The world according to Ajijic still has not settled down from the visit of Paul A. Morin, American Legion’s National Commander and the dinner guests honoring his arrival. Super chef Lorraine Russo created a great dinner for all the celebrants in attendance. The dais consisted of a who’s who of household names to most of us: Paul Morin took center post flanked on each side by USA Consul General Edward J. Ramotowski on Morin’s right and Louis Regalado, Legion’s Department of México leader on his left. Five members of Lakeside’s popular Spanglish Inquisition rounded out the evening entertaining close to 150 dinner guests.
Paul A. Morin & Mel Carranza
Also in a winning circle, once again, Allen McGill, a permanent resident here at Lakeside, continues to reap the rewards of his writing skills. Last year he won First Prize in the Pamala L. Hall best novel category for his submission of Vicky Banning, and then last month he won First Place out of 3000 entries in a world-wide contest for writers of haiku. The contest, titled miniWORDS, is one of the most prestigious and widespread in the haiku writing field, with the First Prize money of 250 UK pounds (nearly US$500), perhaps the highest ever offered in the genre. Allen has begun negotiations to have his 2006 award-winning novel published in the U.S., and continues to write successfully in his many styles. Two of his short plays have been produced in California recently. Our "hometown" boy is making out good! Allen: take a well deserved bow!
June went ahead and busted out all over, with the joys of a marriage. June got over being hot when the rains came, and with it the marriage of the season: Rev. Andrew Krumbhaar and Churchill Mallison. A little thing like steady rain from midnight to 10 am was not going to dampen this marriage at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Riberas if one had to wear boots. Side note: Did you notice that the Department of Highways actually filled most of the potholes BEFORE the rains came this year, so we are making progress. We don’t know how this happened. If I could answer that, I could be negotiating peace treaties.
Party People no matter what age! We are gonna talk about razzle-dazzle time here when the Red Hat Ladies got all gussied up and threw one helluva party to help Marlene Dunham with some of the expenses she must face each month to take care of our beloved older friends who need assisted living. It is wonderful to find that strength lies in the matchless, dazzling diversity of what took place at a Sunday afternoon "garage sale" when the cause is just right. So here is a thank you meant from the heart of Lakeside.
All the news — before it happens at the voting booth: and away we go towards the 2007 Pamala L. Hall Awards with 90+ entries, and some of them really hot stuff. Entries are now closed and the reading and judging begins. This is the third year for these popular awards which carry cash prizes. The first year: the Play winning entry, Let There Be Light by Carol Bedford with a co-writer, went on to be produced in the United States. Last year’s Novel winning entry, Vickie Banning is now being published by a big-time U.S. publisher. The El Ojo Del Lago (sponsoring patron of the awards) wishes to thank each and everyone who has entered material for consideration. Watch for the actual August date of the Award ceremonies to be announced very soon. Now that the judges are reading and evaluating, Pamala Hall takes time off to relax with beloved dog, Lakota. This is called loving fun at the end of the day!
It ain’t actually high-brow if you really enjoyed the concert! Festival Tchaikovsky at the Degollado Theatre in Guadalajara literally thrilled our VIVA! La Musica! group of 41 fine art lovers who saw opening night of the festival presentation. You can enjoy classical background music in movies, on television, on DVDs; but there is nothing more thrilling than sitting in a beautiful theatre and watching a conductor bring together all the sounds that give you the symphony’s fabulous thrill which the composer created. There are several more evenings of the Tchaikovsky Festival during the month of July, and the Tchaikovsky concerts will give you a blood rush to remember for a long time. Contact Suzanne Forrest (766-0908) for details about her bus trips into the big city.
Great Minds Think Alike and Work Alike: No, that is not exactly the way the expression goes, but you’ll see why it fits together this way! In mid-June the Sons of the American Revolution, (SAR) arrived from the U.S. as part of our local American Legion’s big dinner. SAR Director, Douglas Stansberry brought with him authorized citations from the U.S. National Headquarters to present to our Chapala Chief of Police Comandante Rafael Cervantes Aldama, Fire Department Chief Osvaldo Sandoval Lopez, and the Humanitarian of the Year with the Red Cross Alfonso J. Parra Flores for the outstanding work they have been doing in the name of our Mexican citizens toward the foreign community.
On June 14, our Chapala City Hall devoted time for a formal presentation of these awards to the three gentlemen. Popular Tourism Director, Juan Marquez did a splendid job of honoring our Lakesiders. Now, the second set of great minds! To continue this forward thinking, friendly competitor, Sons of the Revolution, México Chapter, (SR) has been researching a similar project saluting other worthy citizens of the community. The SR citations will be presented during the annual Veteran’s Day ceremonies at the Chapala Cemetery....home of our departed military veterans and their loved ones. Announcements will be made early enough so that those who wish to see our "greats" in action can attend the ceremonies on November 11, 2007.
...to continue the honors, there were three more: SAR honored the Lake Chapala Society for 52 years of great service to the community here at Lakeside. Charlie Smith, director of LCS, accepted in the name of the Society.The 65-year-old Children’s Art Program at LCS is the longest known continuous program at Lakeside, taking little children with artistic talents and carefully refining those talents into productive stepping stones for their future careers. Former students have five galleries here in our communities and many have gone on to be recognized as big talents of México. Mildred Boyd was awarded artist/teacher award of the year for her 20-years of devotion and dedication to those children. The last award went to the American Legion Post #7 for a continuous effort to involve community leaders in projects and programs that benefit the combined Mexican/American society that lives here. It was a really touching ceremony which said thanks to those who make a difference in our lives, shown or unshown.
July 7 ~ JULY FIESTA: Pulse sales using Pocket Change coming up: July Fiesta is only days away, and one is foolish not to be a part of this giant attraction. The event is designed to once again bring an old fashioned "fair" atmosphere to our neighborhood at the LCS grounds. Grill Seekers can make it early for the famous Pancake Breakfasts on the grounds, and stay on so you can have a ball eating at eight restaurants, all with different foods to tempt the palate. Shopping at the huge Silent Auction will bring you treasures you may not have even dreamed about, or go to the Children’s Art Program with sales available which will attract everyone. Entertainment by some of the front and center talents of Lakeside, and lots of arts & crafts covering many, many artists of the area. It is a day at the fair! Tickets available at the LCS Ticket Booth and any of the organizers you might meet on the street. $50 pesos will allow you into a world of as much fun as you can stand...rest, and then start again! See you at the Fiesta!
If you missed these two entertainment packages, you missed artistic giants in our midst. The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden London performed at the Teatro Diana on June 23 and 24. This may have been only a one-shot time, but truly I say unto you, we really hope not! It has always been known for the exceptional quality of its dancers - this 20-member troupe is top of the class, from toe to finger-tip. The second event of the season was the Red Army Dance Ensemble with chorus and orchestra right out of Russia. The event was on the 28th, also at the Teatro Diana in Guadalajara. When all was said and sung, the praises were more than strong for the entire 80-member troupe of superb dancers. This was one great day of entertainment.
The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow. But, on some calendars tomorrow is already full. It’s one of the nice things about being busy. For instance: The LCS Dining Club resumes in July with a repeat trip to Pierrot’s fabulous restaurant in Guadalajara. There is a trip with LCS Travel to Oaxaca leaving on July 20 that still has a few seats available. We have been there and done that, and the time has returned to do it again. It’s worth every minute of the trip. Starting the first of July eight very qualified judges start evaluating entries of the Pamala L. Hall Awards with winner’s ceremonies due mid-August. You already know about the July Fiesta, the biggest fund-raiser of the year for LCS so funds raised can help continue the Student’s Aid Program and the Wilkes’ Education Center. Mexican students get their education through this one act of generosity by LCS.
Keeping up with the Zones: Suburban sprawl takes a well-deserved hit within the Lakeside community. Nearly everyone is complaining about the urban sprawl that is sneaking up on the mountain sides, at the lake front, along the highway which is rapidly connecting community to community. Green belts are disappearing and the fear of lack of water, electricity, and gas should be a concern to everyone who faces a future of living here at Lakeside. What can be done about it is another $64-thousand dollar question, but what is needed is a $64-thousand dollar answer. Contact our editor if you have a solution that can be presented to City Hall to protect our way of life as we are now living it.
Amigos del Lago de Chapala tells us Water is essential for life. It is also a decreasing resource with less than 0.5% of the entire world’s water supply available for human use. The rest is either salt water or too contaminated for consumption. Amigos tells us that we must conserve every gallon of water that we can, or in the near future we will have to be rationed in order for us to survive. In our own Lake Chapala basin, 80% of available water is used for agriculture, 14% used for domestic purposes and 3% for industry. Rainfall is not replacing needed water. If 2007 gives us a heavy rainfall, we can prolong and enjoy our "normal" life’s activities. But if it does not, panic will creep in. Conserve all the water you can. In this case, the life you are going to save just might be your own!
Lakesiders often travel to México City. If you are headed that way soon, the party’s on! The often audacious, frequently scandalous, always creative Frida Kahlo, a genuine Mexican icon, would have turned 100 years old on June 6. To celebrate her centennial, México City has opened the world’s largest Kahlo exhibit ever at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes (the Palacio’s main space hosts classical music, opera and dance).
Running through August 19, the show features photographs of the artist, 50 personal letters and 350 original pieces, many of which are on loan from Stateside galleries. Kahlo’s life wasn’t exactly a cakewalk. After having polio as a kid, Kahlo broke her back in a nasty bus crash in 1925, leaving her unable to have kids (it’s during her recovery that she first picked up a paintbrush). If that wasn’t enough, she later developed gangrene and had to have her right leg amputated. But it was pneumonia that finally finished the job in 1954. Little wonder so much of her work focused on pain. The exhibit isn’t the only way México City is commemorating Kahlo’s life and career. Among other events this summer, there is a display of Kahlo’s trademark clothing at the Casa Azul, the artist’s former home, now a museum in the leafy suburb of Coyoacan (admission $4.25, (USD) Calle Londres 427). It is most rare that one gets a chance to see 350 original paintings....in fact, maybe never again: all in one place since most paintings are from private collections!
It’s okay, Frida, it wasn’t his centennial, but Ektor Carranza had his 75th birthday on June 24 and now the world can settle down with business as usual!
Music lovers paid rapt attention on June 22 when the extraordinarily lovely voice of Alma Jimenez of Zapopan opened up and spilled over the entire San Juan Cosala Racquet Club. The most recent winner of the International Opera Prize of Peru shared her sounds rarely heard in our valley by the lake. The concert was sponsored by the Lake Chapala Artists’ Collective to help raise needed travel funds for Alma to participate in the Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival in Deluth, Minnesota. Even though the peso value of admission was only $100 pesos, the value received in return was immeasurable. It is easy to see why this lady won over literally hundreds of others. Being a young mother of four, expenses are monumental for her. Additional funds are necessary for travel expenses. If you were unable to attend this exquisite recital and wish to contribute pesos to off-set the high cost of traveling, every peso will help in this critical need. Contact Judy Dykstra-Brown if you can possibly help: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Judy at 387-761-0281 in the Racquet Club, San Juan Cosala.
This is Station 101, Ajijic signing off until next time!