poems range from contemplative, to humorous, religious, inspirational, and seasonal. To share in Tom’s thoughts and ruminations, check out his website, www.poundridgepoet.com.

It wouldn’t be autumn in Pound Ridge without the seasonal production brought to us by the Pound Ridge Theatre Company. Reserve your tickets now for dramatist Brian Friel’s Tony-winning tale “Dancing at Lughnasa,” directed by Sherry Asch. The story is about five sisters in a small rural Irish village in August 1936. We pick up with them during the pagan festival of Lughnasa, when their spare existence is interrupted by brief, colorful bursts of music from the radio.

Performances, which take place at Conant Hall in the hamlet, are Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21 at 8 p.m.; and two matinees on Sunday, Nov. 8and 15 at 2 p.m. The space is cabaret-style seating, so bring food/drink to enjoy one-hour before the show begins. There will also be a silent auction with winners announced at the last performance. Bid on goods and services to help PRTC continue its tradition of quality community theater. To donate items to this talented troupe that attracts a captive and dedicated audience of local theatergoers, please call Maryann at 914-769-0189. To reserve your tickets, go to “Dancing at Lughnasa,” go to www.prtc01.org.

More than a few Pound Ridgers seeking classical music to start the day recently flicked the radio dial to their usual 96.3 WQXR and wondered … what the?? Bye-bye Bach, hello BeyoncĂ©! And Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Diddy and Fifty Cent. What was formerly NYC’s only station dedicated to classical music is now airing L.A.’s #1 Latino hip hoppin’ party station. Good morning! The new slot for WQXR is 105.9. If you hit 93.6 out of habit to listen to The Philharmonic or Metropolitan Opera, don’t wince if you discover pop singer and songwriter Lady Gaga just as uplifting.

After trick or treating tomorrow night, be sure to separate the Babe Ruths from the Three Musketeers and the Snickers. Don’t let the Necco Wafers touch the Star Bursts. In an effort to be watchful for H1N1, discard all loose candy corn. Miniature boxes of raisins go in their own “special” pile, and send all extra Butterfingers to me. Then, at midnight, be sure to change your clock, change your battery. This Sunday, Nov. 1, we turn back the clock one hour (Rule of thumb: “Fall behind, spring ahead.”) Remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and CO2 detectors, too. This simple task could make the difference in surviving a home fire. Batteries galore are available at Chubby’s Hardware.

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