A man and his music filled this valley by the lake with sounds that made the heart tap dance. The creation, performance, significance and even the definition of music varies according to culture and social context ~~ but, in the hands of the talented it makes you alive. With Galen at the piano and Dale on percussion, they gave us a taste of the great life of music. The Niños Incapacitados shared a victory on the 27 of September that still rings in our valley.
American Legion Post #9 is stepping up to the plate in making headway within our community. A Public Relations Department has been established wherein Post #9 will focus on honoring those people who take Lakeside charities and health organizations seriously. During the September meeting of the Legion, it was readily agreed that many of its members would work with both DAR chapters, SAR, SR, and LCS in helping Chapala renovate the long neglected cemetery where some 117 military men and women have been laid to rest. On the east and south streets of the cemetery the great wall has been completed protecting the graves. Mayor Degollado was directly responsible for taking up this cause and completing it. Lic Degollado has proven to be a man of the people, not a man devoting his full time to climbing the ladder of politics. Protecting the resting places of our military heroes from Canada, Mexico, and the USA became a cause celebre for our Mayor who drove the restoration. Well done!
Les Ballets Trocadero de Monte Carlo: After an absence of five years, the legendary Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo returns. They bring to life some of the greatest moments of classical ballet...in size twelve pointe shoes! Dancing is a fine line between high art and high camp, and the Trocks’ fifteen professional male dancers combine a loving knowledge of dance with a wicked sense of fun. With gleeful leaps, poses and plunges, these dancers display a startling mastery of technique that will appeal to dance aficionados and novices alike.
Tickets can be acquired by reaching www.ticketmaster.com.mx. The two performances ONLY will be at the Teatro Diana in Guadalajara on October 5 and 6 with both curtains at 8:30 pm. Tickets range from $250 to $600 with a total sellout expected.
Niños Incapacitados resumes regular monthly meetings. Niños Incapacitados, one of the major local charities that has been helping children since 1993 by reimbursing families medical expenses, has resumed its regular open monthly meetings on September 13, at 9:30 a.m. The meetings will continue to be held in the bar area of La Nueva Posada on the second Thursday of each month between September and May. Everyone is welcome! Niños is always looking for volunteers to help in their clinics in Chapala, Ajijic, and Jocotepec. Niños is currently in need of a Secretary.
For further information about Niños Incapacitados, please telephone Rich Petersen at 765-5511.
Robert Hornstein and the Barbershop Harmony Society from Nashville is making headway in bringing this renowned group to Lakeside. Years ago, one of the most entertaining forms of harmony and music appeared when a group of local talented guys presented several concerts of pure Barbershop. Details are being worked out with the Barbershop Harmony Society to either bring down their full choral ensemble or a quartet from the Nashville Society to reintroduce us to one of the great components of our musical enjoyment. As of 2004, more than 30,000 men in the USA and Canada are members whose focus is on a cappella music. A parallel women’s singing organization, Sweet Adelines International, was founded in 1945.
One of the oldest organizations at Lakeside is the Needlepushers! In some societies that could mean another avenue of thinking...but not with this set of ladies: Needlepushers is a remarkable group of women who devote their time to knitting and sewing clothing for school children. This has been going on for decades following the footsteps of Neill James shortly after she arrived in 1942. Literally hundreds of financially deprived children have benefited from their efforts. In 1987 NEEDLEPUSHERS won the first Lakeside Community Award for Humanitarian efforts.
Ajijic is one of the legendary artist centers in México, dubbed that way immediately following WWII. Writers, painters, arts & craft’s people, jewelers, and theatre people descended upon Lakeside as if it were Greenwich Village in NYC, but with a Mexican accent. Ajijic has been a Mecca to the creative, rebellious, and sometimes even Bohemian. Although today there are no starving artists that we have spotted, the vibe still lingers and the beat goes on. It was this beat that attracted Marci Boone to Lakeside and she may never lay her brushes down again. Marci is one of the best painters to ever grace the Lake Chapala shores. If you pull up her web, you gaze in wonderment at the beauty she captures with each picture. www.marciboone-mjbstudio.com will give you a feast of beauty. Marci also gives painting classes in her studio just west of Mateos Galeria in Riberas (each week.) Don’t miss her exhibit of La Catrina paintings at Casa de Cultura, Ajijic saluting the Day of the Dead, opening October 24.
Darkest of Troubles in the Brightest of Colors: I marveled over a woman at Lois Cugini’s Opus Boutique (Morelos 15, Ajijic) trying to fit a size 14 body into a size 10 dress. Colors were flashing in all directions, but no way without scissors was this going to work. You had to be there to enjoy these dark moments of anguish on a jubilant face.
Art-ragious turned out to be chocolate, wine, and cheese! Oh, no you don’t! Don’t turn up your noses...it was an afternoon of gifts for the palates. Two fundraisers on the same day which turned out to be totally different than what you expected. Both were creative, interesting and entertaining! Designed to raise money for the Casa de Ancianos, Marlene and Keith Vancoughnett hosted a luxury cocktail party to knock your socks off. Over in another part of Lakeside, LLT held a capacity fundraiser for Niños Incapacitados with a wine tasting of 12 different favorites and a history to go with each one given by wine expert Todd Strong. Designed with staggering time frames so you could attend both events, there was no major rush involved.
Both were so different and interesting that you walked away scratching your head trying to figure out why this sort of thing hasn’t been done more often. Rest assured: it will! The great thing is that each function brought in the desired amount of donations keeping everyone happy and tipsy....well, almost drunk! If it comes this way again, buy tickets for either/both events, because it was worth every second of the afternoon in both places.
What a way to close the ‘Summer in The Village’ Season. VIVA La Musica! imported La España Antigua to close out a super season of culture with a capital C. Culture generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. La España Antigua did exactly that: give significance to music. On September 9, a large audience at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church seemed thoroughly entertained with a collection of facsimile ancient instruments being used to interpret musical works from ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the European Renaissance, and the Spanish Colonial Period covering 2000 years of musical history. It did not matter to this audience that the stunning music was being played on instruments most of us had never seen before; the dulcimer, zanfona, al’ud, viola da gaba, flautas de pico ~~ and introducing us to sounds most of us had never dreamed existed. Thirteen vibrant musical numbers dating back to the 12th century included all eleven of their unique instruments producing music covering the Moorish influences in Spain, bagpipe sounds, belly dancing, and then into cathedral music. Soprano Mariana Zermeño sang several of the songs with a pure, crystal clear voice. However, during one number her voice became an instrument of musical notes extremely difficult to define the differences between music and her gorgeous voice. Director Eduardo Amambula introduced each of the instruments that his co-musicians Sergio Sandoval and Hugo Gracian played.
Skin City: It was a scorching 102-degrees on a recent Friday, but it felt like spring break had broken out even at the Lake Chapala waterfront. I was standing on the terrace of the new Rincon del Cielo Restaurant (the old Angel’s Cafe) enjoying a weekly ‘Ditch Friday party.’ There was so much "eye candy," people didn’t know where to stare. The one that grabbed everyone’s attention was a girl walking her dog in a way that was not considered animal abuse...in fact, several guys would have paid a lot for that ride. And to think it was free...for the dog. It was the obsession of the week.
Just in case you missed getting your season tickets from MAS at the LCS Ticket Booth, you still have a chance! Even though most of our fine arts’ lovers selected their reserved seats during September, if you call Director Beverly Ely-Denton (765-6409) possibly tickets can still be arranged. The 2007-8 MAS menu is one of the best in recent years. To open the 21st Season at the Auditorium de la Ribera del Lago in La Floresta: October 23, Alan National Dance Ensemble from Ossetia, Russia will entertain with 30 dancers and two musicians. Award-winning dancers and singers in glorious costumes perform dances of the Caucasus that tell of love, heroism, and courage. There are great savings when buying Season Tickets, but if you are too late, single ticket prices aren’t bad; they range from $166 to $250 pesos. You have no parking problems, no long drives to Guadalajara, an opportunity to visit with friends prior to "curtain" time with a glass of wine, certainly benefits which should not be ignored.
Have you noticed how much younger arriving visitors are? One of the most charming was Brendan Meyers (age 12), grandson of Lakesiders Jim and Jan Biley. He arrived from Seattle to spend the summer months in México. While here he literally captured the hearts of everyone he touched. It all started when the LCS Travel Club took a tour of 33 people to visit Oaxaca. Brendan’s enthusiasm turned a sight-seeing tour into a marvelous experience, showing this young man the world of Oaxaca. His big romance was the discovery of lemon sherbert, and with this one act alone he gave us back our youth. It was amazing to see how one such young man could entertain and charm seasoned travelers who wanted to get away from it all, but would wind up being his tour guide. Message: if you have a grandchild that wants to visit for a summer, go for it, because it will brighten your life with the enthusiasm of kids at play in an enchanting world of love and laughter. Goodnight little Prince, you did wonders for our souls. Seattle: feel proud, you’ve got a great young man in your environment.
Barbara Clippinger got into a loaded car and drove out in the wee hours of a rainy morning to head for Palm Springs, California. She left a small note with me to share with her hundreds of friends here at Lakeside. ". . .I’ve had a fabulous 11 years here, and will miss everyone of you. You have touched my life in so many ways! I will definitely return, as a visitor or to live here again in this wonderful paradise. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart."
Legend of this fall: When the "water spout" splashed down in mid-September, a cry for help hit the air. When that devilish recurring tromba dropped tons of rain and lake water on San Juan Cosala for the third time in 15 years, the rush was on with activities of raising money by the ‘buckets’ for clothes, food, personal items, and living necessities. Lakesiders showed us just how big the heart is by helping needy families (particularly with small children) from the moment this tragedy struck. The Military, Police, Utility companies, Judy King, Petty Prentki, Robyn Ziebert, The Red Cross, LCS, LLT, and countless homeowners went into immediate overdrive to provide rapid assistance for the needy. Several international organizations put out an immediate SOS for help and they got it.
This is "talk station Ajijic 101" signing off ‘till next issue!