May 2009

      Events are listed by date, like a calendar. Some organizations offer multiple events or dates, and these items appear at the end of the column.

      Artwalk Ajijic hit the town like the festival it was. Even early in the day, the atmosphere felt like Christmas combined with a scavenger hunt. It is always fun seeing shops displaying particularly well-designed glassware, pottery, jewelry, knickknacks, books, decorating items.  Many were as delighted with ideas on how to display our beautiful treasures. There was tequila-tasting, restaurants were packed to overflowing, and it was a gorgeous spring day. I hope you saw Austre Garcia, the mime, and El Fosil’s puppet show. March 15 was a great Artwalk.


Multi-colored ball decoration

      The 9th Annual Fashion Show at the Real de Chapala Hotel on March 27 was an astounding success. There were 550 tickets sold with overflow parking along the edges of the streets leading to the hotel. Food was a tad late in arriving, but is it any wonder with a crowd that size? It was worth waiting for, an excellent buffet set up in two areas. It was a warm sunny day, but when the show began, we gave rapt attention to what was displayed so magnificently for our pleasure: fashions from jewelry to rebozos (shawls) to black-and-white fashions to sequins, to multi-colored outfits with large, flowing sleeves, and all was directed by Cece Girling and her backstage manager Nicole Sergent. It was another outstanding show, thanks to the sponsorship of Cruz Roja whose volunteers kept the attendees feeling that this was, indeed, a special event. There were quite a few men in the audience this year too, wolf-whistling at the gorgeous models whose ages, I’ve been told, range from the teens to the nineties.


Return of Color

      Los Cantantes Del Lago has done it again. They keep getting better ... and bigger. There are now 68 in the group. On March 28 I had a front row seat where I watched and listened to precision and tonal quality performed with flair and directed by Timothy Welch, accompanied on piano by Eleanor Stromberg. Music from Canada, the US and Mexico was sung by a choir comprised of singers from all three countries.


Los Cantantes - Center Section

      On April 4 Centro Cultural de Ajijic held its opening Reception for a group of artists, including Juan Navarro, Luís Enrique Martínez (whose art graces T-shirts at Lake Chapala Society) and Gloria Palazzo, a local writer, artist and former member of the Peace Corps. This art display is available throughout April and graces the walls at the Cultural Center building, on the plaza’s north side. There was an extra display at the entry, two beautiful models in paper dresses. I doubt they can hold their poses all month, a pity.


Mask by Gloria Palazzo

      At their March meeting, CASA (Culinary Arts Society of Ajijic) sampled Italian food. New president Patrick Winn introduced new guests and members while judges tackled the task of selecting best of show in the Italian Main Dishes and Side Salads. The judges rated entries on presentation and taste. Many-time winner Monica Malloy took first place in the Italian Entrée category with her Boneless Tuscan Quail. Wayne Palfrey won second place for his Ocean Crestelle. Chicken Marsala by Chuck Balnis won third.
       After the judges made their selections, members tasted each entry and voted on People’s Choice. Pat Carroll won in Italian Entrées with his Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Sausage, and Ruth Connalley won for her Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad.


CASA Winners - Italian Main Dishes and Side Salads

      For more information, call Patrick Winn at 766 – 4842 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
      The Lake Chapala Society was closed for 5 days over the Easter holidays to clean and fix up. The business office moved to where the library office used to be. A reading room was made in the area where the business office was located, and the library workroom will now be located where the old business office was located.


Moving the office

      The Lakeside Little Theater Summer Program will be conducted by actor and director Graham Miller. This June, the LLT offers two summer programs, one for potential directors and one for actors, culminating in a public presentation of the play, Passengers. Graham Miller is a five-year veteran of the LLT. Emphasis will be on directing and acting techniques  useful for productions here at the LLT. Sign-up is required.
      June 1-5:  Director’s Workshop, limited to eight participants who have not directed an LLT regular season play, although others may audit. The eight will each cast and direct a scene.
      June 8-12:  Acting Techniques Workshop, required for potential directors and all participants will be eligible to audition for Passengers.
      June 15-19:  Scene Rehearsals
      June 22-28:  Scene Rehearsals/Public Performances
      June 29:  Private Director’s Critique
      Both Workshops are free to 2008-2009 LLT members. The fee for non-members is $100 pesos for each Workshop. For further information, contact Graham Miller at 765-3693 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
      The Music Appreciation Society (MAS) had a special offer for season ticket renewals 2009 – 2010 through April and new seats will be sold in the fall. The schedule is shaping up for a return of the Three Tenors and a Soprano from San Antonio, Texas and a Night in Vienna with a 50-piece orchestra from the Jalisco Symphony. There are also plans to bring Mercedes Amaya Flamenco group from Mexico City in December. Other performances will be announced. Contact Bev Denton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

      The American Legion schedule for May:
      May 1 – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Yard Sale
      May 3, 10, 17 & 24 from 12 – 3 p.m. – Legion grill: best burgers Lakeside
      May 4 – 1 p.m. Events Committee meeting
      May 4 – 2:30 p.m. Legion executive board meeting
      May 5 – Auxiliary executive board meeting
      May 6 – US Consulate and Social Security
      May 7 – 4 p.m. Blues Night
      May 12 – 11 a.m. Auxiliary general meeting
      May 16 – Armed Forces Day
      May 21 – 1 p.m. Auxiliary Ladies’ and Men’s Fashion Show
      May 27 – 4 p.m. candlelight dinner
      May 28 – 3 p.m., Lone Star club – be a Texan!
      May 30 – 1 p.m. Memorial Day ceremony and barbeque
      Open Circle at LCS on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.:
      May 3           Arnold Coopersmith – Evolution
      May 10         Cheryl Lynch
      May 17         Michael Warren – Sufism in India
      May 24         Ron Stouth – Staying Alive
      May 31         Lady Mary Fleming (aka Tad Davidson) – Family History, plus the meaning of words
      June 7         Rick Cowlishaw
      VIVA! Summer Concert Series offers a price reduction for members. Season ticket prices will be $900 pesos to members, $1,250 pesos to non members.  Individual tickets for the Opera in September will be $250 pesos for members ($350 pesos for non members) and the other four concerts will be $200 pesos for members ($300 pesos for non members). Concerts at the Auditorio, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
      June 25 Concert: unforgettable duo performance by Christopher Wilshere on violin and Joel Juan Qui on piano.
      July 30 Concert: returning Lakeside, baritones David Small and Luis Rodriguez from the University of Texas, performing operatic arias with members of the University of Guadalajara vocal workshop, accompanied by virtuoso pianist Jason Peterson.
      August 27 Concert: internationally recognized Jose White String Quartet with all principals in the Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra.
      September 10 Concert: A “first” for Lakeside music lovers: the Opera The Elixir of Love by Donizetti conducted by Luis Rodriguez.
      October 8 Concert: Another romp with Cuauhtemoc Garcia Jazz Flute combo.
      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, including concerts like the one noted in our January issue. The walls display art work or photographs. The price for entry to the Centro Cultural (Train Station) is gratis (free). Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 – 6 and Sunday is a little shorter day.
What you get is 3-for-1, and considering the entrée fee is gratis (free), that is quite a bargain. Upstairs are photos depicting the history of the train station during its “heyday” in the 1920s. Outside, all around the grounds, are sculptures by one of Mexico’s most amazing artists, Miramontes.
      Miguel Miramontes lives at Lakeside. He was born in Guadalajara, where he trained and taught for 30 years. His home is dotted with sculptures of many creations, like a dragon that lines a path up to the entryway where the dragon’s head rests. There are religious themes in some of his works, and the contrary, themes of love and sexual union between man and woman. But perhaps he is best known and loved by the Mexican people for his sculptures depicting their struggles against tyranny.


Sculpture of struggle, by Miramontes

      At the electric substation along the Libramiento, we have driven past this odd power pole for years. Do those bent arms serve a purpose? It would seem that straight cross poles would have served. Or is this a case of Mexican humor? Either way, it is unique in my experience, and I find it interesting.


Power Pole

      With us gringos, an increase in attendance at church ceremonies often accompanies major holidays. For Catholics San Andres may be the destination, and as most of us have seen in the church listings. San Andres offers a service in English at 9 a.m. Sundays. What I recently learned is that the sermon is done by a retired deacon, Michael Closs, who hands out copies of his sermon to those interested. Sermons never run longer than 10 minutes.

 

Past Lakeside Living
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