Since this is the debut of Lakeside Living under my name, I would like to ask you a favor. I keep wondering if we are missing the boat somehow. Should our format be geared, as it has been, toward (1) entertainment and (2) charitable efforts to the exclusion of other lakeside activities and interests? Or more? It is my wish to throw open the doors to any non-commercial interest that represents the way we retirees live here and what is available to you, our readers. What would you like more of? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (376) 766-3058. If you call, however, be aware that I am often out, pursuing your interests.
Friday, April 25 at the Malecon in Chapala there was a dinner-dance sponsored by DIF for the benefit of battered women. This black tie affair was facilitated by Marta Zepeda Degollado, wife of the mayor of Chapala. Karl Barnhart, artist and contributor, Wendy Lyons, a leader with this project, Love in Action orphanage representatives Audrey and Al Roseman, Rich Williams of Mision San Pablo. Ilse Picaszo and Yoli Martinez, were organizers for the event. There were about 250 people and a musical group who performed superbly, singing oldies as guests danced. The sunset provided a lovely backdrop. There is a safe house standing empty, no furnishings or cooking implements. An auction of donated items followed dinner, providing proceeds for the benefit of the safe house and its future residents. Donations can be made care of Wendy Lyons at 765-4915. The women waiting for help thank you.
Marta Zepeda Degollado,
First Lady of Chapala
Audrey & Al Roseman
The rafters rocked on Wednesday, April 30 with all the performers who showed up to celebrate the birthday of Roberto Cerda. Between the performers and the staff at the restaurant, four countries were repre-sented, along with their musical styles. Alex Rodriquez played rag-time piano, followed by key-board play-along with Roberto Cerda on guitar, Michael Fortier, jazz singer, and Jimmy Barto on the horn and bongo drums. They were joined by Francisco Lopez on horn and Jesus Barrera on a box that sounded like light brushing across the surface of a drum. The Brazilian Percussion Band, a group of five, relieved the original group, adding their distinctive style, and the dance floor was packed. Western music was then added for contrast. Several of the musicians played a variety of instruments.
Alex Rodriquez, Roberto Cerda, Francisco Lopez
with Michael Fortier
in the background
The Old Train Station in Chapala was renamed Centro Cultural J. Jesús González Gallo in 2006 when it was designated a cultural center for display of Mexican talent. At present the display is of paintings, photographs often incorporated within paintings, and sculptures by Lucia Maya. What is so fascinating isn’t something esoteric. The sculptures are amazingly scaled to reality, and the paintings are subtly surreal. This display is worth your time and the price for entry is gratis (free). Hours are Tuesday- Saturday, 10-6 and Sunday is a little shorter day. What you get is 2-for-1, for upstairs are photos depicting the history of the train station during its “heyday.”
Warning to Shoppers at the Ajijic Tianguis. During May two cars were broken into while the owners were shopping at the tianguis along Revolucion. The cars were parked at the south end of the market. One owner was a gringo. The other was a Mexican woman. The engines were intact, but each car was robbed of vital supporting parts. The Mexican woman, first to arrive back at the car, called the police. Perhaps parking closer to the carretera where a policeman directs traffic affords greater safety.
Reminder of the Joel Juan Qui piano concert. Appearance is scheduled for Sunday, July 20, and the music will be exceptional. See VIVA, La Musica! At the LCS Ticket Booth.
Dia del Trabajo (May 1) is Mexico’s equivalent to Labor Day followed by Dia de la Santa Cruz (Day of the Holy Cross) on May 3 . This holiday is a natural follow up to Labor Day in that it is celebrated by all Mexican masons and builders. With a buoyant economy lakeside, there was feasting and, of course, cohetes (loud fireworks). At every construction site crosses were erected with streamers and flowers. Decorated crosses were found on village streets and hillsides. In Ajijic festivities continued into the night. The origin of this holiday arises from the courageous actions of Emperor Constantine’s mother Elena, a Christian during a time when such a choice carried a death sentence. Nearly 1700 years ago the actual cross on which Jesus was crucified was unearthed under her direction while building a church at Calvary. The cross had been buried under 300 years of debris. Saint Elena credited the construction workers with the find.
Cinco de Mayo (May 5) was celebrated in Puebla where the 1862 battle took place. However, its importance is played down in much of Mexico, in contrast with its celebration in the US where winning the battle of Puebla was equated with Mexican Independence Day. Historically, the two holidays are distinctly different, but Mexican Americans celebrated big-time.
Dia de las Madres (Mother’s Day) on May 10 carries great importance in Mexico. Every year the day begins with more cohetes (loud fireworks) and serenades to the family’s matriarchs. There are floral bouquets, gifts and special meals. For non-Mexicans lakeside, this holiday sometimes coincides with our own celebration of Mother’s Day, but in Mexico, the date is fixed. It is always May 10.
Dia del Padre (Father’s Day) falls on the 3 Sunday of June, as it does for North Americans lakeside. While celebrations center on the male heads of household, the holiday lacks the vitality found on Mother’s Day.
Lakeside Little Theatre’s Summer 2008 Program has been announced. There will be two workshops, one an Introduction to Acting & Directing to be held June 19-21 from 10-4, the other for Advanced Scene Study & Directors to be held June 26-28 from 10-4. The workshops include an hour for lunch and are free to LLT members (including season ticket holders). There will also be a series of four plays read, July 19, July 26, August 2 and August 9, all starting at 7:30 p.m. The series will be free to members and 50 pesos to non-members.
Book Signing at La Nueva Posada – Alejandro Grattan’s revised edition of Only Once in a Lifetime was offered to a large group who gathered to hear readings of the book that was first a highly-acclaimed 1979 movie, then later a novel. This revised edition begins in Ajijic in 1940 when a young Mexican boy meets an American screenwriter whose sponsorship takes him to Los Angeles many years later. Most of the attendees agreed that the worst thing about Grattan’s writing was his handwriting!
Mariana Levenhagen & Tom Ramsey
at book-signing event
With extraordinary mountains ranging throughout Mexico, books for hikers offer tantalizing trails, including one up Mount Colima’s northern peak within Parque Nevado de Colima. During May the Tuesday Hiking Group, consisting of Larry Laframboise, Dr. Tom Holeman and instructor Roberto, took that trail, camping overnight. One peak hot and volcanic, the other chilly in the dead of night, it was a night they will remember. European mountaineers compare this site with Mount Cervino in the Alps. The foothills are covered with pine, fir and oak forests inhabited by falcons, hummingbirds and many species of reptiles. Contact email@example.com for information on Jalisco’s trails and plans for future hikes.
On Saturday, May 10, which was also Mexican Mother’s Day, the Doo Wops appeared at Vicky’s Hideaway. Jerry, Gary, Jack and Cindy were all in fine voice, entertaining from 7-9:30 p.m. with such favorites as Dream Lover, Johnny Angel, The Grape Vine, Chantilly Lace, Dedicated to the One I Love. They will next appear at La Bodega on June 3. You won’t want to miss this.
Doo Wops: Jerry, Gary & Cindy
Open Circle at the Lake Chapala Society offers Sunday morning wit and wisdom at 10 a.m., coffee, tea and nibbles included. On May 11 Jim Collums acted as host for a presentation of “Love in a Warm Climate.” We were graced with four excellent poets, two gringos and two Mexicans who write first in Spanish and then translate, not an easy thing to do. Upcoming Sundays will offer such a diverse set of subjects that, surely, one or two will grab your interest. See you there.
Open Circle Schedule:
June 1 Barbara Rottheiler Obstacles to Healing
June 8 Poe Hearne The Law of Attraction
June 15 Larry Reeves The Mystery of Nancy Drew
June 22 TBA
June 29 Alison Solomon
Arturo Garcia at LCS
A Friends of Shirley Haverland benefit was held at La Bodega on May 13. The restaurant was packed and the performances were held in two “acts” to allow for a break. The performers all did an excellent job and the MC, Joseph Gallagher, entertained between performances with jokes. CDs were sold to add to the benefit money on behalf of Lakeside comedienne Shirley Haverland who had been seriously injured.
Millicent Brandow & Mac Morrison
Open Mike Club – Karaoke at Melanie’s, lower Danza del Sol Hotel. Every Monday except the last Monday in each month. Individuals choose a song to lead and the words show on a big screen so everybody can sing along. No cover, no minimum. Maybe it’s time to get your toes wet.
Open Mike Club Talent Showcase – last Monday of each month at Melanie’s, Danza del Sol, from 7-9:30 p.m. This is an extremely popular event with often surprising good talent. Come check it out. Thirty pesos cover charge, added to your bill, no minimum. Reservations 766-4253.
Lake Chapala Society Dinner-Dance – on June 7 in the back patio area, starting at 6 p.m. Lynn Martin and Bob Crisafi will be featured for your pleasure.
Augustin Lara Night – Planned for September, this is only a flash report from Doug Livingston of what lies ahead. So far, the details are not set in stone, but keep one eye open. In case the name Augustin Lara is new to you, perhaps you will hear “Granada” and “Solamente Una Vez” in your head or any of the other incomparable love songs he wrote during Mexico’s film heyday of the 1930s-1950s. Many of his songs are now classics around the world. BTW, the piano bar at Hotel de Chapala is decorated with photos of Augustin Lara and his wife, film diva Maria Féliz. The Roberto Ortiz piano stylings is worth at least enough time for a cocktail. I will keep you informed on Doug’s upcoming theatrical event.
Before we sign off for this month, we’d like to remind you that at the end of each monthly issue of the Ojo there is a page called “Non-Profit & Charity Organizations.” In this community we have some of the most interesting and talented people you could find anywhere, and they need you. Check them out.