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Founded in 1987
Hidalgo #223
Chapala, Jalisco,
Mexico 45900
Tels. (376) 765-2877,
Fax (376) 765-3528





















































































































































Tod Jonson
Ektor Carranza

January 2008

     WHEW!  As opposed to popular thoughts about town, we did make it through 2007.  It was a struggle at times, but the journey was worth the effort.  Therefore:  HAPPY NEW YEAR to EVERYONE!
     Have you ever wondered what the inside of a gorgeous Christmas package looked like before it was opened? We did, and we found that Niños Incapacitados picked exactly the right spot to present their fundraiser for November: the Cameron and Irma Doherty home. I have been in 5-star hotels that were far shabbier. If you want to be on the list for the next event, contact Jane and Michael Hainsworth (cangomex@yahoo.com or 766-1937). 
     It’s never too late to get a glimpse of Gerry Krause paintings, but you have to reach him either by his web (www.GKrauseStudio.com) or by email at mxmaverick@yahoo.com since his one-of-a-kind exhibit at the Galeria Fiesta in Guadalajara’s Fiesta Americana Hotel closed on New Years Eve. Hopefully an exhibit of his works can make it to Lakeside. Even though I may not understand the full meaning behind abstract paintings, one cannot deny the boldness of color and expression that oozes from the canvases.
     Did we not tell you that one of Mexico’s greatest orchestras is the San Luis Potosi Symphony Orchestra?  To bring this entire orchestra here is one of the magnificent kudos that the Music Appreciation Society (MAS) is famous for and MAS pulled it off before and did it again! December was alive in our Lakeside auditorium with the music of such an accomplished symphony. Under the supervision of Beverly Denton, MAS consistently supplies us with a fine arts culture which helps improve our lives tremendously.
     We have had some remarkable husband/wife teams at Lakeside over the years, but one of the most vital and interesting has been the Georg and Phyllis Rauch union. Both have been renowned painters in the art world and both have been writers of exceptional merit. Georg left thousands of critically acclaimed paintings in private collections as well as museums around the world. His literary tome was the award winning The Jew With The Iron Cross, a record of survival in WWII Russia, translated by Phyllis Rauch. Kirkus Discoveries: "Thrilling memoir tells about one who survived the German Eastern Front retreat and a Russian POW camp while his mother hid Jews in their Viennese attic....a compelling and unique perspective on World War II." The book can be ordered from 1-800-AUTHORS or Amazon.com www.georgrauch.com   Memories, interviews and stories of Mexico by Phyllis Rauch may be found on www.mexico-insights.com.

     Speaking of Georg Rauch, his exquisite oils, watercolors and silkscreen prints will again be honored with a major museum show. During his lifetime, Rauch retrospective exhibits were hung in the two most prestigious Guadalajara museums: Museo Hospicio Cabañas and the Ex-Convento del Carmen. On Saturday, February 9, 2008 our own Chapala Museum, popularly known as the Old Train Station, will mount a major show paying homage to Georg’s life and work. This exhibit will continue for six weeks.

The Late Georg Rauch

     Stories of ghost sightings have been told in every culture since time began. Some accounts have described earthbound spirits, while others have reported what are known as crisis apparitions in which a dying person appears to a loved one at the moment of death. Some special ones from México are delightfully reported by Lakesider Helena Romero in her new book Ghosts and Shadows, now with New York City publishers. Helena gave a book-finishing party recently at Rivoli Restaurant and told of her experiences while creating the book. Several of her guests, including this writer, placed orders for the book when it immediately comes off the press. México has some wonderful stories. Ghosts have an uncertain status in the scheme of things and attitudes toward them are inconsistent. Yet, how they are perceived may be influenced by the creed or culture of the witness. 
     One of the Carranza family members has been awarded the EMILIO CARRANZA MEDAL OF HONOR. On October 30, 2007 the Mexican government awarded the Captain Emilio Carranza Medal of Honor to Capt. Ismael Carranza, brother of Lakesiders Carmen Carranza-Richter and Ektor Carranza, for outstanding achievements in National Aviation in the past fifty years. It is the first time that the Captain Emilio Carranza Medal of Honor has been presented, but the medal will continue to be awarded each year from this date on to the top aviation cadet of the year—more recognition in honor of the Carranza family. 
     Maria di Paola is not just another pretty face running a gallery in Ajijic.  She is a prominent photographer with a magnificent eye for detail and clarity. Her photographic subjects are always unique, colorful, and representative of life here at Lakeside. If you are looking for a coffee table beauty, drop by her gallery on Colon #11, Ajijic and view this book of art.

     Ajijic Cultural Center is very much alive and exhibiting some fine arts.  From January 5th until the 18th, there is an extraordinary exhibit of three artists.  Jesus Lopez Vega (well known for his stylistic paintings and murals), Isabel Longoria Goode DeBlanc (an impressionistic painter of modern-day Mexico), and Luz Maria Osorio Noyola (a dedicated sculptor).  Although the opening is on the 5th, from 4 to 8, the artwork will remain in place until the 18th, Tuesday-Saturday,10-2, and 4-7. The growth of the Center is because of the remarkable dedication of a few artists who salvaged a derelict old cinema house which is now a stunning art gallery.
     Research books are not always easy to find on collections of notables. A series of articles is on the drawing boards regarding the American Presidents of the United States. Does anyone have a book on the history of the leaders of the US that they could loan for research?  If such does exist, please contact the OJO office or Tod Jonson at LCS!  Many thanks in advance.
     Christopher Wilshere, Artistic Director and violinist, announced that the sixth annual Northern Lights Music Festival will take place at the Auditorio in La Floresta from February 20 to March 1, 2008. Twenty-four top professional musicians will participate, performing thirteen classical and jazz concerts and recitals over twelve days. The festival is anchored by the Northern Lights Festival Chamber Orchestra, which will delight audiences with two concerts featuring well-known classical works. Wilshere introduces Mark Skazinetsky as conductor this year of the Festival orchestra. Mark has been conducting since 1993 and will bring a new dimension to the Festival orchestra. He is in his nineteenth season as Associate Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and is also a prominent chamber musician heard in recital halls throughout Canada. For more information on the Festival, check its web site at: www.northernlightsmusic.ca.

Mark Skazinetsky

     The recently late Katie Lawrence has been a major contribution to Ajijic.  Katie and her husband were pioneers to Lakeside before it was fashionable. Together they built homes helping develop this area, and started  charitable enterprises. Katie was a registered nurse and helped build the first hospital in Chapala, of which she was a staff member. She was a friend of Neill James and a collector of children’s art from the students who later graduated from the James’ Children’s Art Program. In her will, Katie left her paintings to be held in a permanent collection (never to be sold) paying homage to those wee students who studied in the early days before the migration of retirees to Lakeside. Katie’s donation of the children’s art is a huge boost in the preservation of art from the last century. It represents some of the first drawings and paintings of those talents who now have galleries of their own.
     Now this is going too far! Lakesiders Jim Lloyd and Robin Lawrason with the Honorable Earl Anthony Wayne, American Ambassador to Argentina, taken at the American Club in Buenos Aires where, along with five other Ajijic residents, they had Thanksgiving dinner.

Jim Lloyd, Robin Lawrason and Earl Anthony Wayne,
US Ambassador to Argentina

     Barbara Downing fell into the lap of luxury when she had a 5-minute buying spree opening day at the Lakeside Mall. The spree was a door prize gift she won at the Lake Chapala Society’s July Fiesta 2007 and it paid off handsomely that day when the owners opened the doors to eager residents wanting a glimpse of the best in products being imported from the U. S. and abroad. Barbara was so excited she could barely grab goodies fast enough to fill the shopping cart. Fun to watch was the spectators clamoring for a speedier grab bag "get-all-you-can" in five minutes. Barbara had to rest at the end of the speedway. 
     It is a well known fact that most celebrities wish not to work with kids or animals: every time they steal the spot light!  December concert of the Golden Strings lived up to the statement. It was an "adorable" evening of watching our Lakeside youth express talents many of us never knew they had. Los Cantantes del Lago opened this Christmas show with familiar seasonal melodies that the audience hummed. After intermission Director General/Conductor Victor Manuel Medeles Romero brought in 40 members of the Golden Strings of Lake Chapala to entertain. The combo of Cantantes and Golden Strings performing together thrilled the capacity audience The First Noel, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, O’ Little Town of Bethlehem, Jingle Bells, and capped off the evening Silent Night, Holy Night. When Marvin Harthcock and community cultural leaders formed this children’s orchestra, it was anticipated that its growth would reach these impressive proportions, and so they have! 
     Sally Sharrette has two features to stop you dead in your tracks:  a beautiful face and a beautiful voice all in one person.  Recently Ms. Sharrette gave a concert at the Little Chapel by the Lake to a most enthusiastic audience. There is a movement on to bring her back for a second concert. Applause, please!  The rest of us who could not make her  debut would like to see this lovely lady in action. Let’s help to make it happen! 
     It’s getting closer and hotter all the time!  The Ajijic Chili Cook-off is attracting volunteers for their February 15, 16, and 17th, 2008 hot shindig—which will be its 30th Anniversary.  Everyone interested should contact Ann Whiting (acorona_mx@hotmail.com or 766-3724 and leave a message) to get involved with the mightiest of the charity fundraisers that has taken place each year for 29 years. Ann is on call to help recruit those interested in performing duties during this Fiesta of Fiestas.  A simple call can get you involved!

     Lois Cugini is a master when it comes to pulling together a fashion show of brilliantly colored clothes and accessories. The art of couturier is not easy when trying to match the tastes of such a wide variety of people from around the world who grace our Lake Chapala shores.  Somehow, whether it be personality and bombasity or her eye for fabric and color, Cugini pulls off regularly a lady’s afternoon of what is the latest from her collections to be worn by our ladies. Cugini does much to help support the Children's Library in San Antonio, Tlay.
     And so we bring to a close and say goodnight to the year 2007 with its many world-wide conflicts. We now present the past to Father Time to do with as he will, hopefully keeping in mind peace, love and charity for everyone during 2008. It would be a new attitude, wouldn’t it?

     This is station Ajijic 101 signing off until next year!