The Ides of March (15th) in ancient history has always marked the death of Caesar in 44 BC. Although it was not a good time of the year for Caesar in Rome, it was a great time in 2007 for 18 Lakesiders to receive justified recognition for their contributions to society while living in one of the greatest valleys in the world. The twentieth edition of the Lakeside Community Awards were presented on March 13 in the Gazebo of the Lake Chapala Society with many illustrious people in attendance: our Mayor of Chapala, Lic. Gerarado Degollado, his first assistant Sara Guzman, Chapala City Councilman, and Mr. and Mrs. Morris Schwartzblat, Academic Subdirector of the Department of Education for Jalisco, officiated this year over this annual event. Mayor Degollado presented the scholastic award to Profesora Pilar Morfin Heras as Teacher of the Year. In turn he presented trophies to two students with perfect scholastic scores: Federico Alberto Frenczel Noyano and to Hermenegildo Martinez Ramirez as Students of the Year, and to cyclist Korintia Belen Garcia Rios as Lakeside’s Athlete of the Year.
Man of the Year, Robin Lawrason stood tall as praise was bestowed upon him for the huge contributions he has made in the name of Niños Incapacitados helping impaired children attain a position in life regardless of their handicap. Woman of the Year, Bettina Rigby of Misión San Pablo, shares the same status with Mr. Lawrason. What great human beings these people are who care more for others than they do for themselves. Trophies were also given to: Couple: Aideen and Brian Howard ~~ Hall of Fame to Ann Whiting ~~ Project: Ajijic Limpio ~~ Cultural: Viva! La Musica ~~ Humanitarian: Shriner, Jim Powers ~~ Pioneer: Lissa Taylor ~~ Keeper of the Flame: Needlepushers ~~ Conservation: Ken Gosh and the LCS Garden Creators ~~ Outstanding Community Services: Jane and Norm Pifer, Ken Gosh, Charlie Klestadt, and Sylvia Rendon ~~ Special Awards: Wildlife Preservation: Shiz Katayama and the International Award: Northern Lights Music Festival, 2006.
On March 24th, Amy Restrepo and Aivars Taurins exchanged marriage vows at the Rosario Chapel in Ajijic. This was followed by a reception at the Monte Coxala Spa at the Racquet Club. The bride was given away by her son Alex, dressed in full Scottish regalia and piped into the Chapel by Ronald Barnett, also dressed in kilt with full trimmings. Some 130 guests attended the celebrations: Amy’s mother Laura, sister Diana, niece Manuela, nephew Peter, long-time friend Julia Green and many other friends - all from Colombia, S.A. Other guests were Aivars’ sister Mara from Australia, his son Andy, wife Kim and their children Hannah, Lucas and Emma (who performed sterling duties as flower girls and ring bearer) and son Neil. Guests came from far and wide including Bolivia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America as well as friends from Lakeside and Guadalajara. It appears that all the overseas guests were so delighted to discover Ajijic and surrounding areas that we can be looking to have them relocate to this little corner of Paradise.
Speaking of weddings: The Lorraine Keefer and John Marshall wedding plans are forthcoming soon. This should be another wedding of the season! Keefer is heavily involved with CASA and will share details for those wishing to attend the nuptials.
The March 1 Spring Garden Tour that was organized by the members of the Lakeside Garden Guild for the benefit of Ajijic Limpio, was a great success. Members Rose Mary Zednick and Margaret Putnam did a terrific job in organizing and coordinating this project. Garden Guild volunteers worked as garden tour guides, selling tickets and providing the refreshments at the final destination of the Monte Coxala Spa in the Racquet Club. Huge thanks went to all of the participants of the tour and the generosity of the volunteers, as over 37,000 pesos is being donated to the Ajijic Limpio organization, making this a very successful annual community project by the Guild. Ajijic Limpio organizers are planning to use this money towards the cost of an industrial grade wood chipper that will allow it to extend its current wood chipping and mulching program to the whole of Ajijic. As the 2007 Project of the Year, these dedicated “humanitarians” have never let up in their quest to give us the city and area in which we can be proud to live and share with the “outside” world.
During March there was a special exhibit in town called: México Cultural Journeys and Corazon de la Tierra (a Lakeside ecological program). As part of their program a private art exhibit of the paintings and engravings of renowned artist Alejandro Lopez (alejandrolopez.com.mx) was held in the home of Jim Lloyd and Robin Lawrason. Sales were rapid and enthusiastic. In the two-day exhibit, 26 of the artist’s fascinating pieces were sold making this one of the best art sales in recent history.
However, over at our famous Chapala train station, the Lauri Jenson - Ron Do cultural exhibit also gave art enthusiasts a chance to select from a huge variety of art pieces created by 20 local artists. It must be the Year of the Art because sales were up and running. A lot had to do with the Jenson touch in display and interesting selections on display.
“Have a Heart” Valentine benefit still lingers in our minds even six weeks later. Marlene Dunham, a Lakeside’s former Woman of the Year is a humanitarian with a heart of gold. She has dedicated her life to our elderly citizens in her Casa de Ancianos who need care and attention. Likewise, now Marlene needs care and attention! Marlene needs community support to help build 12 additional casitas and take care of other improvements. Plaques with donor’s names will be displayed at the new construction site: Gold Plaque - $50,000 ~~Silver Plaque - $25,000 ~~ Bronze Plaque - $10,000. We are speaking in peso terms! Two or more people can go in together for one plaque. Payment plans can be arranged for a two-year payout. The Casa will welcome donations of any size. All cash donations can be written off on US tax returns. For more information contact Mike Kaffel, Vice President at 766-3741 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org U.S.: 954-727-3265 MX: (011-52-376)-766-3741.
Until someone called my attention to it, I had overlooked a book by Alison Pickering devoted to showing interiors, exteriors, gardens and artifacts in homes here at Lakeside. It is a knockout of a book filled with beauty, unique settings, and spectacular Mexican touches. Ajijic Behind the Walls is a beauty matching anything that Architectural Digest, CASA, or Veranda has produced to show our homes here in the lake valley at their very best.
Copies of the Pickering tome are at LCS for a mere $400 pesos. This is a book that shows off all the emotions that brought us to México in the first place....and also shows why we stayed. If you wish to contact Alison direct by email, it is: email@example.com (In the past, much of the proceeds of the book have gone to the School for the Deaf.)
“Anyone can draw ~~ absolutely anyone!” We know a really talented man who can stand behind that statement regardless of your schooling, innate talent, or the willpower to draw. It can be done...in only a few hours. Everyone I know desires to be able to take a blank canvas or piece of paper and with a pencil, sketch any subject, stand back, look at it, and say, “That is just what I wanted to express!” In my own case, my horses look like pigs, my cats look like rats, chickens like fish...and certainly none of them to my liking. Renowned artist Karl Barnhard has shown me how to overcome my fears of exposing a total absence of drawing talent.
Classes are easy, inexpensive, and the results are astounding. There is even a free introductory Monday morning class to introduce you to rearranging your mind so you can be an artist! If you have a desire to be an artist, contact Karl at his upstairs studio on Carretera #58, Ajijic, across from Telmex. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 766-3067. Trust me, this is worth your time.
Calendar Time for Music Appreciation Society! The 2007/8 season of six outstanding concerts which are: (October 2007) Alan Dance Folklore Group from Russia; (December) San Luis Potosi Orch. Pops Concert; (January 2008) Vancouver Wind Ensemble; (January) New York Chamber Soloists; (February) Bob Milne Ragtime; (March) San Luis Potosi Chorus . Prices for Season Tickets are a little higher than 2 years ago so contact MAS as soon as you can for price changes. Season Tickets were being sold at the LCS Ticket Etc booth during the end of March, but are still available by contacting President Beverly Ely Denton 765-6409 or Pat Stacey 766-1427.
Throughout the world organic grown food seems to be a new rage! As far as we can tell the sudden upsurge oforganic food is not because producers can charge more for their raw product, but that the desire to be healthier is causing people to look closer at what they eat. Good reasoning! Even in our own Lakeside we have an Organic Growing Farm (ACA), several Health Food Stores (Prasad, Ajijic and in Chapala) and now a brand new restaurant in Montaña Plaza (Manuel’s Creative Cuisine). If we look after our health, we live longer to enjoy all this beauty around us.
American Legion is full of activities with food, entertainers, jam sessions (on Saturdays 11:30 to 2:30 pm) and multiple events from yard sales (6th) to trips to Walmart/Sam’s (12th). Contact the Legion 765-2259 for specifics. All $60 pesos per person evening dinners start with cocktails at 5:00 pm, dinner 6:00 pm. and music to follow.
Charlie’s Grill every Sunday: 12-MP 3. $30 pesos gets you a hamburger with beans and potato salad.
April 2: New England Clam Chowder with salad and hot bread. Dine and Dance with Fine & Dandy karaoke.
April 9: Great Spaghetti Challenge: Best Spaghetti Sauce Contest. Jerry Mayfield on music.
April 16: Dine and Dance with Cajun night: Glenn Charles on music.
April 19: Hobo Party dress hobo to enjoy stew in bread bowl plus dining goodies. Patti Wood singing.
April 23: Dine and Dance mushroom chicken over noodles. Jack Fallon on music.
April 30: Dine and Dance with Smitty’s BBQ pork. Jerry Mayfield on music.
If that is not enough for you, give the Legion some time, they are working on more things to do.
Lakesiders are going in-land to the Las Plaza Outlet near Guadalajara which is filled with name brands, and not so name brands, of nearly everything. It’s big, it’s active, it’s colorful, it’s entertaining (10 movie screens in which to choose) and you can get a lot of bargain shopping done while acquiring top name labels. We noticed that some of the discounts alone reached 80%. For serious shoppers, that is a touch of paradise! You have to look, but the exercise getting to your newest favorite spot is worth it. With summer coming on, the air conditioning will be a great draw. Go early when you plan your trip. If you contact the American Legion (765-2259) you will find that it has made arrangements with the public relations department of the Plaza to send a bus regularly to the Legion. So far, the bus is free, and the hours are up to you. Often there is a fashion show on weekends...with some knockout models with both guys and girls.
If you haven’t seen Lupita Jiminez in action, you are missing one great entertainer. Lupita is a musical artist who delights you to the core. Watch for posters about town for her next performance. We are talking real Mexican entertainment.
CASA (Culinary Art Society of Ajijic) will be having in April an Italian menu both in main dish and dessert. If you are interested in cooking, cooking camaraderie, guest food speakers, sharing recipes, eating gourmet food on the third Monday afternoon each month, contact Barbara Clippinger (766-0586 or email@example.com).
Amazing enough, the Dining Club at LCS is going in for a spectacular treat of Italian Cuisine in Guadalajara. It is the Alfredo di Romo in the Inter-Continental Hotel. Sylvia Rendón is arranging busses into Guadalajara on April 20. Make reservations with Rendón at the Lake Chapala Society Ticket Booth. The bus leaves the Ajijic Auditorium at 5 pm sharp. For $100 pesos you don’t have to do the driving, do the parking, have all the cocktails you want, a gourmet meal to dine on, and be driven back to Ajijic usually by 9:30. It’s really worth the trip!
Centro Cultural de Ajijic on the north side of the main Ajijic plaza is showing new works by artist Ute Hagen with an opening reception, Saturday, April 7 from 4 - 7 pm. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Hagen has been an artist for many years here in Ajijic. Her new works are different, exciting, and very colorful.
Don’t overlook Sunday’s Open Circle at LCS! If you are interested in honing up on things of interest, visit Open Circle every Sunday morning. Subject matters in lecture form range from: New and Helpful Insights on a Course in Miracles, I can’t find My Keys—is it Alzheimer’s?, Using Personality Differences to Enhance Relationships, Miracle Awareness and Angel Appreciation, The Art and Science of Communication, and many other interesting matters. Contact the LCS office who can put you in touch with Open Circle organizers. It is a worthwhile and informative group of people who wish to share knowledge.
Have you ever been to a dinner that killed you? Well a lot of us have, but not with a comedy-mystery play attached. Susan Barto and Ed Tasca have written a hilarious spoof, which will be performed on April 9 - 14. Yes, we are talking one week only, and the week after Easter. Tickets are bound to go fast. Any information on reservations can be answered by calling Melanie’s Restaurant (766-4253) at Danza Del Sol or Diane Pearl Gallery (766-6683). All six nights will be sharp at 6:00 pm and for a mere $200 pesos which includes full course dinner and show. Some Lakeside big names are performing: Susan Barto, Andrew Krumbhaar, Gerry Marttila, Rob Robertson, Diana Rowland, Ron Giza Helena and Howard Feldstein. This is worth a shot at how a mystery party can leave you dying laughing. Try it, it’s just gotta be good!
This is Ajijic Station 101 signing off until next month!