El Ojo del Lago - June 2021

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Saw you in the Ojo


Saw you in the Ojo




PUBLISHER David Tingen

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Victoria A Schmidt

EDITOR EMERITUS Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

44 COVER STORY “Pains, Trains and Wildfires” Neil McKinnon Delights us with the weekend planned to reignite marital fires gone wrong.

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 Proofreader Jan Manning Theater Critic Michael Warren Book Review Panel Margaret Van Every Margaret Porter Clare Gearhart 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: “First Morning Back” The sights and sounds of a return to Lakeside after a long absence. 10: Tom Nussbaum pokes fun at Facebook’s “Suggested For You.” 12: Carole Baker brings us up to date on Jaltepec as they return to classes. 16: “Responsible Journalism” Fred Mittag shares his viewpoint based on the story of Greenwood, outside of Tulsa, OK. 24: Sally Asante shares more of her “Word Salad” and the craziness of the English Language. 34: Don Beaudreau shares how “I See Dead People.” 40: “Conspiracy Theories Flourish When Conditions are Ripe” Dr. Lorin Swinehart shares his beliefs on the origins of Conspiracy Theories.” 48: “The Earring”: Mark Sconce shares the meaning of why certain men in Nepal wear earrings”

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 / June 2021



Photo by Lorinda Tisdell


6 Editorial 14 Vexations and Conundrums 18 Verdant View 20 Profiling Tepehua 22 If Pets Could Talk 26 Fascinating Tales of Mexican Street Names 28 Poetry Corner 30 Lakeside Living 36 Unsung Heroes 38 Front Row Center

Saw you in the Ojo



Editor’s Page By Victoria A. Schmidt


y husband and I moved to Chapala nearly 15 years ago. We fell in love with Chapala and felt the love and joy of our Mexican neighbors. Our neighbors became extended families and the cities were filled with small shops and houses we could go to for people who did refurbishing, sewing, baking, it was just a trick to find these places. The town was filled with music, and festivals and parades and the celebrations of culture were always an educational experience. We also were saddened to see the level of poverty and the lack of resources for the people. Yet they were so happy, respectful, and generally wonderful to be sharing our living space. I’d listen to others around me as we would investigate one establishment after another. We had favorite Mexican restaurants we’ve visit two to three times a week. And slowly over time, other establishments started up. There was not El Dorado, or Walmart, or Mall. No casino. One movie theatre. Only one or two stores took credit cards. And the mountains had peaks and valleys, and were not cut for sand. But the building brought developments, and homes and more importantly jobs. More restaurants, brought more jobs. More building brought construction, electrician and mechanical jobs. And yet, still more people kept coming. Some changes have been welcomed. Others have not. The other day I was crossing an old familiar street, and realized only the rocks in the road were the same. The stores were different, even the tianguis was different. Same place, better road. Yet driving down the road took so much longer. The polite Mexican drivers were overwhelmed with Northerners not familiar with the customs of allowing people into crowded traffic. There’s a beautiful bike path, yet twice as many cars. How are we affecting the people who live around us? How neighborly are we to our neighbors? How many of us have gone out of our way to include or help our neighbors? I think of one particular family who came into our lives first as the father


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who worked at a local restaurant. His young son helped bus dishes at the bar. Later we discovered we were neighbors; the whole family became friends. We watched the children grow up, graduate and become parents. We participated by helping our maid’s children through school, and in other ways. They became a family to us. I see the way that some relationships developed, grew, and how our lives blended together. This is a result of mutual sharing and respect. Too many times, I’ve heard other types of comparisons that are not so beneficial. As I look back at the Chapala I moved to, it is different. I return to our place of origin, and there have been changes there as well. Not all were positive. Now we are moving into another world changed by a pandemic. We need to figure out how to make sure we vaccinate people, defeat the variants, bring people back to work, make sure education continues, travels can be safe from both health and safety hazards, but safe from needless blame and finger pointing. How do we move forward when some people in our home live in homes without plumbing, and we are doing fundraising for fresh water and community bathrooms for our own barrios? Most houses don’t have a bathroom. What are we doing for the dignities of the poor who populate this city today? There are many agencies that are making their own dent and there are reputable organizations that help. I challenge everyone to do their best to improve and enrich our own lives, by keeping improving ourselves by improving our communities. ED. NOTE: In May’s issue, the article “The Hitchhiker” had an incorrect by-line. The piece was written by J.T. Dodds. The quote at the beginning is correctly attributed to --Allen Watts, but the article itself was written by J.T. Dodds, as indicated in the Index. Our apologies to Mr. Dodds. Victoria Schmidt

Saw you in the Ojo


First Morning Back By Neil McKinnon


ne recent morning a pleasant lady in uniform patted the clothing in my suitcase, wished me welcome and showed me the way into Mexico by pointing to the door at the far end of the immigration area. A few minutes later, taxi ticket in hand, I stood outside inspecting the muted artistry of daybreak reflected in the windows of buildings surrounding the Guadalajara airport. The cab headed south toward the ancient mountains that surround Lake Chapala. Filtered through a cloudy horizon the morning sun softened the worn peaks so they look like the abbreviated breasts of a lounging wom-


an and the long shadows cast by the stunted vegetation reminded me of blackened logs left in the aftermath of a B.C. forest fire. As the sun topped the horizon it turned the approaching pavement to silver while behind us the road died away into the early glare. Eventually I arrived in San Antonio, unlocked my door, showered and, too worn out to sleep, ventured down the dirt path to the village to find some breakfast. The carretera had been painted spotless by the rainy season and was lined by gorgeous bouquets of orange flowers lifted into the sky by gigantic Tulip trees. I ventured west, navigating by memory so that my path led by the

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doors of any number of restaurants each of which displayed a darkened interior and a closed sign in the window. An observer would have thought me disoriented and I confess that as I tried one door after another, I began to feel like a sailor who triangulates correctly but passes through the horizon only to discover more ocean rather than the friendly coastline he was expecting. For a moment I felt alone. Few citizens were about: a couple of walkers, a few cyclists and a lone jogger, all moving along the bike path and all looking like they knew their roles in today’s performance—while I had forgotten my lines. I did not wish to display my ignorance, so I wandered until enough time had passed and then the delicious smells of early morning cooking led me to Salvadores. I went in and ordered pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and steaming coffee. When I again ventured outside the village had come alive. A mustached man held a ladder vertical on the street corner and gazed at the sky as if contemplating a climb with no destination. A young mother sputtered by on a motor scooter, laughing along with her infant daughter whose chubby legs straddled the gas tank. An old lady sat at a table topped by a blue and yellow and red umbrella. She was selling all manner of delicious looking things that I had no interest in now that I had eaten. A boy in a yellow t-shirt threw potato chips at his sister while they waited for a bus. A young woman sauntered by, all belly and ass, in tight low-slung jeans. A man with scars on his arms tinkered under the hood of his ancient yellow truck and furtively watched the undulations in the girl’s pants as he smoked a cigarette. He caught me staring and we both grinned—an unspoken lecherous conspiracy. A gringo in a white hat aimed himself in the direction indicated by the arrow on the faded green and grey and white modern sculpture on the corner

of Paseo del Lago. Filled with purpose he used plenty of space as he walked swiftly trying to undo, in a few minutes on a sidewalk, the years of indulgence at a table. Flowers bloomed in boxes fronting El Castillo de la Floresta, and early morning cooking smells were replaced by the enticing aroma of pies, tarts, cakes and other dietary unmentionables as I walked past Miky’s. Ajijic’s houses are multi-hued so that a kaleidoscope of changing shapes and colors massaged my eyes as I proceeded. A breeze emerged from a side street and I noticed the sky had darkened. At the same time I felt the first drops of the last gasp of the wet season on my face. I picked up my pace but in moments the dark rain clouds dissolved into a blue sky. Ajijic is home to a host of holidays and fiestas as well as to people who joyfully celebrate everyone, so it should be no surprise that church bells tolled and fireworks distracted me as I turned up the dirt path toward the mountains. I climbed far enough so that, when I looked back, I saw red tiled roofs framing egg-shaped cupolas each of which had light squeezing from tiny windows—a fitting foreground to the green expanse of lirio bobbing on a ruffled lake. Seven times on that short walk someone smiled and wished me good morning, an action I found unsettling having just come from Vancouver which is, arguably, one of the least friendly cities on the planet. The unkempt goatherd who lives by the path flashed smile number eight and whispered a soft, “bienvenido.” I walked up the steps and opened the door gently so as not to awaken Judy. Then I found a pen and sat at a table to write these words, whereupon I promptly fell asleep. Neil McKinnon

Saw you in the Ojo


Suggested For You By Tom Nussbaum


ear Facebook, Your posts on my Facebook page were, at first, just a few and I thought nothing of it. They seemed harmless. They, however, have become more frequent, now bordering on constant, and could cause an angrier, more volatile individual than myself to become irritated and a bit unhinged. Granted, you always introduced them with “Suggested for you” and I thank you for thinking of me and suggesting websites in which I might have an interest. I am certain you offer these unsolicited suggestions because you care for me as an individual and have my best interests in mind, not for any hidden motives, like profit or data gathering.


What I don’t understand is who makes the suggestions? Do they come from Facebook itself, based on browsing histories or past posts? Or do they come from my 7,536 Facebook Friends? You know, I have 7,536 now. Well, of course, you know that. You’re Facebook. Anyway, I share close relationships with each of them and I share a lot of personal information with them. So, a suggestion from any of them should be based on their thorough knowledge of my tastes. If they do come from FB friends, that might explain why I received a “Suggested for you” for the IHOP website after a childhood neighbor’s cousin, whose name is Darlene or Marleen, possibly Carleen, posted a lovely picture of a Chicken Fried Steak meal there. I, however, am not allowed in any IHOP since the alleged public exposure incident at one of their popular-withteenagers locations. Come to think of it, that Chicken Fried Steak post was a long time ago; I haven’t heard from Charlene in forever. If the source is FB itself, did my asking Google last year “Who is the musician The Weeknd and why does he spell his name wrong?” trigger the suggestion that I might be interested in “Weekend Getaways in the Oklahoma Panhandle?” Let me say Oklahoma has no allure for me; I have no interest in seeing Oklahoma. Well, maybe the musical.

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That leads me to ask, is it possible FB might misinterpret some links and connections? For example, you recently posted a “Suggested for you” about the CBS drama NCIS. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. But why did you do that? I once Googled the National Coalition of Incarcerated Schizophrenics. But I have no interest in the television program NCIS; I’ve never watched it. In fact, I don’t watch CBS. I hate it. The entire network. I’ve hated it ever since they let that hot Mary Tyler Moore go. You may be wondering how I amassed 7,536 Facebook Friends. After all, I am not a movie star, professional athlete, or social media influenza, whatever they are. Well, some of my FB Friends are people with whom I attended elementary school but lost contact with when my family moved across the country so Dad could undergo mental health treatments. Other Facebook Friends are connected to those elementary school buddies of mine, perhaps as cousins, inlaws, neighbors, co-workers, and bowling league teammates. A large number of my FB Friends are people I met during my two most recent prison stays. I met many others in therapy. But, by far, the largest number of my FB Friends are people with whom I have had sexual relations. You’d be surprised how many clergymen and politicians utilize Facebook. In the event the suggestions come from well-meaning FB friends, they all know my dietary preferences because we all, like I said, are very close. So, why would one tell FB that I was interested in “Blue Foods of Borneo?” For the record, I don’t like blue. In fact, I hate the color. Sometimes, I want to smack upside the head people wearing blue shirts, dresses, or jockstraps. I just hate blue, all shades. Especially if they are in foods. Correction. Blueberries are OK, I guess. If you dye them red. One of the first “Suggested for you” posts I received was for a pro hockey team, the Anaheim Ducks. Why would FB think I was interested—Is it because I

Googled “eider-down-filled comforters” in 2012? While you are researching the sources of my “Suggested for you” posts, Facebook, could you—Hey, I’m curious. Mr. Zuckerberg, are you actually reading this? If so, may I take the opportunity to tell you how hot I think your wife is?—could you find out why my 7,536 friends don’t respond to my “likes,” comments, or Messenger messages? I thought I disabled the “Unfollow” option correctly. I received a suggestion from you a while back for a recipe-sharing website. The picture of the Spam-Coco-PuffsSoy Sauce Casserole looked lovely. However, I don’t cook. I don’t need recipes. So, why did you suggest that? Because I once Googled “popular cereals” when doing a crossword puzzle? You suggested a cat-themed website. I started sneezing immediately. Dander allergies. So, you see, I am not a cat-person. That’s partially due to the allergies, but more because I simply hate cats. Actually, I hate all animals. All of them. So don’t suggest any more animal sites, please. Oh. I take that back. I do like skunks. Because my high school’s mascot was a skunk. But I hate everyone I went to school with. So, dear Facebook, I await your response. Meanwhile I shall return to my futile scrolling through Facebook. And being puzzled and angered by your “Suggested for you” posts. And wondering why I never see any posts from my 7,536 Facebook Friends. You, it seems, dear Facebook, are the only one who communicates with me nowadays. So, maybe I shouldn’t be complaining and should appreciate the posts more. Sincerely, Your Facebook Friend, Jerem… Oh, I’m not gonna tell you my name. You already know. You’re Facebook. Tom Nussbaum

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CENTRO EDUCATIVO JALTEPEC Hoteleria y Hospitalidad

TRANSFORMING WOMEN FOR LIFE Submitted by Carole Baker In March 2020, life at Centro Educativo Jaltepec, the Hotel and Hospitality Management School which grants a Technical University Degree in Hoteleria, altered drastically with the start of the pandemic. All the students were sent home to be educated instead of living in full time residence. Traditionally, Centro Educativo Jaltepec has offered a two year education that combines 70% practical experience and 30% theoretical studies, and it was a real challenge to modify an Educational Model that had been in use for more than 50 years. In order to provide the educational quality that has always distinguished the school, teachers as well as students had to undertake extensive training in completely new technology. The Administration Staff and Instructors put together a plan for Jaltepec’s new Strategies for Virtual Education and constructed a program to clarify what is happening within Jaltepec that continues to ensure their ongoing success. 1. Teachers as well as students have had to undertake extensive training. 2. All have had to learn to utilize these Digital Communication tools. 3. Challenges


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such as multiple technological deficits or no Internet connection have meant the teachers constantly adapt to use different means to solve ongoing communication problems. 4. Every effort is made to work closely with parents via an academic report every week. 5. In addition, the importance of a new concept, Emotional Intelligence, has taken precedent. Time is set aside each week to acquire knowledge about interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, goal setting and social skills. 6. The platform G suite for Education is an internal Web Site that contains all the information related to calendars and notices and provides exclusive internal communication. After nearly a year of studying at home with the newly developed Virtual Education Model, Jaltepec welcomed back 25 of our first and second year students in February 2021. All Covid protocols are being followed in the school and Conference Centres. This is a real benefit as although they were doing extremely well studying from home, their lab work in the kitchen and laundry with commercial equipment can only be done at Jaltepec. This will provide them with the opportunity to complete some practical experience at Jaltepec while learning team work with their fellow students. Their education has become a successful hybrid of virtual theoretical lessons and practical classes. Currently there is a student body of 37 and the Director has had to refuse six students as enrollment is at capacity! Centro Educativo Jaltepec will be launching a Fundraising Appeal in June 2021 and the money raised will be used to equip the newly established Hybrid Learning Centres, which are in need of enormous TVs fitted with microphones, cameras, and special lights to continue this new way of reaching and teaching our students.

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An Envelope


few weeks ago, I stumbled upon something I’d pushed out of my mind. The pandemic afforded everyone extra time to assess their lives, perhaps organize things better for that day when we emerged to a changed world. I too decided to do a bit of organizing and downsizing with the time I had due to isolation. During the course of filing some documents, I opened a plastic filing bin, dusty from its corner place


on the floor of my closet. I rarely retrieved any files from this box as it contained the type of documents one usually labels “miscellaneous.” As I opened the front file folder, one lone envelope, still sealed, became visible. I examined it with a strange mixture of regret and consternation. The envelope was addressed to me and came from what I will refer to as “The Archdiocese of Somewhere.” This was not like a tax envelope from the government, a document that

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normally inspires fear and dread. A tax envelope is usually opened in haste to see how much money one may owe, or conversely, whether one may be receiving an unexpected refund (Hope, hope!) No, this was an envelope that could cause all sorts of emotional responses, possibly even upset my peaceful existence. I had decided when I received it that this correspondence was better left unopened. I considered burning it, but it was summertime, so I had lazily decided to file it away for later action. The background on this letter will give the reader a better sense of why I would do such a strange thing. I have been married, my second marriage, for twenty-five years. Several years ago I had received a rare phone call from my first husband. He informed me he was going to need to seek a religious annulment of my first marriage for reasons related to his wife. I’d been divorced for over twenty years at the time, so this call was a bit shocking. I had no interest in the emotional drama that a “Catholic divorce” might entail. I informed my exspouse that I would not contest the action, but that I would not be participating. My words were, “I won’t fill out a single piece of paper.”

Normally, annulments are difficult to obtain, and complicated technicalities are weighed for many years. I shared my strange predicament with a girlfriend who understood the rules and regulations of the Church. She had done a bit of research of her own and called me. “Don’t fret. It will be years and years before you get a resolution on this,” she had assured me. I received a very heavy, large envelope shortly after that. I opened it to find a thick paper questionnaire. Ah, the papers I would not be completing. I threw the envelope in the trash without even reading the questions, as I had heard from a friend who had considered an annulment that the questions were highly personal, many of a sexual nature. I felt no need to engage even for curiosity’s sake. However, in what seemed like a very short time, not “years and years,” I received a second, impressive-looking sealed envelope in the mail. The envelope was both thin and light. The verdict. I was surprised at the swiftness of the process. I assumed working with only one party must have sped up the administrative aspects of my matter. I looked at the important return address, surprised I had not had to sign that I had received it, that it was not registered. I wondered briefly if my marriage was just annulled or whether I had also been “excommunicated,” a term for kicking one from the ranks of a formal faith. I decided I really had no interest in knowing what the letter contained. Now, as I held the envelope in my hand, my dilemma was whether to destroy the envelope or let someone else open it after I died. Once again, procrastination won out. I placed the envelope back in the folder and closed the file box. I felt power Katina Pontikes in not knowing.

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“Responsible Journalism” By Fred Mittag


ay 31 and June 1 mark the 100th anniversary of the destruction of the black community of Greenwood, a segregated part of Tulsa. White rioters massacred up to 300 black people, and the once-thriving community lay in ruins. Greenwood was prosperous. People called it “Black Wall Street.” According to an exhibit at the Smithsonian, “Historians identify white animosity toward Greenwood’s economic independence as one of the leading causes of the riot.” The Smithsonian continues, “Before white mobs razed the town, they looted homes and local businesses.” An estimated 10,000


African-Americans were left homeless. A black teenager named Dick Rowland worked as a shoeshine boy in Tulsa. Jim Crow laws required segregated restrooms, and the only one available to blacks was in the Drexel Building. A 17-year-old white girl named Sarah Page operated the elevator. Dick tripped getting into the elevator to use the “colored” restroom on the top floor and stepped on Sarah’s foot. Sarah was scared of black people, and she screamed. Dick, knowing the danger he was in, ran away. A white store clerk heard the scream and called the police to report a sexual assault. Police arrested Dick.

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A white crowd that wanted to lynch Dick Rowland gathered outside the courthouse, chanting, “Give us the nigger!” The sheriff refused, and he and his six deputies guarded Dick’s jail cell for his safety. The mob grew to a thousand men. The inquiry into what happened in the elevator concluded that Dick had done nothing wrong, and the sheriff released him. Dick Rowland left town, never to be heard from again. Before Dick’s release, the Ku Klux Klan had lynched black people in the street. The sheriff had handed over a black man only the year before to a lynch mob. So a group of armed black WW I veterans came to the courthouse jail to save Dick from a lynching. A white man tried to take away a gun from one of the black men. The gun went off and killed the white man. After that, the white mob spread out through the streets of downtown Tulsa, shooting black people on sight. The black men retreated to Greenwood. The white men decided to teach Greenwood a lesson, and the sheriff deputized them all. He handed out guns for the assault on Greenwood. They tried unsuccessfully to raid the National Guard armory for weapons. Thousands of them invaded Greenwood, first looting and then burning. Private airplanes flew over Greenwood to drop firebombs. The National Guard joined the attack, firing machine guns. Afterward, the community looked like a wasteland, with 35 square blocks turned to ashes. The rioters burned, tortured, and dragged black men behind trucks until dead and shot many of them. And then, the National Guard arrested six thousand black men and guarded them for days at the local fairgrounds. Until 1990, when an Oklahoma State Commission issued a report, history books barely mentioned the Greenwood Massacre. The research was challenging because authorities had destroyed many records as part of a massive cover-up. The Commission knew there were mass graves somewhere, but they could not find them. Journalism should write accurate accounts of events. Instead, the Tulsa Tribune published an inflammatory front-page story: “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator.” The story reported in red-hot terms an attempt at sexual assault – except it didn’t happen. The Tulsa Tribune referred to Greenwood as “niggertown” and suggested a lynching was in order. Historians have attributed the Greenwood Massacre to the Tulsa Tribune’s sensationalism. It was glaring racist reporting. Like so much racial violence, the

massacre began with a false allegation that a black man had raped a white woman. After the riot, the Tulsa Tribune published a story headlined, “Two Whites Dead in Race Riot.” The paper made no mention of the 300 black people killed. One hundred years later, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, an unarmed black man. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published the police report without question. They allowed the police to explain things away. The Star Tribune reported in a headline, “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction.” Medical incident? “Police interaction” sounds much different from writing, “Police officer alleged to have choked George Floyd to death.” The article reported, “Officers were able to get the subject into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.” No, the crowd of onlookers told the officers about the distress – advice they chose not to hear. “Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.” No, George Floyd died at the scene. Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist, testified that George Floyd died from asphyxiation under Officer Chauvin’s knee and identified the precise moment on the video when life left his body. “No officers were injured in the incident.” Well, no, George Floyd was in handcuffs and couldn’t have injured any police officers. The police statement was a big lie, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune should not have fallen for it. Journalists have to be skeptical of their sources and to verify. The Star Tribune should have known that Police departments are notorious for cover-ups. A 17-year-old girl named Darnella Frazier exposed the lie when she recorded the event on her cellular telephone. Worldwide protests forced the case out of the county district attorney’s authority to the state attorney general, Keith Ellison. Freedom of the press assumes journalistic responsibility. That responsibility must include critical thinking and skepticism. The Minneapolis Star Tribune failed when they carried the police report that blamed the victim for his death. The common thread between the Greenwood Massacre a hundred years ago in Tulsa and the choking death of George Floyd is Fred Mittag systemic racism.

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Verdant View By Francisco Nava

The Guamuchil


hen I first arrived at lakeside nine years ago, I was living in upper Ajijic, hiking quite a lot in the mornings. After one of my hikes, I stopped at Donna’s Donuts for a cup of coffee, sat and watched as a Mexican family across the road used a long pole with a hook at its end to retrieve long, curly, rosy pods from a large shade tree. It seemed more of a game as they were obviously enjoying the work. I asked the mother of the group what the pods were and how were they used. She said they were the fruit of the Guamuchil tree. She offered me a pod and I ate the sweet and tart fruit, careful to remove the large black seeds. The taste was extraordinary, foreign, exciting. As I reached for another fruit the mother gently slapped my hand and told me to eat the fruit in moderation or expect to spend considerable time in the bathroom. With time and research, I learned the


Guamuchil tree is a native of Mexico. Pithecellobium dulce, commonly known as Manila tamarind, Madras thorn, or camachile, is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae. The Guamuchil tree can grow in sub-tropical climates and is resistant to drought. It spreads rapidly, mainly through the help of the birds that feed on its fruit by dropping the seeds. Health Benefits Studies show that the Guamuchil can be beneficial to people’s health. Here are some of the health benefits this

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tree offers: Flowers The flowers of the Guamuchil tree are said to possess anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and antibacterial properties effective for curing fever, general pain, burns, swelling and infections. Leaves Extract from its leaves contain antioxidants that help cleanse the body from all toxins ingested from food. This ingredient is also used as anti-ulcer agents due to its free radical activities. It has antimicrobial properties due to the alcoholic content that can be extracted from it. Leaf extracts are also said to have anti-diabetic effects. There are studies that attribute the alcohol and hexane extracts to the cure of tuberculosis. The leaves’ juices are also a very effective astringent. The ethanol extracted from the leaves has antidepressant, skeletal and muscle relaxant properties. Bark Extracts from the Guamuchil bark are a very good cure for constipation, eye inflammation and dysentery. It is also used as an astringent and anti-hemorrhagic agent (stops any bleeding). Fruits Guamuchil fruits contain both antidiabetic and anti-ulcer properties. Other Facts In general, the Guamuchil tree is

something of a miracle tree. There are newer studies linking this tree to the inhibition of cancer cells, particularly prostate and colon cancers. The fruit is rich in vitamin B complex which aids in combating stress and increases appetite. It also has plenty of vitamin C which help strengthens the immune system. **** As we await our seasonal rains come mid-June, this would be a good time to put in ferns. Maiden hair ferns are quite sensitive (be careful with pesticides), but stag horns will be very happy if they are kept moist and out of direct sun. Some flower seeds to plant in June are cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers and zinnias. Stake tall plants before the rains begin as they will grow quickly. Plant beans, beets, peppers, okra, sweet corn and tomatoes. If you have not been spraying for pests, now is a good time to start. Many Mexican gardeners swear by a mixture of shaved Lirio soap, dissolved in water with a pack of El Faro cigarettes (tobacco), as an effective spray for most insects, especially white fly. Don’t forget to strain the mixture before putting it through your sprayer. Francisco Nava

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PROFILING TEPEHUA By Moonyeen King President of the Board for Tepehua



raditionally in Mexico, community centers revolved around and from the

Church. Modern age community centers, still comparatively new in Mexico, are springing up everywhere along with social services in local government. Community centers create social bonds and an inclusive community built on volunteerism and civic pride. Participation creates ownership, and becomes a place where all needs of the flesh are met along with the frailties, both of equal importance. They are called multi-purpose community centers (MPC), where everything the family unit needs is addressed. Hunger, health including dental, education, addiction, abuse, sanitation, nutrition, potable water and the list goes on. The soul must be taken care of in the home or in the church. A good community center is non-denominational, non-political, non-judgemental, a totally humanitarian organization and experience. The Tepehua Community Center is built upon volunteerism and fund-raising, with no assistance from government bodies, and is owned by the people. All programs have to be approved by the community. Without community approval you could not get volunteers, without committed volunteers you would have no center. The Tepehua Community Center is one of a kind. It has proved that this blue print works and could be adapted for every barrio Lakeside. The interesting thing regarding the terrain mountain-side north of Lake Chapala, is that it is partially ejidal land which was given to the indigenous people by a past president for not capitulating to the Spanish and it still remains the people’s land. It is almost impossible to buy today as most titles are in families from generations past. Ten or twelve years ago, when the center was still a vision, a donor bought from the title owner of the Tepehua building a 99 year lease and that is how the vision for a center became a reality. In 2020 the title owner signed over the title to Tepehua Community Center in its entirety, so the center is there forever for the people. It can never be sold or


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become a private domain. The Ejidal Office said that they would give the center as much support as they could for projects to improve the life of the people. Unfortunately, they had no money and there were no titles left for them to give us for an intended project of communal toilets. Our studies at this time are focussed on water and sanitation. Of the 7,000 people in Tepehua, 50% have no toilets. Open defecation is the biggest problem of poverty all over the world. Where can people go if they have no private toilets? Why don’t they have toilets? No money to spend on luxury items, and for millions the world over, toilets are a luxury. To hook up to the local sewer line in Mexico costs $1,500 for the permission alone. Add labour and material and it becomes a luxury item. Communal toilets are a must in congested slum areas. The local people like this idea so much they are offering land that they cannot afford to build on, or land for their children’s inheritance that is sitting idle, for the center to use under contract for communal toilets. Again, community acceptance because of community need. As we have built the first MPC community center in Tepehua, so we will build the first communal bathroom as a pilot program. If it survives 2021, we will build more in 2022. The first communal toilet should be finished by the end of May. We will have a second one before the end of the year. The communal toilets of Tepehua will create a work exchange. The cleaning crew will be able to take advantage of the center’s programs - help to get their children through school, free medical and dental, counseling and further education. Priceless. They would not earn enough money for those in a full time job! For the interior decorators out there, if you are changing out your utilities such as sinks and toilets, please remember the sanitation drive in Tepehua. We will come and take away the old one whose color doesn’t please you anymore but is still in good shape to make another home happy. Your reject is another’s necessity. Stay safe, wear a mask.

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If Our Pets Could Talk By Jackie Kellum


try to keep a balance giving equal time to cats and dogs, but this month’s column is more specifically for cat lovers-owners. But some dog lovers might have both cats and dogs in their household, or may find some of this interesting also. We talk about a cat having nine lives, but figuring out your cat’s age equivalent in human years is a bit complex. The first year of a cat’s life is similar to a human at 10 - 15 year’s development. At cat age 2 years it’s approximately a 25 year old human. After that, cats tend to age about four or five human years per every 12 months. With this age ratio it is understandable how a cat could develop arthritis, some decreased organ function or neurologic changes in


what appears to be a short amount of time and cat age. Save those cardboard boxes. It may be trash to you, but it’s Heaven to your cat. The major reason for this affinity to them is that it offers the cat a sense of safe protected retreat and security. They can see us, but we cannot see them, so they feel in control, safer and calmer. In fact, a group of cat behavioral scientists even did a study about this. One group of cats was given boxes and another did not have

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boxes. They found ‘the box-group’ had less stress, and adjusted to their environment better and more quickly. As a side benefit the box offers comforting warmth. A cat’s normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 F to 102.5 F degrees, [37.8 – 39.1 C] which is higher than humans. Cats are more comfortable in settings anywhere from 86 F to 97 F [30 – 36 C] degrees. Don’t think your cat is smart? Then look at its brain. The cat brain is comparatively smaller than that of other species, but relative brain size isn’t always the best indicator of intelligence. Brain surface folding and brain structure matters more than brain size. Both cat brains and human brains have similar structures. Their brains are separated into different areas, each performing specialized tasks. These areas are all interconnected and can easily and rapidly share information. This exchange of information gives your cat a valuable perception of his surrounding environment and allows him to react to and even manipulate his environment. Cats have the ability to store both long-term and short-term memories. Cats do dream while sleeping and undergo both REM (rapid eye movement) and nonREM sleep. During REM sleep your cat will dream, and may twitch, flicks its

tail, or make sounds - this is normal behavior. Cats like humans have binocular vision, which enables them to perceive depth. This depth perception is, in part, what makes your cat a successful hunter and stalker. If you have ever owned a cat, you know cats love to eat grass. The annoying part is that they never seem to vomit it outside where they ate it, but come inside and do it. This grass eating behavior has been studied, and experts theorize it has benefits. Vomiting may eliminate all indigestible matter from the cat’s digestive tract, making it feel better. Grass juice contains folic acid. This is an essential vitamin for a cat’s bodily functions and assists in the production of hemoglobin, the protein that moves oxygen in the blood. There is a theory that grass eating also acts like a laxative, it helps break down and move fur balls out of their intestine. Words of caution: check that all of your household and outdoor plants are of the non-toxic variety, and do not use animal harmful pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals in your yard. Jackie Kellum

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Word Salad By Sally Asante

Crazy English


mall wonder that we English users are constantly standing meaning on its head. Let’s look at a number of familiar English words and phrases that turn out to mean the opposite or something very different from what we think they mean: I could care less. If you could care less, then you must care at least a little bit. What you really mean is I couldn’t care less. I really miss not seeing you. Whenever people say this to me, I feel like responding, “All right, I’ll leave!” Here speakers throw in a gratuitous negative, not, even though I really miss seeing you is what they want to say. The movie kept me literally glued to my seat. The chances of our


buttocks being literally epoxied to a seat are about as small as the chances of our literally rolling in the aisles while watching a funny movie or literally drowning in tears while watching a sad one. We actually mean The movie kept me figuratively glued to my seat— but who needs figuratively, anyway? A non-stop flight. Never get on one of these. You’ll never get down. A near miss. A near miss is, in reality, a collision. A close call is actually a near hit. My idea fell between the cracks. If something fell between the cracks, didn’t it land smack on the planks or the concrete? Shouldn’t that be my idea fell into the cracks (or between the boards)? Pick up the phone. When someone rings you up, you pick up the receiver, not the entire telephone. A hot water heater. Who heats hot water? This is similar to garbage disposal. Actually, the stuff isn’t garbage until after you dispose of it. A hot cup of coffee. Here again the English language gets us in hot water. Who cares if the cup is hot? Surely we mean a cup of hot coffee. Doughnut holes. Aren’t those little treats really doughnut balls? The hole is what’s left in the original doughnut. (And if a candy cane is shaped like a cane, why isn’t a doughnut shaped like a nut?) I want to have my cake and eat it

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too. Shouldn’t this timeworn cliché be I want to eat my cake and have it too? Isn’t the logical sequence that one hopes to eat the cake and then still possess it? A one-night stand. So who’s standing? Similarly, to sleep with someone. Who’s sleeping? Operators are standing by to take your call. Who’s standing? They’re sitting. I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth. Let the word go out to the four corners of the earth that ever since Columbus we have known that the earth doesn’t have any ends. It’s neither here nor there. Then where is it? Extraordinary. If extra-fine means “even finer than fine” and extra-large “even larger than large,” why doesn’t extraordinary mean “even more ordinary than ordinary”? The first century B.C. These hundred years occurred much longer ago than people imagined. What we call the first century B.C. was, in fact the last century B.C. Daylight saving time. Not a single second of daylight is saved by this ploy. After dark. Isn’t after dark actually after light? Twenty degrees below freezing. Isn’t that still freezing? The announcement was made by a nameless official. Just about everyone has a name, even officials. Surely what is meant is “The announcement was made by an unnamed official.” Preplan, preboard, preheat, and prerecord. Aren’t people who do this simply planning, boarding, heating, and recording? Who needs the pretentious prefix? I have even seen shows “prerecorded before a live audience,” certainly preferable to prerecording before a dead audience. Pull up a chair. We don’t really pull a chair up; we pull it along the ground. And we don’t really throw up; we throw out. Put on your shoes and socks. This is an exceedingly difficult maneuver. Most of us put on our socks first, then our shoes. A hit-and-run play. If you know your baseball, you know that the sequence constitutes “a run-and-hit play.” The bus goes back and forth between the terminal and the airport. Again we find mass confusion about the order of events. You have to go forth before you can go back. I got caught in one of the biggest traffic bottlenecks of the year. The bigger the bottleneck, the more freely the contents of the bottle flow through it. To be true to the metaphor, we should say, I got caught in one of the smallest traffic bottlenecks of the year.

Underwater and underground. Things that we claim are underwater and underground are obviously surrounded by, not under the water and ground. I lucked out. To luck out sounds as if you’re out of luck. Don’t you mean I lucked in? I slept like a baby. For most people, that means “I slept soundly,” but most babies wake up every two hours and cry. Because we speakers and writers of English seem to have our heads screwed on backwards, we constantly misperceive our bodies, often saying just the opposite of what we mean: Watch your head. I keep seeing this sign on low doorways, but I haven’t figured out how to follow the instructions. Trying to watch your head is like trying to bite your teeth. They’re head over heels in love. That’s nice, but all of us do almost everything head over heels. If we are trying to create an image of people doing cartwheels and somersaults, why don’t we say, They’re heels over head in love? The athlete never left her feet. Of course not! Her feet are attached to her ankles. He’s got a good head on his shoulders. What? He doesn’t have a neck? She broke every bone in her body. What about the bones outside her body? Put your best foot forward. Now let’s see . . . We have a good foot and a better foot—but we don’t have a third —and best—foot. It’s our better foot we want to put forward. This grammar atrocity is akin to May the best team win. Usually there are only two teams in the contest. Similarly, in any list of bestsellers. Only the most popular book is genuinely a bestseller. All the rest are bettersellers. Keep a stiff upper lip. When we are disappointed or afraid, which lip do we try to control? The lower lip, of course, is the one we are trying to keep from quivering. I’m speaking tongue in cheek. So how can anyone understand you? Skinny. If fatty means “full of fat,” shouldn’t skinny mean “full of skin”? His feet are firmly planted on the ground. Then how can he get his pants off? They do things behind my back. You want they should do things in front of your back? They did it ass backwards. What’s wrong with that? We do everything ass backwards. English is weird. (Reprinted with Sally Asante permission.)

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Cuauhtémoc By David Ellison


fter Moctezuma II had been murdered and his brother had succumbed to smallpox, the Aztec nobles chose Cuauhtémoc, one of their most distinguished military leaders, to defend the besieged Tenochtitlán and their doomed empire. He was only twenty-five years old. In Nahuatl his name meant “One who has descended like an eagle [to devour its prey]”; and by all accounts, he led decisively, fought courageously (everything Moctezuma II had failed to do). When all was lost, he attempted to flee with his family and other nobles but was captured. Brought before Cortés, Cuauhtémoc supposedly said, “Ah captain! I have already done all in my power to defend my kingdom and free it from your hands, and because my fortune has not been favorable, take my life, which will be very just, and with this


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will end the Mexican kingdom.” Cortés replied magnanimously, “You have defended your capital like a brave warrior. A Spaniard knows how to respect valor, even in an enemy.” (Such nobility! If it isn’t true, it ought to be.) Cortés’ mercy ended with his words, however. When Cortés couldn’t find the royal treasure, he had Cuauhtémoc tortured. (He never found it.) Four years later, fearing Cuauhtémoc might instigate an uprising, he had him executed (under the dubious charge of conspiring to assassinate him). Nonetheless, it is Cuauhtémoc’s giant statue that dominates the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City today. His visage appears on coins and bills, his name graces many Mexican streets and even a city in the state of Chihuahua. Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor, endures as a symbol of heroic defiance before a pitiless fate. It is no wonder Mexicans cherish him. This is a selection from Ellison’s book-in-progress, Niños Héroes: The Fascinating Stories Behind Mexican Street Name.

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Jacaranda By Michael Warren Purple on powder blue, it’s hard to tell where jacaranda ends and sky begins: across the morning haze, a single bell summons the faithful to confess their sins. It’s hard to tell where living seems to end and death begins. The tendrils ache towards the blue, and move and blend in silence with the wind – for living’s sake they die, and flake by secret flake carpet the earth which once they canopied. The azure tent above shakes in the breeze: behind and beyond the village bell I almost hear a sound – it’s hard to tell – a memory of distant deep blue harmonies.

The Widow By Steve Griffin She is married to a ghost, her vows inviolate. Her late husband, she won’t consider late. In fact, he seems much more himself, interred so nicely on a shelf. Her devotion does not lack, because he cannot answer back. His calm demeanor satisfies, far more than would be lovers’ cries. She feels no longing for love’s fires. Selected memories fulfill her pale desires.

THE STRANGE GIRL She was so strange and rare, her worth lacked all compare. It filled our hearts with fear, since all that seemed so clear, was causing us confusion. Was everything we loved, just an illusion? Her tears she was too proud to show, her laughter too small for us to know. The casual manner of her looks, the constant armload of her books, the faroff gaze in her dark eyes, the poignant music of her sighs, we never valued them as special. We were all too superficial. Her diffidence we called hostility. Her self sufficiency, goaded our conformity. When she left, we admitted to no shame. Not one of us accepted any blame. But now, I wish I could traverse the years, and hold her close, and share our tears, and let her finally know, I knew the value of her soul.


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Carol D. Bradley

Email: cdbradleymex@gmail.com Phone: 33-2506-7525 “I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.” Sharon Olds The Lake Chapala Society hosts Open Circle every Sunday at 10AM, 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. In order to follow State of Jalisco safety precautions, 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, 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. Drops of pride. // Gotas de orgullo. Carrying a message of love for Lakeside. June 10 to June 30, 2021 Three venues: Chapala, Ajijic, and Jocotepec. Drops of Pride are a series of activities planned to celebrate LGBTIQ+ Pride Month, with the objective of raising awareness through art for a culture of inclusion and non-discrimination, organized by the González Gallo Cultural Center of the Network of Museums Exhibitions and Galleries of Jalisco (MEG), The Lake Chapala Society AC, the Government of Jocotepec through the Directorate of Culture and the cultural producer Robsmx. In alliance with civil society organizations such as Codise AC, Escucha Mi Voz AC, Guadalajara Pride, Ajijic Cares and Democrats Abroad, Charter Chapala. 15 days of activities, 3 venues, 1 human rights talk, 2 film screenings and 11

Drops of Pride exhibit in Guadalajara

public, private and AC institutions in alliance to spread Drops of Pride along Lakeside. Every year the month of June is called LGBTIQ+ Pride Month, in commemoration of the struggle for the rights of people of sexual diversity, taking as a banner the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969. Since then, every June, activities are carried out to raise awareness and promote a culture of non-discrimination. Drops of Pride is the alliance of public institutions, collectives and civil associations to bring a message of inclusive love to two municipalities of the Chapala Lakeside. Through an exhibition of traveling posters, talks on human rights of people of sexual diversity and the exhibition of the documentary “Cónyuges” (Spouses), we seek to generate spaces for dialogue, reflection and coexistence to learn about the current problems of people of sexual diversity, as well as the progress that has been made in the State of Jalisco. Activities of Gotas de Orgullo. Itinerant exhibition of the Amor+ poster collection. A collection initiative of Robsmx and the civil association Escucha mi voz, in which 21 designers from Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador participate, where through the design of posters, they create visual messages that create a space for reflection on diverse and inclusive love. With the objective of “splashing” more people with the message of love of the posters, they will be exhibited for three weekends in different venues of the municipalities of Lakeside. Venue 01 - González Gallo Cultural Center Address: Av. González Gallo 1500, Chapala, Jalisco. Exhibition dates: June 10th to 13th. Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 - 17:00 hrs. and Sundays from 11:00 to 14:00 hrs. Venue 02 - The Lake Chapala Society - Ajijic Address: Calle 16 de Septiembre #16A, Ajijic Centro. Exhibition Dates: June 18 to 20 Schedule: Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 14:50 hrs. // Saturday from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. // Sunday from 9:30 to 12:00 hrs. Venue 03 - House of Culture of Jocotepec “José Vaca Flores”. Address: Calle Hidalgo Eje Sur 38, Jocotepec Centro, 45800 Jocotepec, Jal. Exhibition Dates: June 23rd to June 30th Hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 21:00 hrs. // Saturday 11:00 to 15:00 hrs. Open Circle Talk: Culture and human rights for sexual diversity How to generate more inclusive environments and support social groups. We can all be part of the movement to support a cultural change in our environment, to gradually become an increasingly inclusive society without discrimination; we do not necessarily have to be activists and demonstrate to support groups that promote social change from civil society. Open Circle Talk: Join to support by Rob Hernandez Date: June 20 Time: 10:30 am Venue: The Lake Chapala Society AC, Calle 16 de Septiembre #16A, Ajijic Centro. Screenings of the documentary Cónyuges. With the objective of creating a synergy between civil society and the population of Lakeside, to raise awareness of the current problems and progress in the recognition of the human rights of people of sexual diversity in Jalisco, the documentary “Cónyuges” by Rob Hernández will be screened and there will be a talk with the director and some of the activists who

Rob Hernández

Continued on page 32


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participate in the documentary. Each of the screenings will be led by a local civil association. Screenings Friday, June 18 - 20:30 hrs. Venue: The Lake Chapala Society AC, Calle 16 de Septiembre #16A, Ajijic Free admission Friday, June 25 - 20:00 hrs. Venue: Casa de cultura de Jocotepec “José Vaca F”. Free admission For more information and interviews Rob Hernández, Robsmx - robsmx52@gmail.com // 3315110310 Gabriela Serrano, González Gallo Cultural Center - gonzalezgallo. sc@jalisco.gob.mx 333677 6006 Ballet Metropolitano de Guadalajara presents: Two very brave dancers from


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the Ballet de Jalisco have formed a new company, Ballet Metropolitano de Guadalajara, both to give professional dancers from not only the Ballet de Jalisco, but other companies and dancers as well, an opportunity to perform and to be able to purchase much needed group health insurance. Tickets will be available at the Lake Chapala Society every Tuesday from 10-12 to the right of their main entrance. The two performances will be held on July 3 at 5:30 and 7:30 at the Ignacio Lopez Tarso Theater (either formally the Diana Theater or an adjacent one.) If there are enough requests, a van or bus may be available for the 5:30 performance. For additional information, contact: Suzanne Salimbene salimbene.s@gmail.com Tel (011 52) 376 108 1621 Cell 33 3150 6814 El gato feo café will once again, be hosting readings by local writers and have a bookcase for book purchases of many local authors. Watch this space for re-opening and readings.

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I See Dead People An Early Morning Walk along an Ancient Lake By Don Beaudreau


he sun is just coming up over Lake Chapala while I take my morning walk. And my thoughts turn to things I cannot explain… My first conscious memory occurred when I was three years old and was being held over my dead grandfather and told to kiss him goodbye. Welcome to Appalachia – or at least to my mother’s side of the family in rural western Maryland in 1948. It was like a never-ending “Spoon River Anthology.” Death was always there in that little village. In fact, people even seemed to look forward to somebody’s passing so they could have a party— or a “wake” as we ScottishIrish called it. I could go on about such


an event being a noble occasion, a time when one and all might realize his/her mortality, coming together as we did to celebrate the mystery and the wonder of life — but I won’t go on. Because as a three-year-old cherub, I was in no state of mind to think of such things as I dangled over my dead grandpa. All I felt was terror in that front parlor of our ancestral home where the body was laid out. And I remember being forced to kiss him on his cheek. Fast forward a few years. I am a boy of twelve or thereabouts. And I am again in that front parlor where, because the house is full-up with family members for some occasion or other, I have been told I must sleep. And on the

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couch that was in the very spot where Grandpa Bennett had been laid out in his casket nine years previously. Believing myself to be totally mature despite being twelve, I went to bed quite sure that visions of kissing Grandpa’s dead body were not going to continue running amok in my mind as they had been ever since the event itself occurred. But I was wrong. It was a terrifying night. There were those visions. And coupled with every creaking noise in that old house, was my overriding sense that Grandpa was there in the room with me! To use Emily Dickinson’s line to describe my own absolute terror: I felt “zero at the bone.” Tom Bennett was there I was sure — communicating to me without words — but then, I was told that he never talked much to begin with! Four years later, at the age of 16, I am standing over my grandmother Clara’s dying body and holding her hand. I am the only one in the hospital room with her when she suddenly opens her eyes, stretches out her arm, and says: “I see you, Tom. I’m coming to you,” and dies. Many years later, I met my paternal grandmother for the first time. I visited the Rhode Island village where my father was born, a place I had visited only once before some 40 years before. The occasion back then was the first and last time I saw my father’s two youngest brothers. Forty years later, I had one surviving uncle and he was the one I visited in that village, a place he had lived in all his life. Uncle Herve and I talked of the past. And he helped me put some missing pieces together about my father. And then we went to visit the family cemetery. “Beaudreault” was carved on most of the headstones, including my grandfather’s and his second wife’s. “But where is my grandmother’s grave?” I asked my uncle. “I don’t know,” he said. “You don’t know?” I said. “But she’s your mother.” “She’s in the other cemetery but where exactly I can’t say,” he said. “Can you take me to it?” I asked.

It took us less than ten minutes. We came upon a very old cemetery, with chipped and twisted headstones. “She’s here somewhere. You father and your Uncle Arthur found her once.” Uncle Herve was talking about their discovering her grave many decades ago! He, himself, was only two years old when his mother died in 1922, and he didn’t remember her; he hadn’t known her, really, just like I hadn’t known her, although we both had heard a few stories. My uncle and I began to search for Regina LaRose Beaudreault, choosing to walk separately through row upon row of aged stones. We were Frenchmen looking for our heritage; for a sign of our connection. We met somewhere in the center of all that timelessness. “I can’t find her,” I said, about to give up. “She’s here somewhere,” he said, playing the laconic New Englander. “I remember your father saying something about her being here.” And then it happened. For whatever purpose under the sun, I was drawn to a distant corner of that cemetery; drawn to it as if fate were calling me to a longdelayed rendezvous. I knelt down at a grave set away from the others; one marked as different by its isolation. No name I could see was carved on that weather-beaten stone; no date of birth or death. Snow and sun and time had eroded all trace of memory. But I knew, I knew. I knelt beside the tombstone, then put out my hand to touch that stone and witnessed my trembling fingers tracing through time, digging deeply into that marble, uniting the generations: Regina LaRose Beaudreault. “Come quickly, Uncle Herve!” I shouted, as if she were about to flee from us. “I’ve found her!” Each of us held back our tears as Regina’s son met her again, and her grandson met her for the first time... Life. Death. In between. Indeed, what about the “in between”? Consider the word taken from Lamaist Buddhism: “bardo.” In The Tibetan Book of the Dead, “bardo” means an “island” or “intermediate state.” It is further defined as the interval of suspension after we die but also refers to suspension in the living situation...not being sure of our ground, not knowing quite what we are getting into…“bar” means in between and “do” means…a sort of landmark between two things. Ah! The mystery of being human! How fortunate I am that I have time during these days of my retirement from a professional life to contemplate that mystery while I walk along the shores of this ancient lake early in the morning.

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Unsung Heroes

Godsend By Anna Elena Berlin


he definition of godsend is: noun 1. a very helpful or valuable event, person, or thing. I’m pretty sure the word originated with a person that experienced a miraculous blessing in their life. Is it possible to express enough gratitude to somebody who enables a miraculous blessing in your life? You decide as you read this story. I thank my friend Zofia for introducing me to her housekeeper, Raquel Chavez, when I told her that I needed help cleaning the house. Raquel was a wonder, she not only cleaned the


Raquel Chavez

house, she made it perfect the way I wanted it to be perfect. She was also willing to run errands, do shopping, and help me in any way she could.

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When my life in Mexico fell apart she helped me pack up my house so I could seek healing and start anew. When I came back to Lakeside with my husband, she was our housekeeper. But she didn’t just clean the house, she cut fresh fruit for my morning yogurt. It sounds like a small thing but it was really special to me. When the summer was over, she stored a lot of my things at her house... for two years. This may seem mundane to you, but that’s because I haven’t gotten to the good part yet, which started in Athens Greece. That’s where a simple 45-minute, ¾ inch incision surgery on my lower back turned into 3.5 hours, seven inch incision surgery. It ended my intense back pain, as much of a relief to my husband as me, but I needed rehabilitation. My neurosurgeon told me that in three months I needed to swim, swim, swim to recover from my surgery. A month-and-a-half later we both caught Covid-19 and were very sick for three weeks. Just as I was getting well enough to go swimming, the country of Greece closed all the swimming pools due to the pandemic. Even after moving to Colorado I was not able to swim much because they kept closing the pools due to Covid. Desperate for alternatives, I realized I could swim safely everyday by renting a place with a private pool in Mexico. I could be confident driving to Lakeside if I traveled with someone else, and my husband was stuck in Greece. When you’re almost seventy staying awake at the wheel can be challenging, especially if you’re driving eleven hours a day. The only person that might be available and willing, that I wanted to have in the car for such a long trip, was Raquel. She is a kind and generous person that was married to an American, and took care of another American that was disabled for many years. She is a very good woman with a sweet disposition, so I asked her if she could help

me and that I would gladly pay her. My plan was to fly her from Guadalajara to Los Angeles, where I was visiting my sister, then we would drive to Lakeside. Just when you think life can’t get much weirder, it does. She told me that she was already in California, so I bought her an air ticket from San Jose to Los Angeles and we were off. What a relief to know that my favorite Mexican companion was going to be with me on this long journey through Mexico. So what is the Godsend part you are wondering? Because my legs were so weak, Raquel became my legs and helped me every time walking was involved. She would go into stores and restaurants, help me check into hotels, and carry my bag. Most importantly, at the border she helped me get the papers required to temporarily import my car into Mexico. Raquel is petite but she is energetic, strong, and spry. Whatever I needed she would help me with, and when I didn’t ask—she would offer assistance. We were truly blessed, everything on the journey went well and we both enjoyed our 3 ½ days together. I settled into my West Ajijic studio apartment, with a big swimming pool only steps away, and started rehabilitating. In a few days Raquel came to help me unpack, do my laundry, and made fresh fruit for my yogurt addiction. She also brought me groceries, and my things that she had kept for two years. This lovely woman is the epitome of true friendship. The only thing that stood between me and recovering from major back surgery was someone to be with me on the long drive through the Sonoran Desert. How do you express gratitude to someone who gives of themselves in such a wholehearted way? I suppose the only real way is to continue to cherish our friendship for as long as I am able to. I no longer want her to housekeep for me because she’s almost 65, but I will continue to ask her to help me in other ways. And, I will continue to pay her more than she asks, because she has a large family and she is worth more than money can pay for. When does someone that works for you become more valuable as a friend? I believe it is when they enable miracles in your life. Thank you Raquel with all my heart, you are the reason I will regain my walking abilities and my strength… you are a true Godsend in my life. Anna Elena Berlin

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FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren

Skylight By David Hare Directed by Collette Clavadetscher


his play premiered in London in 1995, and it has received many awards and nominations, including a Tony Award for Best Play in 1997. Somehow it already seems dated, at least to a North American audience. Essentially the play is about forgiveness, or the lack of it. As the scene opens, a young man “Edward” comes to visit “Kyra” in her miserable cold apartment. He asks her to talk to his father “Tom” who had a love affair with Kyra several years ago. We soon discover that Kyra is much younger than Tom, and had been his mistress for six years until Tom’s wife found out about the affair. Then Kyra walked out on him, never to speak to him again. Subsequently, Tom’s wife becomes ill and dies of cancer. So there’s plenty of guilt and self-punishment to go around. Tom appears on the scene, and the rest of the play is more or less a monologue as Tom rants at Kyra and attempts to reestablish their relationship. Is it possible? Did they ever love each other? Is the past too difficult to overcome? Dave McIntosh gives an amazing performance as Tom – he carries the play

and is entirely believable in his pain and his need to be forgiven. He is very wealthy and successful, but he has a hard time expressing love. And of course his wife never forgave him. By contrast, Tina Leonard is subdued as Kyra, who seems happy living in extreme poverty. She teaches math at a school for problem kids in the slum area of east London. Tom yells at her for her self-inflicted martyrdom, but she doesn’t seem to care, and lands a few blows of her own. In many ways, it’s a more difficult part to play because it’s so understated, and Tina does well though I couldn’t always hear her lines. Enrique Nedar has a small cameo part as Tom’s son Edward and performs it with some zest. In North America, it is a virtue to be a successful entrepreneur, so we tend to empathize with Tom. Why should he apologize for it? In fact he doesn’t, and he’s proud of his success. But the audience is also led to believe that Kyra is happy in poverty. This doesn’t make much sense, unless at some level she is punishing herself. As the play ends, she sends Tom away – it seems that they both need to be unhappy. The play was very long, and could have benefited from some editing. I’m not sure that Edward’s role was necessary to the action. Perhaps that part could have been eliminated. Collette Clavadetscher chose an interesting play and directed it cleverly, plus she had two very good performers in Dave McIntosh and Tina Leonard. Thanks to ART and congratulations to all involved in this production. Michael Warren


El Ojo del Lago / June 2021

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Conspiracy Theories Flourish When Conditions Are Ripe Dr. Lorin Swinehart

“Oh Judgment! Thou art fled to Brutish beasts. And men have lost their reason.” Mark Antony in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”


s my good friend and fellow El Ojo del Lago contributor Fred Mittag has frequently observed, “People will believe anything.” Conspiracy theories generally proliferate during any period of societal uproar, in the aftermath of, for instance, a war, an assassination, an economic collapse or a pandemic. Perhaps even more troubling than the theories themselves are the motivations of those who so willingly adopt and even promote them. Some conspiracy theories verge upon the humorous, for instance that Elvis Presley still lives, that the world is flat, that the infamous Area 51 in Ro-

swell, New Mexico conceals the truth about visiting extraterrestrials or that Neil Armstrong really never walked upon the moon. During the period of the Black Death in Medieval Europe, conspiracy theories ran rampant among the uneducated and superstitious masses. One theory was that the cause of the calamity was men having sex with older women. Other theories had more tragic consequences, that the plague was caused by Jews poisoning the wells, for instance, a delusion leading to yet another cruel and bloodthirsty pogrom. Susceptibility to mass delusions and hysteria has defined many eras of human history. In the aftermath of

World War I, for instance, the public acquiesced in the injustices and persecutions of the Big Red Scare, convinced that the dread Bolsheviks who had just overturned the Czarist regime in Russia were armed and eager to initiate a reign of terror in the streets of America. With President Woodrow Wilson effectively incapacitated by a stroke, his attorneygeneral A. Mitchel Palmer, aided and abetted by J. Edgar Hoover, initiated a series of so-called Palmer raids targeting any and all dissidents, guilty or innocent, sending 249 people off on the “Soviet Ark” to the newly established USSR. Labor leaders and so-called “radicals” were most at risk. Anyone who rocked the boat too hard did so under the threat of deportation. The 1920’s were a time of widespread hysteria, during which the public was convinced that a Bolshevik lay in wait ready to pounce behind every bush and fence row. There are always those eager to grab the ball—any ball—and run with it. The decade also saw the rise of a resurgent Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization from its very inception until the present. As Frederick Lewis Allen details in his Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920’s, many small towns, not only in the South erected signs at their corporation limits announcing, “The Ku Klux Klan Welcomes You,” alongside others offering new arrivals membership in Rotary International, the Kiwanis Club or the Lions Club. The Klan at the time directed its venom as much toward immigrants, Jews and Roman Catholics as at black citizens. A number of small businessmen my old hometown of Ashland, Ohio abandoned the Klan for fear that their Roman Catholic customers would boycott them if knowledge of their affiliation became known. Not to be outdone, the aftermath of World War II saw a new emergence of mass paranoia, the fires stoked by the usually inebriated Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. With Joseph Stalin’s minions on the march and Mainland China newly in the grip of Mao Tse-Tung (totalitarianism by any name will smell as rank), the more gullible among us provided fertile ground for the senator’s assurances that the US government in general and the State Department in particular was riddled with Communist sympathizers. Somehow, he assured his followers, dark forces within the government had connived to cause the US to “lose China”, as though we had ever possessed China in the first place. Our stubborn support for the corrupt Chaing Ki-shek had probably done more to erode support for the Nationalist cause and toss the nation into the abyss of Maoism than any domestic conspiracy ever could

have. When Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted and executed for passing nuclear secrets to the USSR and the petty spy Alger Hiss was found guilty of espionage, the masses were affirmed in their belief that agents of the “worldwide Communist conspiracy” lurked everywhere. To even question the status quo with regard to any of society’s cruelties or injustices was to risk being labeled a Communist sympathizer, pinko (as opposed to red) or fellow traveler. When Rev. Martin Luther King met with the black citizens of the Goolah Geechee islanders off the South Carolina coast, the local press sniffed that the gathering was a meeting of Communist Party members. None other than President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson labeled the entire civil rights movement a Communist plot. It was suggested by some observers that the membership of the actual Communist Party of the USA was so minuscule that it should be divided among municipalities nationwide so that each community could have a convenient target for its paranoia. It is unlikely that speculation will ever cease surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. That a festering nonentity like Lee Harvey Oswald would pull off such an outrageous crime on his own remains too much for many to accept. Other conspiracy theories are more sinister and mask deep seated biases, such as the big lie that the Nazi conducted Holocaust of World War II is a hoax. Many conspiracy theories originate with outright lies perpetrated by political leaders, whether out of malice or befuddlement. It was not learned until after a vast expenditure in blood and treasure that the Gulf of Tonkin incident used as a pretext for our deeper involvement in the Vietnam War did not happen as reported. In a similar fashion, it was discovered that Saddam Hussein, as evil a man as he was, did not possess weapons of mass destruction, the rationale provided for our lengthy involvement in the Second Gulf War and the geopolitical quagmire that persists in the Middle East to this day. During a period of societal upheaval and insecurity, many persons, particularly the uneducated and uninformed, can be more prone to accept the most outlandish theories. When Orson Welles broadcast his War of The Worlds program in 1938, large numbers who tuned in late to his Mercury Theater were readily convinced that ravening Martian hordes were leveling major cities and vaporizing the residents. In the throes of the Great Depression and with World War II looming, many were taken in by the broadcast who may not

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From page 40 have been during more settled times. Even then, the responses of many who were taken in reveal their level of ignorance of science, with one person actually trumpeting that a “planet” had landed in New Jersey, clueless as to how absurd such a statement was. It would seem that it generally takes three elements to foster a wave of hysteria and criminality: Social and economic unrest; a fanatical cult feeding upon and encouraging the worst instincts of the populace; a mass of the willfully ignorant and ill-informed. Most recently, it only took a president whose failed term in office was thankfully ending and whose ego was too fragile to admit that he acquired that most despised of titles, that of loser, to unleash a slavering, malodorous horde of thugs and malcontents upon the US Capitol. In his study The People of the Lie: The Psychology of Evil, the psychiatrist Dr. M. Scott Peck posits that ignorance is an evil choice freely made. While education—true education that emphasizes critical thinking skills—remains the best way to arrive at truth and avoid falsehood, there are those who resist self-improvement through education, preferring unsubstantiated

rumors and speculation to evidence as provided by, for instance, modern science. In a recent article published on Aeon, Quassim Cassam of the University of Warwick labels such types Bad Thinkers. It would seem that what one learns or refuses to learn is indicative of one’s values, that for many it is easier to water and nourish their delusions than to engage in the hard business of serious thought. The consequences of bad thinking can be tragic, as, for instance, in the case of recent acts of violence directed at Asian Americans by those who suspect Mainland China of deliberately fostering the COVID pandemic. While serious scientists, including those at the World Wildlife Fund, suspect that the COVID virus is zoonotic, perhaps originating with bats, the list of misdeeds perpetrated by the Chinese government is long and deplorable, to which people of Tibet as well as members of the Uyghur minority of Xinjiang can well attest. And yet that anyone could somehow associate the misdeeds of the Chinese government with an innocent civilian of Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese descent going peacefully about their business simply because they “look Asian” stands as a powerful indictment of the character and intelligence of conspiracy theorists. The solution to bad thinking is, of course, to educate the all too often resistant public, to, as Dr. Cassam says, encourage intellectual virtues as opposed to such intellectual vices as closed mindedness and prejudice. The task is necessary but time consuming and seemingly Sisyphian. By the time the bad thinkers have been so educated, the ramparts may have been breeched, the sanctuary befouled and the artifacts looted and shattered yet again. Cassam reminds us that the best route toward arriving at truth and avoiding falsehood is provided by eduction. Of course, we have been told many times that in order to address the world’s many ills, such as global warming, rising sea levels, plastic pollution, or the pervasive effects of pesticides, we must educate the public. Given that large segments of the public are resistant to being educated and would prefer to avoid uncomfortable realities and the discoveries of science, the bad thinkers—barbarians—may well have breached the ramparts, befouled the sanctuary and shattered the artifacts within before the tasks before us are meaningfully addressed. Lorin Swinehart


El Ojo del Lago / June 2021

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Pains, Trains and Wildfires By Neil McKinnon


his is the story of how the wife and I decided to rekindle our relationship, which had become painful and unexciting as a result of raising a family and working long hours—I, in a repetitive job in Calgary and she, as a teacher of small children in an elementary school. Our marriage had not always been unexciting. It was once like a shirt drying on a line. It would blow into many different shapes, but when the breeze stopped it always fell back to what it was — and at one time, it was soft and wonderful. In those days she called me Twinkle Butt. But I never thought of that as gone. Late at night when my only companion was a flickering television, our love seemed as a blaze that had fizzled, leaving the ashes cold. Though she no longer called me Twinkle Butt, I was sure that if we sifted the ashes we could find a spark. I imagined what it would be like to fan the spark...not into a wildfire—the days of wildfires were gone for us. Just a small flame lit my fantasy. So, when the occasion arose that I might accompany her, without our children, to a weekend gathering of teachers in Edmonton, I saw an opportunity for us to find the spark and rekindle our love. The convention had promise. It was in a first-class hotel. There was a welcoming cocktail party and a banquet with entertainment.

She had an expense allowance; her time commitment was not great, and Edmonton has many attractions. At first, she was hesitant to take me. She was looking forward to a weekend of fun with her fellow teachers. When I explained that to celebrate the trip, I planned on buying each of us a new wardrobe she immediately saw logic in the quest. I convinced her to cancel plans to drive to Edmonton with her best friend so that we might ride the Dayliner, a train that ran between the two cities. The journey was less than four hours and I thought it would be healing for the bruises on our relationship. Relaxing in the club car, watching the scenery, toasting each other with fancy drinks and feasting in elegance in the dining car would be important first steps toward locating the missing spark. In a flash of romantic inspiration, I booked an expensive suite, which, according to the hotel brochure, was sure to inspire notions of romance. As we drove to the station, the wife was singing—something I hadn’t heard since the previous summer when I yanked a spacer from the deck I was constructing and stuck one end into my forehead. Our train was late. Her shoulders became stiff and she studied a crossword puzzle for the next two hours. The train, when it arrived, consisted of only one car which was reasonable because we were the

only passengers. I stowed my suitcase on the luggage rack but left hers at the end of the car because it was too large to lift. She is a good planner and thinks of every contingency, even packing sheets, blankets and pillows in case the hotel was too poor to afford its own. When we sat, clouds of dust sprang up from the seats and remained suspended around us, each speck visible in the afternoon sun shining through the dirty windows. The wife held a handkerchief to her face but it didn’t prevent a fit of choking. She was still coughing when a man in oily coveralls walked through the car. “Where can we get a drink and when do we eat?” I asked. He looked at me as though I were unable to tie my own shoelaces. Then he laughed. “This is a short trip,” he said. “There is no dining car, no food and no drinks.” He walked away chuckling. The wife’s shoulders stiffened again and she made her mouth into a hyphen. Staring at me, she tore the crossword puzzle into tiny pieces. In this fashion we passed the time of the trip, which was longer than four hours because we stopped to enjoy the unparalleled views of Main Street in every town between Calgary and Edmonton. I rubbed a small hole in the dirt on the window to watch the passing scenery. It took my mind off the crossword puzzle. When the sun went down I saw the city lights. We came to a stop and the man in coveralls reappeared. “End of the line, folks. You get off here,” he said. “But we’re not downtown,” I answered. “We don’t go downtown. We’re in the rail yard at the edge of the city,” he explained. I carried the bags. Everything was locked and dark. There was no taxi. The phone booth hosted an out of order sign. We trudged along a dirt road while the wife spoke encouragement by spelling out my fate should I damage her suitcase. When we came to a residential neighborhood, I knocked at a house and asked to use the phone, but the lady slammed the door in my face. After an hour, we found a corner store and called a cab, which worked its way through Friday evening traffic and deposited us at the hotel. I dragged the suitcases to the front desk. The clerk smiled at me. “You’re hours late,” he said. “Your room wasn’t confirmed. We gave it away a long time ago.” “Then give me another room.” “We’re filled with teachers. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing available.” He smiled again which caused him to appear not as sorry as he claimed. The wife’s heels clicked as she marched back and forth in the center of the lobby. I handed the clerk a twen-

ty. “You have to find a room,” I said. “It’s worth my life.” He pocketed the twenty. “There is a conference room,” he said. “We can roll cots in. It has a basin and toilet but no bath. You’ll have to be out before eight. There’s a meeting in the morning.” I glanced at the wife pacing like a bear in a cage. It was probably the light, but it looked like steam was rising from the back of her neck. “We’ll take it,” I said. We rode the elevator. The bellhop opened the door, dropped our suitcases and held out his hand. “What the hell?” The wife exploded. Normally she doesn’t use foul language but she will make an exception. The bellhop looked at her face and ran. “They gave away our room,” I explained. “This is all that’s left.” “The cold weather has frozen your brain. I’m not sleeping here.” She marched into the toilet. There was a phone on a table in the corner. On my sixth call I was successful—a Holiday Inn on the other side of the city. I shouted the news. After a wait, during which I thought I heard glass breaking, she emerged and paraded out the door. I grabbed the suitcases and followed. We hailed a cab, and an hour later we were in our new room. The temperature of our relationship rose a few degrees. I relaxed. The cocktail party beckoned. Drinks and snacks were exactly what we needed before a late romantic dinner. We returned to our original hotel. The ballroom was quiet. A man swept the floor. Two ladies gathered glasses and stacked chairs, “Excuse me. Isn’t this where the teacher’s party is supposed to be?” I asked. “Yes,” the man answered. “But it’s over. Everyone’s gone.” There was nothing for it but to return to the Holiday Inn, where the wife again went into the bathroom. I called room service and ordered a bottle of champagne and a late dinner. She came out and I went in to wash. When I returned, she was in bed with her back to me. I started to take off my clothes. I had no idea it would be this easy to recover the spark. “Dinner is on its way,” I said. “Let’s share an appetizer before it gets here.” She didn’t answer. “They’re bringing champagne.” I lifted the blanket and prepared to slide into bed. She spoke to the wall. “Take your champagne and sleep in the bathtub.” There was a knock on the door. I kept the champagne and sent the dinners back. Then I found a blanket and tried to get comfortable in the tub. I sipped the bubbly liquor and shifted from one side to the other. The tub

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From page 44 made my back and neck sore. Sleep was impossible. I started to feel that perhaps the spark was dead. The more I drank, the more I despaired. Finally, with my back so sore I could hardly get out of the tub, I decided to go for a walk. The bar beside the lobby was open. Why not? If I could dull the pain, I might be able to sleep. I went in and ordered a double whiskey. The drink burned all the way down. I ordered another and looked around. There were two men at the bar. One was tall with a black moustache. “Drowning your sorrows?” he asked. “Yes, I am,” I replied. “The wife told me I had to sleep in a bathtub.” The man laughed. “Sounds serious,” he said. “My wife hasn’t slept with me for five years. I understand how you feel. Let me buy you a drink.” “Me too,” his friend said. “My wife doesn’t talk to me.” Two more doubles arrived. They tasted wonderful. Everything was wonderful and the world was marvelous. I forgot about the bathtub and bought more whiskey, then a round of vodka to return the men’s generosity. Later, we drank brandy and smoked cigars while I related the tale of our train ride. “You should have hitch-hiked,” Black Moustache said. I found the idea incredibly funny and laughed until tears ran on my cheeks. My companions floated in and out of my vision, astounding me with their fabulous conversation. I was on the edge of great things, but felt completely tranquil. The wife might be angry, but these men understood. I drank some more. Then something happened. My euphoria collapsed. I remembered my wife, alone upstairs, and my happiness turned to guilt. My new friends sympathized. Yes, the world was unjust. Yes, marriage was fraught with danger. Yes, we were unlucky in love. After that, the evening became murky. I remember feeling ill and going to the bathroom. I also recall riding in a car. I came to myself in a booth in a café. Someone was shaking me. There were plates and cups on the table. “Wake up,” a woman’s voice said. “Your friends have gone. They said you’d pay.” Warm sun shone through the window. My hair hurt and my teeth itched. A hundred tiny devils pushed my brain against the backs of my eyes. “Where am I?” I asked. “Right where your friends left you,” she answered. “I have to get back to the Holiday Inn. How far is it?”


El Ojo del Lago / June 2021

She laughed. “You’re nowhere near.” Somewhere, in the depth of my hangover, a light bulb went on. I felt my pocket. Thank God, my wallet was still there. So was my room key. “They said you’d pay,” the waitress repeated. The bill took every cent I had. I went outside and began walking. I dreaded going back. I’d never been in so much trouble. I loved her and didn’t relish the idea of spending the rest of my life alone. There was no doubt she would order me to leave. She’d probably already returned home to throw out my belongings and tell her friends about my treachery. It was mid-morning and my feet were sore by the time I entered the hotel. Perhaps she hadn’t left. Maybe she was in the room waiting to kill me. I had no excuse and no speech ready. I turned the key and opened the door. The curtains were closed and the only light came from a desk lamp. My wife was sitting in the shadows on the side of the bed. She looked up and I saw she was crying. “Twinkle Butt,” she whispered. Then she stood, ran across the room and threw her arms around me. My mouth fell open. I had expected a flying water tumbler. The words poured from her. “You scared me half to death. I thought you’d gone. Please don’t frighten me like that. I’ll never be mean to you again.” She shivered and sobbed, making my shirt wet. I couldn’t believe it. She thought I’d walked out because I was angry— left everything: her, my children, my home, my job. A lump formed in my throat. I opened my mouth to tell her the truth—that I’d got drunk and spent all my money. “Don’t cry,” I said. “It’s not like that. I didn’t leave you. I … I …” I opened my mouth but something made me stop: those years together, our children, her belief that I could actually take off like the good guy at the end of a cowboy movie. A tear rolled on my cheek. She’d called me Twinkle Butt after all these years. Maybe it was better if she thought I was angry instead of stupid. I pulled her close. “I won’t leave again,” I said. She stretched up and kissed me. “I love you, Twinkle Butt,” she said. We held hands as we walked down for breakfast. I was tired and I had a hangover, but life was good. Oh yes... that spark...it became a wildfire! The End Neil McKinnon

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The Earring By Mark Sconce


ou see some strange things during your first three months as a Peace Corps Volunteer. And if you’ve been assigned to a scruffy little village on the Nepalese side of the border with India, you notice some strange things indeed. I was therefore fortunate to have rented my rooms from a Brahmin, Babujee, who became my surrogate father, mentor, and explainer. One hot afternoon, sitting on the porch together watching villagers pass by on the dusty road, I asked him about the gold earrings that some Nepali men and boys wore that penetrated the fleshy cartilage at the top of the ear opposite the lobe. He explained that because infant mortality was so high in Nepal, a male child who reached adolescence was awarded a gold ring, but only if he is the sole male, the surviving male. When he learned that I was the sole, surviving male in my family, he insisted I wear the gold earring, and he knew just the right person to pierce my ear. Two years loomed ahead of me, so I thought, Well, when in Rome… Several days later, arrangements were made, and I found myself in a thatched roof hut sitting on a high stool waiting patiently for the procedure. The cooling monsoon rains were just around the corner but yesterday, today and the next day were as hot as a crematorium. Suddenly a figure in a sari appeared, and I had to do a double take. If ever you were trying to imagine what a crone looked like, this lady fit the bill. She wasn’t a day under ninety but possessed a winning and reassuring smile. She also possessed a large needle in her gnarly fingers about the length of a toothpick, and, like a toothpick, thickened some in the middle. I shuddered a little and shuddered even more when she pulled a thread from the decorative yarn


El Ojo del Lago / June 2021

adorning her pigtail and began threading the needle. There was no attempt to sterilize the needle or thread. The Nepalese language doesn’t even have a word for germ. A brief minute later, she was piercing the top of my right ear which I didn’t much feel, but as the needle pushed through and into the thick middle, I came right up off the stool like a stuck pig. My crone finished her penetration with a smile and the words deri ramro—very good. She left a little circle of thread to make sure the hole remained open until I could replace it with the gold ring. Babujee said he knew a reputable jeweler just across the Indian border. The next afternoon, I entered the shop of Ram Bahadur who was sitting near a fire pit with one foot operating a bellows to keep the fire white hot. After we agreed on a price, he proceeded to super heat a small cube of gold in a mould until it was molten. As the gold cooled, he teased out a ring in the shape of a teardrop and let it cool before inserting it in my ear hole. He twisted the ends to make it permanent. Even though the resulting infection was red, swollen, and painful, I later realized that choosing to wear a Nepali earring was among my better decisions. For the next two years, it opened doors, prompted questions and conversations and caused a stir wherever I travelled in Nepal. It gave strangers permission to ask me about the ring in an American ear and, by the way, how’s your family? Back in Washington D.C., Peace Corps offices, I was advised to remove the ring before flying home to Omaha. “There’s a jeweler just down the block, Mr. Sconce.” Mark Sconce

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Cleopatra in Cat Skin By Don Beaudreau


housands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this. Especially in Baghdad by the Bay, Puerto Vallarta. Mexico. Cat worshipping began in that city around the time Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton blew into town 60 years ago, drank up all the booze, and started popping eyeballs internationally. The paparazzi and smut writers provided incessant updates on their tomfoolery. Yes, there is certainly nothing like a bit of scandal to turn a sleepy fishing village into Boom-Boom Town — thereby providing a perfect place for people who are breathless to have a good time. As part of all that booming, trees were planted on a previously barren island in the Zona Romantica, creating a very lush habitat and a home for hundreds of feral cats. A place known as Cuale Park. It seems that cats and cat lovers from around the world started arriving at the same time. In other words, as to which came first is anyone’s guess: the cat or the expat. This symbiotic cat-expat relationship continues to this day. Kittens are dropped off, expats discover them, nurture them with food and water, a cuddle, a vaccination, and sometimes an adoption. Near the entrance to the island, there is a life-size statue of John Huston, the director of The Night of the Iguana, the film that brought Burton and the Mistress Burton to Puerto Vallarta, although Liz never had a part in that mediocre film about debauchery. Why would she have wanted it? She was having her own upscale life of debauchery with her Dicky. Boomboom! Huston’s statue depicts him sitting in a director’s chair but without holding what he usually held when he directed films: a bottle of whiskey. Burton and Taylor have their own statue outside a little restaurant near the park’s entrance. This rather odd bit of cement looks to me more like Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon dressed in U.S. Civil War garb.

So one morning, while my mate Juan and our Lacy, a recued 75-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback with Pitbull highlights were walking near the Huston statue, they heard a weak cry. Looking under a bush near the walkway, they saw what appeared to be a distressed mouse, not more than a handful — for a small hand. Twenty minutes later, when I was just coming out of the bedroom and heading for the refrigerator, I heard this wee-bit of meowing, and looking in a corner of our pathetically miniscule “kitchen,” I saw the mouse. “What’s that?” I asked, still half asleep and wondering if I was at that very moment being filmed for some kind of stream-of-consciousness movie about hung-over, retired ministers. “What do you think it is?” Juan asked me, his eyebrows raised. Having seen those particular eyebrows raised before, I knew they were representative of eyebrows filled with hope and supplication. In other words, he wanted something. And he wanted it from me. “A rat!” I answered, becoming more awake with each passing instant. “Look again!” he told me. And so, I did. Indeed, the thing that was barely breathing but was still able to give a squeak now and then, was a little kitty with here and there a bit of much-matted fur; fur that had colorings of grey, brown and white all swirling. “Oh,” I merely responded. “Lacy and I found it.” “I see.” And so, the conversation continued with Juan informing me that he only brought her home so that we could get her healthy by feeding her and washing her with the intention of finding her a “good home.” Lacy reacted in a more committed manner. She couldn’t get enough of sniffing the new arrival, from ears to butt. In effect, she seemed to be protecting the baby, as if she were its mother. At this point I felt that I was not only in a movie that was currently being filmed,

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El Ojo del Lago / June 2021

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El Ojo del Lago / June 2021

From on page 50 but also observing it at the same time. Here they were: a cat and a dog, with the former about seventy-five times smaller than the latter, and totally defenseless. I kept thinking: Oh, my God! What if Lacy decides that this dirty, little rat-cat is trying to usurp her place in the family hierarchy, that is to say, the rat-cat is trying to take her place as the Queen? To show who the real boss is, Lacy dispatches it with one snap of her big jaws? Fearing this as a very real possibility because Lacy did have a tendency to snap at small, moving objects, I said to Juan, “You think maybe Lacy doesn’t like the cat?” “Oh, but she loves it. She is the one who first discovered her.” Like a vulture hovers over one of god’s suffering creatures waiting for it to die, I thought. “Is it a boy or a girl?” I asked. “I noticed that you referred to it as her.” “I think it’s too early to tell…but I guess a vet can. Anyhow, I know she’s a girl. I feel it.” Juan decided to give her a bath in the bathroom sink. Not much of a task, really, because she was just skin and bones. I took a picture of the event. A few minutes later, Juan was holding her as she lay all bunched up in a towel, while Lacy continued to sniff at her. I took another photo. Within the hour after bathing, she was examined by the vet who proclaimed, “It’s a girl – maybe!” Our next task was to feed her and name her. Because she looked like a rat to me, I thought Ratona would be perfect. When I asked Lacy if she liked the name, she wagged her tail. Juan did not wag his tail: “That’s not a nice name,” he said. “She’s a kitty, not a rat!” “So?” I asked. “What difference does her name make if we aren’t going to keep her?” “Well…” he started to say something but couldn’t finish. I could tell that he already was emotionally attached to her. “But I like her,” I said. The effect of saying this had its intended result: Juan beamed. “So you want to keep her?” “Welcome to the family,” I said to the new arrival, “whatever your name is.” “Maggie,” he said. Years before, the name “Maggie” had been the name we had chosen for a yet-to-be-known rescue dog we had planned on welcoming into our family one day. When that day eventually arrived, the dog that came with it came with her own name: Lacy. And we saw no reason to change it. “Maggie the Cat,” I echoed without

thinking much about what I was saying. Then I realized that the character “Maggie the Cat” was Liz Taylor’s “pet” name in the play by Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. “Perfect,” I said, without telling Juan about the Liz Taylor connection, but thinking it was fate that had put our Maggie in the weeds near John Huston’s statue, with only a short walk from where Dick and Liz used to cross that now historic bridge that linked their separate but equal houses in order to go at each other like cats. And, of course, when Liz played Cleopatra in the movie of the same name, her eyes were made up to look like cat’s eyes. After all, thousands of years ago Egyptians worshipped cats, didn’t they? Then I suggested to Juan that since Maggie was born in May, her name should be Maggie May. As the days went by, Lacy continued to hover over Maggie May as if she were, indeed, her protective mother. It was a sweet image, although every time we left the house I was afraid we would come back to “the scene of a murder.” But that never happened. And Maggie got stronger. Visits to the vet helped her regain her strength. The hair she had lost because of fleas eating into her skin, started to grow back. And with her strength came feistiness: scratching, biting, frolicking (chasing balls and feathers; climbing on everything; pouncing on anything or anyone). In other words, she became a cat. This meant as well that she would state her demands when it came to food. She quickly picked up the habit of going to the refrigerator whenever I did and sitting at its open door, staring up at me and meowing until I fed her. Just like Lacy did, minus the meowing. All this is by way of saying that new life came into this old guy’s existence. Here I had dealt with a heart condition that had necessitated a pace maker implant and had produced a score of incessant thoughts about my getting older and dying. And my attempt to adjust to retirement and a new culture complete with humidity had caused many anxious moments. But Maggie May’s story of surviving against great odds, of stating her demands as she lay in the weeds hoping that somebody would hear her pleas and adopt her instead of letting her die, was a lesson for me and everyone else: to maintain the will to live. To not give up. To fight the odds. Truly, she gave me a further reason to keep active and positive. She still does to this day, eight years later. And somehow, I am sure that Lacy, angel that she now is, is still watching over her baby.

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- CLINICA VETERINARIA SAN ANTONIO Pag: 07 Tel: 376 766-0808 - LAKESIDE FRIENDS OF THE ANIMALS AC Pag: 19 Tel: 376 765-5544 - MASKOTA’S LAKE Pag: 12 Tel: 376 766-0287, 33-3448-2507 - PET PLACE Pag: 37 - PET SITTING Pag: 48

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

Pag: 38



* BAKERY Pag: 31

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

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- TEPEHUA TREASURES Tel: 376 763-5126

Pag: 03

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* CONSTRUCTION - COMFORT SOLUTIONS Pag: 45 Tel: 33-1228-5377 - GENERAL HOME SERVICES - Amancio Ramos Jr. Cell: 331-520-3054 Pag: 12 - MARBLE & GRANITE Pag: 47 Tel: 376 766-1306 - PISOS & AZULEJOS Pag: 50 Cell: 331-250-6486 - SIKA Pag: 10 Tel: 376 766-5959 - WARWICK CONSTRUCTION Pag: 38 Tel: 376 108-8754, Cell. 331-135-0763

* ELECTRONICS/ TECHNOLOGY - STEREN Tels. 376 766-0599, 376 766-0630

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- ATLAS COUNTRY CLUB Tel: 33-3689-2620

- NAPOLEON Tel: 376 766-6153

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- FERRETERIA Y TLAPALERIA GALVEZ Tel: 376 766-0880, 387 763-0341 Pag: 58

- BEST MEXICO MOVERS US/CANADA: (915) 235-1951 US Cell: (520) 940-0481 - LAKE CHAPALA MOVING Tel: 376 766-5008 - STROM-WHITE MOVERS Tel: 376 766-6153

Pag: 06 Pag: 03 Pag: 13




Pag: 32

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

Pag: 51 Pag: 26


* LEGAL SERVICES Pag: 43 Pag: 33

* LIGHTING - L&D CENTER Tel: 376 766-1064


- RAINBOW NOTARY & NUPTIALS Tel: 904-333-7311

- HEALTH INSURANCE Pag: 19 Tel: 376 766-0395, 1-888-449-7799 - HECHT INSURANCE Tel: 376 109-1694 Pag: 16 - LAKESIDE INSURANCE - EDGAR CEDEÑO Cell: 33-3106-6982 Pag: 08 - PARKER INSURANCE SERVICES Pag: 13 Tel: 376 765-5287, 376 765-4070 - PROTEXPLAN U.S. Toll Free 1-800-608-5743 Mexico Toll Free 01-800-681-6730 Pag: 28 - TIOCORP Pag: 12 Tel: 376 766-4828, 376 766-3978

- FELIPE GONZÁLEZ-Atorney at law Tel: 33-1862-6230, 33-1073-8553 - SOLBES & SOLBES Cell: 331-520-5529, Cell: 333-676-6245

- DR. FRANCISCO J. REYES ESQUIVEL PhD Surgical Oncologist Tel: 376-766-2500, Cell: 331-110-7351 Pag: 34 - DR. GABRIEL HERNANDEZ NUÑO Tel: 376-766-5513, 333-813-3493 Pag: 28 - DRA. CLAUDIA LILIA CAMACHO CHOZAOphthalmologist Tel: 33-3403-3857 Pag: 18 - PLASTICA LIFT Pag: 37 Tel: 376 108-0595, 376 688-1820 - RIBERA MEDICAL CENTER Pag: 27 Tel: 376 765-8200 - SCLEROTHERAPY-Dra. Patricia Estela Jimenez del Toro Cell: 333-808-2833 Pag: 49 - SKYMED Cell: 333-661-3402 Pag: 43 - UNITED AMBULANCE SERVICES Tel: 376 688-3315 Pag: 29

- D.J. HOWARD Tel: 376 766-3044

- M.D. CARLOS ALONSO FLORES VALDOVINOS Tel: 376 766-5126, 376 766-4435 Pag: 11

- FARMACIA EXPRESS II Tel: 376 766-0656 - FARMACIA MASKARAS Tel: 376 766-3539 - FARMEX Tel: 376 765-5004

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* MALL / OUTLET - CENTRO LAGUNA Tel: 376 766-5514

Pag: 02

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- ALTA RETINA - Dr. Rigoberto Rios León Ophthalmic Surgeon Pag: 22 Tel: 376 688-1122, 376 688-1343 - DERMIKA Pag: 13 Tel: 376 766-2500 - DR. BEN - CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON Cell: 333-105-0402 Pag: 15

* FISH MARKET - COSTALEGRE Tel: 376 108-1087, 33-1173-6144



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* COMPUTERS - LAKESIDE - CompuShop + Repair Tel: 33-2340-7501 / 376 668-1354

- GARDEN CENTER Tel: 376 765-5973 - RAINFOREST Cell: 331-241-9773, Tel: 376 766-4534



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- AJIJIC DENTAL Pag: 09 Tel: 376 766-3682, Cell: 33-1411-6622 - DRA. ANGELICA ALDANA LEMA DDS Pag: 06 Tel. 376 765-5364, Cell: 33-1351-7797 - CHAPALA DENTAL CARE Pag: 35 Tel: 376 765-5584, 376 766-3847 - MOJO DENTAL - Dra. Cristina Barreto Tel: 376 688-2731 Pag: 47

Pag: 11

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

- AUTOMATIC GARAGE DOOR OPENERS Pag: 10 Tel: 376 766-4973, Cell: 332-213-8933


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

Pag: 36

- TRANSITIONAL DIRECTIONS - Life Coaching Tel: 376 766-2928, +52 331-435-7080 Pag: 13

* BEAUTY - CHRISTINE’S Tel: 376 106-0864, 376 766-6140 - EDITH’S Tel: 33-1310-9372 - GLORIOSA Tel: 376 766-3372 - HILDA WORLWIDE Tel: 33 1717-2784 - NEW LOOK STUDIO Tel: 376 766-6000, 33-3950-9990



- MULTISERVICIO AUTOMOTRIZ ESCALERA Tel: 376 765-4424, 333-440-2412 Pag: 48 - R&R-Car Solutions Tel: 33-1804-8070 Pag: 49

- LA VIE EN ROSE Tel: 376 688-4538, 376 766-3399

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



Pag: 39



- DIANE PEARL COLECCIONES Tel: 376 766-5683 - GALERIA ALFREDO Tel: 376 766-2980 - LA BELLA VIDA Tel: 376 766-5131 - PENTHOUSE GALLERY


- ARATI Tel: 376-766-0130 - LA BELLA VIDA Tel: 376 766-5131 - SO CHIC BOUTIQUE Tel: 331-762-7838


- GALERIA ALFREDO Tel: 376 766-2980



- EL OJO DEL LAGO Tel. 376 765-3676


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

- AJIJIC HOME INSPECTIONS Tel: 33-3904-9573 Pag: 51 - AJIJIC REAL ESTATE Tel: 37 6766-2077 Pag: 17 - BAUERHOUSE PROPERTIES Tel: 33-2164-5301 Pag: 21 - BETTINA BERING Cell. 33-1210-7723 Pag: 23 - BEV COFELL Cell: 33-1193-1673 Pag: 42 - CIELOVISTA Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - COLDWELL BANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 376 765-3676, 376 765-2877 Fax: 765-3528 Pag: 60 Tel: 376 766-1152, 376 766-3369

- CONTINENTAL REALTY Tel: 376 766-1994, 331-366-2256 Pag: 35 - CUMBRES Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - EAGER REALTY Tel: 333-137-8447 Pag: 26 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: +1 720-984-2721, +52 33-1395-9062 Pag: 46 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Pag: 51 Cell: 331-352-1339, 376 766-4364 - JUDIT RAJHATHY Cell: 331-395-9849 Pag: 15 - LAKE CHAPALA REAL ESTATE Tel: 376 766-4530/40 Pag: 59 - RAUL GONZALEZ Cell: 33-1437-0925 Pag: 03, 45 - ROSEMARY BUTTERFIELD Cell: (332) 204-1011, (919) 349-3902 Pag: 33 - SANTANA RENTALS AND REAL ESTATE Tel: 315-351-5167, 315-108-3425 Pag: 49 - VISTA ALEGRE Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05

* RENTALS/PROPERTY MANAGEMENT - COLDWELLBANKER CHAPALA REALTY Pag: 46 Tel: 376 766-1152 - FOR RENT Pag: 36 Cell: 333-667-6554 - FOR RENT Pag: 34 Cell: 33-1115-6584 - FOR RENT Pag: 44 Cell: 332-608-7128 - FOR RENT Pag: 38 Cell: 33-3157-7790 - SANTANA RENTALS AND REAL ESTATE Tel: 315-351-5167, 315-108-3425 Pag: 45 - ROMA Tel: 33-1075-7768 Pag: 20 - VILLAS DEL SOL Pag: 47 Tel: 376 766-1152

* RESTAURANTS / CAFES /BAR - AJIJIC TANGO Tel: 376 766-2458 - BISTRO 12 Tel: 376 765-7569 - CASA LINDA Tel: 376 108-0887 - GO BISTRO Cell: 33-3502-6555 - HUERTO CAFE Tel: 376 108-0843 - LA TAVERNA Tel: 376-766-2848 - MOM’S DELI & RESTAURANT Tel: 376 765-5719 - YVES Tel: 376 766-3565 - ZARANDEADO PERO FELIZ

Pag: 58 Pag: 49 Pag: 47 Pag: 07 Pag: 26 Pag: 08 Pag: 03


Pag: 34

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

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* SPA / MASSAGE - GANESHA SPA Tel: 376 766-5653, Cell: 331-385-9839 - RESPIRO SPA Cell: 33-3157-7790 - TOTAL BODY CARE Tel: 376 766-3379

Pag: 24 Pag: 45 Pag: 39

* SOLAR ENERGY - SUN QUEST ENERGY Tel: 376 766-6156, Cell: 333-117-9126

Pag: 48

* TAXI / TRANSPORTATION - OMAR MEDINA Cell: 33-1281-2818 - TAXI-Arturo Fernandez Cell: 333-954-3813

Pag: 48 Pag: 24

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

Pag: 10

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

Pag: 07

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

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* RETIREMENT/REST/NURSING HOMES - CHAPALA’S GUEST HOUSE Cell: 333-969-8677 - CASA LA VIDA REAL Cell: 33-2174-1180, 33-1629-9219 - CASA ANASTASIA - Care Home Tel: 376 765-5680 - CASA NOSTRA-Nursing Home Tel: 376 765-3824, 376765-4187 - SACRED HEART - Nursing Home Tel: 331-027-1501 - SENIOR LIVING Tel: 376 766-0404

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CARS FOR SALE: Honda Odyssey EX L, American Plates. 88,000 miles You drive back to USA. Insurance provided. Car located Lake Chapala Jalisco area. $8,000 dollars FOR SALE: Golf sportwagen sel tdi highline manual 6spd, Special usa model sold here in mexico. Every option including “driver assistence package” and “lighting package” Usa msrp on this model would have been $30k, Fast, and super economical. Over 1000km on one tank. ( better than 50 mpg ), Many extras imported from all over the world, one of a kind, but you must want a stick shift. Purchased new by me here at vw dealership, all services at the dealer. 59020 km $275,000 pesos firm. Same model without extras offered in gdl for $330,000. Price reduced to 259,000. Just installed brand new tires as well. WANTED: Looking for a Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Xterra around 2005 in good condition. Mexican plates. Call Norm 331 431 7264. WANTED: Looking for 2007 to 2012 Toyota, Nissan or Honda 4x4. Please pm. WANTED: Anyone selling a WTB cargo trailer? Please send me a private message. FOR SALE: Toyota FJ Cruiser (Mexican Plated), Year: 2009, MIleage: 80,000, Automatic , 4 x 4 with assisted modes, Price : $315,000.00 pesos, Excellent Condition, Cell: 33-1424-1667 FOR SALE: 2019 Suzuki DR650 For Sale. Jalisco plated, 118,000 pesos, 13,000 km (8600 miles) New tires - Motoz Tractionator GPS (Rear is installed, front is not) Extras, Skid plate - B&B Offroad Engineering. Rear shock

- RaceTech Gold Valve kit and spring (7.5 kg/mm). Forks - Cogent Dynamic Drop-in Cartridges (DDC’s) and springs (0.52 kg/mm). DynoJet carburetor jet kit. Seat Concepts low seat. Rear rack. Tank bag. LED light bar. Large tool carrier tuve. Warp 9 levers. Cell phone holder. 2 USB charge ports. Tachometer and hour meter. Magnetic oil drain plug and oil filter magnet. Two spare 14-tooth front sprockets. Original owner. Michael - 331 874 4484. No hablo español, así que use WhatsApp para que pueda traducir su mensaje. WANTED: I am looking for a cover for a Classic VW Beetle. jmm46@gmx. com

COMPUTERS FREE: No longer working on PCs for a variety of reasons.TV, sound card, 3 SCSI controllers /w interior cables, terminators and HDD adapters, even the user manual. 3 modems, various cables, DDR2 laptop memory, Palm charger, Satellite beeper, writing tablet, Firewire card and cable, PCMCIA cards. Prefer to give the whole box away at once but If there is something you are looking for feel free to contact me here IF you know what you need. I won’t research if what I have will work with your PC BUT most accessories will work with most machines. I also have a small quantity of various items which I will donate to a worthy cause or sell to an unworthy one. FOR SALE: I have one laptop to sell with licensed Windows 10 and the full Office 2019 licensed package, it is used but they are in optimal condition. DELL Laptop 4GBS RAM, 297 HARD DISK, DVD PORT multi recorder: $ 5,000 pesos If you are interested text me to my

The Ojo Crossword


El Ojo del Lago / June 2021

email joencoza2019@yahoo.com

PETS & SUPPLIES FOR SALE: Booster seat for your dog to ride in car, be comfortable and see out. Seat belt secures. Comfy foam with washable faux sheepskin cover. Used but in good condition. Fits small to medium sized dog. $700 pesos.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE FOR SALE: Very nice authentic Bolle sport wrap sunglasses. Unisex (men’s or women’s). Made in France. Polarized lens and tortoise frames. Excellent pre-owned condition. The lenses are clear with no damage. Great protection for wind, bicycling, or any outdoor activities. Polarized lenses are especially effective at dissipating glare from water, headlights, etc. Handy zippered carrying case included. Great deal for $800 pesos (price is FIRM/non-negotiable). Please email for a quick response or feel free to call anytime between 8am - 8pm to 332 921 6096 or Whatsapp. FOR SALE: Stunning Art Glass Plate/Sculpture With Beach Scene, Signed. Absolutely gorgeous abstract fused art glass plate/sculpture. It has a beach scene with ocean and seagulls. Measures approximately 12” inches diameter. Signed by the artist - M. Masten (whose art glass studio is in California). His original works can be seen on his website Masten Art Glass and are being sold for around $400-$450 dollars in this size ($8,000-$9,000 pesos). 100% authentic and original one-of-a-kind display piece! It does not include a stand. Likenew condition with no damage whatsoever. Selling for only $1,200 pesos. Price is firm/non-negotiable. Please email for a quick response or you can call/text to 332 921 6096 or on Whatsapp. FOR SALE: Treadmill in excellent condition. Folds up. Has built in fan. Manual included. Inclines and includes preset programs. Three years old. Bought it for 25,000 pesos. Selling for 18,000 pesos. Send PM. FOR SALE: Wood working Equipment. Drills, saws, and much, much more. You could set up a full shop with this beautiful equipment. Husband unable to use any longer due to illness. Would like to sell all to one person if possible. Make offer for entire collection including custom cabinet to hold equipment Mary. 376 766 1155. FOR SALE: Placencia Vintage Industrial Collection Bar Cart. 60wx37hx16d. Paid $19,950mxn, asking $10,000mxn. Relocating. Pictures available. 331-763-5597. FOR SALE: Hiking boots excellent condition. Men’s Size 11 Lowa Renegade Gortex hiking books maximum support and comfort. Great for hiking the mountains in Ajijic. Other climbing and hiking equipment. Boots $100 US. New and in perfect condition, shoe trees still in them! Bragg. 376 766 1155.

FOR SALE: Handcrafted Table. This beautiful table was hand made in San Miguel de Allende. We have used as a dining table (seats up to 10) and as a library table. $300 US. Mary Bragg 376 7661155. FOR SALE: Whirlpool Fridge excellent. I bought this fridge new at Tio Sam about a year ago for 10,000 pesos ( sorry I can’t find the receipt but they probably have this model in stock ). Replaced with smaller fridge. Measures 32.5” wide, 30” deep and 66” tall. Doors can be changed to opposite hinge. $4500 pesos. FOR SALE: Followes Electric Paper Shredder Almost new in perfect condition; moving. $30 US. Call Mary Bragg 376 766-1155. FOR SALE: Gorky Gonzalez set of six each dinner, salad, dessert and mug. $250 US. Green goblets free with purchase. Additional 2 dinner plates Catrina design, $50 for the two. All in perfect condition. Mary Bragg 376 766-1156. FOR SALE: Set of 8 each dinner plates, pasta/soup bowls, and mouth blown red goblets. Moving and must sell 3 sets of dishes. Call Mary bragg 376 766-1155. FOR SALE: Beautiful crystal glassware, Vitrine Full of glassware, some in colors. Includes martini, margarita, highball, champagne, and wine glasses. Some European Range in price from $2.50-$10 US each many are in sets of 8, 12, or 16. Mary 376 766-1155. FOR SALE: 3 very good condition 2 drawer lateral file cabinets. 40 pendaflex file folders included. 2 work very well as base for desk. $40 Us Each. Full box of legal file folders, new, unused. $10 US 1 tall, 4 drawer beige lateral file cabinet in ok condition. $45 USD. Mary. 376 766-1155. FOR SALE: Fiberboard/Gypsum? That cement board with webbing on both sides. Some llarger pieced, 2’X3’l 2’X4’ You pick up Chapala Haciendas #2. Never used. $$5.50 for all, plus you pur the scrap pieces on the street for trash pickup. email: 1988jeopardychampion@ gmail.com FOR SALE: Wheelbarrell, good tire. The rest? It will do the job. $10.00. You pick up Chapala Haciendas #2.. No delivery or gift wrapping. email: 1988jeopardychampion@gmail.com FOR SALE: Beautiful Large Photo of Mexican Native Dancers from VeraCruz with matt and wooden frame. Measures 37”x30”. Ready to hang. 2,500 pesos. Call Norm at 331 431 7264. ntihor@homail.com. FOR SALE: Nearly new comfortable folding chairs. Each come with it’s own carrying bag. Only a few months old. We are downsizing. 650 pesos each. Call Norm at 331 431 7264. ntihor@hotmail.com. FOR SALE: Beautiful Large Photo of tiger with matt and wooden frame. Measures 33”x33”. Ready to hang. Includes overhead light. 6,000 pesos. Call Norm

at 331 431 7264. ntihor@homail.com. FOR SALE: Beautiful, Large China Cabinet With Buffet and Hutch. Stylish bent glass and wood. Also glass shelves. 79” tall, 62” wide and 15” from front to back. In excellent condition. 30,000 pesos, call Norm at 331 431 7264. ntihor@ hotmail.com FOR SALE: Mirror 47”x35”. Large wooden frame included. Asking 3,000 pesos. Call norm at 331 431 7264 or email ntihor@hotmail.com. FOR SALE: Aquaglide multi sport inflatable kayak sailboat. Very cool setup for 14k pesos. Call 387-761-0570 FOR SALE: I have new walker with double brakes, seat and storage under the seat. Folding. My husband past away couple days after I purchased the walker. Never been used. I paid 3,800 pesos, sell for 3,300. Call 376-76-52-376. WANTED: Need larger tv for classroom lessons to teach woodworking students and CAD. Can help you uninstall and pick up. One video lesson is worth a thousand words. Please help the boys and girls at our school. Hopefully it has a hdmi port. Need dumb tv. Thank you for helping the students . Any size tv will work. We have a space for very large tv in shop. We need two smaller dumb

tv,s for our cad classroom about 32 to 40 inch. 376 766 1860 home phone. Or shop 376 766 4830 School is in Riberas next to S&S auto, mountain side. We have 55 inch but now but it has slightly cracked screen. You take what you can, still you get something better Wayne. FOR SALE: TV Cabinet, 38” wide, 25” deep, 52” tall. Opening for TV is 32” wide. Front doors wrap around to the sides. $3500 pesos in Riberas, Can deliver. Send PM. FOR SALE: Mobile Power Inverter. Motomaster 400W mobile power inverter, 12v dc to 115v ac, 60Hz. 800 pesos 766-2722 FOR SALE: Intercom system. Chime Tone Intercom system, older, brand AI Phone, for 2 doors, comes with manuals. Free for pick up 766-2722. FOR SALE: Communications Short Wave Receiver - ICOM-R75. This radio is about as good as they get. It comes with the AC power supply and DC power cables. Satisfaction guaranteed. 7,500 MXN. This short wave receiver covers AM, AM/FM, FM, USB, LSB, RTTY, S-AM, CW Frequency Range: 0.03 to 60.000 MHZ. WANTED: I’m looking for used Earth Boxes. Please let me know if you have

some for sale. gradford4019@gmail. com. FOR SALE: Nearly NEW Top-OfThe-Line Air Purifier - Two Units Available. Originally cost $1,500US ($60,000 Pesos) each and worth every penny!! You will not find a better air purifier ANYWHERE! Almost new, in service for only two months. Great deal at $12,000 Pesos EACH. Each unit comes with extra filters for years of use!! We have two units available. $20,000 Pesos for both. Please CALL 332 921 6096 between 8am-8pm. You can also text the above number on whatsapp. FOR SALE: Coleman Gas Lamp 275 With Case, Funnel, and Mantles. Very good condition 800 MXN. Send PM. FOR SALE: Fat Tire Bike Fenders. Ordered wrong size from the US and can’t send them back. New with mounting hardware. 4” X 26” Black. 500 MX. FOR SALE: Crystal Chandelier, Vintage, Luxury. Would be incredible for a large entry. Crystal Chandelier,Vintage, Luxury. Would be incredible for a large entry; size is approx. 48 inches wide by —tall. Asking 1,900.00 dollars or best offer. Serious inquiries only. Can send pictures upon request. FOR SALE: Original Prada Shoes,

size 24.5 Mexican. Only 1 time was used, price $3,000 pesos. Call Alma 331-0053109 FOR SALE: Individual Brass Headboard, Price $2,200.00 pesos. Call Alma 331-005-3109.

Saw you in the Ojo 57


El Ojo del Lago / June 2021