El Ojo del Lago - April 2022

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Saw you in the Ojo


Saw you in the Ojo


 D IRE C TOR Y  PUBLISHER David Tingen

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Victoria A. Schmidt

Index... 8


Slaying the Deer Slayers in Mexico The Yaqui Experience: Kelly Hayes-Raitt

EDITOR EMERITUS Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

Graphic Design Roberto C. Rojas Reyes Diana Parra Morales

Special Events Editor Kim Le Mieux Associate Editor Sally Asante Theater Critic Michael Warren Roving Correspondent Dr. Lorin Swinehart

10 The Easter Bunny Retirement Party A Fable for our Times: by Don Beaudreau 22 Random Acts- A Powerful New Novel Of the First World War by a Talented New Author: by Dr. Lori Swinehart 24 Drag Racing: by Janice Kimball 26 Truancy: by Bernie Suttle



By Erin Shipley


30 Remembering Chucho

06 Guest Editorial

36 Mirage de el Dorado: The Search For Gold Continues: by Robert Drynan

14 Vexations & Conundrums

40 Monday Morning Tea: by Katina Pontikes

16 If Pets Could Talk

Sales Manager Bruce Fraser Carmene Berner

44 Get Those Mammies Grammed: by Kathy Koches

ADVERTISING OFFICE Av. Hidalgo # 223, Chapala Mon. thru Fri. 9 am - 5 pm Sat. 9 am - 1 pm Tel. 01 (376) 765 2877, 765 3676 Fax 01 (376) 765 3528

46 The Forgotten School of Los Syala: by Sue Vangel

20 Streets of Mexico

48 They Walk Among Us; Narcisists on the loose:by Rosann Balbonyis

28 Verdant View

44 Inside the Crystal Dome: by Monty McDonald

50 Poetry: by Margaret Van Every 52 Abracadabra: by Tom Nussmbaum

Send all correspondence, subscriptions or advertising to: El Ojo del Lago www.chapala.com elojodellago@gmail.com

32 Lakeside Living

54 Poetry by Judy Dystra Brown

38 Profiling Tepehua

56 Poetry by Bill Fryer

42 Life in the Laugh Lane

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PRINTING: El Debate El Ojo del Lago aparece los primeros cinco días de cada mes. (Distributed over the first five days of each month) Certificado de Licitud de Título 3693 Certificado de Licitud de Contenido 3117. Reserva al Título de Derechos de Autor 04-2011-103110024300-102 Control 14301. Permisos otorgados por la Secretaría de Gobernación (EXP. 1/432 “88”/5651 de 2 de junio de 1993) y SEP (Reserva 171.94 control 14301) del 15 de enero de 1994. Distribución: Hidalgo 223 Chapala, Jalisco, México. All contents are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without the written consent of El Ojo del Lago. Opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Publisher or the Editor, nor are we responsible for the claims made by our advertisers. We welcome letters, which should include name, address and telephone number.


18 Front Row Center

El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

Saw you in the Ojo



Editor’s Page Guest Editorial By Fred Mittag

“The Greatest Generation – and Us”


ooking at modern history, one wonders if ours is the generation of wimps. Not only that, a sizable portion of our population has rejected traditional American values in favor of sheer ignorance and self-centered behavior. For example, the rebellion against masks and vaccinations in the name of “my freedoms.” What sophistry to claim refusal to wear a mask or vaccinate equals freedom. It’s a question of people getting sick and dying, not freedom. It all makes the “Greatest Generation” seem a well-earned epithet by comparison. That was the generation


that lived through the desperate hardships of the Great Depression and then saved our liberty from the clutches of fascism in WWII. The Depression and the war meant profound austerity and sacrifice for about fifteen years. First, the long lines at the soup kitchens. And then “Rosy the Riveter” built Liberty ships while the men were fighting the war. Americans devoted great sacrifice to the war effort. The government raised income taxes to 90% on the rich and devised new excise taxes to pay for it. Children bought savings stamps with their pennies and nickels. When they filled their stamp book, they could exchange it for a war bond. The government rationed everything through the imposition of ration stamps. It didn’t matter how much money a person had. Americans could buy nothing without the ration stamps – sugar, coffee, metal goods, and yes—gasoline! The pandemic has caused inflation due to supply chain interruptions and other factors. Big corporations have exploited increased demand to raise prices above legitimate profit margins. In short, they are making a killing while the people are hurting. Some people are whining about the cost of gas at the pump. Their scapegoat is President Biden. Speculators are buy-

El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

ing oil derivatives ahead of anticipated rising prices. Their speculation has raised the price of gasoline to an artificially high level. And now there’s Ukraine. The psychology of Putin sounds ominously déjà vu of Munich. Hitler wanted the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia because 3 million German speakers lived there. Although France had a defense treaty with Czechoslovakia and the Soviets agreed to help France and Great Britain against Hitler, they feared war. They gave in to Hitler at the Munich Conference. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to England to greet cheering crowds happy to avoid armed conflict. Chamberlain told the British public he had achieved “peace with honor.” Winston Churchill was not yet prime minister, but he was critical of Chamberlain. He said, “You were given a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.” Within a year, Hitler invaded and took the rest of Czechoslovakia and then invaded Poland, triggering WWII. History teaches us egomaniacal dictators interpret everything they get away with as a free pass for their subsequent aggression. If Putin gets away with taking Ukraine, who can doubt he will soon eye Moldova, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. He has called the dissolution of the Soviet Union the greatest disaster in history. He believes fate has sent him on a mission to restore the former Soviet empire. President Biden and other allies are fearful of directly engaging Russia in Ukraine. Russia is a nuclear power, and Putin might madly use his nuclear weapons in a WWIII scenario. Nuclear weapons today are ten times as destructive as what fell on Hiroshima. Since we are not diplomatic, intelligence, or military experts, we rely on our leaders’ judgment. An alternate option is making Russia pay an unbearable cost in ways other than direct conflict. That means economic sanctions. Indeed, strong ones are already in place and effectively hurting Russia’s economy. But until now, we had spared Putin’s real chink in the armor. About 40% of Russia’s revenue comes from the sale of gas and oil. The problem is that Western Europe is heavily dependent on Russian supplies. But warm weather is not far away, so Europe would have some time to make arrangements for the following winter. At this writing, the European Union appears to be considering a halt to buying Russian oil and gas. President Biden has been reluctant because many Americans already falsely blame him for high prices at the pump, which is a political problem. But Biden has proved to be a states-

man and a “profile in courage,” not a mere spineless politician. He has done the hard thing and ordered an end to buying Russian gas and oil. Throughout American history, politics stopped at the water’s edge. America presented a united front in foreign policy, Republican and Democrat alike. No more. Biden’s foes are blaming him for the high price of gas and at the same time urging him to stop buying Russian oil. That will only make prices go up even more, and they will be sure to blame Biden for the very thing they are advocating. That is highly un-American in terms of our tradition. President Biden should educate Americans about Putin’s danger to the world order. Americans should comprehend that the high cost of gas at the pump is a small price to pay for protecting freedom from further encroachment. We have a moral obligation to Ukraine or any endangered democracy to do what we can. We should not repeat the Munich experiment of appeasement. Cutting off Russia’s oil and natural gas markets, along with sanctions already in place, would wreck the Russian economy. So says Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist. It should stop Putin in his tracks and perhaps even persuade him to abandon his brutal aggression in Ukraine. The Greatest Generation should be an inspiration to us. Let them be our role model against Putin’s intimidating menace. We can be more heroically American than the whining and petty backbiting we hear today. The Greatest Generation lived with very severe limits on the purchase of gasoline when they had to use ration stamps. We can be patriotic enough to pay more and drive less. One of the most persuasive influences for others is our example. We have precariously strayed from America’s promise of democracy through voter suppression laws and the attempt to steal elections by substituting electors chosen by state legislatures instead of the voters. Before the colonists landed to form the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop delivered a sermon aboard their ship in which he described their undertaking. He said, “We must always consider that we shall be as a city on a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us.” The Greatest Generation is the finest example of that “city on a hill.” We should follow their example and defend democracy abroad and from quislings at home. Fred Mittag

Saw you in the Ojo


The following is an excerpt from Lost Worlds of 1863: Relocation and Removal of American Indians in the Central Rockies and the Greater Southwest, recently published by Wiley-Blackwell by W. Dirk Raat, a retired professor of history who has taught at SUNY Fredonia, the University of Utah, Moorhead State University (Minnesota), and Arizona State University. Professor Raat has published nine books including Mexico’s Sierra Tarahumara: A Photohistory of the People of the Edge (University of Oklahoma, 1996).

By Kelly Hayes Raitt

SLAYING THE DEER SLAYERS IN MEXICO: THE YAQUI EXPERIENCE itom Juaa Ania, itom ju’upa te jin’neune, bhueituk apo itom kokou, kus ya’atakai, kovapo, itou weeka itom Su’a Achai’wai’ tavenasia. “Defend our forests, and our mesquite, for when one dies, forming a cross, as if it were our father, who cares for and protects us . . .” José López, Pueblo Yo’owe, Vicam Pueblo, 18801 What we want is that all whites and troops get out. If they go for good, then there will be peace; if not we declare war. “The Eight Yaqui Towns,” Cocorit Pueblo, Sonora, to General Luís E. Torres, Governor of Sonora, 18992 Porfirio Díaz itom bwa’avaen. Yoemrata tehalvaen. “Porfirio Díaz wanted to eat us. He wanted to finish off the Yoeme Nation.” Anselma Tonopuame’a Castillo, Yaqui Elder, 1960s3 Los Yaquis son un obstáculo constante . . . [comparándolos con] un siniestro Renacimiento del ave fénix de las cenizas de las montañas. “The Yaquis are a constant obstacle.” They can be compared to “the sinister resurrection of the [fabled] Phoenix bird [of antiquity] that arose [after burning itself] from the ashes of the mountains.” [the Bacatete Mountains of Sonora?] Ravings of an official government publication for Sonora, 1905-19074 The Yaqui experience stands alone among the indigenous history of the Americas. First, the Yaqui resistance to intrusions by Spanish and Mexican outsiders lasted from 1533 to the second quarter of the twentieth century. This was the longest opposition movement in American Indian history. Yaqui guerrilla warfare developed in the mountainous environment of the Bacatete in Sonora. The Bacatete Mountains (also

known as the “Sierra del Yaqui”) are about sixty miles north of the Yaqui River with only a few passes into the mountains that are easily defended from above. The nearness of the United States border created an avenue for supplies and munitions and an escape route. In addition, during the late eighteenth century and throughout most of the nineteenth century, the Yaquis were exposed to Apache military maneuvers and strategies which reinforced their own military tactics. Both the lengthy duration of the resistance, and the lateness of the discord (lasting until the early twentieth century in comparison to most North American Indian conflicts that were over by 1890), made the Yaqui resistance distinctive. It was during the decade of the 1860s that witnessed the first serious intrusions by outsiders into the Yaqui River country when Mexico’s federal restrictions on foreign investment were loosened. By 1863 mining had received a new impetus when the government provided concessions for ore seekers to pursue mineral wealth in Sonora. Of the twenty mines that were initiated in the Guaymas district that year, fifteen were owned by either Frenchmen or North Americans. Some of these mines were in or near Yaqui territory. By the end of 1863 the wealthy mining district of Los Alamos, southeast of the Río Yaqui, registered close to one hundred mines. Other economic and military factors displaced the Yaquis. The victory of the Liberals after the bloody War of La Reforma (1858-1861), and the U.S. Civil War of 1861, followed by the French Intervention in Mexico in 1862, led to the first stages of modernization and the entry of foreign capital into Mexico, especially the Mexican North. Economic development in nearby Nuevo León y Coahuila and Tamaulipas (especially in Matamoros, which became a major entrepot for the transshipment of munitions from the European market and cotton from the Confederacy) spilled over to neighboring Sonora. Thus began the colonization of Yaqui soil and Yaqui resistance that led to warfare, massacres, extermination, and deportation. Between 1887, when federal troops began the occupation of Yaqui tribal lands, and the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the Yaqui population dropped from 20,000 to less than 3,000. Another distinction of the Yaqui history was the diaspora. From the early 1880s until the mid-twentieth century, the Yaqui people fled from the twin evils of extermination and deportation and sought refuge throughout Mexico and the southwestern United States from Nogales to Yuma and Tucson and Sells, and from Tucson and Sells to the greater Phoenix area, as well as in southern California, the Baja peninsula, the Zuñi pueblos of New Mexico, and the mining camps, rural towns, haciendas, and ranchos of Sonora, Chihuahua and other Mexican locales. Those who did not flee from the Río Yaqui area of Sonora were usually executed, imprisoned, or forcibly deported as slave laborers to the coffee plantations of Oaxaca and the henequen fields of the Yucatán. This dispersal was greater than what the Cherokees experienced in 1835 when they were removed from Georgia to Oklahoma, or that of the Chiricahua Apache who were transported from southeast Arizona to Florida prisons after 1886. As the late anthropologist Edward H. Spicer noted, the Yaquis “had become the most widely scattered native people of North America.” A final factor that distinguishes the Yaquis from other native groups was the trinational and global nature of Yaqui labor and the henequen-wheat complex. (Henequen is a naturally grown fiber that, when processed, is used to bind grains.) Sonoran politics took on an international hue when agave fibers of sisal and henequen in the Yucatán were cut, gathered, packed and loaded by Yaqui slaves and then exported via Progreso and New Orleans to twine factories in the United States and Canada. This twine, often manufactured with penitentiary labor, was then sent to Midwestern farmers on the American and Canadian plains to be used in binders and other harvesting implements that would cut and bind grain for threshing. From 1880 to 1930, Yucatecan fibers, supplied by Yaqui and other indigenous labor, were critical for the North American agricultural revolution. Although the Yaquis of northern Mexico steadfastly held and defended their land for decades, their impact was felt throughout Northern America and is significant because it brought Yaqui colo- Kelly Hayes nies into the US and cleared Mexican land for exploitation. Raitt _______________

(Endnotes) 1 From the program “Old Pascua Museum Presents: Yaqui Journey: 1910-1920,” Tucson, Az., Old Pascua Museum, May 30, 2014. 2 As quoted by Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1962), p. 79. 3 Felipe S. Molina, Avertano Olivas, Rebecca Tapia, Horminia Valenzuela, Wame Vatnataka im Hohhoasukame [The Ones who lived here in the beginning] (Tucson, Arizona: Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council, March 2003), p. ii. 4 As quoted from “Yaquis,” in Federico Garcia y Alva Editores, México y sus progresos: album-directorio del estado de Sonora (Hermosillo: Impresión Oficial, 1905-1907), n.p. by Evelyn Hu-Dehart in “Solución final: la expulsión de los Yaquis de su Sonora natal,” Seis expulsiones y un adiós: Despojos y exclusión en Sonora, coordinated by Aarón Grageda Bustamante (Hermosillo, Sonora: Universidad de Sonora: Plaza Y Valdes Editores, 2003), p. 156.


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nce upon a time, there was a festive gathering of the famous and fabulous at a party hosted by the Easter Bunny. The list included Cupid, Santa Claus, the Fairy Godmother, the Great Jehovah, St. Patrick, Punxsutawney Phil, the New Year Baby, the Grim Reaper, the Tooth Fairy, the Three Little Pigs, the Three Blind Mice, the Three Stooges, Goldilocks without the Three Bears, Cinderella, Father Time, Jack-O’-Lantern, Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, Tom Turkey, Tom Thumb, Thumbelina, Mother Nature, Casey at the Bat, the Velveteen Rabbit, Johnny Appleseed, John Bunyan, John Henry, Oh Johnny Be Good, and Don Juan. Ms. Bunny, a Free Thinker, had invited them because she was weary with the same old/same old celebrations at Easter time and figured that representatives of other holidays, traditions, myths, stories, and songs might be able to invent a new celebration. She, in fact, wanted to retire. “Something inclusive, but sparkling,” she explained to her guests. “This business of sunrise and flowers and jellybeans and dyed eggs is quite tiresome to me. Not to mention the fact that every Easter, I am the star. I wanna retire! I’m tired of mommies and daddies dragging me out of attics and closets and basements and putting me on display. Toy bunnies and plastic bunnies; dollbaby bunnies and Styrofoam bunnies; pink and green and chartreuse bunnies; big and furry, and fluffy and flouncy bunnies. And candy bunnies: chocolate bunnies (hollow or solid; white or dark; with nuts or without nuts); marshmallow bunnies; and gummi worm bunnies. And bunny cakes and bunny Baskin-Robbins ice cream concoctions. Even bunny lawn displays lit up at night. None of this is cute to me anymore! I wanna retire! I want my star on the sidewalk in Hollywood next to Elizabeth Taylor’s!” Well, Ms. Bunny’s announcement came as a shock to her guests. Nobody ever had thought to change Easter. Eas-

ter had always been Easter. And Ms. Bunny had always been Ms. Bunny. Certainly, she was only joking with them, wasn’t she? “Ain’t nothin’ funny about it!” she assured them. “My whiskers droop, my tail doesn’t salute, my fur doesn’t respond to dry cleaning the way it used to, my ears don’t flop anymore—they just lie there waiting for a resurrection. I need a change!” “Ho! Ho! Ho!” chuckled the everchuckling chub himself, Santa Claus. “Easter wouldn’t be Easter without you, Ms. Bunny.” “We agree! We agree! We agree!” squealed the Three Little Pigs in unison. “You can say that again! And again! And again!” affirmed Punxsutawney Phil, the monarch of Groundhog Day. “We agree! We agree! We agree!” said the Three Little…you know whats. But Ms. Bunny would have none of their protest. After all, she was firm in her desire to exterminate any semblance of bunny business in the world. No one could convince her otherwise. No matter how big and luscious a carrot they dangled before her ever-pink-eyed condition. Truly, although Ms. Bunny’s stage name was Easter Bunny, her birth name was Bette Davis Bunny. The old gal was tough. “Anybody got a shamrock?” said St. Patrick, hoping to bring some luck to this tense situation. “No, but I got a few extra teeth,” said the Tooth Fairy, smiling. The New Year Baby began to cry in fear. The Grim Reaper and the Big Bad Wolf began to eye Ms. Bunny with interest. “I’ll take her place,” announced Cinderella, hoping for further professional advancement. “Oh, I would be such a wonderful Easter symbol. A rags-toriches story: from the scullery to the palace; from the dark and dank and stink and stank of the drearies and deadlies of winter cometh spring . . . spring . . . spring!” Continued on page 12


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From page 10 “Spring . . . spring . . . spring!” joined in the Three Little Pigs. “But nobody can take Ms. Bunny’s place,” gobbled Tom Turkey, president of the We Love You Ms. Bunny Fan Club. Just then Jack-O’-Lantern lit up with an idea. “I know. We can make the pumpkin the symbol of Easter. We can carve it into the shape of Ms. Bunny, put some Mexican jumping beans into it so that it’ll hop around, and stick a couple of Q-Tips in its head to make it look like it has ears, and then . . .” “We like it. We like it. We like it,”


shouted, not the Three Little Pigs this time, but the Three Stooges who began bopping each other over the head and twisting each other’s noses, ears, and sundry body parts. “Nonsense!” roared the Great Jehovah, being ubermacho. “We’ll do it my way or no way.” “What’s that, Jehovah?” said Mother Nature, disturbed once again by the man’s presumptive control issues. “Sorry, Mother,” said the Great Jehovah, shrinking to less than deified proportions. “I only meant to offer a suggestion.” She gave him a stern, motherly look.

El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

“Just remember who created you, my son!” Father Time decided to chime in. “Okay, then, we must hurry about the task set before us by Ms. Bunny. Indeed, the old gal ain’t getting any younger. Nor is anybody else.” “Indeed,” proclaimed Goldilocks, little girl lost in the woods. “Time is just a circus, always packing up and moving away.” “What? What? What?” squealed the Three Blind Mice. Frustrated beyond belief, Ms. Bunny demanded: “Let’s move it, people! Easter’s almost here and we’ve got to come up with something. But what do we do?” “How about a committee?” Johnny Appleseed suggested, thereby planting the first seed. “Good idea,” said Johnny Be Good. “Very good, very good,” said Ms. Bunny. “So who’s going to be in charge? And who’s going to take notes? And who’s going to be the treasurer? The publicity director? The legal counsel? The Deus ex machina? The Prime Mover? The Lord of Lords? The hostess with the mostess? The most eligible bachelor?” Don Juan raised both his hands upon hearing the availability of the last position. “I’m always available for romance!” he said, with a smile and a wink. “Just don’t ask us to take notes, Ms. Bunny,” said Tom Thumb, with his distant cousin Thumbelina, nodding her in head in agreement. “We’re all thumbs.” “Oh, that’s funny,” chortled Casey at the Bat. “You scored a home run with that one.” Still after a number of awkwardly silent moments without anyone other than Don Juan’s offer, Ms. Bunny suggested they do a group meditation, and hope that the spirit would guide them. “And if any of you would like to pet me during this time of reflection, please feel free,” begged the Velveteen Rabbit who had gone without touch for almost eleven minutes—far too long a time for this needy, fake-fur ball. “Whatever,” said Ms. Bunny, adding a shrug of her shoulders and sending it in the direction of her ever-needy distant cousin. Ms. Bunny continued, “Anyhow, realizing that it’s a very brief span between birth to bounce to flounce to... Well, you get my point. We are merely strands of the web. Dangling here and there amidst the other flimsy strands woven into the big flycatcher in the sky. So, let us now seek discernment as we stare at our navels, touch base with our kundalinis, spoon our way down into our psychic essentialities, massage our chakras, and perhaps discover a new thought; a new way of being.” And with that, the partygoers became as if somnambulant, i.e., dead in their tracks. Actually, being mano-a-mano and

macho-macho men, John Bunyan and John Henry fell asleep instead of plopping into a profound state of meditation. Together, their snores took turns reenacting the Boom Boom Boom of the canons accompanying the “1812 Overture.” But even these big and burly bruisers had a connection with all the others at the party. For truly, the entire assemblage arrived at a state of deeper awareness, beyond the buffoonery and baboonery of verbal one-upmanship. Closing their eyes and opening their spirits to what was waiting within them to claim, brought forth a new perspective, a new way of being. And so the collective idea arose within each partygoer—a concept nurtured in peace and harmony in the very midst of the creative dance of the cosmos, that resurrection was possible; that the Easter Bunny would not retire or die and move off the drawing board of creative existence; but that she would go on and on forever. Only transformed. Reborn. And in their state of meditational discernment there appeared a beauteous vision: Ms. Bunny as Ms. Bunny— complete, in the sense that she was timeless, beyond age; both ancient and fur-challenged, as well as young and fully-furred. She was no longer one or the other, but exquisite in her absoluteness: wise crone rabbit; innocent child bunny. So in such immeasurable awareness of the possible within this symbol of Easter, and with the fullest acknowledgement of what might be possible within themselves as creatures forever being recreated, Ms. Bunny’s party guests discovered life renewed. They discovered their facades had melted away and saw themselves as one, together for time and eternity, in a seamless web of relationship. Beyond name, beyond appearance, and beyond category. Re-entering the world of the justapparent-and-most-obvious, they saw that Ms. Bunny had been replenished, too. Once again the transformative power of life had made her young and glossy, bright of eye and bushy of tail—ready to greet yet another Eastertide with joy and wonder. Nevertheless, all those at the party were aware that Ms. Bunny and they, themselves, were more than just their outward appearance. That all possible Ms. Bunnies existed deep inside the one they viewed at that moment; that all possible selves of themselves and the beings of their beings lived deep inside the ones they viewed in the mirror. So, with this knowledge—this knowledge of knowledge—existed all wisdom and joy. And the birds sang, the flowers bloomed, and the world embraced in dance.

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Can We Just Talk?


feel like my brain power diminished during the pandemic. Words come to me slower and writing something by hand seems to result in more mistakes than before isolation. Communicating with my husband is more challenging, as we have spent two years joined at the hip because of Covid. You can imagine that a Zoom seminar caught my interest when


the subject was “Healthy Communication for Healthy Relationships.” The presenter was Dr. Kara Winkler, an associate professor in Communication Studies at the University of Houston. I eagerly attended by computer, making copious notes which I’d be able to share with my husband over an evening glass of wine. I learned several communication guidelines.

El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

If you want to have a healthy relationship with a significant other one must practice “prosocial strategies.” There should be positivity, openness, and assurances. The two of you should do social networking and joint activities, and share tasks. (That one is loaded!) Humor should be used, and affection given often. The big capstone is that you should practice constructive conflict. I felt like a whole seminar could have been taught just on constructive conflict. Here was a zinger: There should be five positive contacts to each problem contact. We went to dinner with another couple. During the meal I mentioned the 5/1 rule. The couple looked at me blankly. The male said, “We don’t have conflicts.” I looked at the female partner. She heartily agreed. “Never!” I thought about the conflicts I work to resolve with my husband. I made them confirm they never disagree. Then, as the night wore on, every time they disagreed, either my husband or I would exclaim, “Conflict!” We became annoying I am sure, but our point was made. The next morning my friend texted me: “We had five conflicts

on the way home.” This is a couple who interact in a positive, loving manner. The point is that when two people disagree about something, conflict occurs. Something like who takes out the garbage can result in conflict. How it is addressed is important to the relationship. It was charming that this couple’s conflicts were so small as to not register with either of them. So how should conflict be resolved? Listening is key to good communication. We know it is easier to talk than to listen. Couples must collaborate and examine both points of view to seek a solution that satisfies both parties. Four things can hurt a relationship: 1. Criticism 2. Being defensive 3. Contempt. One party feeling superior to the other. In this case, something else may be going on, resentment exists, and questions may reveal the real issue. 4. Stonewalling. Communication is cut off, and the situation is toxic. Therapy is required. Antisocial strategies that can harm a healthy relationship exist. For example, infidelity is an obvious problem. Allowing one party to control the other is also a bad practice. Individuals need their own friends and hobbies. Jealousy induction is not a positive practice. And forget spying, as that too is not productive. You may be wondering what some typical conflict issues are. They vary by types of relationships, but I was interested in married couples. The issues were many: chores, money, possessiveness, sex, and children. It’s a wonder any of us can make it through such a jungle of risks. Key to a strong relationship is the right set of skills. We must empathize more, practice more acts of kindness, value the relationship, and become other-centered. If I can do all of these, I’ll feel like a saint! The seminar had an entire section on apologies to repair damaged relationships. I’ve made many mistakes over the years. In a real apology we must accept that we caused pain, acknowledge our role in the damage, and commit to change the harmful behavior. The advantage to these behaviors is that we learn and change interactions for better relations, which is a beautiful goal. Longevity in a healthy relationship is a true gift, worth all the Katina Pontikes work.

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If Our Pets Could Talk By Jackie Kellum This is part two: Lessons our pets can teach us, if we observe them.


ave you ever seen a cat or dog get so focused on doing something and keep trying until they succeed, like opening a package of “forbidden” food treats? They keep working at it until they get it done. That energy is fierce determination, discipline, resourcefulness, and adaption. All of this is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. If we humans want something realized, we certainly can act as successfully as a cat or a dog with a task. Be happy! Cats and dogs focus on the smallest things which make them happy, even the simplest toy or a kind word. Being happy comes down to focusing on what you have, rather than what you don’t. But for humans, that’s easier said than done. That’s because we’re programmed to take the good for granted and brood over the bad instead, or what we think we should have or want. We need to learn to appreciate the small gifts of life. When we know how to acknowledge the beauty that already exists in our lives, we don’t have to spend all of our days chasing after it. Our pets practice this each day, so we can learn this from them. In addition to happiness, pets can teach us about gratitude, which goes hand in hand together. Pets remind us the value of what we already have and being grateful for it. This life lesson is part of learning to be content, and thankful for the simplest things in our lives. Pets understand and can teach us if

we are willing to learn the true meaning of being a friend, caring and expressing empathy. Although they cannot speak words, their mere presence is reassuring and comforting, especially during a time of someone’s personal struggle or grief. They sense your feelings and graciously show up and sit with you providing a deep sense of healing that goes way beyond any words that could be said. Although they might not have been ‘best friends’ previously with that person, they recognize a person in need. The pet puts their feelings aside if needed, and offering and providing loving care and attention in time of need for that person. For your pet, that person is “family” and does not have to be a “blood relative” to care about. They understand better than many humans that sometimes “family” is the people in our lives who we’ve chosen to have there. Our pets might not be related to us genetically, but you’d never know it based on the way they love us. Live in the Moment! Our pets have practiced “mindfulness” long before it became a popular trendy human thing. This is a brief explanation of mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, etc. Pets do this all the time, we just need to practice this and include it in our own daily life. They graciously and happily accept praise and good will from others. We can never really know what our pet is thinking about, but we know he is not worrying about schedules, family drama, what others think about him, etc. He is enjoying the moment he is in. For him or her, every scent is new, every person is special, and every bit of food is appreciated. Take joy in the smallest of things, don’t sweat the small stuff, and relish the moment. Live your life like your pet does – enjoy the moment! June’s article: Enjoy Life’s Journey like your pet. Jackie Kellum


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FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren

Season 57


his has been an up-anddown season. There have been two historical plays, two strange plays, a musical event, and finally a Canadian comedy. In addition to some unusual choices, we had to deal with the continuing pandemic which required halfempty houses. LLT still carried on with considerable courage and skill. The two plays based on actual history were remarkably different. The Madres was set in 1978 Argentina during the military dictatorship of President Videla. At this time thousands of his opponents were captured and killed, while also pregnant women were imprisoned and their babies taken to suitable foster parents favorable to the regime. This play was extremely well-performed and I found it to be both real and very moving. On the other hand, Silent Sky was interesting but not exactly a play. This was a biography of Henrietta Leavitt who made some important discoveries in astronomy about one hundred years ago. In spite of being female, and thus denied access to the Harvard Observatory telescope, she was able to publish Leavitt’s Law, which shows a mathematical relationship between the brightness and periodicity of certain variable stars. This gave astronomers a measuring stick for the universe. I appreciated her story, but there was a lack of tension or emotional discovery that makes


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for a good play. What about the strange plays? Well, the first play of the season was Everything in the Garden, an Edward Albee adaptation of a British play by Giles Cooper. It’s all about greed and corruption in the suburbs. And probably murder as well. You take what you can get, like all the neighbors, and hope not to be found out. And then there was Random World, which was a really strange play. In fact, it was hardly a play at all. The author threw together some two-person audition scenes and called it a play. Maybe it’s clever in a life’s-like-that kind of way, but I found it disjointed and confusing. And finally the musical. Unfortunately, the originally planned A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum had to be cancelled, so LLT put on a show of popular songs and dance routines from musicals of the past. And it was really very good. It shows how much talent we have in this little town. I particularly enjoyed the tap dance routine and the “Hey, Big Spender” number from Sweet Charity. But of course there was no story line and it’s difficult to say more than it was very well done. LLT did a great job, and I congratulate the entire team. The last play of the season will be the comedy Cake Walk, which opens on March 25. It was first produced in 1984 for a Canada Day performance in Blyth, Ontario. I haven’t seen it yet, and it’s the only comedy show of the season, so I hope it’s hilarious. That was Season 57. I hope that Season 58 will be as good or better. And COVID-free! Michael Warren

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Streets of Mexico By David Ellison

El Pípila


erhaps his nickname, “El Pípila” (The Turkey), referred to the freckles on his face, reminiscent of those on a turkey egg. Perhaps it highlighted his silly cackle of a laugh like a turkey’s gobble. Maybe he’d been born with both mental and physical disabilities, and the name was an insulting reference to his limp. Most likely, Pípila never even existed. Supposedly, Juan José de los Reyes Martínez Amaro was a miner in Guanajuato. Twelve days after Miguel Hidalgo began the Mexican War for Independence on Dieciséis de Septiembre (September 16th ), 1810, the insurgentes (mostly just a ragtag, enraged mob of Native peasants) arrived in Guanajuato. The Spaniards and wealthy Creoles had taken refuge in El Alhóndiga de Granaditas, the town’s granary, an imposing, ap-


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parently impregnable stone fortress. Its only weak spot was its massive wooden door. According to legend, Hidalgo turned to Pípila and exclaimed, “The country needs your courage . . . Will you dare to set fire to the door of the Alhóndiga?” Pípila strapped a large, stone slab to his back to protect himself from Spanish muskets, and crawled like a turtle to the granary door. Using the torch and tar he’d carried with him, he set the door afire. Thus, Hidalgo’s “army” won the battle, and Pípila became the immortal hero he is. What is rarely recounted with this compelling tale is the fact that, once Los Insurgentes stormed into the granary, they ignored the defenders’ attempts to surrender. They butchered them all— men, women, children . . . everyone— and then plundered their riches and treasures. The massacre infuriated Hidalgo’s co-commander, Ignacio Allende, and convinced most Creoles, including Agustín de Iturbide, to spurn the revolutionaries. It was a hollow victory. Nonetheless, a huge, stone monument honoring El Pípila towers on a hillside overlooking Guanajuato. Pípila’s statue holds aloft a firebrand known as the “Torch of Liberty.”

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Random Acts A Powerful New Novel Of The First World War By A Powerful New Author By Dr. Lorin Swinehart


12-year-old girl is led out into the town square and flogged mercilessly, to the chants of “Spy!” and “Traitor!” shouted by frenzied onlookers, until her clothes and her very skin hang in shreds. This scene from Linda Steele’s novel Random Acts captures the madness that so often typifies human behavior once reason and compassion are surrendered to the spiritual anesthesia of the mob, when societal mores are forsaken during times of uproar such as war, plague, and economic collapse, and the veneer of civilization evaporates. The scene captures the madness of World War I as effectively as Hemingway’s “Retreat from Caporetto,” and reflects such real


atrocities as the massacres at Mỹ Lai and Katyn, the witch trials of old New England, and the concremation of Joan of Arc. The setting is an Italian village during the course of the “War to End All Wars,” the “War to Make the World Safe for Democracy,” even the “Great War” when compared to previous conflicts by those without a clue that a second global cataclysm lurked only a few decades in the future. The young woman’s journey into the heart of the darkness of the human spirit is by no means typical. Growing up among kindly Pennsylvania Dutch farmers in rural northern Ohio, Susanna Strashoffer Von Helldorf would seem

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unprepared for the ordeals she is to face as her travels take her to the tiny European nation of Luxembourg to spend time with her biological grandfather, unaware that the world is about to erupt in flames. Susannah’s journey across the darkling plain of war-torn Europe begins when her grandfather accompanies her to the imagined peace and safety of a lonely cabin in the hills of northern Italy. There, ensconced in a remote natural sanctuary, all should have been well. However, the grandfather soon succumbs to a massive heart attack, leaving young Susannah alone and friendless in a strange land, with her terrier dog Minnie her only companion. How does a 12-year-old go about surviving under such circumstances? Fortunately, having grown up in the rural Midwest, Susannah is not without resources. A bit of a tomboy, Susannah, a sharpshooter who cringes inwardly at the very thought of taking an animal’s life, soon bags rabbits and even a deer. She also has some knowledge of preserving meat and providing such wilderness foods as bannock. Taking the life of the deer troubled her the most, but her wise grandfather had explained to her that shooting a rabbit only provides food for one day but bagging a deer could keep her going for a month. Minnie is a hunter by nature and a vital companion in her passion for survival. When Susannah finds her grandfather’s corpse has been chewed on by rodents, she moves him by sled to a nearby cave, where no further such outrages will occur. All too much, one would think, for such a young person, but one will do what one must, drawing upon strengths one is unaware of, when trapped in a life-or-death situation. Susannah had been cautioned by her grandfather to avoid the soldiers of all armies, that in wartime men will sometimes do terrible things, particularly to women. His words turned out to be prophetic. While believing that she is safe in the mountains, Susannah is attacked, grabbed from behind, by a group of unkempt, unruly men who attempt to tear her clothes off. In the middle of the fray, a shot is fired, and another group of men come to her rescue, knocking one of her attackers unconscious. The day had been saved by the intervention of an Italian officer, Major Alltoviti, and his men. However, Susannah’s troubles are far from over. Major Alltoviti informs her that the war between Italy and the forces of Hapsburg Austria-Hungary is headed right in her direction and that she cannot remain where she is. After being turned away even from an orphanage by an evil nun, Susannah has no alternative other than to spend freezing winter months in a cave, hunting for her food,

and living like Neolithic humans. When Susannah comes upon a piano, she begins to play, attracting the attention of those nearby. Given that she once attended the Cleveland Conservatory of Music, back in Ohio, she survives by evolving into the sophisticated “Luciana,” providing entertainment for soldiers and civilians in and around the Italian town of Verona. The action in Random Acts fluctuates from rural Ohio to war-torn Europe and back again, detailing Susannah’s life as a gifted female in an age when so many roles were denied woman. The horrible realities of modern combat during World War I came as a shock to many, dispelling any delusions spawned by 19th century jingoism. Mankind had not experienced such weaponry as the machine gun, air power, or poison gas on such a scale before. Some of our most powerful works of fiction arose in the aftermath of that conflict, resulting in the Lost Generation of young people disillusioned and at sea in a world no one any longer understood. The names of writers who left their stamp on that period, exposing the grit and grime, the blood and guts of that first great modern war need no introduction. Dalton Trumbo, Erich Maria Remarque, Ernest Hemingway, and such powerful poets as Siegfried Sassoon, Alan Seeger, and Wilfred Owen come to mind. To that list can be added the name of Linda Steele, whose powerful historical novel Random Acts approaches the conflict from a unique vantage point, that of a 12-year-old girl who is orphaned and lost in a world gone mad. As this is being penned, the world is being rocked by yet another wave of inhumanity as the innocent people of Ukraine reel before the onslaught of the latest blitzkrieg, this one meted out by the hands of the stone cold, sociopathic Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. The cruelties endured by Susannah in Linda Steele’s novel are mirrored in the frightened eyes of thousands of Ukrainian children. Steele’s novel and its sequel Out of the Valley, detailing Susannah’s efforts to overcome the prejudices of the day and become a licensed physician and serve in Europe in the medical corps during the twentieth century’s second great cataclysm, is particularly timely. No citizen of the Lost Generation, Susannah’s story is a tale of determination and survival against all odds. Random Acts and Out of the Valley are both available through Amazon in both paperback and electronic versions. Lorin Swinehart

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Excerpt from my young adult novel in process, FOR THE WANT OF LOVE

DRAG RACING By Janice Kimball


isten, Kaya. Carl wants to go drag racing in Nankin Township where the county sheriffs don’t patrol. We’re going tomorrow. He wants to see what his latest souped-up engine will do. Can you come along? Carl will buy us root beer floats.” “Not a chance, Sue,” I replied,” but thanks anyway. I can’t see watching you two neck from the back seat.” “Carl said he has a friend from work that would like to go, but I don’t know much about him.” “Hmm. Well, in that in that case, I’ll come along,” I replied. What should I wear for drag racing and an encounter with an under-


described male? I decided on a here and now, slightly saucy look. I buttoned my sweater up the back, put on my tightest pegged skirt, tied a bouclé scarf around my neck, and donned flamenco shoes, the newest fad. I didn’t overplay the makeup but made a black mole over my left lip with an eyebrow pencil and applied my favorite orange sherbet lipstick. My short hair, when combed back, had been styled to fall into a replica of a duck’s ass (DA), which it did nicely. I was just making a wisp of bang across my forehead, when I heard the sound of Carl’s horn tooting outside. “Hop in back,” Sue directed, poking her head out the passenger side

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window. The back door magically opened. “This is Gage, he’s coming with us.” “Sue and I are gonna introduce you to drag racing, Kaya,” Carl enthusiastically said, leaning his head back to look at me. He put the car in gear and we were off, his arm nestled around Sue, squished so tightly against his side that it was if the two of them were driving. In silence, Gage and I, sitting apart in the back seat, looked each other over. He was a square and I was hip. He had pale blue eyes that were at odds with his sallow complexion. His arms and shoulders were muscular, his neck thick, and he had the over-developed hands of a construction worker, which he was when not working the extra board on the weekends with Carl. Even so, if you disregarded the scent of his cheap cologne, dumb haircut shaved up around his ears, and the fact that the waist of his pants was tightly belted, not above his hips, but across the middle of his stomach, he was not bad looking. He looked at me as if he had hit the jackpot. This should have made me feel a little wary, but instead, I congratulated myself for choosing my sophisticated look. I was grateful I did not present myself as looking bookish, sweet, hearty, or like a regular Garden City Girl, effects that I had taken under consideration for this not-blind date. “How old are you?” he asked. I guessed him to be not more than twenty. I almost replied, “Old enough to know better, but too young to resist,” for the added attention this would have brought me, but, thankfully, in a moment of caution, I bit my tongue. His eyes sparkled and his smile revealed dimples, which gave him a sweet look, as he waited for my answer. “Seventeen,” I lied, not stopping to think that Carl would have already told him I was only fifteen. His dimples deepened and he emitted an endearing chuckle. It was only later that I realized that the chuckle was one like a cat who just ate the canary. When we reached a lonely stretch of blacktop in Nankin Township, two cars waited at the side of the road revving up their engines. Carl got out. After a short time of back slapping and guffaws with his racing pals, one of the cars, its muffler popping, drove away, leaving a man behind. “We’ll wait a few minutes to make sure they blocked off traffic from the other end, before we begin the race,” Carl said, getting back in. The other car lined up on the

blacktop beside us. After a short time of revving up engines, the man left behind, standing in front, but to the side of Carl’s car, held up an oil rag. With the stance of a jockey pulling the horse’s reins so taut it didn’t jump-start the race, Carl’s body tensed as he leaned forward, fingers tightly gripping the steering wheel. And he didn’t wait long. After a few teasing flips of the rag, the man raised his arm up high. With a jump and dramatic snap of that rag, wheels screeching, we were off. Carl shifted from first to second, and then to third gear. My head pressed back against the top on the back seat. I was unprepared for the jolt from the rapid velocity of the vehicle that my head was spinning. But I remember observing Sue and admiring her tenacity for remaining glued to Carl’s side. “Whoopie!” Carl shouted, taking the lead. “Bet that scared you, Kaya.” “Not at all,” I lied, in my best false bravado. “I’m not afraid of anything.” Just then, a shadow appeared to cross the road ahead. “A tractor,” Sue screeched, “coming out of the cornrows!” After laying half a block of screech-marks into the blacktop, the car spun around and stopped in a ditch a few yards away from the tractor. We all climbed out. The other car slammed against a haystack on the other side of the road. “When you boys gonna grow up? After you kill somebody?” the farmer shouted. Our adventure ended in a sheepish state of embarrassment, as we sipped on takeout root beer floats. Sue was no longer glued to Carl’s side on the way back home. “This racing business should have worn itself out before now Carl, she told him with her arms crossed against her chest “Why, that tractor just came out of the blue. What are the chances of that happening again?” Carl explained. “Hey, Gage,” he shouted back, “how about doin’ another run next week? Just you and me.” “No thanks, Carl,” was his short response. I had hoped that Gage would walk me to the door, but with his characteristic withholding of words, with his dimples implying a merriment hidden within, he gave me the most charming of smiles and simply said, ‘Til we meet again.” “Did you have a good time, dear?” Mother asked when I came in the door. “I don’t think so,” I replied before going up to my room. Janice Kimball

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Truancy By Bernie Suttle


uring Jesuit Theology class at Loyola High School one warm afternoon in 1947, Father Duggins’s monotonous voice was mesmerizing the ninth-grade class of fifty boys into a somnolent state. Rays from the afternoon sun slanted through the trees and into the windows. There was a warm hum in the air. The teacher was lost in epistemology putting notes on the chalkboard with his back to the class. I decided, “I need not stay here. He wouldn’t know or miss me if I absented myself.” I stood, stretched, and silently shuffled towards the front classroom door just behind the absorbed cleric. I quietly closed the classroom door behind me and I was out. I had the whole world to explore and a full afternoon without limits to do it. Freed from the high school building, I walked north to Pico Boulevard to start my hitchhiking commute northeast to the sanctuary of Pasadena. The initial part of my trip would be on surface streets: East on Pico, North on Figueroa to the signal at Sunset, and then onto the Arroyo Seco, the first freeway in L. A., direct to the southwest corner of Pasadena. I looked forward to an enjoyable trip and the drivers who would pick me up. I arrived at a sunlit, charming, secluded greenspace with a multitude of lawn bowling tracks populated by lively bowlers. I wondered about them. Tall, thin, all under fifty years of age—my dad’s age if he hadn’t died, victim of the hypertension of the business wars. I wondered how they afforded the time away from work to do this. I wondered what they found satisfying in spending their time playing here. Could it be that they did not have to work? If they did work, their travail was the moving of large amounts of old money by telephone to receive five basis


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points more. The bright sunshine, trees, green grass, and distraction of miniscule, white balls rolled along the strips of manicured grass was silently beautiful. I relaxed completely and moved into a state of meditation. I had no worries. I certainly wasn’t a truant but a researcher looking at another culture as part of my street education. This was not a place where a truant officer would be expected to search for miscreants like at pool hall or bowling alley. Not this sanctuary for the young landed aristocracy of this corner of Pasadena. How did one become a member of this genteel class, wearing unbuttoned, oxford-cloth shirt, without necktie, cuffed trousers, penny loafers, and free in the afternoon for such a trivial pursuit? How were they different from me? I had seen where our enigmatic God had smiled on a place and a people of favor. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said through Gatsby, “. . . the truly rich are different from you and me.” I knew that I must leave this idyllic episode and make my way home to our rented house. Mom would still be at work. The fridge would be empty. There would only be test patterns on our black and white television. As always, I was eager to start hitchhiking and the adventure of hearing the story of whoever picked me up and telling him my story. That would open my life up to the other world that I had met on previous trips with all types of humanity. I knew I must become rich. Not being born a “scion,’ I might never be truly rich, but I would become quietly rich by picturing myself as a “Rich Man.” And I did. Bernie Suttle

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Verdant View By Francisco Nava


pring has sprung! Signs of spring are everywhere throughout the month of April. Like the birds that are darting this way and that while prepping their spring nests, gardeners are busy preparing their yards and gardens for new life. It’s a busy month for gardeners, as spring signals the gateway to the warmer gardening season! Don’t forget to notice all the new buds and life starting in your garden. Remember Easter 2022 is on Sunday, April 17. The actual name of “Easter” comes from a pagan holiday celebrating the goddess “Eostre,” who represented spring and fertility. Finally, a little about the history of the Easter Egg. The following comes


from Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought, James Bonwick, pp. 211-212: “Eggs were hung up in the Egyptian temples. Bunsen calls attention to the

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mundane egg, the emblem of generative life, proceeding from the mouth of the great god of Egypt. The mystic egg of Babylon, hatching the Venus Ishtar, fell from heaven to the Euphrates. Dyed eggs were sacred Easter offerings in Egypt, as they are still in China and Europe. Easter, or spring, was the season of birth, terrestrial and celestial. What to plant in April The weather turns hotter and drier from now through the middle of June when the rainy season begins. The viveros now will have lantana, portulaca, and baby’s breath. Don’t forget Aztec lily, agapanthus, and daylilies, which are things that also do well all year ‘round. Start forget-me-nots, nemesia for borders and containers, and Osteospermum (Star of the Veldt), with its long blooming and colorful daisy-like flowers. Time to start eggplant, pepper, and tomato seeds in flats or pots for later transplanting, as well as to put lettuce seeds into the garden. Remember that you have to protect your young seedlings from the intense heat and sun and to water them faithfully until the rains begin. Digging compost and animal manure into your garden soil will help to improve the texture and ability to hold water, as well as furnish valuable nutrients. Good soil looks and feels like chocolate cake

crumbs. Deadhead and water regularly. Pruning is an on-going process here and encourages new growth. New growth will begin with the rains. It’s a good time to consider cacti and succulents. Don’t forget to mulch. You can plant beets, beans, peas, celery, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, and melons. Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”- Robin Williams (1951–2014) Francisco Nava

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Remembering Chucho By Christy Wiseman


hucho was a rescue dog who didn’t have much to recommend him. He was a little larger than an average sized dog, a little shaggy and to top it off he was both almost blind and deaf. When he looked into your eyes though, all that didn’t matter. He was one of those animals whose doggy soul spoke to you almost offering those qualities many dogs are known for; kindness, loyalty, unconditional love, if only you would take a chance and adopt him. A wonderful couple did. They had no children, but close neighbors did and soon everyone benefitted by the sweet, new addition to the neighborhood. The couple had another rescue dog who was a mix of a Golden Lab and Pit Bull. There are a lot of Pit Bull mixes in the area and while they have a bad reputation, if their owners are kind, gentle people, they seem to reciprocate with sweet personalities. With Pit Bulls, there are some inexplicable exceptions; dogs who have mean streaks and blood lust. As with humans, some dogs have been mistreated causing their personalities to be unpredictable. One such Pit Bull attacked Chucho the afternoon while the


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couple were out. The call came from a neighbor lady with who had two young children. In this seemingly safe area of town, the children and their mother watched in horror while a new Pit Bull in the neighborhood, without provocation, attacked sweet Chucho who because he was deaf was taken by surprise. The intruder ripped into Chucho’s flesh breaking his leg and then went for his head, biting deep into his skull, laying open part of his brain, His buddy, Dulce, tried to save him, but without success. My friends who got the call, rushed home, but their bleeding, dying dog really had no hope. When the owner of the Pit Bull, new to the neighborhood, came over, he shrugged his shoulders and looked nonchalant. He made a call and soon afterward the police report was ripped up. The police did everything according to protocol, but they were over-ruled. The vicious dog remains alive and free to roam. Will it choose a helpless dog next time or one of the children or perhaps the kind couple who now are broken hearted and very afraid as are their close neighbors who have felt safe and secure — until now. If the next attack is on a person, perhaps a child, will the owner of the killer dog once again shrug his shoulders and make a call so that someone in charge will have to rip up the ensuing report? When misfortune strikes, it often has far reaching effects. Dulce, Chucho’s buddy and the couple’s other dog, is looking so sad, obviously missing her partner. I will remember the sweet and gentle look in Chucho’s eyes, the look of love, gratitude and loyalty so often shown to his owners. Christy Wiseman

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Kim LeMieux Email: kimslakesideliving@gmail.com Ph: +1-650-863-3928

Lakeside Living is please to welcome Kim LeMieux as Events Editor. LL thanks Carol D. Bradley for her contributions and wish her well with her future endeavours. The Lake Chapala Society hosts Open Circle every Sunday at 10AM, a popular community gathering in Ajijic, to enjoy a diverse range of presentations. The presentations will be on the south lawn, close to the gazebo, the entrance will be by the side door on Ramón Corona, chairs will be socially distanced. Gate opens at 9:30. We recommend bringing a hat and bottled water, and please remove containers upon departure. Attendance is limited to 80 persons, please make your reservation if you want to attend https://opencircleajijic.org/reservation_form. php Use of masks and temperature checks on entry is mandatory. APRIL PRESENTATIONS INCLUDE: April 3rd: Presentation by Michael Hogan: The American Legion of Honor in Mexico Michael Hogan is an historian and the author of 27 books including the Irish Soldiers of Mexico, Abraham Lincoln and Mexico, and Guns, Grit and Glory: How the US and Mexico Came Together to Defeat the Last Empire in the Americas. Hogan’s book The Irish Soldiers of Mexico was the inspiration for two major documentaries and a feature film starring Tom Berenger. Dr. Hogan is a former professor of International Relations at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, and Emeritus Humanities Chair of the American School Foundation of Guadalajara. He lives with the textile Michael Hogan artist, Lucinda Mayo, and their Dutch Shepherd, Lola. April 10, 2022 Presentation by Beverly Jensen: Wireless Wakeup Call This past decade the insurance industry studied the science done on the telecom industry, and in 2015, Lloyd’s of London, the bellwether of the industry, concluded that the wireless technology does cause nonionizing radiation. Lloyd’s concluded that it’s a pollutant, like asbestos, and they’re not going to cover health claims in ordinary policies. The whole insurance industry has followed. It’s not a matter of IF you will be afBeverly Jensen fected but WHEN. Dr. Jensen will discuss the symptoms of Electro-magnetic sensitivity and common diseases. Most importantly, there are simple steps everyone can take to reduce exposure, and some behaviour modification may be necessary! She holds degrees in Journalism from Missouri, and a doctorate in communication from the University of Washington. Her work has been as a journalist, teaching


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marketing communication in emerging markets, and for 20 years working in communication strategies for development. Her interest in natural health treatments evolved from managing health projects and personal experiences. April 17, 2022 Presentation by Jesus Vega: The Art Around Us To Be Announced April 24, 2022 Presentation by David Ellison: Story Time With Dave Lake Chapala’s Baptist Church Choir has been active lately. Hard on the heels of a Christmas program and their debut Variety-Singalong, the group will offer a special David Ellison Easter presentation called “The Twelve Cups of Passover,” containing sacred Bible readings and music, including the “Hallelujah Chorus.” All are welcome to attend this free program on Friday, April 15, at 3pm. Put it on your calendar right away! (Information: LCBCchoir2@gmail.com)

Conexión Ambiental is presenting Earth Day Festival 2022 in the Axixic Plaza and the Axixic cultural center, April 22, 23rd and 24th. Over 20 organizations will be represented with booths in the plaza. Speakers and presentations will be scheduled inside the cultural center as well as on the plaza. Earth protectors, territory defenders, indigenous communities, scientists, activists and government agencies will be represented and available to the public. Ceremonies and ancient wisdom. Sustainability products. Food and indigenous music as well as children’s activities. Translators will be on hand to assist anyone as needed. Further information from, Doug 331-354-1558 Doug Reid doug4yoga@gmail La Cochera Cultural, announces a Special Playhouse presentation of a new multi-discipline performance entitled “Inhabiting la Michi-Cihualli”. Lakeside Little Theatre has generously agreed to let us use their premises in San Antonio Tlayacapan under the umbrella of their community outreach. The work is a contemporary interpretation of the local indigenous legend of the Goddess of the Lake. It has been in progress as the second part of this year’s Festival de la Michi-Cihualli, and will include original contemporary dance, live music and simultaneous video projections.

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Choreography and Creative Direction: Leonor Zertuche, Dance and Interpretation: Mariajose Medeles, Composition and Musical Direction: Eleazar Soto (Chuco) Production Design: Emilia GalvezMusicians: Juanpi Medeles: violin, Miguel Soto: percusión, Gilberto Rios: Bass, and Ari Loyola: voice. Video Artist and live visuals: Paty Green Performances will run Wednesday April 20 at 7:00 pm and Thursday April 21 at 7:00pm. Tickets are 350p and will be on sale at Mia’s Boutique, Kind of Bazaar and by reservation at. at: info@cocheracultural.org and emilia@cocheracultural.org and at the door if available. All proceeds will be used to benefit the artistic and musical education programs at La Cochera.

Lakeside Published Writer’s Group is back at El Gato Feo Cafe + Roastery with their “Meet the Authors” event. There will be 3 authors reading from their works and answering a live Q+A at the end of each reading. Authors will have copies of their books for signing. This event will take place the second Wednesday of every month. Next one: April 13th. Readings start at 11. Come early: coffee is available and enjoy live music by Sergio Casas playing from his Personal Selections. Meeting held in the lovely salon of Estrellita’s Bed & Breakfast. (Where El Gato Feo Cafe is located) Open to the public.

Sergio Casas


El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

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Mirage de el Dorado The Search for Legendary Gold Continues By Robert Bruce Drynan


man walked into a bar in Panama in 1921 and approached another, who sat hunched over a beer. “Say, are you the pilot they call Jimmie?” The somewhat scruffy, downcast drinker in his early twenties, looked up, “Yeah, what of it?” “You open to a proposition?” “Sure, but I can’t fly you anywhere, I haven’t got an airplane.” “Will five thousand dollars fix that?” The young man brightened and invited his guest, who introduced himself as McCracken, to join him for a beer. Thus began the legend of Jimmie Angel and the River of Gold. The meeting with McCracken may be apocryphal, but Jimmie Angel’s lifelong obsession with the wilderness of southern Venezuela, the same territory tentatively explored by Sir Walter Raleigh and numerous predecessor Spanish adventurers, began that day or some other such similar moment close to that time. Jimmie Angel managed to wrap himself in legend, probably a product of his own fertile imagination, far more than any invention by others. It was said that he was an ace in the First World War and that he once flew in China for a local warlord. Nevertheless, he had earned reputation as a gifted pilot and his encounter with McCracken appears to be the most plausible explanation for the beginning of Jimmie’s explorations of the tepuis.


With the money from McCracken Jimmie Angel purchased a single-engine, high-wing monoplane called a Flamingo. Later he would name his aircraft Río Caroní, after the river that drained the Roraima uplands northward into the Orinoco. Jimmie agreed to fly McCracken to an unstated destination in Venezuela; McCracken would provide compass directions as they flew. They made their way to Ciudad Bolivar (once known as Santo Thomé de Guayana) on the banks of the Orinoco River. From there they took off over the southern savannas and began a search pattern over the Tepuis, some of the Earth’s oldest visible geologic formations and home to flora and fauna unknown anywhere else on the planet. Using a simple compass, McCracken guided Angel to a landing in a clearing on a sandstone-capped table mountain. Some tales say that McCracken left Angel in the aircraft and later returned with the bags loaded with gold. Some tales argue that Angel accompanied the mysterious man and assisted him to collect gold nuggets from a stream loaded with them. Whatever the truth, most stories agree that Jimmie Angel returned McCracken to civilization and shortly after, the man died, or simply disappeared. In any case, Jimmie flew back to the region and began a search for the site of his landing with McCracken . . . without luck. He parlayed his tale into investments by several mining consortia and

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wildcat expeditions, always searching for his El Dorado. Whatever the equivocal details, the event must have had some basis in reality. It sparked a lifelong obsession. In his flights over the region of the tepuis, Angel found the Auyántepui; in Pemón, the name meant Devil (Auyán) house (Tepui). A large, heart-shaped table mountain, he became convinced that it was the site of his landing with McCracken. While flying through a deep canyon he spotted the towering waterfall that was later to bear his name, Angel Falls. He declared he had seen a waterfall that was a mile high, but those he told disbelieved him. Successive fliers confirmed his find, and in 1949 an American photojournalist, Ruth Robinson, led the first land expedition to the base of the falls. She confirmed that its height measured 3,212 ft., less than a mile high, but still the world’s tallest wa-

damaged aircraft and they began the long hike down from the mountain. Following an exceptionally difficult elevenday journey through unknown terrain, they reached the base camp from which Heny and Cardona had sought to ascend the tepui earlier. Jimmie returned to Venezuela from the Panama Canal Zone shortly after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, but soon travel to the region from the Canal Zone was severely restricted. He continued his search for the site of McCracken’s gold, but in vain. He left Venezuela in 1943 and with Marie lived and worked for several years in Central America, finally returning to the United States and settling in Oxnard, California. Apparently, in California the Angels’ marriage came onto rocky times. One might surmise that after a life of adventure, the sedentary life in California was difficult for Jimmie Angel. In 1956, Jim-

Auyántepui terfall. In December of 1939 the government of Venezuela officially named the fall after Jimmie Angel. In the meantime, Angel was not idle in his quest for McCracken’s gold. In 1937 Angel sent two of his collaborators, Gustavo Heny and Felix Cardona, to scout a land route to the top of the Auyántepui from its southern extremity. They were to survey the landing site Jimmie had selected for the Río Caroní. Blocked by unanticipated geographical features the party turned back, but Jimmie Angel was sure he had found the site of his previous landing. Accompanied by his wife, Marie, Heny and another companion, Miguel Angel Delgado, he attempted a landing on the grassy meadow he had earlier chosen. The landing appeared perfect, but then the craft’s wheels broke through the surface into a muddy spot and tipped forward on its nose. After two days of a search for the River of Gold, Jimmie left a note on the

mie flew to visit his father in Texas and then took off from Brownsville, setting course for Panama. Before his departure, he had told his father that he would never return. En route his plane crashed on April 17th. He was not injured seriously, but after being taken to the Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, he suffered a stroke. He remained hospitalized and, after a prolonged internment, he died in December. He was cremated and his remains were returned to Marie. In July 1960, Marie and their sons, Jimmie and Roland, flew to the Auyántepui where, from the window of their aircraft, his ashes were thrown to drift down over the site of his great obsession. They described that on their arrival at the Auyántepui, the table mountain was obscured by clouds, but as they approached the clouds opened as if welcoming Jimmie Angel home. *Using large heavy-lift helicopters, the Venezuelan Air Force removed the Río Caroní from its perch on the mountain with the intention to restore and return it to the tepui. It was restored but never returned. It rests on display at the Venezuelan military airbase Robert Drynan in Maracay.

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President of the Board for Tepehua



midst a world of turmoil, political insanity, wars that no-one ever wins, pandemics and inclement weather, we feel the stirrings of spring. With our friends around the world, peace has never been more treasured. We share an optimism that doesn’t diminish. The Tepehua Team have their eye on the future, because what we have accomplished so far has taken root and progress is irreversible. Helping children financially with education from Kindergarten to college is here to stay as long as we can get support from casual donations or through our sponsor program where sponsors finance children from lower grades to college. They see the students become teachers. There is nothing more thrilling than a child graduating. The Community Center gives free English classes three times every week. The Medical clinic is open three days a week, free to Tepehua people and all the other barrios that are under the poverty line. It is supported solely by donations. This is so essential for the people. Lack of good health is debilitating and takes away the desire to grow and make a change. Whatever problem they have multiplies when in bad health as it does to us all. Even more important is the Maternal Health program. Family planning benefits the whole family, it is good for mental health, financial security and beneficial for the existing children. A grant for this program is necessary for pre/post pregnancy tests. The mortality rate of mothers and infants has declined in the Barrio of Tepehua, even birthing at home is safer with the education that is given during tests. There is a program that is rarely talked about, Health Outreach for Women (H.O.W). It is a small bus manned by two nurses and their driver. They drive to the villages Lakeside giving pre/ post natal care, pap smears and urine testing where required, all services are free. This dedicated team are a part of the unsung heroes at Lakeside who nobody hears about. Local Mexicans who are committed to service. It is an independent unit from Tepehua that


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is financed by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. A special kind of hero. Our dental program is not free, we have to charge a little for material. What we need at this time is a new chair as one of the chairs is past repair and leaves us only one to work with. The cost of a dental chair is 36,000 pesos. Approximately 1,800 US dollars. We are proud of our potable water plant with our own reverse osmosis system that can produce 300 garrafones a day. We are charging those who can afford it 40 pesos a garrafon so we can give it to those under the poverty line or sell at 20 pesos. We are breaking even, but aim to make a small profit so we can remain sustainable. Meanwhile, to help the business grow we need a supply of garrafones, the plastic water jugs that cost about 75 pesos each. Their shelf life is short because of the sun and handling. The Tepehua Team have to go back to the drawing board for the sanitation program and attempt it from another angle. The Community Toilet idea was sound, but for that terrain improbable. The terrain is volcanic rock. Septic tanks are also possible but the chemicals and the people to change them and keep them clean are unreliable. Still an overwhelming task in a village as large and sprawling as Tepehua, with over 7,000 people. We are putting in toilets one house at a time, but need to start at the beginning with most, which means putting tinacos on the roofs of the homes as most do not have running water. April is the door way to Spring and we have much to do. The world is opening its doors after the pandemic, still a concern, but the time has come to hug again. Let´s do it.

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Monday Morning Tea By Katina Pontikes


he widow Eloise reached for the glass of water from her bedside table and sipped it slowly, the water moistening her papery tongue. The pink plastic pill case, divided by days of the week, was right next to where the water had been. She picked it up and looked down at the filled squares, pills of various colors and shapes all nestled together. On Sunday, when she filled the week’s supply of medicine, she counted eighteen different prescription pills. She thought to herself, How many pills will I take if I live to ninety? She had turned eighty-one two months earlier. Her mottled, ropy-


veined hand replaced the pill case on the nightstand. Slowly she scooted up from the pillow and lowered her legs over the side of the bed. They reminded her of umbrella handles, thin, covered with crepe-like flesh, and with very little muscle left, sticking forlornly from her light blue flannel nightgown. In the bathroom, she flipped on the light switch and stared at her face in the mirror. Gravity had pulled her mouth down at the corners so that she looked sad at the start of every day. She wasn’t sad. She was tired, yes. Always a bit tired. She practiced her optimistic expression in the mirror. If she formed a half smile and left

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her lips parted and thought of something happy, she definitely looked more welcoming. “Good morning,” she told herself. Her visitor would be here in an hour for morning tea. The young college student was named Meg. Meg lived across the street in a rented garage apartment. They had met once when Meg jogged by, and Eloise had called out a greeting from her porch. They became friendly and now Meg came by once a week, on Monday morning, for tea and scones. This ritual probably meant free breakfast to Meg, but to Eloise it was the most interesting thing to happen to her all week. These talks made her eagerly anticipate coming days. They gave her purpose and satisfied unrealized curiosities. At first she and Meg discussed everyday things, like the roses Eloise nurtured, how they were prone to mildew in the wet weather and bloomed best in colder months. They both favored the Old Blush roses, with their fluttery pink petals. Eloise allowed Meg to clip as many roses as she liked. As they became more familiar with each other, Meg complained to Eloise about how hard it was to find a good boyfriend. The last suitor had

cancelled plans right before dates more than once, and Meg and Eloise analyzed all of his excuses for veracity. The last time he broke a date, when he said he really needed to study for an exam, was when both of them agreed he had another girlfriend. Today, Eloise was aware of Meg’s shiny pink skin and toned firm arms as they hugged in greeting. Eloise’s eyes were dull and watery as her mind skipped to her past. She thought of herself, prettier, young and vibrant, many decades ago. Meg’s vital presence always gave her the sensation of being thrown back in time. This day’s conversation was lively. Meg admitted that she and her friends all used birth control pills they obtained from the campus infirmary. Pregnancy was the one thing they feared the most. Pregnancy led to marriage, which meant the end of any of their plans and dreams. They wanted to succeed in professions first, for personal independence and strength. Motherhood, that most important role, would come once they proved themselves. Meg looked up occasionally to see how Eloise was reacting to these latest confidences. Eloise kept her face as still as possible and she nodded with assent, her eyes opened attentively, so that she showed no judgment at all. She just wanted Meg to keep talking. Finally, Meg looked directly at Eloise and asked, in an almost whispered tone, “Eloise, were you ever promiscuous?” A soft hint of a smile formed at the edges of Eloise’s mouth. Her eyes cast downward and she gave the question a few seconds of thought. “No,” she started slowly, pronouncing the word in a drawnout way. Then she looked earnestly at Meg. “I wish I Katina Pontikes had been.”

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Life In The Laugh Lane By Scott Jones

Making Fun


have only been arrested once… for joking at an airport. In its infancy in 1973, the airline security in Wisconsin consisted of one blue-haired lady sitting behind a folding table. “What’s in your backpack?” “Two books and a scarf,” I said. “Be careful, the scarf might explode.” Official charge: bomb threat, felony, $1,000 bail, reduced to disorderly conduct, $25 fine. No signs were posted that read, “No joking in the airport, you dipstick.” While I spoke with delighted students after finishing a graduation concert at a Colorado high school, an angry man stomped up to the stage, wagged his finger at me, and shouted, “Filthy obscene language! I’ll see to it you NEVER perform in Arvada again!” And then he stormed away. I asked the counsellor who’d hired me if he knew the man. “Yeah,” he said, “That’s the principal of the school.” “Why is he so bent outta shape? It was a clean show.” “You mentioned that many things ‘suck.’ He doesn’t like that word and thinks it constitutes swearing. ‘Alas, no signs warned me that the principal sucked. When I was eight, my mother overheard me yell the fun S-word a friend had taught me. She washed out my mouth with soap. If I’d said the F-word, she’d probably have used a flame-thrower. She didn’t even want me to play an F-chord on the piano. Later in life while performing, if I knew Mom was in the audience, I’d never speak the F-word. I was afraid she’d charge the stage with a spray bottle of Lysol and a mop for my mouth, and clean up my act on the spot. The jokes are the same. “Did ya hear that Norwegians were throwin’ sticks o’ dynamite ’cross the border inta Sweden?” The Swedes lit ’em and threw ’em back! (Now switch the countries and tell it at the next campsite.) I mentioned this to my editor, but to appreciate it, he’d have to experience the companionship of Ole and Sven. For decades I performed on stages; these days I perform on pages. It’s safer at home, but I can’t feel, see, or hear the reaction of these tiny audiences of one reader stretched across the globe. Normally I don’t intend to offend anyone, well, maybe Agent Orange. And I apologize in advance regarding “INDIA: a hip


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story” which may well annoy 18% of the world’s population in one chapter. Comedy is a perilous profession, and today, humor is not a laughing matter. If you choose, feel free to have a ceremonial book-burning of Can you spare me a smile? and then upload the video on the web. Or if you come across a unique sign that commemorates the misprints, misspellings, and misjudgments that make us all human, please send me a photo.

I’m sure you “do not know the next time though,” but when you finally do, I’ll “kindly note and implementation” the fun. Thanks. ***** Scott Jones has written hundreds of articles and columns for many newspapers and magazines in the USA and Thailand, authored five books (Flesh and Blood and DNA, an action/adventure novel exploring genetic engineering and its sequel, TURNABOUT: Flesh and Blood and DNA Finale; Life in the Laugh Lane: facts, fiction, and photos in Asia, and its sequel, Can you spare me a smile?, and Five Lives One Dream, a metafiction novel of action, love, and adventure which spans the spectrum from severely humorous to deadly serious. Over the years, he has performed his unique style of original music, comedy, and stand-up photography in Asia, Canada, and all fifty states in America. He currently edits and designs other authors’ books while living in Thailand with his wife and two huskies, Sirius and Aurora, the Exalted Rulers of Their General Vicinity. Scott was born in Fargo, North Dakota, but he takes pills for it. Life in the Laugh Lane at www.lifeinthelaughlane.com, web www.kingcobrapress.com and Amazon.com Scott Jones

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Get Those Mammies Grammed By Kathy Koches


was reading the December issue of El Ojo del Lago, and saw a notice that free mammograms were being given in Chapala on a certain date. Since I had not had mine last spring while in the U.S. I decided to go and get one. On the appointed day I drove to Chapala and presented myself at the Centro de Salud. I was ushered in and told to wait. A doctor then came out, had me fill out a long form, and took me into a very small examination room. I knew there was no mammogram machine in there! She told me to disrobe and gave me a manual breast exam. When I asked about the mammogram machine she said I needed to go to the government building. I thought it an odd place to go for this, but maybe they had a mobile unit. When I arrived no one had any idea what I was talking about, even when I showed them a copy of the notice. Finally a policeman came over and pointed to a street across the main street and said to go to the school. Hmmm. OK. That street was one way (the wrong way) but I circled the block and found the school. There were kids playing outside and a metal gate across the entrance, which was locked. Finally a teacher saw me and I asked her about the mammograms, holding up the no-

tice. She took the notice from my hand and started to pin it to a bulletin board! “No, no, this is for me!” I told her. She then told me to go around the block to the other side of the school where there was an office. I found the little door, purely by luck, and there were several elderly ladies stringing paper flowers together for a fiesta. I finally conveyed that I was looking for the mammogram office and they pointed to a little doorway at the other end of the building. It was a large room, but there were only two desks with two young ladies, both on their phones. I approached the first one and she said, “Oh si, señora.” She then opened up a spiral notebook and wrote my name down on a date about a week away. Well, at least I now had an appointment, or so I thought. I was glad I didn’t give up. Three days later my landline rang, and it was someone who told me my appointment had been changed from the 5th to the 6th. Then about two hours after that, the phone rang again and someone told me my appointment was back on the 5th. After shaking my head at the whole thing I thought, OK, now it is set. Another hour went by and the phone rang again. This time a young lady who spoke perfect English (where was she when I needed her?) told me, “Sorry, but you are too old to get the mammogram.” and hung up! I just stood there with my mouth open, not believing it for a minute. Every single form at every single place I had been had my date of birth and age on it. So NOW they tell me I’m too old? Sigh. Well, since I’m old and retired I’m going to go get a Margarita and try to laugh at the whole thing! But ladies, DO go get your mammies grammed! Kathy Koches


El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

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The Forgotten School of Los Ayala By Sue Vangeel


ave you ever had a vision? An idea? The feeling deep down in your soul the universe has sent you a message? Canadian actor/artist Gail Simpson describes what happened to her as a “God download.” As she steered her car down the Vancouver freeway one fall day in 2021, the vision came to her. A vision to help the children. Situated in the little village of Los Ayala, Mexico, where Gail is a property owner with her partner, Patrick, the primary school for the children of Los Ayala sits on a side street. As Gail drove down the road in Vancouver that day,


the vision became stronger, telling her to use her abilities to help the children. Artwork, painting, something the children didn’t get to do. Through her artistic talent, she could help the children of Los Ayala. Little did she know that day what was to transpire. Over the next few weeks, Gail began to formulate a way for her vision to become a reality. Paint classes for the students, culminating in an art show and sale to raise money for school supplies. From her home in White Rock, Gail contacted Christina from the Angel Network to ask about connections in the Los Ayala community. During her

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trip to Mexico in November, Christina met with Cynthia and Arturo Miner who head the El Voluntariado and Cultural Volunteering committee in Los Ayala. A Zoom meeting was arranged for Gail to meet Cynthia and Arturo and talk about her vision. From there, Gail was directed to contact Harriet Tanaka, who has been a driving force to better the Los Ayala community. Out of the kindness of her heart, Harriet donated $500 to provide painting supplies for the students’ art classes. The first donation. When Gail arrived in Los Ayala in December, she met Cynthia and Arturo in person. Touring the school for the first time, Gail experienced a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. The school was in complete disrepair. Forgotten. The paint supplies were ordered, and after a few setbacks and time spent waiting for supplies, the classes were set to be held at the school February 22nd and 23rd, with the art show to be held in the town square February 24th. From there, the “school disrepair project” began to take on a life of its own. Renowned Artist Luis Bauti, a friend of Arturo’s, volunteered to paint murals on the school walls, but the walls needed to be repaired and painted before that could happen, and they had to be repaired quickly. Bauti would organize muralists if paints would be supplied and the school could be ready. Walls scraped, prepped, and painted. A huge undertaking. Beyond the walls of the school needing major repairs, the children needed new desks, the bathrooms the children were using were in unbelievable shape, with new bathrooms built, but not working. The teacher’s apartment, a filthy mess. Forgotten. Gail immediately reached out to friends and colleagues. As an actor and artist with connections to a large group of people who care, Gail began receiving donations. And as the donations came in, a small group of people began to work on the school walls. At the start, the core group of volunteers consisted of six people, growing to a core group of twelve, with Patrick, taking on the role as project manager. Mike, the construction expert. Val there to volunteer every morning without fail. Arturo and Cynthia, the Mexican lifeblood putting in exhausting hours on end. Gail continually posting on Facebook, “We need your help.” And as time went on, 50 or more people came to help. Some for an hour, some longer. People sharing the vision working side by side. Canadians volunteering during the hot daylight hours. The Mexican community working when they could, mostly volunteering in the cooler hours of the evening, many after working all day long. Parents of the students. Teachers. Students. From young people to grandparents. People working together, real-

izing language doesn’t matter when a project comes from the heart. Scraping and painting for hours on end. Camaraderie between volunteers, between countries. Nineteen days of hard work. Nineteen days of people working until they were exhausted. But from the hard work, the walls became ready for the artists. New desks were donated for the students. Paint classes for 120 excited students were successfully held, the art show and sale raising money to help with the project, a huge success. The teacher’s apartment was refurbished. A project that seemed impossible was made possible through the vision of an artist and people who care.

Twelve muralists worked their magic on the walls prepared by the volunteers, the walls of the school interior. Under the instruction of Luis Bauti, muralists Tania Jimenez, Aldo Saucedo, Javier A. Ordonez, Hermes Garcia, Jose Magana, Oscar Omar, Esmeralda Garcia, Nancy Flores, Floriberto Jimenez, Michelle Ortega, and Rogelio Hernandez Zamorano painted their hearts and souls onto the walls of the school of colors. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held March 12, 2022. During her speech that day Gail said, “If everybody in the world followed through on a vision, a God download, could you imagine what would be possible in this world?” The El Voluntariado Community and Cultural Volunteering committee held a celebration festival in the evening for all the volunteers and people of the town. It was a wonderful evening of dances and fireworks to introduce the Escuela De Colores, the School of Colors Creative Environments 2022. And the words of Arturo Miner “Two countries, one heart” speaks volumes. People involved in this project will never forget the work, the emotions, the friendships that evolved from a vision, to a project greater than anyone could have imagined.

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They Walk Among Us: Narcissists on the Loose By Rosann Balbontin


ou might associate the term narcissism with people who are selfabsorbed. In fact, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is a relatively new term. The narcissistic personality was first described by the psychoanalyst Robert Waelder, in 1925. The term narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) was coined by Heinz Kohutin, in 1968. NPD is characterized by “a life-long pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive craving for admiration, and a diminished ability to empathize with others’ feelings.” According to Wikipedia, narcissistic personality dis-


order is one of the eleven subtypes of the broader category known as personality disorders. The latest example of a public figure who suffers from an egregious case of NPD is Donald Trump. While Mr. Trump is an overt, lesser range (crude) narcissist, NPD encompasses many other subgroups. The largest subgroups are lesser range, midrange, and greater (ultra) range. Descriptions of each of these subgroups can be found readily on the internet. Another subcategory of NPD is overt/covert. Each of these subgroups is a danger to society at large, but covert narcissism is less

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easy to detect. Overt and covert narcissists do share many characteristics, perhaps the most insidious of these being pathological lying. Because people with NPD constantly crave attention from others, they often gravitate to groups of people. Covert narcissists are particularly drawn to philanthropic organizations, where they can associate with those who are caring and empathetic, qualities they do not have, but which they mimic and are labeled with by association. Think of the chameleon, who cloaks itself in whatever color that serves as its immediate background. I would posit that all of the male celebrities who have been outed and prosecuted as sexual predators (e.g., Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein) are narcissists. Though it might appear that these “vampires” are plagued by a sexual addiction, the main goal of those with NPD is control. This does not mean that presidents and directors of organizations are all narcissists, but some worm or buy their way into groups and positions of authority. It is all about self-aggrandizement. Although most narcissists are men, according to many clinicians, female narcissists do exist, and can be just as vicious as men, if not more so. I have encountered female narcissists in Ajijic. Ladies, have you ever met another woman for the first time and immediately sensed hostility? Female narcissists despise female empaths. Know that it is nothing you said or did. It is just the opposite with male narcissists, who are drawn to female empaths and target them. How these soul-sucking vampires become what they are is of little consequence, but the more one knows about narcissism, the more fortified one will be. Like with other personality disorders, clinicians and others in the field of psychology are split on their opinions of the origins of narcissism; some say nurture, some

nature, and others say a combination of the two. I tend to take a caseby-case stance. I am of the opinion that for some narcissists, there is a genetic component, while others revert to narcissism as a result of trauma (emotional, physical, or both) during early childhood, somewhere between the ages of three and five. The result is the same; the authentic self begins to retreat in favor of the false self, or façade, in an effort to cope with the pain. Narcissism is a survival technique of sorts. Unfortunately, the façade does not serve the narcissist well in the end. They are miserable much of the time, but will rarely let anyone see that unless they are playing the pity card in order to garner narcissistic fuel. Why am I writing about this particular topic? I have several reasons, one being the cathartic value of ordering my thoughts on the page; another is to educate. I would urge you, if you suspect you are being or have been assaulted by a narcissist, to explore the topic on YouTube. HG Tudor, a self-proclaimed greater/ ultra narcissist, is a prolific blogger, and Dr. Ramani is also very good. One good, short book is Prepare To Be Tortured: The Price You Will Pay for Dating a Narcissist, by A. B. Jamieson. Another good book, accessible to the layperson, is Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations, by Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D. In addition, Quora Digest has a section on narcissism. A third reason for writing this essay is that I recently disengaged with a narcissist. I want you to realize that Narcissists are no different from other predators. They are very good at flying under the radar- Witness other sexual predators, among the clergy and other “trusted” professions. They are seldom called to account. It is up to us to be vigilant wherever we live, wherever we go. For they walk among us.

Breath Your lithe form enchants as you move wistfully about me like slender diurnals your hands cast a mystic spell as your eyes close and reveal silken lashes your essence shatters barriers that bind my hidden soul - as your breath heals my wounds. Rob Mohr

Saw you in the Ojo 49

Refugees By Margaret Van Every All it took were two: the primordial man and woman were the first to be expelled. The soil, the orchard, the pile of leaves on which they dreamed, the beasts that they had named—the sum of the familiar they thought was theirs. A sword at the back corrected them. They did as countless refugees to come: no questions asked, they placed one foot before the other until they crossed a line. Pained witnesses of forced flight— whatever the flame that drives them out— we weep for the home land lost.

Deliverance By Margaret Van Every Foot and fist embossed on the belly, time came when the womb had had its fill of you, your punch and kick. The membrane that once swaddled you so sweetly, now a shrink-wrapped garment was, binding foot against face. Coiled homunculus ached to unfold like buds, leaves, and wings. But humans cannot uncoil with balletic grace like nature’s other tight new things. The solo journey to light, so smothering, crushing and hot, delivers the fetus by force and presages future travel to unknowable states of being.


El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

Smile And Say NO! By Judy Dykstra-Brown

We stifle our laughter and stifle our sighs. Flutter our palms to dry out our eyes. All of these feelings caught up inside, go back inside us to fester and hide. What if we simply allowed them to flow wherever emotions wanted to go? Let out our laughter whenever it wanted– in church or in meetings—released it undaunted. Wherever stupid men try to persuade, why not use laughter to try to dissuade? Use it instead of whip, grenades, rifle. Simply refuse to stuff down or stifle our true response to those situations where stupid men face us with their machinations for combat and sorties and bombings and war. What if we simply asked what is this for really and truly and laughed when they said it’s to save democracy? What if instead we faced up to their lies that further their aims at moving their toys around in their games. Their tin soldiers turned real and their weapons much bigger, their fingers are itching to get on the trigger. How loud the bang, boys? How many lives lost so all of you big boys can prove you are boss? It’s laughable, really—your struts and your strides, your uniforms stiff around empty insides. Your cronies sell armaments and hire out to run your war games. That’s what it’s about. You have your fun and your pockets are padded once all the kickbacks are sorted and added. Our founding fathers would pillory you if they could see what you’ve sunken to. And since nothing has worked—not writing or talking, marching or picketing, sitting-in, walking. Since petitions and phone calls have done not a thing to put our bald eagle back on the wing, why not pursue the sane thought we are after by pure sense of humor? By facing with laughter this ridiculous posturing new status quo and, then when we vote, firmly stating NO!!!!! Within the tribe, much of the censure and punishment in the Native American culture was done via joking and humor. It was a way to censure. Even their war methods included “counting coup” by touching the enemy and riding away in glory, having won points by bravely going into combat without a weapon and without taking out the enemy. This poem is of course hyperbole, but I do think that humor is certainly a weapon we already use. Would that more of our leaders would use it when meeting their illogical porkbarrel comrades face-to-face. No doubt it would lead to the reinstitution of duels, and they could shoot at each other instead of recruiting young men to play their war games for them.

Saw you in the Ojo 51

Abracadabra By Tom Nussbaum


don’t like magic. It freaks me out. Perhaps, it’s because magic is not easily explained and I am one who wants quick, simple answers to my questions. Or, perhaps, it is because I have been placed under a magic spell that prevents me from appreciating the black art. My aversion to magic probably began when, as a young child, a family friend would mysteriously pull quarters from my ears on his visits. It drove me crazy. I would retreat to my room, lie on my bed with my head hanging over the edge, and shake my head until something, hopefully another quarter, would


fall out. No coins ever fell from my ears. An earwig did, however. And a gross, yellowed wax covered Q-tip. And the missing piece from my Mr. Potato Head set, which was, ironically, an ear. And, most mysteriously, a lottery ticket from Ancient Rome with the numbers III, VII, XIX, XXIV, XXV, and XXXIX on it. I don’t know if they were winning numbers, but I suspect I missed the claim deadline. As the years passed, I would watch famed magicians perform on television and stare with confusion, frustration, and anger. “Dad, how’d he do that?” I would plead on the verge of crying, as a magician would pull a rabbit out of a cracked-open

El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

egg and then reach down the rabbit’s throat and pull out another magician. Dad didn’t answer, so I would turn to find him staring in wonder, mesmerized by the devil-work being performed on Ed Sullivan’s stage. Years later, I asked my mother how she had met my father. Imagine my surprise when she told me it was at a magic show. They apparently had been seated with a large group of people, many of whom did not know each other. While Mom and Dad were not introduced until after the performance, she studied him through the whole show, fascinated by how intently he watched. Mom decided that night she was going to marry Dad. And she then put her spell on him. It was then I realized that, perhaps, I hated magic because I resented sorcery for introducing my parents. My mother, as anyone who knows me knows, was a difficult woman who had a powerful crippling effect on my sister and myself. Now, one might ask, how could I have subconsciously resented magic for its role in my parents’ meeting if I didn’t know about its role until years after I had developed the dislike? Well, the reason is simple. It must have been magic! I have made a point to avoid magic acts on TV or in the real world my entire life. I do not watch specials on TV featuring the day’s most famous, most prominent magicians. I have no interest in going to Las Vegas to see Criss Angel, David Copperfield, or David Blaine confound audiences. And I surely never watch Fox News, where misinformation magically becomes reality and lies become truths. I do not watch magic-themed films. I can’t. I have never seen the 1953 bio-pic Houdini. Likewise, I never saw the 1978 Anthony Hopkins film Magic or the more recent movies Now You See It or The Incred-

ible Burt Wonderstone. My screaming at the screen certainly would ruin the experience for the other theater-goers. But, what’s worse, my tears would ruin my popcorn. Oh, you say, it is the twenty-first century and I can watch films in the privacy of my home. Yes. I could. But my gasping and shrieking would irritate my roommates, Penn and Teller. I even break out in a cold sweat when I hear songs with the word “magic” in their title, classics like “That Old Black Magic” and “Black Magic Woman.” I have suffered nausea when listening to “This Magic Moment,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Puff the Magic Dragon,” and “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.” But my most severe reaction occurs when I hear the hit song from the film Xanadu, “Magic.” I find myself immediately doubled-over, hurling into the Olivia Newton-John. On the other hand, I do not respond violently when I hear “Magical Mystery Tour.” The reason should be obvious. There should be no mystery about it. The song and album were, after all, by The Beatles. And their music is pure magic. And I do not hate my magicJack telephone line. It is my connection to the U.S. It is what I use to call family and friends back home. I use it to make business and 1-800 calls. But most importantly, I use it to vote for the acts on America’s Got Talent who are not magicians. But, as much as I hate magic, I fervently wish a magic spell could be found to eliminate the partisanship in U.S. politics, the unforgiveable waste and hypocrisy in U.S. government, and the looming downfall of democracy as we know it. If that were to happen, I might look at magic differently. Tom Nussbaum

Inside The Crystal Dome By Monty McDannald Mcdannaldproperties@yahoo.com


he air was musty and stale and breathing was difficult. There were several other kids also under the dome. I had spent a few minutes down there splashing around, spitting water at the other kids and having a grand time. I looked up through the top of the plastic dome and could see people swimming on the surface above and the blue sky and clouds above that. The dome had been secured at the bottom of the deep end of the Crystal Pool in Houston. Oxygen was pumped into the dome through a rubber hose creating an air pocket that allowed us to breathe underwater. It was a thrilling experience for a boy of eight years in 1952. I swam out from under the dome to return to the surface for some fresh air. A line of kids was waiting their turn to go down. The experience was a little scary, but I got back in line to go again. We spent hours doing this over and over. Dangerous, you ask? Sure, but this was before people worried about things like liability issues. I don’t think my parents knew what I was doing at the pool or they might have objected. My friends and I spent many days there during the summer months. Unfortunately, there was an especially virulent and mysterious disease that occurred mostly in the summer months. No one knew what caused the disease or how it was transmitted. There was no cure at that time. I remember the devastation and horror rendered by this disease on those that were unlucky enough to be stricken. Children were especially susceptible. Many were left with paralyzed limbs or other physical deformities like shrunken arms and legs. I saw a newspaper article showing chilling pictures of a facility on Montrose Boulevard that had breathing machines called Iron Lungs for those not able to breathe on their own due to damaged lungs. Also, some

people who got the disease and recovered had a recurrence in later life. This disease had a name: polio. All parents were worried about their children at that time. Since there were no other remedies available, my parents and other parents figured that getting plenty of rest was essential in fighting off the disease. Therefore, my parents required me to take a one-hour nap every day. I hated that. A little later that summer, authorities closed all of the public pools in Houston, as they had decided that the disease was transmitted in swimming pools. That ended this fun feature of my summer activities until 1955 when Dr. Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine that eradicated the threat of polio. Dr. Salk’s vaccine was replaced by a more effective oral one in 1962 developed by Dr. Albert Sabin. Lately, I’ve read about anti-vaxxers who didn’t believe in vaccinations for various reasons and are refusing to vaccinate their children for polio and other diseases. Polio, as well as other diseases are beginning to make a comeback in the world which is a real threat to everyone. If today’s anti-vaxxers had lived through the polio epidemic and seen what horrors it caused, I doubt that they would feel like they do.

Saw you in the Ojo 53

Planning a Mexican Memorial During Covid By Donna Mansfield


had a very unusual grief reaction to my husband Chuck’s death in January 2021. I lost my memory. Couldn’t remember my pin number for my cell phone, my daughter’s name, to pay the mortgages or credit card bills or how to solve any problems. My mind was a blank. It was terrifying. My son and daughter, seeing that I couldn’t take care of myself put me in Casa Nostra, an assisted living facility for a month. There, I could be alone and cry, be fed three meals a day, have visitors if I chose, be given medicines and helped to take a shower. People


were kind. Slowly, I began to recover my brain power. I had the added benefit of working with the staff chiropractor to release the grief that was causing body pain. The sound of pain is not silence and I was encouraged to cry and scream. That works and thankfully the chiropractor could tolerate the noise. So it was that time passed and we hadn’t planned or carried out the memorial service. My husband had been in Alcoholics Anonymous for 48 years so we had a small gathering at the Legion in order for his AA friends to fill Chuck’s oldest daughter in on our 21

El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

years in Mexico, as well as the process of his recovery journey. But that wasn’t the official Celebration of Life that would include family and friends from places where we had lived in the US. So, we planned the formal occasion to coincide with his birthday. During her last visit when he was alive, this daughter, Hope, had asked her father what he wanted included in the ceremony. He told her the songs, the poetry and that he wanted the first chapter read of Robert Rourke’s The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older. One might think these questions would be hard to ask but Chuck had had a debilitating illness for 12 years, a heart attack and stroke and lately had started having TIAs. He had lost his ability to walk and was in pretty much constant pain. It was time. Jokingly he asked for a five-day funeral having heard of fiveday weddings held in India. Since Hope works at the Apple home office, she volunteered to create the video of Chuck’s life. She solicited friends and relatives for photos to include, and they poured in. A local friend set up the Zoom meeting and collected emails of the folks who wanted to attend. Chuck’s other daughter was selected to read the poem he chose and his son played

Happy Birthday and Moon River on the saxophone. I read the eulogy that I wrote which consisted of short clips about our 45 years together. And Hope played the loving video she compiled that documented a life well lived. Next the people who had gathered from around the world to participate had their chance to share: first the family and then friends. I am including the YouTube link for the video because I want everyone to see what is possible and how it becomes a treasure that can be viewed over and over. I have seen it many times and every time I do, he comes alive again. https://sites.google.com/view/ chuckgiles/charles-e-giles Much of the resulting celebration was serendipitous but easy to replicate. We did it because of Covid but it is a common-sense approach for Mexico memorials and Lakeside in particular. Not everyone can afford to fly in for funerals; waiting a few months to conduct the ceremony is considerate for everyone involved and allows the family to emerge from shock and deep grief to remember every detail they want to include. We have the support staff locally to make this kind of thing happen. I don’t think there is any book of etiquette on how memorials are to be done, or in what time frame. It is important to talk to the potential dying to ask how they want to be remembered, to begin to think of the things you want to have highlighted about your life together and how you want to participate. Even though we had months to prepare we still forgot many people. It has been wonderful for me to be able to give the link to Chuck’s memorial, months after his death and have people get back to me with compliments of how accurate it was in describing him and how comforting to be able to participate, even so long after his death and the memorial.

Courage By Sydney Gay googlesydney@yahoo.com


he most loving exciting teachers in my seventynine years of life have been musicians who faced danger, loss and sorrow without losing faith in God. For example, the Denver Symphony Orchestra invited friends and families of the fifteen students murdered in 1999 at Columbine to the Nazarene Church for a memorial concert. I arrived early and watched families frozen with fear take their seats. Instead of playing traditional church hymns the orchestra began with Bach’s Fugue in D Minor, then Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony followed by Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C sharp minor which he wrote at the age of nineteen. After that a finale which stunned. As conductor, Jerry Nelson, raised his baton, a huge video screen lit up with a scene from the 1997 movie Titanic; his orchestra played My Heart will Go On as Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio stood on the bow of the ship with their arms opened to all the mystery of love and life. The lyrics were well known, “Every night in my dreams I see you, I feel you. That is how I know you go on. far across the distance and space between us... wherever you are I believe the heart does go on.” The gorgeous depth of this music entrenched so firmly into the consciousness of every person in the room that I could feel grief being released in a way that was absolutely divine. After this a new opportunity came to meet courageous people. I flew to Port-au-Prince Haiti, a French speaking jungle island where Nazarene volunteers are invited to build schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Haiti is the only country in the world with a government dedicated to the voodoo religion. Marie Laveau, the Queen of Voodoo, was born in New Orleans. Voodoo didn’t scare me.

New Orleans is where I was born. The next day we went to a children’s concert in Port-au-Prince. Volunteers from the Boston Symphony Orchestra taught ten-to fourteen-year-old kids how to play Bach, Beethoven and Mozart Every piece was performed with enthusiastic perfection. One year later they were invited to debut in Carnegie Hall, every seat sold within a week. Courage, faith, fearless generosity made all of it possible. Ajijic: Twenty-two years ago music composer Victor Manuel Medeles began CREM, a Lakeside children’s choir with orchestral training. Until the pandemic, CREM had sixty students, instructors and tutors, orchestra, choir, chamber group and ensemble training with generous support from the English-speaking community. Although this support seems to have faded away, children performing classical music brings joy to the entire Lakeside community; discipline, courage and faith stays alive when families are struggling to survive. Professional guidance is needed to allow the children’s orchestra to continue. Sydney Gay

Saw you in the Ojo 55

The Ojo Crossword

Morning Meditation By Bill Fryer

Sliding silently into the murky pond my wooden paddle breaks the glass pushing ripples, gurgling softly, surging the kayak towards the cabin on the point nestled among the pointed firs emerging from the morning mist.



1 4 8 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 23 24 27 31 33 35 36 38 39 40 44 46 47 49 50

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 21 25 26 28 29 30 32 34 37 39 40 41 42 43 45 48 53 54 56 57 59 60 62 64 66 67 68 69 70

51 52 55 58 61 63 65 67 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77

Madagascar franc (abbr.) Prank Real Tell a tall tale Old Bites Some Clothing decoration Dwelt on subject tiresomely Like an island Time period Legal claim to property Greenish-blue color Lash of a whip Writer Bombeck Cash with order (abr.) Ocean Lager Compass point Scratch In flight Nausea Original colony state (2 wds.) Reserve Skirt edge Clean a spot Communication Workers of America (abr.) Only Reserve Officers Training Corps. Brazilian dance Upon Rampage Be Figures of speech Placed in chair Sponsorship Luau dish Making higher Allot Lodge Margarine brand __ Minor (Little Dipper) Irritate


Thresh Mickey’s wife Old Faithful, for example Matte Abraham’s son Condemn Lyric poem Pain Map Jewish scripture Official Monkey Drug Reveal American Cancer Society (abbr.) Northwest by north National capital Not far Ogle Boxer Muhammad Overdue Resound Part human part machine The alphabet State Rove Beano Battle of nations Males Men’s jewelry Ring around the sun Dye with wax Stadium Big cat Leaves out Fastening Jumpy At sea Eat Government agency Spr.. month Flightless bird

El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

Past a lonely, weathered dock waiting patiently on crooked greasy green slime-covered legs, shadows of fish, lurking furtively as the far-away loon hoots, as a hazy sun peeks with anticipation over the blackened hulk of the mountain. I feel my stomach growl. Smells like fresh-cut grass as I push through the lily pads. I’m startled as a great heron descends gliding to his perch on a half-submerged dried needleless spruce sapling to resume his silent, wary vigil. My reel whirs, worm and bobber plop near a lone turtle sitting silently on an algae-coated rock. A dragonfly alights on the end of my pole joining our community of morning lake life we share at this moment. I think of the fish slithering beneath our loud silence.

Saw you in the Ojo 57


- EL OJO DEL LAGO Tel. 376 765-3676


* ANIMAL CLINICS/PET SHOP - LAKESIDE FRIENDS OF THE ANIMALS AC Pag: 15 Tel: 376 765-5544 - MASKOTA’S LAKE Pag: 38 Tel: 376 766-0287, 33-3448-2507 - PET PLACE Pag: 20

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* BAKERY - COLIBRI GARDEN Tel: 376-765-4412, Cell: 333-156-9382 - EVA ANTUNEZ Tel: 331-604-8309 - LA VIE EN ROSE Tel: 376 688-4538, 376 766-3399

- LONAS MEXICO Tel: 376 766-0045, Cell: 33-3956-4852

- LOWELL STEPHEN BIRCH, D.C. Cell: 331-319-1799


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- STEREN Tels. 376 766-0599, 376 766-0630

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- COSTALEGRE Tel: 376 108-1087, 33-1173-6144

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- FUMIGA Tel: 376 688-2826, Cell: 331-464-6705

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* COMPUTERS - LAKESIDE - CompuShop + Repair Tel: 33-2340-7501

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- AUTOMATIC GARAGE DOOR OPENERS Tel: 376 766-4973, Cell: 332-213-8933 Pag: 55

* GARDENING - GARDEN CENTER Tel: 376 765-5973 - RAINFOREST Cell: 331-241-9773

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- COMFORT SOLUTIONS Tel: 33-1228-5377 Pag: 37 - GENERAL HOME SERVICES - Amancio Ramos Jr. Cell: 331-520-3054 Pag: 53 - MARBLE & GRANITE Tel: 376 766-1306 Pag: 49 - PIETRA FINA Tel: 333-105-0996 Pag: 43 - SERVICIOS AGUILAR Tel: 333-393-4991, 333-021-0753 Pag: 34 - SIKA Tel: 376 766-5959 Pag: 46

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* HEARING AIDS - M.D. CARLOS ALONSO FLORES VALDOVINOS Pag: 09 Tel: 376 766-5126, 376 766-4435 - OTOFON Pag: 41 Tel: 387-688-0518



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- L&D CENTER Tel: 376 766-1064

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- CENTRO LAGUNA Tel: 376 766-5514

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- FERRETERIA Y TLAPALERIA GALVEZ Pag: 62 Tel: 376 766-0880, 387 763-0341

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- FELIPE GONZÁLEZ-Atorney at law Tel: 376 688-4563, (33) 3632-4689 - SOLBES & SOLBES Cell: 331-520-5529, Cell: 333-676-6245



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- ISHOPNMAIL Tel: 376 766-1933

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- TRANSITIONAL DIRECTIONS - Life Coaching Tel: +52 331-435-7080 Pag: 23

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* CLEANING SERVICES - AXIXIC SPRING CLEAN Tel: 33-1075-7768, 376 766-5140 - PROFESSIONAL WINDOW WASHING Tel: 376 765-4507 - STEAM CLEAN Tel: 33-2385-0410

- AJIJIC DENTAL Tel: 376 766-3682, Cell: 33-1411-6622 Pag: 11 - DRA. ANGELICA ALDANA LEMA DDS Tel: 376 765-5364, Cell: 331-351-7797 Pag: 20 - MOJO DENTAL - Dra. Cristina Barreto Tel: 376 688-2731 Pag: 37

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* CHURCH - THE CHURCH OF CHRIST Tel: +1 979-324-0622

EMERGENCY HOTLINE 911 CRUZ ROJA 376 765-2308, 376 765-2553 FIRE DEPARTMENT 376 766-3615 POLICE Ajijic 376 766-1760 Chapala 376 765-4444 La Floresta 376 766-5555

- ARTESANIAS TLAXCO Cell: 33-1097-7661


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* BEER & LIQUOR STORES - BETO’S WINE & LIQUOR Cell: 333-507-3024

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* BED & BREAKFAST - CASA TRES LEONES Cell: 331-350-6764

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- WARWICK CONSTRUCTION Tel: 376-108-8754, Cell: 33-1135-0763

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* BEAUTY - CHRISTINE’S Tel: 376 106-0864, 376 766-6140 - GLORIOSA Tel: 376 766-3372 - HILDA WORLWIDE Tel: 33 1717-2784 - NEW LOOK STUDIO Tel: 376 766-6000, 33-3950-9990

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* BANK INVESTMENT - INTERCAM Tel: 376 766-5978, 376 766-4055 - MULTIVA Tel: 376 766-2499

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* ART GALLERIES/HANDCRAFTS - DIANE PEARL COLECCIONES Tel: 376 766-5683 - GALERIA ALFREDO Tel: 376 766-2980 - KIMBALL & URZUA GALLERY Tel: 33-1539-6247 - LA BELLA VIDA Tel: 376 766-5131


- LA BELLA VIDA Tel: 376 766-5131 - MANOS DE AJIJIC Tel: 376 766-5640 - MI MEXICO Tel: 376 766-0133 - MIA’S BOUTIQUE Tel: 376-766-5706 - SO CHIC BOUTIQUE Tel: 331-762-7838





- ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Tel: 333-383-6598, 33-1198-6653


- SOL Y LUNA Tel: 376 109-1595, Cell: 33-3232-6888

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* INSURANCE - HECHT INSURANCE Tel: 376 109-1694 Pag: 42 - LAKESIDE INSURANCE - EDGAR CEDEÑO Cell: 33-3106-6982 Pag: 14 - PARKER INSURANCE SERVICES Tel: 376 765-5287, 376 765-4070 Pag: 09 - PROTEXPLAN U.S. Toll Free 1-800-608-5743 Mexico Toll Free 01-800-681-6730 Pag: 12 - TIOCORP Tel: 376 766-4828, 376 766-3978 Pag: 18

- ALTA RETINA Tel: 376 688-1343, 376 688-1122 Pag: 31 - BESTLAB Tel: 376 688-1174, 331-042-1411 Pag: 20 - DERMIKA Tel: 376 766-2500 Pag: 13 - DR. BEN - CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON Cell: 333-105-0402 Pag: 15 - DR. GABRIEL HERNANDEZ NUÑO - Plastic Surgery Tel: 376 766-5513, 333-813-3081 Pag: 39 - DRA. CLAUDIA LILIA CAMACHO CHOZAOphthalmologist Tel: 33-3403-3857 Pag: 23 - HOSPITAL SAN ANTONIO Tel: 376-689-0911 Pag: 25 - LAKESIDE MEDICAL GROUP Tel: 376 766-0395 Pag: 33 - PLASTICA LIFT Tel: 376 108-0595, 376 688-1820 Pag: 47 - RIBERA MEDICAL CENTER Tel: 376 765-8200 Pag: 27 - SCLEROTHERAPY-Dra. Patricia Estela Jimenez del Toro Cell: 333-808-2833 Pag: 44 - SKYMED Cell: 333-661-3402 Pag: 13 - UNITED AMBULANCE SERVICES Tel: 376 688-3315 Pag: 29

* MOVERS - BEST MEXICO MOVERS US/CANADA: (915) 235-1951 US Cell: (520) 940-0481 - LAKE CHAPALA MOVING Tel: 376 766-5008

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* MUSIC / THEATRE / EVENTS - ASOCIACION PROMEXICO Tel: 332-204-1011 Pag: 51 - EARTH DAY FESTIVAL - Conexión Ambiental Tel: 331-354-1550 Pag: 34 - INHABITING LA MICHI-CIHUALLI - La Cochera Cultural Pag: 49 - TEQUILA TASTING TOUR Tel: 33 3407 8193 Pag: 11




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* PAINT - QUIROZ-Impermeabilizantes Tel: 376 766-2311 - QUIROZ-Pinturas Tel: 376 766-2311

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* PHARMACIES - FARMACIA EXPRESS II Tel: 376 766-0656 - FARMACIA MASKARAS Tel: 376 766-3539

- AJIJIC TANGO Tel: 376 766-2458, 331-162-1299 - GO BISTRO Cell: 33-3502-6555 - HUERTO CAFE Cell: 376 108-0843 - LA PACEÑA Tel: 33-3743-1631, 33-3800-6263 - MANIX Tel: 376 766-0061, 331-065-0725 - MOM’S DELI & RESTAURANT Tel: 376 765-5719 - SNACK SHACK Tel: 33-2930-9468 - SOL Y LUNA Tel: 376 109-1595, Cell: 33-1723-9678 - YVES Tel: 376 766-3565

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- CASA ANASTASIA - Care Home Tel: 376 765-5680 Pag: 28 - CASA NOSTRA-Nursing Home Tel: 376 765-3824, 376765-4187 Pag: 03 - NURSING HOME LAKE CHAPALA S.C. Tel: 33-3470-3470 Pag: 19

* REAL ESTATE - AJIJIC HOME INSPECTIONS Tel: 33-3904-9573 Pag: 06 - AJIJIC REAL ESTATE Tel: 37 6766-2077 Pag: 17 - AZABACHE HABITAT Tel: 333-405-0089 Pag: 25 - BAUERHOUSE PROPERTIES Tel: 33-2164-5301 Pag: 07, 19 - BETTINA BERING Cell. 33-1210-7723 Pag: 21 - BEV COFELL Cell: 33-1193-1673 Pag: 44 - CIELOVISTA Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - COLDWELL BANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 376 765-3676, 376 765-2877 Fax: 765-3528 Tel: 376 766-1152, 376 766-3369 Pag: 64 - CUMBRES Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - EAGER REALTY Tel: 333-137-8447 Pag: 16 - ERIKA ALAMOS Tel: 331-892-7208 Pag: 49 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: +1 720-984-2721, +52 33-1395-9062 Pag: 48 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 612-140-4935 Pag: 38 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: (503) 970-8839, 332-338-6012 Pag: 50 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 331-362-1552, 333-956-7572 Pag: 55 - FOR SALE PLAZA LA MONTAÑA Tel: 376-766-5513 Pag: 30 - HAL FORSYTH Tel: 376 766-4530, Cell: 331-407-1917 Pag: 39 - KALE Tel: 33-1906-7273 Pag: 35 - LAKE CHAPALA REAL ESTATE Tel: 376 766-4530/40 Pag: 63 - RAUL GONZALEZ Cell: 33-1437-0925 Pag: 03, 45 - SANTANA RENTALS AND REAL ESTATE Tel: 315-351-5167, 315-108-3425 Pag: 51 - VISTA ALEGRE Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05

* SATELLITES/ T.V. - AJIJIC ELECTRONICS S.A. DE C.V. Tel: 376 766-1117, 376 766-3371 - SHAW SATELLITE SERVICES Tel: 33-1402-4223

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* SPA / MASSAGE - GANESHA SPA Tel: 376 766-5653, 331 385-9839 - RESPIRO Tel: 333-157-7790 - SOL Y LUNA Tel: 376 109-1595, Cell: 33-1723-9678 - SPA GRAND Tels: 387 761-0303, 387 761-0202 - TOTAL BODY CARE Tel: 376 766-3379

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* SOLAR ENERGY - TERMIA Tel: 387-688-0518

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* STAINED GLASS - AIMAR Cell: 33-1741-3515

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* TAXI / TRANSPORTATION - ARTURO FERNANDEZ - TAXI Cell: 333-954-3813 - OMAR MEDINA Cell: 33-1281-2818

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* TREE SERVICE * RENTALS/PROPERTY MANAGEMENT - COLDWELLBANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 376 766-1152 Pag: 52 - FOR RENT Cell: 333-667-6554 Pag: 53 - FOR RENT Tel: 331-698-3405 Pag: 55 - ROMA Tel: 33-1075-7768 Pag: 47 - SANTANA RENTALS AND REAL ESTATE Tel: 315-351-5167, 315-108-3425 Pag: 51 - VILLAS DEL SOL Tel: 376 766-1152 Pag: 50

- CHAPALA TREE SERVICE Tel: 376 762-0602, Cell: 33-1411-0242

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* TOURS - CHARTER CLUB TOURS Tel: 376-766-1777

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* WATER - TECNO AQUA Tel: 376 766-3731, 376 688-1038 - TERMIA Tel: 387-688-0518

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FOR SALE: Car must go to Canada, cannot stay in Mexico! 2004 Toyota Yaris, Red, 71,000 Km, Exc. Condition, $43,000 pesos. 333-676-1715 (call twice) dlorene123@icloud.com FOR SALE: Nissan Versa 2014, 4 Cyl, Auto-Air-Cond, 4 dour low mil- 69986, radio, C.D Player, need to used till April 15 2022?? $315,000 pesos, Cell. 33 1450 2994. Email: melcusson@hotmail.com. WANTED: Looking for an affordable suv, 4 cil, Less than 120,000 mx pesos solangelous@live.com FOR SALE: 2004 Nissan Sentra, 65,000 original miles, professionally maintained with all fluid levels and filters changed recently, new battery, alloy wheels, leather interior, automatic, 4 cylinder, air (needs charge), dependable, $3,200 USA. charlesgreth@aol.com. FOR SALE: Toyota FJ Cruiser Mexican Plated - Guadalajara Dealershop Invoice. Year: 2009. MIleage: 87,000 miles. Transmision: Automatic. Traction: 2 WD, AWD and 4 x 4 with assisted modes. Price: $315,000.00 pesos. Excellent Condition. Cell: 33-1424-1667. Email: pcabralk@gmail.com FOR SALE: Mercedes Benz E350 2008. Nice low kilometer (84K) luxury sedan. Below Mx dealer book value only 14,000 pesos. Email Manitou07@gmail.com for a sales sheet. WANTED: Low mileage, full records, Mexican plated SUV. Nissan / Toyota / Renault / Honda / Mazda. Email: crjd01@gmail.com or P.M.

FOR SALE: Selling our Internet routers. TP LINK, and UBIQUITI routers. My Internet tech knowledge is next to nothing, so I’m refer you to Luis at Lakeside Computer Repair and Service in Riberas next door to Panchos Deli. You can see them in person at his shop. Two routers are brand new in the box. The third router is slightly used. Why are we selling these? Because I bought the wrong devices for our new house. FOR SALE: Selling practically new Nintendo Switch. Son used a few times but is more interested in computers. Includes “remotes” for two players. Purchased $8,777 on sale. Sell for $5,500. Send P.M. FREE: I have about 7-8 ink cartridges for an Epson XP 830. Free. Bought a new printer so these are a giveaway. Private Message. FOR SALE: EPSON PRINTER XP 211 214, works but needs ink. I have the empty cartrages to refill, 600 pesos. Call 376 766-1095. Will also through in some paper. FOR SALE: Karaoke USB 3TB Hard Drive. Over 250,00 karaoke songs on a WD My Passport Ultra 3TB external hard drive (with carrying case for hard drive). All styles of karaoke songs on many different labels in CDG+MP3 format. 5,500 pesos. Call 376-766-4389 WANTED: Does anyone know where I can buy photoshop software on CD for Mac/Apple? Must be on disc (CD, DVD) not a subscription. Send PM.

FOR SALE: Wrought Iron marble top coffee table, end table, and lamps. 1 Marble Coffee Table 36”W X 51”L X 18”H TOP 3/4” THICK. 2 Marble end Tables 23” x 23” SQUARE 22”H TOPS 3/4” THICK. 2 Lamps16”H X 11” DIAMETER (No Lamp Shades). All Three Items for $12,500.00 MM. Call Richard at 33 2264 8972. FOR SALE: Resmed Auto CPAP humidifier model. It has pressure ramp programmable 4psi to 20 psi. Masks included are the Circadiance Sleepweaver Advance Medium cloth mask and the Phillips Respironics Medium mask. Additional new nosepiece for the Phillips Respironics mask included. FOR SALE: Shaw 830 receiver, 5,000 pesos. Send PM. FOR SALE: Schwinn electric bike, gently used for 3 months. Lock and basket included. Best offer. 333-3544711 FOR SALE: 2 Shaw remotes. Will work with 600 or 800 series receivers. 300 pesos EACH or 2 for 500 376-7664032 WANTED: Oxygen Concentrator, for local long, time resident “Gravy Graves” Contact: 33 1254 6588. FOR SALE: Brand New Stainless Kitchen Sink. Under counter model. 19” wide x 21”length. Approx. 12” deep. Perfect for large pots. We bought it from Tio Sam for our kitchen but it doesn’t fit. It’s insulated, high quality, Eclipse brand. Bought $2733 MXN. Sell $825 MXN. We have original receipt. See photos for size details. OK to send me a PM. FOR SALE: Left Hand Golf Clubs. Cygnet Edition, Driver, 3 Woods, 5 Irons, 2 Wedges & Putter. Pull Cart Included. $1,800 pesos. Not steel shafts. Call Ann 332 802 5135 or Joe 331 843 8913 in San Antonio Tlay. FREE: I have a good number of Grolsch bottles with bail and ceramic stoppers with good rubbers for some beer maker. PM me. The bottles need to go soon; it’d be a pity to have to throw them away. FOR SALE: I have a Shaw Receiver Model HDDSR 600 Digital Satellite for sale. Asking $2000. Pesos for it. Call 331-767-7708. FOR SALE: Truper 1440 electric blower, used 1 season, 2 speed, no accessories, 1000 peso’s, works perfect. 331 763 5597. FOR SALE: Various Household Item. All items are super clean, in excellent/ working condition, and from a smoke-free/pet-free environment. Great prices (prices are firm). BRAND NEW Selle Italia bicycle seat. Never used. $400, Lot of 8 (eight) press-nstick & pocket page photo albums. All in great pre-owned condition. $400/ all, Authentic Tupperware Small Pitcher. Great for ice tea or juice. Perfect con-

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El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

dition! $100, Set of 3 (three) brushed steel candle holders with (unused) candles. Elegant, modern décor. May be arranged on your table in various patterns. $300/set, Box of GE (General Electric) assorted cable ties. Nearly 1,000 pieces. $200, BRAND NEW Nikon camera lens soft case. Protect your camera equipment. Cinch closure. Clean! $200, BRAND NEW & SEALED Relaxing Classic FM 4-CD music set. Five hours of some of the most chill classical music to help you relax. Nice gift too. $100, Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne sugar bowl with lid and stainless steel Henckels scallop spoon. Both in perfect condition. $100/set, Large laundry basket. Super clean! $100, Giro brand bicycle helmet. Loved, used, taped up, but still very usable bike riding protection. $100, Cobra Tools 3 Ft. Home toilet auger (for clearing clogged toilets) $100, New sealed box of 7 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges - impossible to find in Mexico (brought from U.S.) - truly miracle cleaning sponges. $140. Also for sale: men’s clothes and accessories, women’s clothes and accessories, jewelry, books, and other household items. Come see everything in San Antonio – across the street from Super Lake (in lower Chulavista). Pics available. Please call between 8am 8pm to 332 921 6096 with any questions or set up a time to come over. FOR SALE: Heavy Duty Moving Cart, extra heavy Duty Wheels. Asking 600 Pesos. Call 376-766-4971. FOR SALE: OREK PORTABLE VAC, Great for cleaning furniture, drapes and cobwebs. Comes with wand, attachments and several bags, 800 pesos. Call 376 766-1095. FOR SALE: Lululemon & Designer Jeans Sizes 2 – 10. All are super clean, in excellent condition, freshly laundered, and from a smoke-free/petfree environment. Great prices (prices are firm). Lululemon Speed Short 4-way stretch shorts. Size 10. Black & white abstract. Like new condition! Super rare! $600, Lululemon Tracker shorts. Size 6. Black, green, blue abstract. Like-new condition! $500, Lululemon Speed Short 4-way stretch shorts. Size 2. Black & white abstract. Like new condition! Super rare! $600, Lululemon Cardio Kick tank top. Size 4. Black and two shades of yellow. $400, Lululemon Power Y tank top. Size 8. Like-new condition! $500, Lululemon In The Flow crop pants. Size 6 or 8 (not tagged). Dark grayish blue. Rushed sides. Fabulous looking! Basically BRAND NEW! $500, Lululemon Define jacket. Size 6. Black color. #1 Best Seller! $700, Miss Me Mid-Rise Easy Boot Cut denim jeans. Size 26 (waist measures 28”/inseam measures 33”). Dark wash. Great jeans for tall/slim figure. Perfect condition! $500, Citizens Of Humanity Kelly Low

Waist Bootcut denim jeans. Size 30 (waist measures 32”/inseam measures 31”). Excellent condition! $300. Other women’s clothes and accessories, men’s clothes and accessories, books, household items. Come see everything in San Antonio – across the street from Super Lake (lower Chulavista). Please CALL or text 332 921 6096 between 8am-8pm (calls preferred). WANTED: I am in need of an Air Bike: Schwinn or Rogue Echo or any similar. Send PM. FOR SALE: Queen bedspread 900 pesos. Matching drapes 2 panels 35 inches wide x 95 inches long. 900 pesos. 376-766-4032. FOR SALE: Vintage Mexican Pottery Collection 1930’s - 1960’s. 80 pieces US $2,000. Eva Fox Email: ch4001eva@yahoo.com FOR SALE: Moved into a smaller house and bought a smaller sofa. This one was made for us in Monterey 3 1/2 years ago at a cost of $23500 pesos. Selling for $10000 pesos. More info, call Rick at 3314423930. FOR SALE: Used 6-disc CD player. 885 Pesos. valeriekpearce@gmail.com FOR SALE: Two car top carriers at

half of their original price. Asking 3,500 pesos for each. Tel:(376)766-3424. FOR SALE: Over 250,00 karaoke songs on a WD My Passport Ultra 3TB external hard drive (with carrying case for hard drive). All styles of karaoke songs on many different labels in CDG+MP3 format. 5,000 pesos. Call 376-766-4389 FOR SALE: Off-Line Chlorinator preowned $1000 mn. Product Description Efficient and maintenance-free, these durable, corrosion-proof automatic chlorinators are ideal for new or existing pools or spas and work automatically with your pump and filter system. FOR SALE: BRAND NEW Tribest Greenstar Elite Commercial Grade Juicer / Juice Extractor. Tribest Greenstar Elite GSE-5000 Commercial Grade Jumbo Twin Gear Juice Extractor / juicer. Bio-ceramic Magnetic Twin Gears produce the freshest, highest quality juices possible from any cold press juicer by preserving living enzymes and vitamins and preventing nutrient degradation for a longer shelf-life. This complete masticating slow juicer has the highest user ratings in the industry!! You can also use this machine to make

nut butters, sorbet, sauces, and pate. Perfect for home or small business use! BRAND NEW IN BOX with all the attachments. Great savings - $14,217 on Amazon; selling it for $9,000 pesos (price is FIRM/Non-Negotiable). More pictures available. Please CALL or text 332 921 6096 between 8am-8pm (calls preferred) FOR SALE: Kitchen Aide Gas Cooktop. 5 burners, looks like new, no scratches or dents, 5 years old. Works great just traded for an electric one. 5 burners. Asking 25,000 Pesos. OBO Contact Arlene at 3767665545 FOR SALE: RYOBI 13” ELECTRIC MOVER. 11 omps-13” Height adjustment 1”- 2 1/2” Mulching Height 23 Lbs. Petr Cell: 331 752 6095 FOR SALE: 9-Kokopelli Leather padded swivel Bar Stools, very good condition. 1,000 pesos each or best offer. Call 331 602 2785. FOR SALE: Genuine Honda type 2 coolant. Almost full container approx 4.5 litres. 400 pesos. Nissan wheel locks 99998-A 7003 Google to confirm that they will fit your vehicle. 300 pesos 376-766-4032. FOR SALE: Golf Cart- Looking for a used or nearly new golf cart. 333 251

9010 FOR SALE: Queen Size Mattress - New Condition, Brand: Wendy, Model: Aloe VeraM Queen size. About six months old. In perfect condition. Was maintained with Bed Bug Protector and Mattress Pad. The box spring and base are new and still in the wrapping. Probably medium firmness. $7,000 pesos.

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El Ojo del Lago / April 2022

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