Closing out 2007 was a blessed union between Lakeside’s beloved Lorraine Keefer and John Marshall which could snap you right back into the days when we were all considered flower children of the heart. So love the people who treat you right...forget about the one’s who don’t. Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you can’t get them back. So hang on to your balloons and make 2008 the greatest year you have ever had.
The shining and glittery lights of the big city lit a path for the 39 travelers from LCS Travel Club who went to Mexico City for Christmas. Mexico City was a blaze of colorful lights, the excitement of so many people shopping, and a Zocalo filled with as many of the 31,000,000 city residents as would fit. All decked out with an ice skating rink on the square showed how really talented some of the city folks are on man-made ice. As a rule snow and ice does not come to visit this big city. Most cities carry a seasonal charm that is hard to match, but Mexico City goes all out for everyone to enjoy.
Secrets can be a great deal of fun, and here is one that has been kept so secret that it is tighter than President Bush’s dictionary! Entrepreneurs are working to establish a radio station in Ajijic/Chapala. It could only be an asset for all businesses here supporting daily specials, contests, music, interviews with visiting celebrities, the hawking of sale items, local news casting, and profiles of those who have make up our Valley. Certainly the talent is here to support such a move.
Turning 50 years old can bring on unexpected traumas. However, the dying gasps of pre-50 youth doesn’t seem to bother Jimmy Barto as he celebrated the big 5-0. This eternally enthusiastic youth is the envy of everyone who wishes we had all the vitality Jimmy so effortlessly shares with his trumpet in hand.
It’s all in the family: two more Carranzas are rising in the sculpture heaven. Visiting grandson of Carmen Carranza, David, created a museum quality sculpture in 3 of his 10-day stay at Lakeside. David (hopefully) will select this as a career....the head start is already on the shelf. Now his grandmother, Carmen, has taken up the art and has produced a torso that art lovers would buy in a second.
A Time for Sweethearts to warm up a Serenade: Although I am sure there will be lots of Valentine parties, the one that shows a tremendous potential for sheer entertainment should be: A Valentine’s Serenade! You can dance your heart away with great singer Mac Morrison, Brian Preston, and Lakeside’s ball of talent, Cindy Paul. The night to remember is February 12 at 7:30 pm and Javier Gonzalez is planning a one-evening-only wonderful Valentine’s menu at his La Bodega Restaurant in Ajijic. These will all be love songs from the period when composers really wrote them. There is a 50 pesos cover added to you bill, but no minimum.
Year of the Oxxo: have you checked out how many Oxxo convenience stores have appeared during 2007 between Guadalajara and into the streets of Ajijic and San Antonio? There are 12 of them. 7-11 is trying to play catch up, and probably will. Two years ago there was not a single Oxxo to be seen along the highway or in our Valley. Now you stumble over them. What is alarming is that since they stay open all night, the all-night-party-rowdies from Guadalajara join forces with locals and use the Oxxo’s as a party spot among other things. If you look at the good side of it, they are open all night in case a snack, drink, or necessity is needed before daylight.
Three Charities; One Goal: Barbara Sherritt, president of Lakeside School for the Deaf; Bernard Downes, president of Ninos Incapacitados, and Dixie Tophan, president of Mision San Pablo announce that the revenues raised by Lakeside School for the Deaf’s annual Black & White Ball amount to 86,000 pesos during their December event. The School for the Deaf is sharing the profits with the two charities in order to insure that “all children with special needs” at Lakeside can benefit from the Ball. The black tie dinner dance was held on the grounds and terrace of Claudette Champage’s home and catered by Banquettes Providencia, Guadalajara. Music was provided for cocktails and dinner by Pepe Villalobos and for dancing by Susan and Jimmy Barto. Committee chairs’ Ann Dean and Jim Lloyd, certainly had reason to thank the volunteers and local businesses who contributed to the success of that evening. The Claudette Champagne house was a wonder to see with it’s dramatic black and white decor created by Averial Miller, Maureen Downes, Karen and Lade Lingo.
If you can’t make Serenade then SAVE Valentine’s Day for a dance at the City Hall sponsored by the Mayor’s office and the American Legion Post 7. Watch for details in posters and flyers which will be spread about the cities in a matter of days. If you like to dance and in the Chapala area, the City Hall is one of several events to attend. If you are in Ajijic, The Valentine’s Serenade would be a great choice.
Lakesider’s who went to Pasos Milagrosos saw a very special show which took place mid-January. Equine physical therapy uses the body heat of the horse and the repetitive motion to improve muscle tone, balance, posture, flexibility, strength, coordination and cognitive skills in handicapped children. Among the many conditions that benefit from equine therapy are cerebral palsy, MS, Downs Syndrome, autism, spina bifida, brain or spinal cord injury, amputation, deafness, blindness, and more. In addition, the children receive a rare sense of adventure and accomplishment in their difficult lives. Pasos Milagrosos is a project of Elena and Pablo Cooper of San Nicolas de Ibarra. They provide the locale and the horses, and have obtained help from professional therapists from Guadalajara for training the horses and the volunteer therapists. Everyone interested in horses and children should contact the Coopers at 763 5763 or 5764, or cell 045 331 300 4966, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cruz Roja (Red Cross) has set up a sub-station at the Lakeside Mall consisting of a full-time ambulance and paramedics. The hope is for this to be a permanent sub-station. This ambulance will respond to emergency calls coming from those who live in Ajijic or the western section of Ajijic. It has already been of satisfactory service on several emergency occasions. Needless to say, this expanded service could use and will need monetary support. For those who wish to help, there are Pledge Forms where you can donate to the Red Cross now, on a regular basis. Contact the Donations Director, Charlie Klestadt (766-3671) or Mike Campo (766-4510). We all donate to the Red Cross for their continuing needs, but this one is a special fund to keep this plan alive.
Artist Marci Boone is living up to what she said: “I’ll be giving watercolor lessons to students in February.” Pouring Luminous Washes is the title of the February 18, 19, and 20th (M-T-W) from 9 - 2 painting sessions where you can work with this world class artist/teacher. Marci will have a showing of her Doors of Ajijic collection at La Puerta Gallery on Colon in Ajijic.
Just the sound of the name, Bob Milner, will make your feet tap. This amazing Piano Rag Timer, Swing and Stride performer will leave us with another thrilling evening of Rag Time music. February 12 is definitely a night to mark down on your entertainment calendar. Performance is at 7:30 in the Auditorium, and tickets are being sold at LCS in the Ticket Booth....daily. Wear dancing shoes, you are gonna need them!
The Milnes with famed newsman Mike Wallace
The Taming of the Flu.....get flu shots! Returning vacationers are bringing back that miserable cuss named FLU...and the best way to avoid this is to take shots. Shots won’t get all the flu strains, but it certainly dilutes and weakens the nastier of the bigger ones. Go to LCS and get a shot.....against the most devastating of illnesses. They are still available but I would call ahead of time (766-1140) to make sure there are vaccines and doctors on duty.
The Mex best thing just might be the 30th Anniversary Chili Cook-off. The build up has been raging for a couple months, and the pay off is only a few days away. For 30 years organizers have produced one of the major events of the year benefiting 13 charities who receive funds from this three-day February extravaganza. It’s filled with carnival type fun, food stands everywhere, arts and crafts shops, serious sales pitches, and always unexpected entertainment specials. This is the one that takes three days to pull off....and it pays to go all three days. I think volunteers might still be needed. If you have extra time, call Ann Whiting 766-3724. The fun begins on February 15 and ends with a triumphant blow out on the 17th.
AN INVITATION: VIVA LA Musica members and their guests are invited to attend Viva’s 2008 Membership Gala to be held this year at St. Andrews Anglican Church, Calle San Lucas in Riberas, on Sunday, February 10, 2008, at 4.00 p.m. Join fellow music lovers for an afternoon of music provided by the Ajijic String Ensemble, which is made up of young professionals who have graduated from the Golden Strings. Light refreshments will be provided. The only price of admission is your membership renewal for 2008. Membership Categories:
Single (300 pesos)…Couple (450 pesos)…Patron (1000 pesos)…Make checks payable to “Operadora de Fondos Lloyd”
Critics Can Be So Annoying! Lakesiders are getting some of the really good films on early releases, but not all of them. If one understands that learned critics are only what-you-would-call-trained hopeful wannabe-opinion-setters we should be able to look forward to what we think might be a guideline in spending our entertainment money to receive in return real value. Well, regardless of publicity, Golden Compass (even kids didn’t seem to like it), American Gangster (the zillionth drug lord movie), National Treasure (turned out to be a mish-mash of filmed rehearsals) and the list goes on. What will the Academy of Arts and Sciences nod toward this year? 2007 in American films was a mixed bag even though Daniel Day-Lewis gives a powerful performance in There Will Be Blood, which is turning out to be a flat-out masterpiece, followed closely by Ian McEwan’s (2002 novel) Atonement with all of its fierce challenges intact. Three more movies that might legitimately be called art:
Daniel Day Lewis
No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, and The Bourne Ultimatum. Certainly not to be overlooked: We Own the Night, The Hoax, and The Mist. However, some 2007 films reached rock bottom and still digging deeper. There were some really mediocre films hitting this year’s market place but still capable of sucking all the oxygen out of any media hype rooms.
This is station Ajijic 101 signing off until next issue.