El Ojo del Lago - January 2021

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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... 10 COVER STORY ANOTHER NEW YEARS EVE: Patricia Hemingway writes about the lasting magic of New Year’s Eve.

EDITOR EMERITUS Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez Tel: (01376) 765 3676, 765 2877 Fax: (01376) 765 3528 Graphic Design Roberto C. Rojas Reyes Diana Parra Morales

Special Events Editor Carol D. Bradley Associate Editor Sally Asante Theater Critic Michael Warren Roving Correspondent Dr. Lorin Swinehart

Sales Manager Bruce Fraser Carmene Berner

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

8 “City of the Gods” Neil McKinnon takes us in a more serious direction as he describes his visit to Palenque where the Maya Gods created Mankind. 12 “Elgar’s Enigma Variations” Michael Warren discusses the British composer’s composition. 14 “The Pact” Mel Goldberg shares a fictional account of a secret pact. 20 “Celebrations” Judy Dykstra-Brown says “Just Say Yes to Celebration.”

By Mario Negrete


30 “El Dorado – The Explorers” Robert Drynan continues the story.

06 Editor’s Page

34 “I am in love with Mexican Music…and the Musicians”. Margie Keane

18 Vexations and Conundrums

36 “The Price Paid for Cigarettes” by Janice Kimball. Who really paid for the cigarettes?

24 Ramblings

46 “The Lord God Bird. R.I.P., Dr. Lorin Swinehart writes of the extinction of species from the planet.

26 Profiling Tepehua

51 “Over Coffee- In Memory for Jerry Monroe” by Kenneth Salzman

28 Front Row Center

52 “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” Don Beaudreau a story to entertain.

32 Lakeside Living

54 “My Life as a Spotlight Whore.” Tom Nussbaum muses over his need to be onstage. 55 “Requiem for Stanley” Bernie Suttle writes a loving send off. 56 “I would have been a Nazi” – David Ellison reflects on his personal history and what life could have been like under different circumstances.

Ave. Hidalgo 223 (or Apartado 279), 45900 Chapala, Jalisco Tels.: 376 765 3676, Fax 376 765 3528 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.




El Ojo del Lago / January 2022

38 Verdant View 40 Streets of Mexico 42 Astrolynx

Saw you in the Ojo



Editor’s Page Guest Editorial By Sally Asante


s 2021 drew to a close, I went in search of my everfaithful crystal ball so that I could wow you with my insights, predictions, and wisdom for 2022’s debut. But, alas, it must have been a casualty of the most tumultuous year of my life, leaving me without the inside scoop I so wanted to share with you. So, on my own, here we go . . . Traditionally, this time of year invites reflection of the year just ended and hopeful peeks into the year just beginning. A year ago, few of us imagined that the year would end with COVID-19 still hogging the headlines, with our beleaguered scientists playing Whac-A-Mole with its variants, and with face masks still part of our daily attire. For those whose loved and dear ones lost the battle to this disease, we offer our sincerest condolences. For those who have struggled with it and prevailed, we cheer you on wholeheartedly. For all of us, we keep up the good fight, stand in line for the vaccine our research tells us is best for us; we take measures to boost our immune system, our first defense against every disease; we care for ourselves and each other by conscientiously following all the measures we were taught almost two years ago. All of these things serve us well, they have kept us here and (so far) free of the virus. If we all claim this as our first New Year’s resolution, I pre-


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dict a healthy 2022. While many of us are happy to enjoy life here at Lakeside with limited investment in the goings-on north of the border, we don’t keep our heads in the sand. We all watched in disbelief and horror the attack on the U.S. Capitol. In 2021, almost 500 people died in mass shootings in the U.S., and another 2,000 were injured. I have every confidence that the overwhelming majority of gun enthusiasts find these numbers egregious. The issue shouldn’t be whether to own guns, but their responsible use. If we’d all hold ourselves to the standards we expect from others in return, incidences like these wouldn’t exist. And the job market shifted dramatically in 2021. Many workers and employers discovered that working remotely was efficient and productive. Those who predict such things believe this new work structure is here to stay. Still, too many people are jobless or homeless. Now that we’ve covered the not-sogood, let’s look at the inspiring things that happened in 2021: around 140 million babies were born. Welcome, one and all! We don’t have a lot of the answers, but, darn it, we’re doing the best we can to make you glad you came. How many kiddos started school in 2021? finished college? Congratulations to you all. Job well done indeed. And how many exchanged wedding vows in 2021? We wish you the very best as you and your partner travel life’s journey. And a hearty welcome to all you new retirees. You’ve earned a rest. Enjoy, wherever you choose to make that happen. With our feet on the ground and the stars in our eyes, I believe that we will meet the challenges of the new year and will, together, make 2022 a very good year. (If this is way off, blame the movers. They’re the ones who lost that dang crystal ball!) Sally Asante

Saw you in the Ojo


City Of The Gods By Neil McKinnon


he gods tried three times to create humankind. First, they made men of mud who melted and fell apart when it rained. Their second attempt was with wood but these humans were stiff and heartless and had no soul. Finally, they breathed life into sacred maize and people with flesh and blood appeared. These first true humans had perfect vision. They could see everything the gods were doing. Alarmed, the deities took away this powerful ability. However, they left human beings with the means to overcome their short sightedness—the Popol Vuh or Maya Bible. This story of the dawn of life seems


completely plausible as Judy and I step off the bus into the droning late afternoon heat of the small town of Palenque (pah-LEHN-keh) in the foothills of southern Mexico’s Chiapas Mountains. We are here to see the art and architecture of one of the most highly developed ceremonial centers of the Classic Maya. From humble beginnings, Palenque enjoyed its fluorescence 1300 years ago when it became the unchallenged centre of Maya religious expression. Priests, astronomers, mathematicians and nobles presided over an elaborate ceremonial life, forecast the moods of the gods and developed a calendar more accurate than our own. Plumed and jeweled warriors protected artists as they created magnificent sculptures and portraits. It was a city of contrast, of life and death, of light and darkness—where T’uup, keeper of the sun lived next door to his brother Kisin, the god of death. It has been a lifelong dream, to climb the pyramids and stand in the homes of the gods where once theocrats had conducted mysterious rites, and where now even tourists speak in whispers. But first, we must decipher the bars and dots of the still-used Maya numbering system to find our motel room. Next morning, just after daybreak, the door creaks open and we are invaded by a young squealing

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wild pig who takes over our shower and defies every attempt to lure her out. Later I find out the pig’s name is Petunia. She hangs out at a local bar and patrons feed her beer. Heading to the site, we pass a white statue of an ancient Maya. His head is thrown back and his eyes are wide open as he gazes at the sun. The aquiline profile, rooted in the present, seems to stare at both past and future. The image stays with us as we climb the limestone hills rising from the green floodplain of the Usumacinta River. Suddenly Judy gives a whistle of excitement. We have arrived. Palenque is located in a forest of mahogany and cedar. Shining white temples are set against a background of dark green rain forest, a forest that vibrates with the calls of parrots, macaws and toucans, each dressed in a shimmering red and blue feathered coat. This is not only a place for gods and man; we catch glimpses of monkeys and reptiles, and sense jaguars hiding in the shadows. Yet, today is a pale image of the past. I close my eyes and imagine the city filled with people, every building covered by brilliantly painted mythical and historical figures. Reality blends with imagination when we encounter small people with long black hair dressed in ankle-length white smocks. They are Lacandon Indians—the last Lords of Palenque and the spiritual heirs of Maya priests whose roots probably lie in the prior Olmec civilization which flowered on the Gulf Coast 3000 years ago. Still practicing ancient rites, the Lacandones are the guardians of one of the oldest unbroken religious and cultural traditions in the world. The Temple of the Inscriptions dominates the city. We start to run up the 23-meter central staircase. Halfway, we are forced to stop, soaking wet and gasping water-saturated air. Subdued, we finish our climb to the temple and find it covered in glyphs and bas-reliefs. My eyes are immediately drawn to the floor. I have read the story of how Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz moved a huge carved stone slab and discovered a rubble-filled stairwell. It took him four field seasons to clear two long flights of stairs which descended to below ground level inside the pyramid. We inch down the narrow dark stairwell trying not to fall on the wet slippery stones. The poor light obscures the next step. We beat back claustrophobia, reach the bottom and step into the corridor where Ruz was stopped by a solid stone wall. The musty twilight hides the ghosts

of six youths sacrificed here and left as guards for all eternity. Behind their skeletons Ruz encountered another huge triangular slab. Turning it exposed a crypt. Nine larger-than-life stucco priests still guard a sarcophagus that was covered by a massive lid. Under it was another lid and beneath that the jeweled and ornamented body of Lord Pacal, Ruler of Palenque, who died in AD 693. We retrace our steps, away from the tomb’s shadowy oppressive heat. Directly to the north is the Temple of the Count. For two years it was the home of Count Frederick de Waldek. He was 70 when he lived here with a lady friend. At age 100 he published his fanciful theories on Palenque. Nine years later he died in a street mishap when he turned to admire a pretty girl. On our right is the Palace, the most complex mid-Classic building in the entire Maya world. It is dominated by a central four-story tower. According to the Lacandones, the tower is the house of T’uup, keeper of the sun. Archaeologists believe it was an astronomical observatory and lookout. The Palace is a labyrinth of rooms and open patios. In one we find portraits on slabs. One nude figure has his hands tied behind his back. The Lacandones assign each building to a deity. The Temple of the Cross used to be home of K’ayum, god of music. Only two of the buildings are still occupied by gods. Two brothers of T’uup tried to murder him. They are sentenced to remain here, watching the turistas, until the end of the world—a punishment to fit the seriousness of the crime. These magnificent structures reflect the knowledge acquired when humans could see everything, that all things are related! T’uup’s tower points to heaven while next door the Temple of the Inscriptions is a conduit to the dreaded underworld. Standing between them, I feel the ageless link between the two powerful domains. Passed down to the Lacandones is the belief that the roots of all living things are tied together. A star dims in the firmament when a tree is cut down. When we destroy our earth, we destroy our heaven. Many stars no longer shine. Much of the Lacandon forest is gone. As each mahogany tree falls, as each jaguar dies so too will the Lacandones disappear. When they die the world will end and only Palenque, the home of their immortal gods, will remain. The End Neil McKinnon

Saw you in the Ojo


Another New Year’s Eve By Patricia Hemingway


t’s funny how New Year’s Eve sneaks up on you when you’re seventy-five. The Christmas decorations are still up and each night the soft glow of the strings of lights lulls you to sleep. Always one week after Christmas Eve, the last night of the year signals that another year will begin in just one day. Ten or twelve years ago, when I was still only in my mid-sixties, we stayed out dancing until midnight on New Year’s Eve. The “we” were a group of good friends visiting this small town for the first time. The evening’s restaurant had an upstairs that looked out over the hills. It also had a large dance floor and a band with vocalists. What could be better? We ate our fill, the wine was flowing, and we were dolled up. And we all loved each other. I was sitting out one dance, catching my breath, having a little more wine. An old New Year’s Eve memory came into focus and I wondered, where do memories come from? How do they choose a certain time to come back with such clarity? It is a long-ago New Year’s Eve, and I am sleeping over at my best friend’s house. Her mother is out on a date and we have the place to ourselves. We have the television on, turned up loud. And we are ecstatically happy at the opportunity to explore our favorite activity: dressing up. In her mother’s closet are a dozen cocktail dresses with full skirts and horsehair underskirts that make them swirl outward like a night full of stars. We slip out of our pajamas and begin with undergarments. The most dramatic are longline bras: they have a long row of hooks and eyes that run up the back. We have to do up each other, taking turns. The effect is instantaneous. We now have, instead of girlish bodies, small waistlines and smooth hips and—most important—padded breasts that make our shapes fascinating and entirely different . One of my favorite of her mother’s dresses is the black taffeta with tiny silvery dots all over it. When I dance around the room, the entire atmosphere changes. I am on a terrace overlooking the New York City skyline.


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In a man’s arms I dance gracefully and he holds me with his hand at the base of my spine so that our every move is perfectly coordinated. The music plays and we whirl and sway and laugh and everything is perfect. My friends returned to our table and so did all the other happy revelers. The band announced they were taking a short break. The tables were pushed so close together that we had become one large group, all smiling at each other. Everyone was a little winded from the continuous song after song the vocalists sang. Our dinner plates had been cleared away and the tiramisu was being served with more champagne. What a happy night. “Hey, look out the window,” someone shouted. We got up and crowded onto the small balcony. Close enough to be touched, or so it seemed, was a multi-tiered structure. On each level fireworks had been carefully attached, so that as the swirling began, one layer caught fire, and then another. Once it got going there was no stopping it. Like happiness itself it was contagious. Whoever thought I would be standing here with life ablaze all around me? In the street below were bonfires. All the kids ran around acting crazy, playing tag, blowing small horns that bleeped as they stretched out and then curled up again. They shook small metal tins that rattled, and the fire leaped up and more wood was added by their families and the kids laughed so that we could hear them from up above. I thought of my best friend and me, creating our own fun in a small house, and I knew what these kids were feeling. I had felt it too. That expansive freedom that comes from moving your body over and over until it doesn’t know where it ends and the rest of the world begins. It creates its own fantastic swirling and whirling and normal reality no longer exists. Yes, I knew about that. There are some moments in life that are like pivots around which your existence turns. I read that somewhere and it has been true all these many years. For now, I yawn and enjoy the soft glow all around me. I may make it until midnight or not. I’m happy tonight.

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Elgar’s Enigma Variations By Michael Warren


dward Elgar (1857 -1934) was born in a small house near Worcester, in England. His father worked as a piano tuner and also ran a small shop selling sheet music and musical instruments. Young Edward was surrounded by music and did receive some tuition on the violin, but he was essentially self-taught. If you listen to his most well-known pieces, such as the Cello Concerto or the Enigma Variations, you will recognize a sort of heroic melancholy that can only be Elgar. He was unrecognized as a composer until he was in his forties. He made his living by managing and composing for provincial choirs in and around Worcester, including the post of conductor at the Worcester and County Lunatic Asylum. Another post he held in his early days was professor of the violin at the Worcester College for the Blind Sons of Gentlemen. His musical career was going nowhere. He was very poor. Suddenly, in 1899, at the age of forty-two he achieved instant fame with the Enigma Variations. He had been doodling on the piano, when his wife remarked that it was an interesting tune. Later he reworked the piece as Variations on an Original Theme. The word Enigma does not appear in the original title, but does appear over the first six bars of music, which led to the familiar version of the title. The enigma is that, although there are fourteen variations on the “original theme”, there is another overarching theme, never identified by Elgar, which he said “runs through and over the whole set” but is never heard. He famously remarked that it is like the main character in a play, who never actually appears on stage. The piece premiered in London under the baton of the eminent German conductor Hans Richter, and was an instant success. Finally Elgar was recognized as an authentic musical genius. I have a personal and romantic attachment to this wonderful piece of music. On my first date with my wife Marianne, we went to a concert


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Edward Elgar

at the Festival Hall in London where Sir Adrian Boult conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, playing Elgar’s Enigma Variations. We had only met the day before—this was indeed serendipity! My other connection has been less successful. Several years later no one had identified the unknown theme (and that is true to this day), although Elgar himself said it was a known and popular melody. One day I was listening to a recording of the Variations when I suddenly realized what was the mystery theme. It was Oranges and Lemons! This is a popular nursery rhyme using the bells of various London churches. “Oranges and lemons, say the bells of Saint Clements, you owe me four farthings, say the bells of Saint Martins. I told you so, says the Great Bell of Bow…” And so on. This was an amazing insight. I had to tell the world! So I immediately wrote a letter to the Times of London, revealing my intuitive discovery. About a month later I received a nasty letter from the Editor, saying “this correspondence must end!” Evidently, unknown to me, a long and bad-tempered dialogue on this very topic had been carried on through the letter pages of the Times. My correspondence had been the last straw that broke the Editor’s back! So, you musical experts, tell me that I’m wrong—no reward is offered eternal save fame. Michael Warren

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The Pact By Mel Goldberg


hillip stopped walking and grumbled to his friend Arthur, “We should’ve climbed up Camelback and jumped off the cliff.” His dry throat made him sound like coarse sandpaper scraping wood. The deep lines on his face made him appear older than his seventy-six years. They left five marks in the sand, four from their feet and one from the golf club that served as Arthur’s cane. Two hundred feet behind them sat their abandoned golf cart. Ahead the desert stretched further than they could see. Or at least as far as Phillip could see. Arthur could barely see the few saguaro cactuses that seemed to be waving at them, mocking their pact. Arthur planted the handle of his

steel shaft putter in the sand. He hunched over it and leaned on the head with both hands. “We never would’ve made it up to the cliff,” he muttered. “They’d have found us and dragged us back.” “But at the cliff we could’ve taken a short run and jumped. We’d have been airborne and then it’d all be over.” Arthur laughed, pointed the club at Phillip and ran his left hand over his few flyaway white hairs sprouting from the top of his head. “Hah. That’s a joke. When’s the last time you ran anywheres?” “Maybe we should’ve just hired the

vet to put us down,” Phillip cracked. “Like he did with old Maxie.” He placed his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “I’m tired.” Arthur didn’t laugh. “You’re always tired. So am I. That’s why I want to put an end to being tired.” Arthur and Phillip had been friends for ten years at the Sun City Retirement Home, since they had been forced to share a room, a requirement for social security residents. The director always referred to residents as guests, but Arthur said they should be called inmates. “How’d we end up like this?” Arthur took out a handkerchief and wiped his milky, dull blue eyes, once as bright as the cloudless sky. “Well, ... ,” Phillip stretched the sound of the word. “You thought the desert would be a better place than the mountains to end it all.” Arthur ignored his friend’s comment. “I never expected to live to be this old.” “You’re younger than me and I’m eighty, Arthur! I don’t know why I decided to join you in ending it all like this. But you’re right about one thing. I doubt if we even have five years left. They won’t be good ones and I sure as hell don’t want to spend my last few years babbling in some nursing home, being fed mush, with “The Price is Right” reruns blaring on the TV. Or bedridden and worried about some middle-aged would-be nurse giving me injections and changing my diapers.” “Is she good looking?” “Who?” “That middle-aged would-be nurse.” “How would I know? I made that up.” “You been watching too many hospital TV shows. When’s the last time you had a woman?” “Had a woman? You joking?” “You know what I mean. To have someone to hold hands with. Someone to talk to or even dance with. We’re just spending our days sitting around waiting to die. I want to feel like there’s something to live for.” Phillip continued, smiling. “What about your kids and grandkids? You can talk to them, can’t you?” “My kids and grandkids got their own lives.” “Well, you can talk to me. I’m a good listener. I came here with you, didn’t I?” “You’re a good friend. But being to you is not what I mean. I want to do things.” “I know. You mean like golf, dancing, or tennis.” Phillip stopped talking and looked at his friend. “Tennis? I haven’t played in twenty years, ever since my knees gave out. As far as golf is concerned, you can’t even

make it to the third tee. And who’d we dance with? Mildred and Ethel? They’re young. I don’t know why they live in the retirement home. They spend their mornings riding around in that damned ATV of theirs and their evenings cackling and answering questions on those TV quiz shows. Sometimes they don’t even come for dinner.” “Yeah. They go to that Applebee’s restaurant. My daughter took me there once. It’s got a senior special and twofor-one ice cream if you eat before six. The portions are a bit small, though.” “I like big portions. Then I get takeout bags. “Mildred and Ethel aren’t that young. I think they’re in their late sixties,” Phillip said. “But they’re active. They go out and do stuff. At least they’re not fat and slow like Ruth and Sally. I think Sally’s got Alzheimer’s. I saw her fall asleep at dinner last week. Lucky she didn’t drop her head right into her mashed potatoes.” “That would have been a sight. Blue hair in the mashed potatoes.” “Ethel’s not bad looking. I kind of like her curly white hair. And I saw Mildred smiling at you at dinner the other night. You couldn’t see her with your bad eyes. I think she’s a little wild with her orange-red hair. Makes her stand out.” “I’m not blind. Not yet, anyway. The doctor wants to remove my cataracts and put some sort of lenses in my eyes. I told him it’s not worth the effort.” “Doesn’t matter now. We made our pact. Now we won’t be strapped into goddamned wheelchairs, drugged to semiconsciousness, slack-mouthed, and staring off into space. My brother Bob was ten years older than me and that’s what happened to him when he went to that nursing home in Blythe. That’s where he died. Not for me. We’re going to die the way we want.” “Right! And here we are,” said Arthur. “Not working out too well for us, is it, Dr. Freud.” Phillip poked his finger into his friend‘s chest. “What kind of crazy idea was it to steal a golf cart that didn’t have enough gas. And what was the point in coming to the desert, anyway? I forgot.” “There were lightning storm warnings. I thought it’d all be over in one big zap! Y’know, like those electronic bug killers. That’s why I brought my old putter. I figured I could hold it up and with my hand on your shoulder . . . .” “You mean you hoped to get us fried in the storm? You didn’t tell me that. But look at the sky. Not a cloud. No storm. And here we are drying up in this heat like the goldfish that jumped out of his bowl.” “I didn’t know the cart didn’t have enough gas. You’d think the damned Continued on page 16


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From page 14 owner would have kept it filled!” “Did you at least bring the cell phone?” “Why would I? We were supposed to be dead by now. Oh shit. Listen. I hear something coming.” Phillip looked toward the horizon. “Good thing your hearing aids still work. Looks like one of them desert buggies heading right toward us.” “Dammit. They’re going to lock us in our room and throw away the key. We’ll have our meals slid under the door like they do in that prison over in Florence.” The whine of the ATV’s engine increased in volume as it got closer. Arthur grabbed his friend’s arm. “There’s only one thing we can do. As soon as they get close enough we throw ourselves under their wheels.” “I don’t know, Arthur.” “It’ll work. I know it, Phillip. On the count of three, we jump in front of them.” They stood there and waited for the cart to get close enough. Phillip looked at his friend and felt a shudder of terror wash over him. “Is this really the way it ends?” he whispered. “One.” Arthur tightened his grip. “Two. . .” Arthur threw himself facedown in the sand and dragged Phillip with him but the ATV stopped before it reached them. The driver shouted, “Hold on, you two. What do you think you’re doing?” “I know that voice.” Phillip rose to his knees, looked at the driver and the passenger, and forgot his death wish. “We run out of gas.” “Hey,” Arthur exclaimed still facedown. “That sounds like Mildred’s voice! I’d know her screech anywhere.” Using his golf club as a cane, he sat up and squinted at the vehicle. The two women laughed. Crash helmets covered their hair and most of their weathered faces. “Mildred, is that you?” Arthur whispered to his friend. “Can’t be.”


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“Sure is,” Phillip corrected him. Mildred slid down from the open vehicle and helped Arthur to his feet. “Me and Ethel used to run search and rescue in the mountains when we were younger. Still do when they need help locating old knuckleheads like you. We been out looking for you. I don’t think the owner of that golf cart has missed it yet. We got some gas and Ethel can take the cart back with Phillip before it’s missed. Arthur, you get in with me and I’ll take you back, too.” Ethel eyed the two men. “What the hell’re you doing here? You two make some kind of pact to end it all?” “That’s about the size of it,” said Phillip. Mildred smiled. “You guys aren’t that old. You got some wear and tear but you still have a few good miles on you. Tell you what. We’ll let you buy us dinner before we take you back to Sun City.” “They ought to call it Sunset City,” said Arthur, as he moved slowly toward the stalled golf cart Mildred walked toward. “How about dinner at Applebee’s?” asked Phillip. “That’s one of our favorite places,” said Ethel. “They got that senior special.” Phillips shouted to Arthur. “I guess I’m glad we aren’t dead after all.” “Of course not,” Mildred scoffed. “You’re still breathing, Now get your ass in here.” Arthur climbed in beside her as Phillip climbed into the other cart with Ethel. “And when we get back to the home, we won’t tell them about your silly pact,” Mildred shouted. “Are you kidding?” Arthur laughed. “If they found out they’d kill us!” Mel Goldberg

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uring the fiercest times of the pandemic, my life took on a Rip Van Winkle quality. My husband and I were those individuals who withdrew into a shell of true isolation. We kept our sanity with rituals like a daily balcony happy hour, complete with a jam box blasting out upbeat tunes. We waved down at neighbors spaced outdoors around the swimming pool, on their own fresh-air schedules. It seems comedic in retrospect, but it really gave us optimism to have fun routinely inserted in our days. My family and friends exercised different levels of caution for virus safety, so avoidance was our safest bet. Sure enough, many of my network got the virus, to varying degrees of severity. Some lost loved ones. So far, my husband and I have stayed well, and we continue to exercise safe habits, even though we are fully vaccinated. We are used to the protocols. Once caseloads dropped, we were quick to plan controlled trips and visits to loved ones we had missed. Mexico was at the top of our list for travel. We returned to Lakeside and were amazed at all the changes. Our habitual haunts were gone. Some restaurants and stores had changed names or moved; some had closed. A few had managed to stay in business by adopting strategies like curbside pickup. New restaurants were open too, and this was an exciting development. Eating is such a regular and interesting part of life, so we prioritize learning about the places that offer great food and kind service. For heaven’s sake, let’s all give them as much business as we can so they thrive. Of course, psychologically we will benefit from dining with close friends and welcoming new business owners to our social scene. If you find that you have


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become used to staying in, you may be stuck. A friend told me of an old adage: “A grave with the ends kicked out is a rut.” No one wants to remain in a rut. A lively time is great medicine for the spirit. Population growth seems to have exploded. This was confirmed by both heavy traffic (not good) and a younger demographic in evidence as we went about our daily lives (progress!) Young people are innovative, and typically more resilient than those of us who have aged. I welcome the changes they deliver and want to go for the ride with them as they adapt to new situations and challenges. From what I am witnessing, we all are having to become more flexible to participate in this rapidly morphing environment. I see lots of development and hope that urban planning expertise is incorporated in new projects. I hate when our beautiful lake view is obscured by concrete buildings or trees are eliminated without thought to their environmental and aesthetic contributions. We want to keep the natural beauty of our towns that keeps tourists coming back. After all, these are the people who are seduced into buying here. I know because my husband and I were these people, twenty years ago. The incredible Mexican people, captivating climate, wonders of the lake, and the majesty of the mountains remain. Now we must hope that the artisans continue to spin their magic in both visual and musical artistic endeavors and culinary projects. From what we witness, a rebirth of sorts is taking place. Jump out there and find the changes! You will be awed at the Katina Pontikes innovations.

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Celebrations By Judy Dykstra-Brown


ne of my two dearest friends once told me that both of them thought I had always had an air of entitlement. This was a shock to me as from the inside out, I’ve always felt like I had to earn every bit of success or recognition I’ve ever received and that I’ve worked hard towards it. But in trying to recall the exact conversation that led up to this statement, I remembered that I had written an angry letter to my boyfriend who had totally overlooked my birthday, merely jotting his name down on a card someone else had provided for my birthday party. Luckily, I decided to read the letter to my friend before sending it to my boyfriend, and the statement above was her reaction to my complete disappointment. (No, I never did send the letter.) Let me say first off that I harbor


no resentment against my friend for her statement. I think it is the purpose of friends to occasionally bring these blunt truths and perceptions to light, and there was no malice in her statement­­­­­­­­, just a wish to furnish me with some insight into myself and to perhaps stay my action in sending the angry and heartbroken letter. She went on to say she’d never had a birthday party in her life. Now that got me to thinking, because I’m sure if I have ever been with her on her birthday, that I would have thrown some

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kind of a party, even if it was just for the two of us; but perhaps she meant as a child and if this is so, and if expecting some sort of celebration of one’s existence on earth means one projects an air of entitlement, then she is correct, because I am a great believer in celebrations for whomever and for whatever purpose. Christmas is a big deal to me, even if it means making a crepe paper tree by twisting streamers from a central place on the ceiling down to the various corners and edges of the tiny desk on an ocean liner—which I did when I happened to be on a boat mid-ocean one year for Christmas. Another time, when I was on another cruise with my sister and mother for Christmas, I even packed wrapped presents and a tiny foldable tree in my luggage. I believe that there are enough days to “rue” in this life, so given any excuse to celebrate, I’m going to take it. On Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, May Day, Halloween, Easter, New Year’s, and Day of the Dead—I’m going to use it as a reason to do something creative and something celebratory. Yes, I admit, over the years I’ve forgotten a few birthdays of friends and relatives not physically present. One other year, everyone forgot mine—even my mother—but when you are with me on your birthday, believe me, we’re going to celebrate it! Such events smooth out the choppy seas of life and give us something on which to pin our memories. Think back. How many of the best memories of your life involve celebrations of some sort? If I tried hard enough, I could probably remember more childhood events centering around holidays and celebrations than any other factor. I vividly remember the costume party my sister had when she turned 13 and the complete Southern belle ruffled, hoop-skirt costume (complete with picture hat) that a local seamstress made for one of the party attendees—out of crepe paper! My

sister went in our older sister’s prom dress, complete with a wrist corsage and dance book (remember those— with a tiny pencil attached for the guys who wanted to dance with you to sign up for a certain place in line on your list?) I went as Alice in Wonderland, accompanied by my sister’s giant yellow “white” rabbit. The only photo I have of the party shows me, as Alice, in the foreground, but you can see the young girl in her remarkable Southern belle costume in the background, as well as Patti in the polka dot prom dress. Perhaps because we have recorded them with photos, we remember these events the best, but so what? if they weren’t memorable enough to take photos, there wouldn’t be any photos to help us remember them. At any rate, I was going to list a number of other examples of memories associated with holidays, but I think I’ve proven my point as clearly as I would have if I were to give 20 more examples, so I won’t. The point is that life is going to furnish us with countless choppy seas. In the past few months, this has been especially true with friends and friends of friends suffering terrible tragedies. In some cases, it has been almost too much to bear, but in the midst of all this sadness, we continue to plan these special life events: Valentine’s Day, Easter egg hunts, birthday celebrations, family and class reunions, summer camps for kids, special dinners with friends, writing retreats, and trips to far-off places to visit friends we’ve been promising to take for years. Because life on its own doesn’t furnish us with very many smooth spaces, I think we need to furnish them for ourselves! Recently I quoted this statement by Will Durant to a friend, and forgive me if you’ve heard it before, but I’m gonna do it again: “Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.” I think Mr. Durant will forgive me if I add one item to his riverbank list of activities. The word I would add is “celebrate.” It is one more everyday occurrence between people living their ordinary lives that helps to smooth out the bumps that the “big things” provide. Judy DykstraBrown

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Searching for Daniel Craig By David Adamson Harper


t’s hard to turn on the television these days without seeing Daniel Craig being interviewed about the latest Bond movie. I remember the first time I noticed him, which was in the movie “Munich” (2005). He played one of the Israeli Mossad assassins with a South African accent. Googling him I saw that I had seen him before in the movie “The Power of One” where he played a brutal and vicious Afrikaner policeman, again with the South African accent. However, he is English and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where acting students are required to master thirty to forty accents. It is a tough school to get in to. According to his Wikipedia bio his breakthrough role came in a BBC TV drama serial “Our Friends in the North” in 1996. I had never heard of this so using my trusty Amazon Firestick I commanded Alexa to see if she could find it and sure enough it was available free on You Tube. Now this was a far different Daniel Craig playing a workingclass young man from Newcastle. He was 28 when he played this part. Again, this required an accent but this time an unattractive “Geordie” accent. I am English and I know all the accents but Geordie is perhaps the most incomprehensible for an English person from elsewhere to understand


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and almost impossible for non-English people. In this play all the lead actors speak clearly (for the audience) but at one point in the later episodes there is a 12-year-old boy speaking full on Geordie and my English wife couldn’t understand a word he was saying. After watching the first couple of episodes I was hooked and spent the next three nights watching the whole ten hours of it. Craig’s character George (Geordie) Peacock was easily recognizable as Craig but a far far cry from James Bond. At times he looked positively ugly with long unwashed blond hair and later, when he is homeless, with blackened teeth and a sometimes leering face. He is one of four main characters, who had been school friends in the Newcastle area. The play follows them through thirty years since school. Geordie’s life is basically one failure after another but it is fascinating to watch with brilliant dialog. It covers the hopelessness of the North East of England with up to 77% unemployment. Geordie escapes to London and joins up with London gangsters involved in the Soho sex trade and it goes on to cover the vast corruption of the Metropolitan Police. However while this series was fascinating to this Englishman I warn readers it may be hard going and less appealing to a North American audience. My interest in it was the acting of Daniel Craig on his pathway to James Bond. He is a very good actor and inhabits his parts as only great actors achieve. But in my search, I think I have found how he got the part. He was short listed by the Bond producers right after “Munich” where he played a killer, and before that he played a brutal policeman. Bond is a spy who kills people. While Craig is good looking he has a face that seems to barely conceal brutality. This fits well with a 007 who kills people. It is easy to imagine Craig as a killer. I believe the producers went for the tougher look of Daniel Craig rather than the suave sophistication of a Roger Moore.

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RAMBLINGS FROM THE RANCH TLC for Blind Theo By Christina Bennett


ne day in October, we arrived at the Ranch to find a scraggly mess of a dog in the play yard — maybe a poodle mix with full dreadlocks. After a visit to the groomer, he turned out to be a beautiful senior dog, about 8 years old. We had him neutered but it was obvious he had issues with his eyes. One eye was practically closed and the other was cloudy with a cataract. We knew he needed surgery on his eyes but it would have to wait until he was able to get some good nutrition and gain strength for the surgery. Corrine, one of our dedicated volunteers, took him home to foster. She reported he was a wonderful little dog. It was obvious he had very little vision. However, after bumping into walls and furniture, he soon learned the lay of the


land. He would find his way out to the back yard for potty breaks, meet Corrine at the door if she’d been away, and loved his walks. Meanwhile a rescue in the US had expressed interest in him. They felt they could get him adopted easily and Bon Voyage agreed to send him on their December bus trip. But then we learned that Theo was not crate tolerant. No one wanted to put him through the distress

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of a long bus trip if he was unhappy in a crate. Jena Olio from Clicker Pets offered to crate train him—now he happily goes into his crate all the time! But Theo’s medical concerns must be addressed before he’s ready for adoption. After seeing an ophthalmologist, it was determined that Theo would first need his teeth cleaned. There is a correlation between the teeth and the eyes. One eye had collapsed totally which happens if cataract surgery isn’t done and the other eye is highly questionable. Because Theo also has some kidney issues, we are trying to limit the anesthesia requirements. So after teeth cleaning, he will go to see his specialist and they will remove one eye and test the retina if the other eye to see if it is healthy enough for cataract surgery. The surgeries will be expensive, but we are determined to do whatever necessary to help this sweet boy. The Ranch takes every dog’s life seriously! Luckily, one of our big-hearted supporters, Louise, stepped up with a donation to cover the medical expenses. (You too can sponsor a dog—see The Ranch’s website for details.) Foster Corrine was willing to keep him as long as necessary, but she had a family issue arise that required travel. Theo is now with his new foster, Heather, who reports that he is the perfect

roommate. She takes him for long walks and they are becoming inseparable Hopefully by the time you read this, little Theo will be completely healed and ready for his forever home. He is very friendly and affectionate, independent, confident, completely housebroken, not a barker, and likes other dogs. As you can see, helping dogs like Theo requires a lot of resources. You can help The Ranch by fostering, donating or volunteering. Email us at adoptaranchdog@outlook.com or donate through our website at Theranchchapala.com.

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President of the Board for Tepehua



OLA, 2022!!! Are you already wondering where 2021 went? We were so busy flexing our plexus from the confines of 2020 that time went faster than ever. Looking back and reflecting on 2021, it seemed our world was shrugging its shoulders out of a long sleep. In spite of everything, the Tepehua Center managed to achieve a few goals with the help of the waking public. The Reverse Osmosis Distribution Center built at the end of 2020, out of necessity because the sick and nursing mothers had no access to potable water, came into its own in 2021, and although we are still trying to straighten out the wrinkles to make it sustainable, it has and is providing potable water to the poor. The Tepehua water is sweet and clear and if you are interested in having water delivered, call Adam King at 332 627 1274 for a moderate rate per five-gallon jug. The monies will go directly to support the medical and potable water program. You are also invited to Tepehua Center to view the small plant. Albeit small, we can supply 300 five-gallon jugs per day. That’s if we have the water bottles, so donations of those are still welcome. They cost more than the water. The sanitation program to end the pollution of human waste and unhealthy home environment is a slow starter but steady, and the Tepehua Team thanks the readers for their donations of bathroom items like toilets and sinks. It is more appreciated than you will ever know, but you can guess. As the toilets come in they are distributed. We managed to get quite a few installed before Christmas. Thank fate that we, the readers, have never had to wish for a toilet for Christmas. If it is on your wish list or if you know of someone who needs one, call Moonie. We closed the year with a mini soccer field just a block away from


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the center. The kids were playing on an empty lot of broken glass and huge rocks. Dads had tried to clear by hand but that was impossible. A machine and heavy truck were needed to take it away. After permission from the owner, and donations from YOU, the people, our mini field was completed with artificial turf and goal posts and fencing. Why artificial turf? Because the maintenance of real turf is out of the question and would need too much water. Plus, it is replaceable in patches. It was finished in time for Christmas. Who knows? Maybe a soccer star will be born. The acts of philanthropy and volunteerism is a never-ending marvel. It destroys the myth that society is a “me” generation. The Tepehua Team are in the business where we see only the empathy and generosity of people, even if they have little themselves. We also see the injustice and the ugly, but we can testify the good is far greater than the bad. Politics aside! Good things will come in 2022, because we all feel the same exuberance of being alive after making it through two years of fear, confusion, frustration, and for some of us, confrontation of self . . . that is always the hardest to grasp, keeping in mind that fallibility is natural and perfection isn’t. Of course, the threat of COVID and variants will be around for quite a while, but, with the advance of science and cooperation from the public’s reliance on common sense, we should begin to normalize. In an ideal world without poverty, a society where we are our brothers’ keepers, we still must expect failures because that is who we are. But if it is a society that keeps trying no matter if they fail, it is not a failure. As the saying goes “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! from the Tepehua Team.

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FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren The Madres by Stephanie Alison Walker Directed by Dave McIntosh


his is a remarkable play by a young American playwright. Stephanie Alison Walker has set the scene in 1978 Argentina during the brutal regime of President Videla. Anyone who opposed the regime or had left-wing views was “disappeared” and probably tortured or killed. Particularly vulnerable were young pregnant women. Their children were adopted by couples who supported or were employed by the regime. The natural mother became a “desaparecido.” How does this intolerable situation affect ordinary people? The scene is set in a small apartment in Buenos Aires where an old lady, “Josefina,” lives with her daughter “Carolina.” Marsha Heaton is outstanding as the spunky Josefina, who refuses to give up on life and cooks and cleans and even sings the old songs. Maybe these terrible times will pass and we can all be happy again. But she is also a realist and knows that we must be cautious, and not talk to the neighbors who might be spies. Liz O’Neill is also very good in the role of Carolina, who is more defiant and goes out to demonstrate on the plaza, wearing a white headscarf. They are both extremely anxious about “Belen,” who is Carolina’s daughter and eight months pregnant. They don’t know where she is, and fear that she has been captured and is being held at the notorious ESMA, Argentina’s


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most renowned detainment center. Into this tense atmosphere there come two fellow travelers, a kindly old friend, the priest “Padre Juan,” and a young soldier, “Diego.” But the padre may also be a spy, and Diego has found meaning in his life by supporting the regime. Jeff Kingsbury is perfectly understated as Padre Juan, while Nicolas Cumplido is suitably humorless and rigid as Diego. Later, Diego brings the pregnant Belen (from prison?) to her “birthday party.” The tension is almost unbearable. Angelica Guerra is subdued and soft-spoken as Belen, an excellent debut on the LLT stage. Dave McIntosh found the right cast for this play and has created a small masterpiece. The acting and the timing were so good that I forgot that it was a play. This is what it must be like to live under a cruel and oppressive regime that captures its own people under the guise of patriotism. At the end of the play, Josefina and Carolina defy their despair by donning white headscarves and come forward with a picture of Belen. These are the Madres. To this day, they march in the plaza every Thursday afternoon. It’s a magnificent ending to the play, and a tribute to the human spirit. I was impressed by the professionalism of this performance. Oscars to the director and cast! Win McIntosh was stage manager and Sandy Jacubek was her assistant. I should also mention the music and sound which were very effective. Next up is This Random World by Steven Dietz, which opens on December 10. Good luck! Michael Warren

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El Dorado

The Explorers

Francisco de Orellana- First European to Explore the Amazon River Basin By Robert Drynan


rancisco de Orellana took the side of Francisco Pizarro in the civil war with Diego de Almagro and the young soldier became one of his cousin’s favored leaders. He founded the city of Guayaquil (Ecuador), was made its governor and settled down to enjoy the wealth he had acquired. During his campaigns to support the consolidation of the conquest of Perú, Orellana learned much of the American lands, and he demonstrated a rare aptitude, acquiring knowledge of several Amerindian languages. Gonzalo Pizarro, Governor of Quito, appealed to Orellana to join an expedition in 1541 to the Tierra de la Canela, (Land of Cinnamon, a spice with a value almost equal to that of gold), and of course, follow rumors of a city of Gold. El Dorado reemerged in the iconology of the Spanish Conquest. Restless, Orellana recruited his own forces and marched to join Gonzalo with twenty men armed with muskets, and crossbows. Gonzalo had already departed Quito leaving instructions for Orellana to follow him down the Coca River to the Napo. The expedition, composed of two hundred Spanish infantry and horsemen supported by four thousand Indians, brought with it llamas for pack animals, trained attack dogs, a herd of pigs and other supplies.


The Spanish soldiers of the Conquista were accustomed to warfare in more densely populated Europe. On campaign military formations in Europe foraged for their needs as they marched across the countryside. As aware as they became of the scarcity of food and forage, they never really accounted for the vastness of the continent they had invaded nor anticipated their ignorance of natural foods in tropical climes. Logistical planning proved sadly insufficient to meet the requirements of even small expeditions and led to terrible attrition due to disease and starvation. The style of warfare of the Amerinds, sniping and ambush, did not fit into their concept of battle in fixed formations. They learned to adapt, but the price of their education was high. Crossing the Andes into the humidity of the dense rain forest, experiencing torrential rains, Indian attacks using poisoned arrows, biting insects and poisonous snakes, exhaustion and tropical disease, killed most of the Gonzalo Pizarro’s force at the early outset. Orellana caught up with the expedition before it reached the Napo where Gonzalo had halted to build a thirty-three foot vessel, which he named the San Pedro. Gonzalo had not anticipated the amount of supplies needed by the expedition and had assumed they could forage for food as they went. The rainforest did not render the forage needed, so Orellana, still fresh from his journey and better prepared, on December 26, 1541 set out down the Coca to forage for additional supplies. The steeply descending stream rushed at a dizzying pace, so swiftly that Orellana was unable to locate food or even to determine where the river carried them. Eventually, the party of fifty-seven Spaniards landed at the confluence of the Coca and Napo rivers (today, the site of an Ecuadorian city named for Orellana) and the doughty thirty-one year old soldier determined that it would be impossible to return to where Gonzalo Pizar-

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ro’s expedition waited. In any case Pizarro, despairing of Orellana’s return, withdrew to Quito, arriving with only 80 members of the force with which he had begun his venture. Where the Napo joined the Río Grande or Great River as they named it, Orellana halted to build a second, larger vessel, naming it La Victoria and dividing his force between the two vessels decided to continue his explorations. The Dominican friar, Gaspar de Carvajal, who chronicled their adventures, reported their entry into the Río Grande on 12 February 1542. On June 3rd 1542 the vessels passed by a great tributary to the river that Orellana named the Río Negro. Carvajal recorded several battles with warlike tribes during their journey, the most notable was a fierce ambush launched on the 25th of June 1542 by the Icamiabas. Later Orellana described them to the Spanish king as very tall white women: naked and armed only with bows and arrows. Their queen, Conori, was said to possess great wealth. Iinspired by Orellana’s description of the battle and by the Greek legend, the Spanish king christened the river the Amazonas. Carvajal’s journal describes densely populated settlements crowded along the banks of the Amazon below the confluence with the Río Negro. He reported walled cities, one of which stretched fifteen leagues along the banks of the river and he noted the practice of intensive high-yielding agriculture. Subsequent explorations of the river found no such civilization and discredited the narratives of Orellana and Carvajal as inventions to impress the Spanish king. Current research acquits both of men of the accused exaggeration. On 26 August 1542 the adventurers reached the Atlantic Ocean, ending their 4,000 mile river journey. They set sail northward along the Brazilian coast. The San Pedro and the Victoria became separated but eventually arrived two days apart at the island settlement of Nueva Cádiz, the present day island of Cubagua off the coast of Eastern Venezuela. Cubagua, a barren islet lacking in fresh water, was renowned for its rich pearl beds. From Cubagua Orellana took passage to Santo Domingo and on to

Spain to petition the king for the governorship over the lands he had claimed for Spain. He first landed in Portugal where the king offered to sponsor his return to the Amazon under the Portuguese flag. According to the Treaty of Tordesillas, sponsored by Pope Nicolas VI to avoid conflict between the Portuguese and Spanish monarchies, the majority of the Amazon River would be Spanish, but the mouth of the river would be controlled by Portugal. The Portuguese king, upon discovering that he had negotiated away to Spain most of the land of the new continent, wanted to lay claim to the interior lands drained by the great river. Orellana rejected the proposition and continued on to Valladolid where after several months of negotiations, King Charles I appointed him governor of the Amazon region on February 18, 1544. The charter obligated Orellana to form a company to further explore and settle the regions he had discovered, founding two cit-

ies: one in the mouth of the river and another in the interior of the basin. In Seville Orellana married Ana de Ayala, who returned with him to America. He set forth on 11 May 1545 with 300 men and 100 horses. Of the four vessels of the expedition only one succeeded in reaching the mouth of the Amazon just before Christmas 1545. They built a river boat and explored 500 km of the Amazon delta. In November of 1546 natives ambushed the expedition and Francisco de Orellana was killed. Only 44 of the original 300 men survived to be rescued. His wife remarried and lived out her life in Panamá. Robert Drynan

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Carol D. Bradley

Email: cdbradleymex@gmail.com Phone: 33-2506-7525 “The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.” ~Anne Rice The Lake Chapala Society hosts Open Circle every Sunday at 10:00 AM, a popular community gathering in Ajijic, to enjoy a diverse range of presentations. For more information and to make reservations, see their website: opencircleajijic.org. 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. During this period, and considering our schedule may be too fluid with cancellations and changes to the schedule to inform everyone through the press, please check our website and/or our Facebook page for updates and confirmations of presentations. 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. At December’s early deadline, Open Circle’s January schedule is not confirmed. Again, please check with Open Circle’s website and/or Facebook page for updates and confirmations. Welcome back Bare Stage Theatre! We are excited to announce our January production of The Gossip of Goderich by Kevin Riordan (Old Wives Tales). Join us on January 28th, 29th, & 30th (Fri/Sat/Sun) at 4:00 PM. This romantic comedy about an older couple coming to terms with their aging marriage and a couple of side

romances is a laugh a minute. The small-town gossiping brings home the fun and the craziness of small-town life. Tickets are $200 to join in the fun. Reserve now at barestagetheatre2018@gmail. com. We are located at #261 on the mountain side of the carretera in Riberas del Pilar across from the Catholic church. Please, no parking inside the Baptist church lot. Door and bar open at 3:00 PM. Seats are held till 3:50 PM. All COVID-19 protocols will be in place: audience limited in size; masks are mandatory; and curtains will be open for air flow. Please Like, Follow & Share on our Facebook page: www.facebook. com/barestagetheatre2018/ LITTLE LAKESIDE THEATRE presents: SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson. Directed by Suki O’Brien. Cast: Debra Bowers, Lynn Gutstadt, Donna Burroughs, Randy Warren, Kathleen Morris. Show dates: January 14-23, 2022. Curtain: Evenings, 7:30 PM; Matinees (Saturdays & Sundays), 4:00 PM. Silent Sky is a luminous tribute to women, scientific discovery & music. Just come ready to have fun, learn a bit, and fall in love with these amazing, passionate women and the stars they love. Tickets: 300 pesos Online: wwwlakesidelittletheatre. com LLT box office: 10:00 AM to noon, Cast: fr: Debra Bowers, Lynn Gutstadt, br: Donna Wednesday & ThursBurroughs, Randy Warren, Kathleen Morris day during the week prior to opening night, and one hour before curtain for each show. AUDITIONS for CAKEWALK by Colleen Curran Directed by Collette Clavadetscher. Show Dates: March 25-April 8, 2022 Auditions: Thursday and Friday, January 13 & 14, 2022; Registration: 9:30 AM. Auditions: 10:00 AM at LLT. Looking for: 2 men and 5 women. LLT welcomes and encourages everyone interested in acting, new or experienced, to attend auditions for any of this season’s plays. Five unlikely contestants clash in a Canada Day cake baking contest. A delicious comedy where everyone gets their just desserts. For more information contact Collette at auditionsms@lakesidelittletheatre.com NTLive (National Theatre Live) The Lehman Trilogy. Show dates: Jan. 29 & 30, 4:00 PM. Tickets: 250 pesos at www.littletheatre.com. By Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, directed by Sam Mendes. Starring Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Ben Miles who play the Lehman brothers, son and grandson. The story of a family & company that changed the world; told in three parts in a single play. Limited, socially distanced seating in the McIntosh Auditorium.


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I am in love with Mexican Music ... and the musicians By Margie Keane


have been blown away by Mexican music since arriving in Mexico 17 years ago. Some of these musicians have no formal training, yet they play and sing so beautifully that it makes my heart sing and sometimes makes me cry. Last night my husband and I were privileged to attend the San Francisco Mariachi band concert held in the patio of Hotel Real de Chapala. The band stepped out onto the stage just before 7 PM and stood there, in silence, silhouetted against a lavender sky and the mountains dark in the background as the sun set. Then, the music began. A tenor voice came out of the


shadows and then the musicians joined him as the dim lights came on to reveal the 11 Mariachi players, dressed in dove gray embroidered costumes with matching sombreros. The musicians came down from the stage and strolled through the crowd, singing and flirting with the ladies to their delight. The violins, the trumpets, and the men singing were superb. Just when I thought that they could not do any better, they did. Three hours of outstanding performances by all of these talented and handsome musicians. What a wonderful evening! A couple of months later, my husband and I were in a café in Merida,

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celebrating our anniversary. While enjoying an after-dinner drink, a three-piece combo came into our dining area and started setting up their instruments. Well, really, at the beginning there were only two musicians, then a third shuffled in. It was an older man carrying a guitar. It became obvious that he was the father of one of the young men and revered by both. The love and deference they showed him were quite touching. The two young men began playing some Cuban music, then switched to salsa. I asked if they would play Malagueña. I knew that they would do a good job because one of them had the perfect voice for this, my favorite Latin song. When they struck the first few chords the old man looked up. He was beaming. He said, “At last! Mexican music!” They did a great rendition of the song, but, to me, the best part was the large smile on the face of the old one. Even the local bands are great. We went to a sunrise birthday party hosted by the daughter of the honoree. The band started at 6 AM, with a very loud tune, waking the honoree who was sleeping off a hangover. As a fellow musician, he appreciated their efforts, but after a couple of songs he thanked them and told them that

they could go. They had been paid for one hour so they played on, smiling and singing their hearts out, ending their musical tribute with their rendition of “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” Go figure. Never have I experienced the feeling of so much joy and love coming from any music or musicians as I have here in Mexico. Viva México y viva la música! Margie Keane

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The Price Paid For Cigarrettes By Janice Kimball


n a Saturday night in December, I was about to put on my pajamas and go down to say good night to Grandora, when she called up to me. “Kya, I need you to go to the store for me.” She was out of cigarettes and George had refused to go. “A blizzard is brewing. You’ll need to wear a sweater under your coat, put on your galoshes and George’s heavy scarf that is hanging in the coat closet,” Grandora told me. “It’s only a few blocks. Be careful crossing the intersection. You’re not nervous about going out at night, are you?” “ No,” I lied. I trudged through the deep snow


of our back alley to the side parking lot of a closed diner and onto the sidewalk. The businesses that had been scattered along Greenfield Road had closed up. All was black except for an occasional car, wheels spinning, kicking up snow in its wake in the unplowed road. Although I must have been eight or maybe even nine at that time, how I remember it is that the snow was up to my knees as I struggled to move along, but that must have been ten years ago. It is said that I had been small for my age, so I suppose that is possible. I walked toward the lit bulb dangling on a telephone pole where there was a cross street, half a block’s distant. I crossed to the other side of the road there, so I would only have to deal with crossing one street when I came to the intersection. As I shuffled along in the dark toward the next bulb, now and then a car would crawl by lighting up the falling snow in a blinding flash of brightness. And after it passed, the blackness would return. It was not until after I walked through that second cross street and the dark returned, after being able to see the promising traffic light a block’s distant and the overhead sign of the Westgreen all-night market beyond that, that I became afraid. I could hear someone walking behind me. With the heavy scarf leaving

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little but my eyes exposed, I wasn’t able to look back. When I stopped, the footsteps stopped. When I tried to move along faster, I couldn’t because of the snow. The headlights of a slowly moving car that was approaching from behind made a shadow of my small stature with a gigantic person following me at close range. My heart started to pound. My breathing became heavy. My eyes riveted on the Westgreen sign, a beacon of hope that kept me from panicking as I walked steadily along as fast as I could, with the footsteps behind me still echoing mine. At last I reached the intersection. By then my panic had reached a crescendo. I was just a few yards away from the store and safety, but as I began to cross the street, an arm reached around and grabbed me by the shoulders. As I toppled backwards, I let out a piercing scream. A truck making a sharp left-hand turn left me and my follower covered in slush. “Lucky you didn’t get killed!” my follower, who turned out to be a stocky woman, exclaimed, brushing herself off. We looked each other over. “Why, I thought I was following a dwarf, and here you are, a young girl,” she exclaimed. “I don’t know what you’re doin’ out here, but you follow along behind me as we cross this street.” Stunned, I don’t remember making a reply, or even thanking the woman. I only remember the fierceness of my trembling as I at last entered the Westgreen store. Except for the man behind the cash register, the place was empty. I leaned against a shelf to catch my breath and gather my wits before walking up to the counter. “Two packs of Pall Malls,” I said. Slapping them on the counter, he said, “Is that all?” “Yes,” I replied. “Where’s your note?” “What note?” I answered, my eyes wide. “The one giving you permission to buy these cigarettes.” “I don’t have a note.” “I’m sorry. I can’t sell you these cigarettes without a note. It is against the law to sell cigarettes to a minor.” I was in shock. How could this possibly be? I thought. “Look, I have to have those cigarettes. I can’t leave here without those cigarettes. Please, please, sell me those cigarettes. They are for my grandmother.” “Okay, okay,” he replied,” but next time you’d better have a note.” As I was about to leave, I remember him saying, “Listen, girlie, the next time your grandmother tries to send you to buy her cigarettes, you tell her to go buy her own.”

The warmth of the store must have melted the snow and slush I had been coated with, because when I stood before the intersection to head back, I felt I could freeze to death, it was so cold. I don’t know if it was from fear or the increasing cold that my trembling increased. The light turned red for me to cross, however, all I could do was stand before the intersection shaking. A car drove up blocking the crosswalk. A man, leaning over, rolled down his passenger window. “What are you doing out here this time of night?” he asked. He had a nice car, so I figured he was trustworthy. “I went to get cigarettes for my grandmother,” I replied, my teeth chattering. “Well, you’re going to freeze out there. I’ll drive you home,” he said, pushing the car door open. For a moment I paused. “Well, don’t just stand there, get in!” And I did. I hadn’t quite closed the door when I turned to look him over. He wore earmuffs and his bushy eyebrows almost hid the hardness in his eyes. His jaw was clenched in anger. I started to push the door back open in an attempt to jump out before he drove off. “Shut the door,” he demanded with authority. And I did. “How do we get to your house?” he asked. “You have to go down Greenfield Road that way,” I stuttered, pointing left. I felt hopeful when he got his car turned around and we were headed in the right direction. “Turn left at the second street, go one block, then turn left again,” I told him. My heart was still pounding as we approached the side street where we were to turn. He didn’t slow down and I noticed he didn’t turn his blinker on. “Can’t see a dammed thing in this snow,” he said. “Turn here—here!” I shouted, and to my relief he did. He pulled up in front of Grandora’s house and turned off the motor. “Thank you for the ride,” I softly said before I got out. “I’m going to the door with you to give that grandmother of yours a piece of my mind,” he snarled. The survivor in me replied, “No, please don’t. It wouldn’t do any good. It would just make her angry.” We sat in the car in silence for a few minutes before I said, “I’m going in now. Thank you for not going to the door with me.” Stepping inside the vestibule, I waved goodbye, and he drove off. “Did you get my cigarettes, Kya?” Grandora asked. “I forgot to give you a Janice Kimball note.”

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Verdant View

By Francisco Nava

Your Garden and the New Year Janus am I; oldest of potentates; Forward I look, and backward and below I count as god of avenues and gates, The years that through my portals come and go. —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) January was named for the Roman god Janus, known as the protector of gates and doorways which symbolize beginnings and endings. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other with the ability to see into the future. Traditionally a time for fresh starts, January is also a time for renewed energy and grand plans for the year ahead. We cast off the old and welcome the new. ary

What to do in your garden in Janu-

Tidy up. Clean pots, tools, and greenhouses. Plan your yearly garden. Order seeds and plants. Review what worked in the past year and what did not. Plan changes and try another approach to see improvement. Draw up a garden plan to help you decide the quantities you will need. Plan vegetable plots with good garden rotation to prevent pests and disease buildup in soil. Prune roses to just above a bud and remove any crossing or dead branches. Cut back ornamental grasses to within a few centimeters above the ground. Clean up perennials like sedums by cutting down old stems. Remove any faded flowers from winter pansies to stop them setting seed. Prune apple and pear trees. Leave plum, cherry, and apricot trees alone for now. Harvest parsnips and leeks. Remove any yellowing leaves from winter brassicas as they harbor pests and diseases. What to plant in January It’s cold at night and in the early morning but warms up nicely in the afternoon. Every few years there are January rains, called cabañuelas, but don’t count on them. At the viveros, look for ageratos, snapdragons, tibouchina, hydrangeas, zinnias, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, veronicas, gazzinias and vincas, pansies, petunias, stocks, and bergenia. For the flower garden, from seed try Brugmansia (syn. Datura) (Angel’s Trumpet), corydalis for its attractive


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foliage, michauxia with its exuberant, white flowers, and Lady’s mantle for future flower arranging. Continue watering when necessary, remembering that the native plants know it’s the dry season. Plant bare root roses, sweet peas, and bare root fruit trees. Plant amaryllis bulbs for flowers in spring. And plant lettuce, asparagus, spinach, and beets. Continue weeding and mulch as much as you can. Seed viability Most seeds are viable from three to five years, with some exceptions. You can perform a viability test for your seeds by placing ten seeds on a moist paper towel and placing it in a plastic bag, keeping the towel moist for approximately a week. Count the seeds that have germinated and multiply by 10. This yields the viability of the seeds. If three of the ten seeds germinate, you have 30% viability. If eight seeds germinate, then you have 80% viability. The 80% seeds you can use, throw out the 30% seeds. Aside from viability seeds also have vigor, which is the ability of the plant to thrive after germination. Keep both of these in mind. In early spring or late winter you will see fewer insects and diseases, so your plants and vegetables should get off to a good start. “To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.” —Jean Paul Sartre Francisco Nava

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Hermila Galindo By David Ellison


ermila Galindo seemed like the reincarnation of either Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, or Susan B. Anthony, Janet Rankin, and Margaret Sanger all rolled into one. By any standard, she was an amazing woman. At the age of only 15, she moved to Mexico City, joined a liberal political club, and gave the speech welcoming the triumphant Venustiano Carranza to the city. She believed he would save the country. (He agreed.) She so impressed him that he made her his private secretary and eventually even his official representative to both Cuba and Columbia. She ended up writing Carranza’s biography and at least five other books that praised him, at least indirectly. In the end, though, as with most everyone else, she became disillusioned with him. It was with her life-long campaign to secure women’s rights that Galindo shone in her own right. Also at 15, she published a groundbreaking, controversial magazine, The Modern Woman, in which she wrote, “[A wife] has no rights in her home,” she complained. “She is excluded from participating in any public matter and lacks the legal personality to enter into any contract. She cannot dispose of her personal belongings, or even manage them, and she is legally disqualified from defending herself against mismanagement of her estate by her husband, even when using her fund for purposes that are most ignoble and offensive to her. She has no authority over


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her children and she has no right to intervene in their education . . . . She must, as a widow, consult the persons designated by her husband before his death, otherwise she may lose her rights over them.” The following year Galindo crafted a document for the First Mexican Feminist Congress entitled “Women in the Future.” It brought down the house with its radical notions that women needed to free themselves from church oppression, and that they deserved complete equality with men, including secular education as well as sex education. It criticized both male hypocrisy and machismo (today known as “toxic masculinity”). Most women were scandalized. Undeterred, Galindo introduced a proposal for the new Constitución of 1917 calling for women’s suffrage. When it was rejected, she simply ran illegally for congress herself, becoming the first Mexican woman to both run for and win a national election, although the electoral college overruled the results. Galindo married soon thereafter and disappeared from public life. But she reemerged in 1952 to run again for congress—this time legally—and became the first-ever congresswoman in Mexico. The next year she was instrumental in pushing through an amendment to the constitution which finally allowed Mexican women to vote. She died a year later—after an exemplary life of vision, passion, determination, courage, and service. Mexico finally honored Galindo by placing her visage on the new 1,000-peso bill. This is a selection from Dave’s upcoming book, Niños Héroes: The Fascinating Stories Behind Mexican Street Names.

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ASTROLYNX By Juan Sacelli


anuary 1, New Year’s Day, is an approximation of the winter solstice, ten days before. The winter and summer solstices are the two days in the year when a line through Sun and Earth points most directly toward Galactic Center, which we can cosmically call “the Source.” We time our year by our relation to Galactic Center. On the summer solstice the line goes from Sun through Earth away from the GC, seeking new horizons; on the winter solstice, the line is from Earth through Sun to GC, back to Source, or going home. In the Northern Hemisphere, at winter solstice the days begin to lengthen instead of

shorten. But longer days do not immediately bring warmer weather. It takes awhile to “reheat” the planet. That interval between the lengthening and the warming is symbolized by the 10 days between winter solstice and New Year’s Day. But whether we think of the start of the year as December 21 or January 1, both take place in the sign of Capricorn. Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, is the sign of structure. Governments are structures. Jobs or careers are structures. Families are structures, as are religions. Committed relationships are structures. They define a within or without, a container for our energies and efforts. This year

January starts off with a new moon in Capricorn on January 2, which allows us to make certain predictions about the structures and commitments of the coming year. This is an invitation to reframe (restructure) the future, as in, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” We are trying to set goals, parameters or structures for our own story, but also trying to make predictions about where we fit into a larger picture—politics, ecology, the stock market, the housing or jobs market, all governed by Saturn. But what about the rest of the chart at the new year and new moon? The positions of other planets and their relationships to each other describe (not cause) influences for this new moon and new year. First, we note that Saturn itself, the ruler of Capricorn, rides 30 degrees ahead of the Moon and Sun, in the sign of Aquarius. What that tells us is that we must continue to translate our Aquarian ideals into practical applications. Concrete ways of replacing carbon-based energy with renewables, for instance. Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, is trine (120°) and ahead of Sun-Moon, reinforcing this message, while Mars in Sag lags a semi-sextile (30°) behind the new moon, implying the possibility of increased conflict if we don’t care for Earth. Or don’t make other appropriate corrections in our political and economic systems. Thus, we have both a prompt and a warning. One more image stands out for this new moon: Venus moving into conjunction with Pluto. Here Venus depicts our relationships, and Pluto our deeper soul purposes; in other words, it is time to bond with those who reflect and support our own core reasons for being alive on this planet at this time. To know the difference between superficial and deep bondings (all true bonds are soul mates). We then have a full moon on January 17. Full moons always test a pri-

mary polarity—in this case, while the sun is coming to the end of Capricorn, the moon is opposite the Earth in Cancer. The test: do the structures we are choosing for ourselves and our society allow us to sense and feel the subtle, or sometimes-notso-subtle, flows of sensation and emotion which make our lives interesting and worth living? Does it feel good where we “live, move, and have our being?” For this full moon, what jumps out is the sun’s conjunction to Pluto. That is to say, we are looking at fate or destiny, which is not an external force coming from “it” or “them,” but the consequence of the core choices we ourselves have been making. For some of us, the final lunation of January is a new moon in Aquarius, conjunct Saturn. I say “some of us” as this new moon will come shortly after midnight Central time February 1, which means that for those of you in Mountain or Western time zones, it will still be January. Either way, the conjunction of this new moon at 12° of Aquarius pushing into Saturn (15° Aquarius) emphasizes the urgency of breaking free from the restrictions of past ways of organizing our collectives, in order to give room for new solutions. Here a conjunction of retrograde (review) Mercury with Pluto (fate, our souls) represents the struggle to disentangle our minds from the truisms and banalities of the past; that is, from regressive Fundamentalism in all its forms, religious, political, legal, and cultural. (Oh, and for those of you who become preoccupied with Mercury retro, this one runs from January 14 to February 3. But really, all that means is if you’ve thought things through clearly ahead, you’ll be OK. but if you’re having problems with communication or travel, that tells you that you need to do some reprogramming. Retrogrades are always opportunities to catch up with the work we didn’t get around to earlier). It is my purpose in this column to describe through astrology some of the crosscurrents which affect our lives, as well as the details of “which planet is dominant when.” I also hope to give some clues as to why and how astrology works. If you have questions or comments in either arena, feel free to let me know; if appropriate, I may discuss your question in a future column. Brief bio: John Sacelli has been an astrologer, poet, dreamer, idealist, seeker, and rebel for 79 years (don’t we all have birth trauma?). He can be reached at <salynx@me.com>.


El Ojo del Lago / January 2022

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Santa’s Dilemma By Mark Sconce

Every year about this time, St. Nicholas begins To organize his trip abroad Amid the children’s grins. But news this year at Christmastide Includes a sober piece: That certain children far and wide Are shockingly obese. Never one to shirk his duty, Old Santa makes a vow: “By shedding from m’own big booty, I’ll show the children how To take a little pride. I’m setting the example For children far and wide To make us all less ample! Ho, Ho, Ho.” And so Dear Santa shopped around To find the right equipment To help him shed his portly pound Before the Great Transhipment.


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Mrs. Claus encouraged him Throughout the days and nights. She fantasized him slim and trim And bought him trendy tights. The active adult that he is Soon led to Leisure Village, Where fitness is a booming biz, Where dumbbells curl and curl… The Fitness Center The Gallery of grunt and groan, The Palisade of pain, Where fitness buffs are wont to hone Their muscle and their brain. Welcomed as an honored guest, Dear Santa needed training, To finally look and feel his best Trans-fatty foods disdaining. Cybex apparatus staff Were there to spot poor Santa, Who cut his workout time in half So he could drink a Fanta. They worked his pecs; they worked his glutes, Abdominals and deltoids. They exercised him to his roots And retrofit his rhomboids. They goaded his gamellus, His traps and pectoralis; They lowered his patellas And pulverized his pelvis. Santa finally had enough. To fitness world, “Adieu. I’ll never be a fitness buff And be a Santa, too.” The residents all rallied round To bid a fond farewell, And everyone could hear the sound Of Santa’s ‘scape from hell: “Merry Christmas to All And to All a Good Night!”

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THE LORD GOD BIRD, R.I.P. Death Stalks The Anthropocene World By Dr. Lorin Swinehart “There is terrible evil in the world. It comes from men. Men will never rest until they’ve spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals.” —Richard Adams Watership Down


ne would almost anticipate hearing weeping, wailing, and lamentations across the globe at the doleful news that the beautiful ivory-billed woodpecker had at last been declared extinct. The “Lord God Bird” had joined the growing list of species, like the passenger pigeon that once blackened our skies with its countless numbers, that are gone forever. Once gone, no species will ever be seen again. The first response of those who sighted the woodpecker was, “Lord God!” providing it with the nickname The Lord God Bird. The ivory-billed woodpecker had once inhabited coniferous forests and lowland areas across


the American South. Over the years, the great bird had become increasingly rare. As always, habitat destruction was

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the main culprit. When so many Southern forests were decimated by loggers, the ivory-billed’s homeland shrank to nearly nothing. Those who hunted the rare bird, seeking its plumage for women’s hats or to fill private collections, share the blame. The last accepted sighting of the bird was in 1944, and the last sighting in Cuba was 1987. In the years since, sounds and sightings of the ivory-billed had been reported in Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, and elsewhere. In 2004, Gene Sparling reported an ivory-billed sighting in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. The report was good for local business as ornithologists and bird lovers converged upon the neighboring small town. Local restaurants offered woodpecker burgers, and one barbershop provided woodpecker haircuts. The Nature Conservancy purchased 18,000 acres of possible ivory-billed habitat in hopes of preserving a small population of the magnificent bird. Alas, it all came to naught. If Mr. Sparling was correct in identifying an ivorybilled, it may have been the last surviving specimen in that area or anywhere else. While I will never be blessed with the sight of an ivory-billed woodpecker, I have on a few occasions met one of its close relatives, the pileated woodpecker. The first time was in Ohio’s Fowlers Woods Nature Preserve. I was hiking solo, as is so often my wont, when I heard a deep drumming, as though someone was beating on a hollow log with a fence post. The pileated woodpecker, like the now vanished ivory-billed, drums in order to warn of interlopers, defend territory, or solicit mating. What met my gaze as I came to a sudden halt reminded me more of either a pterodactyl resurrected in the twenty-first century or the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker. The pileated woodpecker may have a wingspan of nearly three feet. One’s first sighting of a pileated inspires both awe and disbelief. It seems that the numbers of pileated woodpeckers are increasing at the present. While I did not hear Woody’s raucous laugh, it is true that the popular cartoon woodpecker was modeled after a pileated. I could well imagine Woody’s hilarious laugh as he pecked down a pesky utility pole. Sadly, the ivory-billed woodpecker was not the only species to be declared extinct in the recent report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are 22 others, including nine birds, one bat, a plant that only appears on some Pacific islands, and eight freshwater mussels. Globally, many other species tip precariously on the edge of extinction. While some may not rue the pass-

ing of an endangered bat, in the world of nature everything has a proper place, even the often feared and loathed bat. Bats do eat mosquitoes (while mosquitoes, it seems, exist to feed bats), and they spread seeds and pollinate crops and flowers. Most of us would not give a thought to a vanishing freshwater mussel. I remember canoeing down Ohio’s Mohican River and collecting abandoned mussel shells which I used to hold paper clips and other items on my classroom desk. I hope some sort of freshwater mussel survives yet in Midwestern streams. It has been reported recently that even the American bumble bee, one of our chief pollinators, may soon buzz no more about our vegetable and flower gardens. A variety of factors are at work in the case of the bumble bee, including pathogens, climate change, and pesticides. The World Wildlife Fund reports that one of every five animals present today face extinction, that 28,000 may vanish in the near future. The list includes several species of elephants in Africa and Asia, as well as rhinos, gorillas, the orangutang, chimpanzees and bonobos, Indian, Indonesian and Siberian tigers, the Tibetan snow leopard, various species of sea turtles, the spider monkey, dugong, pangolin, and polar bear. A new term has emerged in recent years to describe and define our era, the Anthropocene, a time in which humans dominate the entire globe, for better or, far more often, worse. There have been mass extinctions in the past, an estimated one every 26,000,000 years, mostly, it seems, triggered by asteroid collisions. The human footprint is responsible for the great majority of extinctions or near extinctions in our time. Humans may also provide the solutions. The lowly snail darter, a tiny fish facing elimination by the rising waters of the Tellico Dam many years ago, now thrives in nearby streams because of a serious effort to save it. The American bison that once covered our prairies was gunned down until only a small population remained. Now, its numbers have increased, and many are raised commercially by livestock farmers and ranchers. After President Richard Nixon eliminated the use of DDT on federal lands, many bird species began a comeback, including the red tail hawk, the kestrel, the pelican, and our nation’s symbol, the bald eagle. Even the gigantic California condor, once extinct in the wild but rescued through human intervention, again drifts across the skies above the arid landscapes of California, Utah, and Mexico. In the short run, is there hope for preserving some species facing annihilation during the Anthropocene? Dr. Continued on page 48

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From page 46 Jane Goodall’s latest publication, The Book of Hope, suggests that there is. Dr. Goodall finds hope in the resilience of nature, the idealism of young people, the human intellect, and the indomitable human spirit. These proposals deserve close examination. Nature does, indeed, tend to bounce back. Forests rise again from the ashes after devastating fires. The land eventually heals from the destruction wrought by strip mining for coal and other minerals, although the process is agonizingly slow, even with human intervention. Goodall points to New York City’s famous Survivor Tree, now blooming again after being crushed by the plummeting Trade Center on that terrible day in September 2001. She also points to the example of a huge camphor tree that survived the bombing of Nagasaki during the closing days of World War II and now lives on as a holy shrine for many Japanese. I have witnessed the power of young people in the course of my lengthy teaching career. In 1980, along with a friend and colleague, I formed a student chapter of Amnesty International at my old high school, where I served for 34 of my 36 years in the classroom. The students were elated when their letters to the attorney general of Mexico caused a young university student to be released from custody after a lengthy period of being held incommunicado. Later, their letters earned responses from authorities in Uganda, Mali, South Africa, and the USSR. Several years later, I formed a student environmental group. Students joined with enthusiasm, collecting wastepaper and plastics for recycling and questioning school officials about the use of such materials as styrofoam in the cafeteria. Young people tend to be sensitive to any form of injustice and to care about the world they will inherit. What I did find was that young women filled most of the ranks. While some superlative young male students


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became vigorous advocates, most of our members were female. Given that overpopulation fuels all of our other dilemmas, the global emancipation of women is essential to the survival of all life on earth. Educational opportunities can inspire and sustain that emancipation, a challenging goal, particularly under such regimes as that recently reinstalled by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The time has long passed for women to be recognized as equals rather than marginalized, subservient baby factories in bondage to obtuse, thuggish males. Dr. Goodall recognizes that the human intellect, properly employed, possesses the potential to solve nearly all of the problems that mar the earth, our island home, whether involving human rights or the preservation of wildlife and the natural environment. Our intellect, paired with what she calls our indomitable human spirit, can save us all. Can. Not necessarily will. That is up to all of us. Yet, Dr. Goodall points with satisfaction at the good works accomplished by her global Roots and Shoots program that inspires and motivates young persons to initiate meaningful changes in the world they will inherit. The organization, founded by Dr. Goodall, now has a presence in 140 countries, boasts 8,000 groups, and an estimated membership of 150,000 youth. The organization acts on three fronts: preserving the environment, conservation of natural resources and humanitarian interests, and promotes such activities as organic food production. Young people who make up the membership have fostered meaningful changes on the Lakota Sioux Reservation in North America, in India, Tanzania, Burundi, and downtrodden urban areas in the US. Another term now gaining popularity is “eco-grief,” the sorrow experienced by those who know of the destruction of the natural world by human misbehavior. It would seem that there is no palliative for eco-grief other than hope. Regardless of our purist intentions and best endeavors, no one will ever again thrill to the unique, “Wuk! Wuk!” call or the deep drumming of the Lord God Bird. But there remains hope for the future of the pangolin, the elephant, the tiger, the bumbling bumble bee. A most recent fund-raising item from Defenders of Wildlife depicts two majestic gray wolves with the caption, “Don’t Let Us Disappear.” As Dr. Goodall reminds us, only we can prevent future disappearances. Lorin Swinehart

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NEW YEAR WISDOM By Judy Dykstra-Brown From the Ojo Archives


fter going to a New Year’s party for a few hours, I came home to welcome in the New Year online with a friend. I was railing on about the fact that a prompt site for which I wished to download an app only had apps for phones and tablets. When I asked if they had an app for my Mac computer, they said no, the place they went to set up the prompt site didn’t have a setup for a Mac computer. This, in addition to the fact that more and more apps and software are being set up to accommodate the tiny screens on cellphones and tablets without taking into consideration that some of us are on computers has caused me to wonder if computers are


becoming obsolete! The fact that many baby boomers are now well into their sixties and approaching their seventies means our eyesight is not going to get any better, and frankly, I need the bigger screen. In addition, somehow those born in previous generations (at least mine) seem to have been born with larger thumbs than more recent generations, for I find it is physically impossible for me to navigate a phone or Kindle or tablet keyboard with even my fingers, let alone thumbs. I then mentioned how everywhere I went, people were all on their phones— playing games, talking to people other than the people they were with, read-

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ing the news or blogs or email. No one was where they actually were! He replied that this didn’t bother him but then seemed to do an about-face by admitting, “I think something big is going to happen that will bring about the end of civilization, but I don’t necessarily know what it is. It might be Isis and it might be iPhones!” What he has just said has the ring of truth to me. I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing, but never put it so well. I am frightened about how smart phones have taken us away from our surrounding people and environments. We are no longer one place at one time. Even if we are not talking on the phone, there is the potential of every person we know calling us at any time and any place. And most of us make that call a priority over whatever is going on at the time. My friend then told me about a new app that Photoshops the faces of those talking on the computer, fixing the glitches, covering up all those details that Photoshop is so adept at covering up. Again, I had a feeling of déjà vu, because I’ve been reading Ultimate Jest by David Foster Wallace, and just today, he talked about a time in the future when people on social networks are able to download an app that Photoshops their faces. Eventually, the app makes changes to the point where people no longer really want to meet in person, because they feel they have become the false representation of themselves—or at least prefer it. No need to put on makeup, comb your hair, get dressed. Virtually, they will be perfected!! The trend reaches its zenith when in time, the app doesn’t even bother to start with the real image of the speaker but instead uses the image of a movie star or other “beautiful person” who most resembles the speaker–eventually coming to the place where what they have in common is four limbs and the same color of hair! What he describes is so close to what my friend has just described to me

that I get a chill down my back and the brain freeze I always get when I’m faced with a startling truth I’ve never thought of before. Is there any science fiction that will not eventually become fact???? David Foster Wallace describes a turn that eventually makes people reject their fake personas and to go back to voice-only conversations that do not even present any images at all. In time, those who use the visual phones with face and body altering apps come to be seen as narcissistic, gauche and behind the times. This is something I cannot imagine happening as our dependence on cyber unreality becomes more and more prevalent. As we retreat more and more into fantasy and living in the far distance, what will happen to the immediate world around us? Will it cease to have importance as anything other than providing for our immediate creature comforts such as food, bed, warmth, water and medical attention? Will all of our psychological, artistic, amorous, social and familial needs be met through our online devices? And as these devices get smaller and smaller, will we ourselves evolve into miniature beings capable of managing them? Are we evolving back down to subatomic size, and is this a cycle? Has it happened before? Ridiculous. I’m being ridiculous. And yet who among us, born in the forties or fifties, would have ever imagined we could communicate with both words and pictures through the air, watch a movie on a device smaller than the hand piece of a telephone, or that people would be living their “real” lives out and even choosing husbands and wives on TV for all to see? How do we tell the difference between what is possible and what is impossible anymore? I’m afraid it is hard to predict with any confidence at all. Judy DykstraBrown

Over Coffee For Jeremy Monroe, in memoriam I’ll have another cup of coffee please and one for the debonair man whose words are wisps of steam hovering above my cup; whose words are tiny cohetes, tightly packed with long experience and deep knowing, bursting over the Ajijic plaza; whose words are rocketing from Mexican Train to Bolaño to Vivaldi to remembered icy winds crossing Lake Michigan. I’ll have another cup of coffee please and time enough under the sun to learn his laughing memories of 25-cent double features on long-ago Saturdays at the Belmont Theater; to learn about a nineteenth century sage forever sharing living space in the family home in Lakeview; to learn about the gulf between the study and the practice; to learn the secrets of his latest story and poem. I’d like another cup of coffee please and time enough for new words over coffee and beneath a mariachi moon. --Kenneth Salzmann

Saw you in the Ojo 51

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

A Personal New Year Message to Carl Sagan By Don Beaudreau wbeaudreau@aol.com


e at Lakeside and around the world are about to complete one year and begin another one. It is something we “humans” have been doing for half a million years. Indeed, we are time travelers. And yet, we are writing only the first letter in the first word of our journey. We could have 10 million times the time we already have had. Furthermore, before we showed up, the universe of space and time had begun—15 billion years earlier. And yet, 15 billion years is not that long ago, compared to the years to come! My favorite nursery song sums up my inability to absorb the enormity of all this: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star/ How I wonder what you are! It is a question I ask myself even more frequently than I did when I was younger. When I take my early morning walk along the shores of this ancient Lake called Chapala, and look up at the sky and see all those twinkling stars, I want to imagine they are my friends who have died. At any rate, Carl Sagan, who died in 1996, and whose sister I knew, is someone who helped to fashion my own beliefs. So I want to share my letter to him with you at Lakeside during the turning of the year. ***** Dear Carl Sagan, Wherever You Are in the Cosmos, Thank you for bringing poetry (that is to say, a sense of wonder and mystery and creative fancy) and science (that is to say, a recognition of facts proven through repeated experiments) together. Thank you for advancing Albert Einstein’s words to us about exploring the universe we live in when he advised: “Never lose a holy curiosity.” For certainly you, Carl, never lost your holy curiosity. And you helped us create our own sense of this. Millions of us remember your television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage on PBS in 1980, when you discussed the beginning of the universe. How you would ascend a staircase and open up various doors to reveal different


El Ojo del Lago / January 2022

time sequences in our universe’s history. How, as you climbed higher on those stairs, you went further and further back in time, all the while getting closer and closer to the very creation of the universe itself. And how, when you finally reached that magic door—the one at the very top of the staircase—you continued to keep us in suspense as you went on and on and on about all the things most of us did not know concerning when and how our infinitesimal universe came about. And then, when we thought you were finally going to open the magic door, and thereby reveal the very mystery of creation—something no one had been able to do before, as if behind that very door there was the Prime Mover him-her-itself; just when we thought the puzzle of our very existence was going to be solved and you, Sagan, were the man to do it, you refused to open the door!! Thanks a lot, Carl! (I say this to you with tongue in cheek!) “Not yet,” you said, or something like that; something all scientific and matter-of fact-like. “Not yet, but some day…some day we’ll know.” I then expected you to say, all television-like, “Stay tuned for next week’s coming attractions,” but you didn’t. All you said was “Some day.” You, Sagan, the quintessential scientist, ever-expecting to break through to the origin of the mysterious. Truly, millions of us will never forget that night of high drama—those of us who, like yours truly, still are trying to figure out why an egg boils, as well as those geniuses who read about quantum physics with all that “stuff” about quarks and neutrinos and black holes, as if they were reading the Dick and Jane and Spot books

some of us read in Kindergarten. “Neutrinos?” To some of us it sounded like a place where we can get a pretty good pizza! So thank you, dear Carl Sagan, for bringing even us oafs into a keener sense of appreciation for the fact of scientific discovery. It is because of you and your magic door, that life will never be the same again for many of us. So, I do hope that wherever you are, twinkling star or not, that you have finally discovered the secrets of the universe. Cordially, One of Your Biggest Fans, Even If I Am an Oaf ***** Indeed, all of us, at some time or another in our lives, might benefit by getting into a “Sagan state of mind.” It really is a good thing to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: the possible why and how we are here in the first place; the sense of the timelessness of it all! Doing this is a way in which we might move beyond the difficulties of today’s world and begin to see ourselves as part of a larger context: as part of all creation; as part of all “time.” Just imagine having copy of the “National Geographic Magazine” I once had in my hands. There you are on a matter-of-fact day in your life when you have stopped for a moment to relax from the ordinary affairs of your existence; and you have paused to leaf through that magazine with those articles about fascinating places in the world and with exquisite photos, too! But then you have an unexpected a-ha! moment, when you come upon a piece about the origin of the universe. Now, as exotic as some places on our planet might be, how much more exotic can the universe itself be! So, similar to feeling that Carl Sagan will finally reveal the secrets about the biggest of all existential questions

when he opens the magic door, you almost reverently begin to read the magazine article and to look at the “depictions” (they are not really photographs because these are things we have not seen with telescopes: stars and planets and galaxies and universes we are only guessing about). And in the midst of all that starstudded space, there you see it: way down there in a little corner of this one large “depiction” – our tiny, tiny solar system, a mere dot amidst all that pulsating solar geography. “How insignificant we are!” you think. “How insignificant I am!” And you remember the times when you have gone outside at night, and being far from the lights of a city, you have looked up into that starry, starry night, and wondered, wondered, the stardust within you resonating for a brief moment of eternity with the stardust out there, and out there. To know that what we are is linked to those galaxies beyond our galaxy, the universes beyond our universe. Saying this, let me suggest how we might approach being in time, realizing along with Ben Hecht that “Time is ever a circus, always packing up and moving away”—that we can never keep the moment, but must let it go, let go and grasp on to the next one and the one after that, until we finally must let go of all time, and be blended into timelessness itself. First, let us, indeed, realize that each of us is caught up in the continuity of all existence, not just human, not just earthly; that we are part of all past, present and future; that from star stuff we came and back to star stuff we go, to swirl among the supernovas and neutrinos. Time is a gift to be used or abused. For after all, if each of us is part of one another; and all of us are part of all that ever was, is and shall be. Think about how, in the time “we” have left – an estimated million million years, we might yet get it right!

Saw you in the Ojo 53

My Life as a Spotlight Whore By Tom Nussbaum


’ve always been a spotlight whore. Performing never frightened me. Having an audience didn’t scare me. But there always had to be one underlying condition: I had to have some control of the situation, like costume details or amount of frontal nudity. My recent forays into acting and live theater, however, have challenged my need and ability to control my appearances in the spotlight. In high school, since I was more a joke than a jock, I became a yell leader. I’ve always rationalized it was my way of participating in sports. But it really was an opportunity to perform. One might assume, then, since I had that


need, I participated in the drama program. I didn’t. While the reasons were complex and valid, I’ve always regretted it. As an adult, I would volunteer whenever a call was put out for participants in any type of show. I’ve been a chorus boy in a patriotic Fourth of July production. I’ve ridden floats in major parades. I’ve marched with school district employees at numerous Pride Parades. I’ve competed, and won, on a TV game show. I haven’t avoided being seen or having a spotlight shine on me. As a high school staff member, I participated in assemblies when staff members were needed. When a drama

El Ojo del Lago / January 2022

teacher asked for staff volunteers to fill out crowd scenes in Bye Bye Birdie, I was the only one to step forward. And that brings me to my more recent attempts at performing. I have, in Ajijic, participated in three lip-sync shows, as 1940s-50s Hollywood musical regular Howard Keel, Bruce Springsteen, and folksinger Tom Rush. The positive comments I received gave me the confidence to attempt a longtime dream, to perform in musical theater. The perfect opportunity arose in 2019 when a casting call was posted for a Lakeside Little Theater production of My Fair Lady. Clearly in-tune-singing-challenged, I scanned the roles searching for one without vocals. Enter Zoltan Karpathy, Hungarian linguist whose purpose is to expose flower girlturned-lady Eliza Doolittle as a fraud. Ah, this might be the role, I thought. I can do an Eastern European accent. But I wondered if I could memorize the 130 words of dialogue. Verbatim memorization has never been a forte of mine. Inexperienced as I was, I got the part. Perhaps it was because I was the only reader for the role or, as I choose to believe, my audition was brilliant. I wasn’t, however, only cast as Karpathy; I also landed a role in the chorus, dancing and doing my atonal version of singing in many of the musical numbers. How that happened remains a mystery to me, like the musical success of Ozzy Osbourne or Yoko Ono. But then I discovered the role and power of the director and how he made decisions I wanted to make about my performance. I didn’t have control of the situation. Theater, I discovered, is a collaborative effort. Who knew? I managed to learn Karpathy’s lines. Luckily, the exchange was short and with only one other character. Nothing complicated. The “singing” and dancing was more involved, but I eventually learned that, too. When the My Fair Lady run ended, I

thought that I’d like to try a small role in a drama or comedy. The 130 words I had to memorize, however, appeared to be near my max. Could I go much beyond that? Then COVID-19 hit and theaters worldwide went dark and the question became moot. A year and a half later, however, I saw a casting call for a local production of an Edward Albee adaption. Albee, possessor of several Tony Awards and Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, has been described as “the foremost American playwright of his generation.” And I thought, I could actually be in an Albee play! The call asked for three men who may have had little or no stage experience and would like to attempt theater. The roles would be small. Maybe there’s a bartender who listens to customers and nods a lot, I thought. Or a deliveryman who gets shot in the back waiting for someone to answer the doorbell. I requested a copy of the script. To my surprise, the three “small” roles each had between 50-65 lines and physical cues. I’m not sure I can handle that, I thought. But I auditioned anyway. And got cast. There was a pesky director again, making the decisions, taking away my control and I thought, This collaboration thing is just stupid. Who the hell invented it? In the end, I believe I bit off more than I could chew. Learning my lines was about all I could handle. But as an untrained actor, I learned from the celebrated director, with her wealth of experience and knowledge, I was using my voice incorrectly. I also discovered the importance of breathing prior to projecting a line. I’m supposed to relearn those basics now? I thought. You can’t teach an old geezer new tricks. I’m somewhere between Social Security and Betty White. I had difficulties, was problematic, and probably was downright irritating during rehearsals. Things got better during the run. I had good nights, but I also had bad ones. Forgotten lines, sputtered ones, and missed cues were more common than Meryl Streep Oscar nominations. It was embarrassing and I felt bad that my lapses reflected on or stressed the director and rest of the cast. For that I apologize. Early in the run, I realized that perhaps my brain and memory had passed its peak or that this form of entertainment did not fit my limited skill set. Will I try to grab the spotlight again? Who knows? But I’ll keep all doors open. I’d even consider publishing my writing in El Ojo del Lago. Tom Nussbaum

Requiem For Stanley By Bernie Suttle


a’ goin’ to the service for Stanley?” Bart asked Ralph. “Sure. He was part of our society. Ralph’s vestige of a brogue gave evidence of his land of birth many years ago. He declared. “Sure, it’s a proper day for a burial with the grisly gray of the sky and the gloom of the dark clouds. His glorious daily greeting will be missed by all. He was their friend.” Danny, a boy from up the street, said, “He learned early to trust and be trusted, something some grownups never learn.” Kit, on her way to help out at her husband’s machine shop, said, “He showed he had joy in his heart, the way he could dance to a whistle. He was a pleasure to be around.” We were all his friends, gathered together, respectfully, to acknowledge his positive effect on all of us, each of us. Spyglass park borders our neighborhood. It is used by us vecinos of the Andrews Tract plus others for usual park activities, as well as serving as an entrance to the Pacific Ocean for surfers. The park is used for Tai Chi, exercise classes, sunbathing, along with sitting and thinking. The Andrews Tract is populated by those that seem, like us, to see it as their final resting place, our tranquility base at the end of the struggles to get here. We are all content, happy to be free from angst.

Jack Riley stood next to Steve Schulz and said, “This sure is some place we live. I think it’s paradise. No need to travel when you’re already in paradise.” “How’s Mary doing?” “She’s going to Stanford. Needs surgery.” “I guess that’s our only ongoing concern. Losing our spouse. Being alone from then until the end. Can’t worry it away.” Jack added, “Our parents lived during the Great Depression. Learned about money. No need for B school. We live during the time of COVID and its constraints. The pandemic has taught us, or most of us, that we are responsible for the common good.” Parents brought their kids to the park for the special event saying, “It will be good for the young ones. It will be a good life experience for them. They played with Stanley in life and now they have to acknowledge that life is finite, even for one as fine as Stanley. He was always open for play, chasing sticks or a ball. He was game.” A good crowd assembled for the memorial services, realizing that this was more for them than for the departed Stanley, who never needed condolences but did appreciate pats and scratching on the rump. Bernie Suttle

Saw you in the Ojo 55

The Ojo Crossword

I Would Have Been a Nazi By David Ellison




1 5 10 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23 26

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 15 20 22 23 24 25 27 30 31 32 35 37 38 39 40 41 42 44 45 47 48 49 50 54 55 56 58 61 63 64 65

Prick Bellybutton Laundry detergent brand Prego’s competition Tylenol’s competitor Adze Movie star Signal Singing voice Vehicle Intimidate American Kennel Club (abbr.) Food and Agriculture Organization (abbr.) 28 Like a horse 29 Suburb (Fr.) 32 Air (prefix) 33 Culturally affected 34 Belch 36 Thorned flower 37 Vaunts 38 Hind 42 Beginning 43 Church part 44 Salamander 46 From Beirut 49 Pine Tree State 51 Eve’s beginning 52 Terminate 53 Complying 57 Time zone 59 Not us 60 Guileless 62 Tides 66 Homey 67 Sharpen a razor 68 Dregs 69 Boiling 70 Bridge fees 71 Fasting & penitence


__ Lanka Little bit Gone by Electric light National capital Boxer Muhammad Part of speech Always Comedian Jay Short open jacket Tiny amounts Polish money Drum Flying saucer Sharpen by rubbing Far away Corn syrup brand Carves Sandwich cookies brand So long Hot cereal American Cancer Society (abbr.) Voice Explosive Operated Dueling sword Association (abbr.) Swamp plant Unpaid Finest Foe Arm muscles Abdominal muscles (abbr.) Game Sound of a sneeze Institution (abbr.) Treaty organization Lassie Blab Volume (abbr.) Bumbling insect TV lawyer Matlock Fast plane

El Ojo del Lago / January 2022

he revelation came as a slap in the face. I’d been teaching my high school unit on WW II and the Holocaust when it hit me: I would have been a Nazi. Yes, I, a passionate longtime progressive activist and educator, would have been a goose-stepping, fascist monster. You see, when I was a kid, I was a devout Catholic. I believed all the nuns’ drivel about how, if I didn’t do exactly what they prescribed, I’d surely go to Hell; about how fortunate I was to have been born in the United States, God’s bastion of goodness on Earth; about how, if I fought in any war defending America, especially against those awful communists, I’d become a martyr and go straight to Heaven—a place I knew was denied to all non-Catholics, in particular those infidels, the Muslims. I became an avid Boy Scout, too, doing “my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the Scout Law… to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” I loved the flags, the salutes, and especially my scout uniform, with all its badges and rank. The truth is, I considered myself superior to most everyone else on Earth. So, oh yes, if I’d been born in Nazi Germany, I would have been first in line to join Hitler’s youth corps. And who knows what sort of abominations I might have gone on to do? What saved me was the opportunity

I had after college to live in Spain, to immerse myself in a foreign culture and language—an experience which both opened my eyes to a much wider world, and which forced me to finally accept humility. I learned that no person, faith, country, or race has a monopoly on goodness or evil, or the truth. Indeed, even the great United States is but one economic downturn away from fascism—closer now, perhaps, than ever before. Today, despite my horror of Hitler, I can view with some compassion the Nazis of the last century and even those who perpetrate atrocities today, such as ICE agents who tear young, innocent refugee children from their parents’ arms and lock them into cages. After all, I could easily have ended up just like those goons. There but for the grace of God (or fate or just plain dumb luck) would have gone I. Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful for much of my Catholic education and my adventures as a boy scout. Nonetheless, I recognize that education truly is a powerful double-edged sword, one that can be used to brainwash or to challenge, to oppress or to liberate, to ennoble or to deprave. Our only hope, it seems to me, aside from sending our kids abroad for a year, is to teach children to question all dogmas and authorities; and, above all, to cherish the inherent goodness in themselves and everyone else, no matter who they are, what they look like, what they believe, or where they’re from. This is the only vaccine against becoming a Nazi.

Saw you in the Ojo 57




* ANIMAL CLINICS/PET SHOP - CLINICA VETERINARIA SAN ANTONIO Tel: 376 766-0808 Pag: 22 - LAKESIDE FRIENDS OF THE ANIMALS AC Tel: 376 765-5544 Pag: 17 - MASKOTA’S LAKE Tel: 376 766-0287, 33-3448-2507 Pag: 36 Pag: 24 - PET PLACE


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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

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- LOWELL STEPHEN BIRCH, D.C. Cell: 331-319-1799, 915-706-1588 Pag: 20, 25, 55

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- 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: 15 - PROTEXPLAN U.S. Toll Free 1-800-608-5743 Mexico Toll Free 01-800-681-6730 Pag: 12 - TIOCORP Pag: 11 Tel: 376 766-4828, 376 766-3978

- FELIPE GONZÁLEZ-Atorney at law Tel: 376 688-4563, (33) 3632-4689 - SBD CAPITAL MEXICO Tel: 376 688-5209 - SOLBES & SOLBES Cell: 331-520-5529, Cell: 333-676-6245

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

- CENTRO LAGUNA Tel: 376 766-5514 Pag: 20 Pag: 42




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- COMFORT SOLUTIONS Tel: 33-1228-5377 Pag: 37 - GENERAL HOME SERVICES - Amancio Ramos Jr. Cell: 331-520-3054 Pag: 28 - PIETRA FINA Tel: 333-105-0996 Pag: 49 - SERVICIOS AGUILAR Tel: 333-393-4991, 333-021-0753 Pag: 51 - SIKA Tel: 376 766-5959 Pag: 49

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- BESTLAB Tel: 376 688-1174, 331-042-1411 Pag: 38 - DERMIKA Tel: 376 766-2500 Pag: 13 - DR. BEN - CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON Cell: 333-105-0402 Pag: 17 - DRA. CLAUDIA LILIA CAMACHO CHOZAOphthalmologist Tel: 33-3403-3857 Pag: 24 - HOSPITAL SAN ANTONIO Tel: 376-689-0911 Pag: 21 - LAKESIDE MEDICAL GROUP Tel: 376 766-0395 Pag: 33 - PLASTICA LIFT Pag: 47 Tel: 376 108-0595, 376 688-1820 - RIBERA MEDICAL CENTER Tel: 376 765-8200 Pag: 27 - SCLEROTHERAPY-Dra. Patricia Estela Jimenez del Toro Cell: 333-808-2833 Pag: 48 - SKYMED Cell: 333-661-3402 Pag: 49 - UNITED AMBULANCE SERVICES Tel: 376 688-3315 Pag: 29


- NAPOLEON Tel: 376 766-6153

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- L&D CENTER Tel: 376 766-1064


- ATLAS COUNTRY CLUB Tel: 33-3689-2620


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- TEPEHUA TREASURES Tel: 376 763-5126

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

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


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

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




- ISHOPNMAIL Tel: 376 766-1933

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- 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 - C.D. SANDRA ANAYA MORA Cell: 331-218-6241 Pag: 13 - 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: 18 - SMILE DENTAL CENTER Tel: 331-952-4382 Pag: 50

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

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 376 766-5555 La Floresta



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





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

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

- 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

- TRANSITIONAL DIRECTIONS - Life Coaching Tel: 376 766-2928, +52 331-435-7080 Pag: 15

* BEAUTY - CHRISTINE’S Tel: 376 106-0864, 376 766-6140 - GLORIOSA Tel: 376 766-3372 - 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



- EL OJO DEL LAGO Tel. 376 765-3676



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


- CASA MIURA Tel: 333-072-6554 Pag: 49 - HOTEL BALNEARIO SAN JUAN COSALA Tel: 01 387-761-0222 Pag: 40 - SOL Y LUNA Tel: 376 109-1595, Cell: 33-3232-6888 Pag: 45

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

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- STROM-WHITE MOVERS Tel: 376 766-6153

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- 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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- CASA ANASTASIA - Care Home Tel: 376 765-5680 Pag: 34 - CASA NOSTRA-Nursing Home Pag: 03 Tel: 376 765-3824, 376765-4187 - NURSING HOME LAKE CHAPALA S.C. Tel: 33-3470-3470 Pag: 21

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

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- GO BISTRO Cell: 33-3502-6555 - “LA TAVERNA” DEI QUATTRO MORI Tel: 376 766-2848 - MOM’S DELI & RESTAURANT Tel: 376 765-5719 - SOL Y LUNA Tel: 376 109-1595, Cell: 33-3232-6888 - YVES Tel: 376 766-3565

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* REAL ESTATE - AJIJIC HOME INSPECTIONS Tel: 33-3904-9573 Pag: 08 - AJIJIC REAL ESTATE Tel: 37 6766-2077 Pag: 19 - AZABACHE HABITAT Tel: 331-845-0587, 333-405-0089 Pag: 37 - BAUERHOUSE PROPERTIES Tel: 33-2164-5301, 33-3170-6351 Pag: 25, 47 - BETTINA BERING Cell. 33-1210-7723 Pag: 23 - BEV COFELL Cell: 33-1193-1673 Pag: 48 - CIELOVISTA Pag: 05 Tel: 33-2002-2400 - COLDWELL BANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 376 765-3676, 376 765-2877 Fax: 765-3528 Tel: 376 766-1152, 376 766-3369 Pag: 64 - CONTINENTAL REALTY Pag: 43 Tel: 376 766-1994, 331-366-2256 - CUMBRES Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - EAGER REALTY Tel: 333-137-8447 Pag: 10 - ERIKA ALAMOS Tel: 331-892-7208 Pag: 38 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: +1 720-984-2721, +52 33-1395-9062 Pag: 52 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 55-2717-1657 Pag: 44 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 331-918-7306 Pag: 46 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 376 766-6019 Pag: 54 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Pag: 55 Pag: 48 - HOTEL FOR SALE - LAKE CHAPALA REAL ESTATE Tel: 376 766-4530/40 Pag: 63 - RAUL GONZALEZ Cell: 33-1437-0925 Pag: 03, 41 - VISTA ALEGRE Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05

* SPA / MASSAGE - CASA MIURA Pag: 49 Tel: 333-072-6554 - GANESHA SPA Pag: 38 Tel: 376 766-5653, 331 385-9839 - HOTEL BALNEARIO SAN JUAN COSALA Tel: 01 387-761-0222 Pag: 40 - SOL Y LUNA Tel: 376 109-1595, Cell: 33-3232-6888 Pag: 45 - SPA GRAND Tels: 387 761-0303, 387 761-0202 Pag: 43 - TOTAL BODY CARE Pag: 28 Tel: 376 766-3379

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

Pag: 48

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

Pag: 22 Pag: 52

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

Pag: 48

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

Pag: 07, 09

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

Pag: 53

* RENTALS/PROPERTY MANAGEMENT - COLDWELLBANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 376 766-1152 Pag: 54 - FOR RENT Cell: 333-667-6554 Pag: 42 - FOR RENT Cell: 331-286-2499 Pag: 50

* RESTAURANTS / CAFES /BAR - AJIJIC TANGO Tel: 376 766-2458 - BISTRO 12 Tel: 376 765 7569

Pag: 62 Pag: 51

Saw you in the Ojo 59

CARS 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. FOR SALE: Looking for a Fit, Yaris, or something similar. PM me if you have anything. FOR SALE: VW DERBY with 70 thousand kilometers. 996 4 door sedan silver/gold color Manual transmission $2,500 USD. Jalisco titled/tagged. One owner, excellent condition, all maintenance records available February or March 2022. Recent garage review and service. All systems inspected. All maintenance repairs updated November 2021 by U.S./Mexican mechanic/garage owner. No frills model but one of top offerings by VW for Mexico. Not sold in other countries. Please call: Ann Mexico # near Jocotepec / Lakeside 387 763 1697 FOR SALE: Favors Minivan Cover. Specs are: 5 layers, Driver side zipper design to allow opening driver side door, night reflective, sun protection, waterproof, wind proof, dust proof. Good quality fabric, strong, double stitched. Overall length: 16.5 feet, enough to enclose and protect our Dodge Grand Caravan (2012) that we recently sold in the USA in order to become permanent residents of Mexico. Purchased

in 2021, at cost of $1.014 MX, and used ONCE during a 1 month trip. Sell price: $750 MX. Contact Chuck at 33 34 83 9200 WANTED: Low mileage, full records, Mexican plated SUV. Nissan / Toyota / Renault / Honda / Mazda. crjd01@gmail.com or P.M. WANTED: Seeking a New-To-Me Used Car. Mexican plates, Japanese preferred. I’ll wanna take it to a couple of mechanics. 120,000p/6k tops COMPUTERS FOR SALE: SHAW original 75cm Oval Dish+XKU LNB+HDSSR 600 series, complete set 3,600 pesos. Receiver is active amd ready to go in service right away. service is 600 pesos a month. Will provide channels list upon request. Please call Yvon at 332 186-4245. FOR SALE: I am moving to a home that already has a Shaw receiver and Satellite dish. I have a 2 year old HDDSR 600 series Shaw receiver (HDMI connector cable to the TV is included) and also a 2 yr old Model XKU LNB for the satellite dish, which is compatible for Shaw 600 and 800 series receivers. I am asking 1,200 p for the receiver and 1,000 p for the LNB, both which I bought new. Please send PM if interested. WANTED: Looking to buy or take away your broken/non-funtional

The Ojo Crossword


El Ojo del Lago / January 2022

phones, tablets, iPads, laptops, Macbooks etc... If you have stuff that you wouldn’t want to repair or that you just want to get rid of because you no longer need it, I can take it off you. Looking for anything electronic, does not necessarily needs to be fixable. If you are thinking about giving it away, I would really appreciate it. PETS & SUPPLIES FOR SALE: Backpack tote for small dog. Soft nylon fabric. Screen window or pull string top opening. Fits up to 8 lbs. Wear in front or back. 350 pesos. Send PM. GENERAL MERCHANDISE WANTED: I am looking for a two or three seater couch. Drop me a line at other.br@gmail if you have something. FOR SALE: Queen Size Mattress - New Condition. Brand: Wendy, Model: Aloe Vera, 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. FOR SALE: Household ítems. Mini Maxim food processor 300 pesos Starbucks coffee grinder 400 pesos Plastic file folder carry case 200 pesos Black and Decker Thermal Select coffee maker with insulated stainless steel pot 800 pesos. Commercial blender, stainless steel 400 pesos 376-766-4032. FOR SALE: Blue expandable Travelpro 4 wheel spinner suitcase. 27 inches x 18 x 11. All zippers work. 700 pesos. 376-766-4032. FOR SALE: BRAND NEW Tribest Greenstar Elite Commercial Grade Juicer / Juice Extractor. ribest 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. $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: LARGE DINING ROOM TABLE. Dark wood dining table, 87 inches long by 47 inches wide. $300 US. Ken 376 766-7026. FOR SALE: Vintage igloo Playmate Cooler / Ice Chest - Great Shape. Vintage Red & White 16 Quart Playmate by Igloo Cooler Ice Chest. Great condition with a few minor scuffs from use. Works perfectly. Measures roughly 14”x10”x9”(13 1/2” with lid up). $500 (price is FIRM/ Non-negotiable). Pickup in San Antonio near Super Lake. More pictures available. Please CALL or text 332 921 6096 between 8am-8pm (calls preferred) FOR SALE: Guitar - Yamaha C-40 classical, nice warm tone, easy action, in good condition, with soft case. $1800 pesos. Ron 332-8398640 FOR SALE: Furniture. 4 beds twin Size, 1 headboard KS, 2 night Tables, Chest of drawers of mirrors, Book Cage 3 sections , TV Samsung, 2 Trunks, Etched wood room divider, Dinning room table / 6 chairs and chest of drawers with hutch, Console, Wine cabinet with drawers tools and more...Carmen Cell. 55 27 17 16 57 WANTED: Lookin for a cpap machine. This is to test to see if it helps FOR SALE: large black granite table must sell moving, make offer, San Antonio Tlayacapan. 376 766 2668. FOR SALE: Moving must sell $33,000 pesos or best offer dragon blood red specially made granite table with 8 chairs. This is high quality difficult to get dragon red granite, was made to order. San Antonio Tlayacapan, serious buyers only, this is a one of a kind specialty table, moving to smaller house, do not need three tables other table for sale black square table see post, if your interested call this table will sell because of its quality. make offer items on table taking with me 376 766 2668. FOR SALE: Commercial Grade Air Purifier / Air Cleaner. Please CALL or text 332 921 6096 between 8am-8pm (calls preferred) Check out their website at: www.healthway.com WANTED: Looking to buy a new or used in very good condition lateral filing Cabinet. Preference for 3

drawer by 42 inches wide but would look at other sizes. Please contact via PM. FOR SALE: Voltanoil 3500 generator for sale. 110/ 220 volt. Generator has less than 10 hours run time. Like New Condition. On wheeled cart for easy moving. Has tool kit, 220 volt plug and owner’s manual. Was 9,000 pesos. Now 8,000. Phone: 376-765-2698, 331761-1784. FOR SALE: Winter bed sheets, 1 queen for 500$ pesos. You can call me : 33 15 45 83 33. FOR SALE: Cutter for tiles brand new. Never use. Compagnie AKSI 24 inches. 900$ pesos You can call me : 33 15 45 83 33. FOR SALE: BBQ Cover brand new still in the package. Price is 200$ pesos. You can call me : 33 15 45 83 33 FOR SALE: Kitchen faucet with pull out (like new) 800.00$ pesos. You can call me : 33 15 45 83 33 FOR SALE: Apex UPUT-RACK-

V2 Universal Steel Over-Cab Truck Rack. Bought in September 2018 to help me move here but I no longer need it. Cost me $404.00 USD plus sales tax and came unassembled. Selling for 3500 pesos. See webpage below for details. If interested call 331 309-1621 FOR SALE: Never out of box. 8 camera cctv security system. Has all the cables needed; easy to mount. Use outdoor or indoor. All you need is a monitor. $4,000 and you pick up in Chapala Haciendas #2. 1988jeopardychampion@gmail.com FOR SALE: Bell car top carrier large flexible, car top cargo bag. 500 pesos. 376 766 1860. FOR SALE: Everheat Model LE150HD ambient infrared propane heater with bottle, manual. Three levels, easily heats 900sqft, pushbutton start, on wheels for easy mobility. Excellent heater, used twice. Moving. Pd. $5250 mxn, asking $3500mxn. 331-763-5597. FOR SALE: Fans, 20” Pedestal

Fan. ATIVO model DSF-205. $500 Pesos & 20” Floor Fan. Birtman model BVP-20. $250 Pesos. Tel. 376 765 6161. WANTED: Exercise equipment. I would like to purchase a non-motorized treadmill, schwin aerodyne bike, and set of dumbbells up to 25# ajustable or individual set. If you have any of these items please let me know. FOR SALE: Breville Compact Juice Extractor. 700 W motor. Extracts more juice and vitamins than other machines. Extra large feeding tube and integrated pulp container. Safety lock. Measures 25.4 x 25.4 x 40.4 cm. 10” x 10” x 16” tall. In likenew condition with box, manual and cleaning brush. Only used 3 times. Paid 3400. Asking 2200 pesos. FOR SALE: Roland E-16 Synthesizer 61 keys with stand for sale 3500 pesos Call 331 539 5491 FOR SALE: Schwinn suburban 1970 collection bike, all original components, ideal for the ciclovia, very comfortable. It just needs a little

maintenance. Price $ 5,000.00. Call Alma Rivera 33-1005-3109 FOR SALE: Original Prada Shoes, size 24.5 Mexican, Only 1 time was used, price $3,000 pesos. Call Alma 331-005-3109 FOR SALE: Individual Brass Headboard, Price $2,200.00 pesos. Call Alma 331-005-3109.

Saw you in the Ojo 61


El Ojo del Lago / January 2022

Articles inside

“My Life as a Spotlight Whore.” Tom Nussbaum muses over his need to be onstage.

page 54

“Requiem for Stanley” Bernie Suttle writes a loving send off

page 55

“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” Don Beaudreau a story to entertain

pages 52-53

“Over Coffee- In Memory for Jerry Monroe” by Kenneth Salzman

page 51

“Elgar’s Enigma Variations” Michael Warren discusses the British com poser’s composition.

pages 12-13

“The Pact” Mel Goldberg shares a fictional account of a secret pact

pages 14-19

“City of the Gods” Neil McKinnon takes us in a more serious direction as he describes his visit to Palenque where the Maya Gods created Mankind.

pages 8-11

“The Price Paid for Cigarettes” by Janice Kimball. Who really paid for the cigarettes?

pages 36-45

“El Dorado – The Explorers” Robert Drynan continues the story

pages 30-33

“The Lord God Bird. R.I.P., Dr. Lorin Swinehart writes of the extinction of species from the planet.

pages 46-50

“I am in love with Mexican Music…and the Musicians”. Margie Keane

pages 34-35

“Celebrations” Judy Dykstra-Brown says “Just Say Yes to Celebration.”

pages 20-29
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