CASA, the Culinary Arts Society of Ajijic, cancelled the May meeting (a first); instead, they want to tell you more about their organization. CASA was founded in 1986 and continues offering monthly competition, programs and special events throughout the year. CASA provides members a monthly forum to share foods, to learn new preparation techniques, to stimulate culinary ideas and to meet new people and enjoy the wonderful world of food in a competitive atmosphere that encourages creativity and rewards excellence in food preparation and presentation. Monthly meeting dates & categories for June through September are as follows:
Jun 17 – Vegetarian Main Dish, Gluten Free Dessert
Jul 15 – Peruvian Main Dish, Peruvian Complimentary Side Dish
Aug 19 – Lebanese Main Dish, Lebanese Dessert
Sep 9 – Spanish Main Dish, Spanish Dessert
For information on joining CASA or attending a meeting, please email or call CASA President Pat Carroll at 766 – 3144.
You can also visit the CASA website at for additional information.
New synergies are emerging – groups working together to maximize their resources and effectiveness. The Return of the Amigo Cup Tourney, played at the beautiful Chapala Country Club (see Lakeside Living for May), is one good example. Jointly hosted by Los Niños de Chapala y Ajijic (NCA) and the Chapala Country Club, the event will benefit more than 265 students.
Over the past 35 years, thousands of students have benefited. NCA’s accountant, Paulo Arroyo, is an alumnus of their program.
The power of giving back is awesome, much like the story Pay it Forward. Some call this “The Power of One,” individual initiatives of kindness and compassion responding to a need, making a genuine, lasting difference in the Mexican way poco a poco. It really works!
Paulo Arroyo, NCA accountant
presented a check for $9,800 pesos to Cruz Roja Chapala. The donation was collected from the game playing fees collected during the month. The American Contract Bridge League encourages clubs to donate a portion of the game fee to charities.
Bridge Club Treasurer Steve Penning, Cruz Roja Representative Norm Pifer, Bridge Club President Skip Johnson
Roberto Moulun, one of our local writers, hails originally from Guatemala. He did much of his studies in the USA and spent his adult life as a psychiatrist. His first book of short stories, The Iguana Speaks My Name, is set in his home country of Guatemala and touches the reader deeply. To be able to write in English, for him a foreign language, is something to appreciate, but to win the #1 recommendation from Kirkus Review is “the top”. Kirkus says:
“Lush landscapes, enchanted happenings, tangled roots and violence suffuse this beguiling collection of stories set in the highlands of Guatemala.
“Quince, the narrator of these interlocking stories, is a writer living in the village of Panimache, near three volcanoes and a deep blue lake. He serves as a keen observer of the vibrant, tense surroundings in a land that ‘bled from a war no one wanted to notice.’ Panimache is a town divided by conflict, caste and consciousness, seemingly placid but on edge from the fighting between soldiers and guerillas and simmering with repressed bad memories.
“The title novella introduces a diverse, intriguing set of characters—these and other figures recur in 10 more yarns that are often shot through with exquisite threads of magical realism. Moulun’s clear prose balances sensual sounds, colors and foods against a deadpan humor and a detached, meditative mood. His writing has a fable-like quality, featuring strong narratives linked to mythic themes, but it’s also full of social nuance and subtle psychological shadings. Moulun transforms Guatemala’s troubled, complex reality into a compelling aesthetic vision. Imaginative storytelling with real literary depth.”
We await the Independent Book Publishers Association May 29 awards ceremony in NYC. In the meantime, if you find the Latino cultures intriguing, pick up a copy through amazon.com. Very affordable short stories for the times we wait (doctor, restaurant, etc.).
Roberto Moulun’s 89th Birthday Party
Richard Vath will be posthumously presented the prestigious Gilmore Brown Award on June 9. The award was set up for former students who helped Gilmore make the Pasadena Playhouse what it was intended to be. Gilmore founded the Playhouse in 1917, and Richard Vath was selected by Gilmor to take the first touring company from the Playhouse to New Zealand. When Vath and actors arrived, they found they also had to build the New Zealand theatre which became tremendously successful.
The presentation of the Gilmore Brown Award on June 9 will be presented by the President of the Pasadena Playhouse. It is also the first time that the Playhouse has given an award posthumously. They saved the “first” for Richard Vath. The night of the brunch there will be a stage version of Sleepless in Seattle with (it is rumored) Tom Hanks.
Here at Lakeside in the 1990’s, Richard directed over two dozen plays, while Joyce was one of the theater’s premiere actresses. She, along with Tod Jonson were also the Co-Editors of El Ojo del Lago.
Richard & Joyce Vath
June 22, 4 – 7 p.m. Welcome Cocktail Date at the Ajijic Cultural Center will open the photography exhibit, CUBA TODAY, by Jorge A. Santana. The show is interactive and will run until July 11. After 40 years of teaching Spanish and Hispanic culture at the university level, Jorge A. Santana retired to expand his collection of videos and photographs from 50+ travel studies abroad. Photography has been one of his life-long passions and some of his photographs have appeared in textbooks. His first gallery work was exhibited in the 2011 Viewpoint Photographic Art Center exhibition titled “Parallels”. Some of his videos can be viewed on YouTube World Culture Series: armsantana.
Vintage cars still in use in Cuba
Street photography comes naturally when ambling along roads and alleys in foreign countries. Knowing the language helps. The selected photos in this exhibit were taken during a California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) travel-study trip to Cuba in March 2012. The images reflect some of the scenes of CUBA TODAY.
Jorge A. Santana
It is a kaleidoscope of life on an island off limits to most Americans. This is a social documentary view of present-day Cuba and Cubans in their struggle to survive within a country faced with many government limitations and restrictions, of life on the verge of dramatic change. He documents themes such as nascent private enterprise, food rationing, religion, music, classic cars, education.
June 28, 29, 30 The Naked Stage presents The Occupant by Edward Albee. The story demonstrates the self-determination that propelled the slow and unlikely ascent of Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), sculptress, into the upper and predominantly male domain of New York art. “Occupant” bows its head in awe and gratitude before the mysterious force of will that allows great artists to be.
For July 26, 27, 28 Don’t Go Gentle – Conservative judge volunteers pro bono legal work and finds do-overs don’t come easily.
For reservations email or call Michelle Boudreau at 765-6408. Naked Stage presents minimalistic play readings for adult theatre lovers at 4 p.m., donation $80 pesos. Bar opens at 3 p.m., box office at 3:15 p.m. Prior to or after the Reading, Daniel’s is open for lunch and dinner. After the Readings, the manager Daniel is offering 2 x 1 Dinners and 2 x 1 Margaritas.
The Naked Stage is located in Plaza de la Ribera (Formerly Sol y Luna). Drive West on the Carretera from Central Ajijic. Turn South on Rio Bravo. The theatre is behind the Don Pedro Restaurant two blocks down on the left. Meals will be served.
Ms. Nevelson sculpture in NY
June 30, 10 a.m. at the Lake Chapala Society, back patio, Open Circle will feature Alejandro Grattan. 10 a.m. for coffee/tea, 10:30 a.m. for the Open Circle presentation. Each Sunday there is a different speaker who talks about subjects of interest. On June 30, Grattan will talk about his historical novel The Dark Side of the Dream which is about the migration of a Mexican family into the US at the start of WWII and their challenges. And since immigration is a topical subject, he will also mention immigration reform presently underway, his job as Editor of El Ojo del Lago, his previous years in Hollywood, how and why he formed the Ajijic Writers Group in 1988. He will also talk about the era circa 1963 and what he learned then about Ajijic in the 1940s. Come, hear about “the good old days” and the future good days; wake up with friends and coffee.
November 15 – 17 the Feria Maestros del Arte, the annual fair for Mexican art, will be held at the Chapala Yacht Club. One artist,Marcelo Vidales Fuentes from San Mart?n Tilcajete in Oaxaca hand carves whimsical characters as decorations that remind us of the simpler lifestyles of many Mexicans. Like many of these characters, our own forefathers worked the land. It was only yesterday. Let us embrace the artistry that Feria Maestros offer us before it, too, disappears.
Marcelo Vidales Fuentes’ Alebrije toys
(hand carved in wood)
Allen McGill has yet another book out, called Of Fiends and Fairies, a collection of short stories. Eclectic is the theme for this collection of stories, which span from memoirs to imaginings to projections, introducing characters and settings across time and space, in reality and beyond. Meet new fairies, a coming-out brother, ghosts, witches, a plain old working girl, an embarrassing moment in church, theatrical folk, and young people determined on gruesome revenge – all in a lighthearted vain...or should we say vein?
The new and unusual worlds filling out these 26 stories are many-faceted, populated with idiosyncrasies, yearnings, and the everlasting search for the ultimate pleasures life (or death) has to offer. NYC stories, horror, fantasy, camp, myths, even a short play in the style of Dorothy Parker make up the diversity.
Available as e-books from Amazon.com, B&N.com, JMSbooks.com.
His latest book
The American Legion post #7 schedule:
Sundays: 12 – 3 p.m. Legion grill burgers
Jun 13 – 5 p.m. cocktails; 6 p.m. Chicken Parmesan dinner with Italian sauce served over pasta noodles, mixed green salad, garlic bread, dessert for $100 pesos. Legion’s legendary proportions. Popular - buy tickets early!
Jun 26 – 5 p.m. cocktails; 6 p.m. annual Meatloaf Contest. Sign up at the American Legion in Chapala and compete for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. Competitors $40 pesos, everyone else $80 pesos. Served with mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, bread, dessert. Contact for questions: 765 – 2259 or check
VIVA La Musica:
The 2013 Summer Sunday concert series begins – all are at St. Andrew’s Church, Riberas del Pilar. Here are June and July.
Jun 16, 4 p.m. – Rosa Maria Valdez, Piano: Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Ponce and Carrasco
Jul 21, 4 p.m. – Cronopius String Quartet & Cuatemoc Garcia, Flute: Bocherini, Reicha, Shostakovich, Gamboa and Ginastera
Tickets are available at LCS, Th – F, 10 – 12 or at Diane Pearl’s. Cost: $200 pesos for members, $300 pesos for non-members. Discount for Viva members purchasing 5-concert series $800 pesos (5 for the price of 4),making the membership fee for Viva at $250 pesos advantageous for those who want more than one performance and/or to take part in next year’s trips to Guadalajara for musical performances.
Rosa Maria Valdez, first on the summer schedule, was born in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mx. She started playing piano at eight. She has studied at the University of Guadalajara where she obtained a degree in concert performance and later obtained a master’s degree in Teaching Piano. A virtuoso pianist, she has performed as soloist with the Jalisco Philarmonic Orchestra and in other states. She is currently teaching Piano and Piano Accompaniament at the Music School of the University of Guadalajara. Rosa Maria has also recorded two CDs.
Rosa Maria Valdez, Pianist
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