His friend Andy Williams has said: "Steve Allen does so many things, he's the only man I know who's on every one of the Yellow Pages."
"An Evening with Steve Allen," sponsored Saturday by the Ventura County Writers Club, will give residents some insights on how the 69-year-old Allen can be writing a book (his 36th) when most people his age have retired.
In 1986, funnyman "Steverino" was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in recognition of a career spanning more than four decades in radio, television, stage and films.
He is probably best known for his television series, "The Steve Allen Comedy Hour," and as the creator and host of the original "Tonight" show. He also created the Emmy award-winning PBS-TV series, "Meeting of the Minds."
Allen's other accomplishments include starring roles on Broadway and in films, and he's also a jazz pianist, playing his own compositions in engagements with symphony and popular orchestras.
Despite his inability to read music, he has recorded 40 record albums and was honored in the 1985 edition of the Guinness Book of world records as the most prolific composer of modern times, with more than 4,000 songs--including film scores and popular tunes--to his credit.
Allen has also written 35 books, ranging in topics from poetry and short stories to comedy and mystery.
In his latest mystery, "Murder in Manhattan," Allen and actress-comedian Jayne Meadows, his wife of 35 years, enter the action as celebrity sleuths.
In a recent interview with The Times, Allen described himself as largely self-educated and a voracious reader with an insatiable curiosity.
Raised as an only child, Allen said reading was a large part of his entertainment.
"I had the good fortune to encounter books at about age 6. I can still recall vividly the precise moment at which I stumbled over a cache of books in that same way one might recall the thrill of finding four diamonds under a couch."
When asked how he is able to accomplish so much, Allen responded, "There's a long list of other stuff I do not do."
When it comes to writing, Allen said he has no special routine. He dictates ideas into one of several tape recorders that he keeps nearby.
"I find it more efficient," he said, "since ideas come bubbling up from the unconscious all the time."
Allen learned to approach writing in a relaxed manner more than 40 years ago when he realized how quickly three pages accumulated into a stack several inches high.
"So don't worry how you're going to get to page 472," Allen said.
"Just at a leisurely pace grind out three pages a day, and in a hundred days look how many pages you'll have."
The American Assn. of Retired Persons (AARP) 55 Alive/Mature Driving Course will be held at the Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Monday and Tuesday from 1 to 5 p.m.
This eight-hour retraining course is geared to the specific needs of the older motorist.
Only people age 50 and older may enroll and space is limited. Cost is $8 per person.
To register, call (805) 527-9339.
Seniors who are unfamiliar with the many services and activities available at the Simi Valley Senior Center are invited to a special orientation for newcomers on April 12, from 11 a.m. to noon.
A guided tour, information packets and refreshments will be provided.
If you would like to stay for lunch, call (805) 526-9237.
* WHERE AND WHEN
"An Evening with Steve Allen," Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at the Camarillo Community Center, 1605 E. Burnley St. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and book sale. Cost is $5, or $7 at the door. For information about the event or the Ventura County Writers Club, call (805) 495-8730 or (805) 485-0339.
The following is a list of some of the programs and services available:
* Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program monitors the quality of care in nursing homes and advises nursing-home residents of civil and personal rights. The program also offers counseling and support for families of people who are facing nursing-home placement. Call 656-1986 or 373-7371 for free, confidential service.
* The Esplanade, 195 Esplanade Drive, Oxnard, offers the Energizers Mall Walk from 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The program provides a clean and air-conditioned environment in which to develop cardiovascular fitness. Participants meet at center court to receive blood pressure and pulse checks before and after the walk. Call 485-1146 or 988-1518.
* Seniors can have their blood pressure taken free from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursdays at the Goebel Senior Center, 110 S. Conejo School Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 497-1639 for information.
* Walk for Life takes place 8 to 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Buenaventura Plaza, 363 S. Mills Road, Ventura. Participants meet at the food court and have their blood pressure and pulse taken before and after the walk. Call 652-5095 for information.
* The Senior Nutrition Program offers a hot, nutritious noontime meal for people 60 and older Mondays through Fridays at 15 locations in Ventura County. Low-sodium and diabetic diets are available upon request. There is a suggested donation of $1.75. Meals can be delivered to the home for an extra 35 cent donation. Call 388-4323.
* The Meals on Wheels program provides home-delivered meals for elderly people who are homebound because of health problems and have no other assistance. Call 643-5653.
* The Senior Information and Referral program is a free service for people in need of help or support for any type of problem, including social, housing and medical concerns. Call 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 653-5594.
* The Camarillo Health Care District is a nonprofit group offering an adult day center. The program offers games, arts and crafts, field trips, hot lunches and snacks, musical programs and more. The services are free or at a low cost. Call 388-1952.