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Saw you in the Ojo


Saw you in the Ojo


 D IRE C TOR Y  PUBLISHER Richard Tingen





Alejandro Grattan-Domínguez Tel: (01376) 765 3676, 765 2877 Fax: (01376) 765 3528


Dr. Lorin Swinehart takes this religiously special time of year to look more closely at the man who is arguably the most fascinating person in all of the New Testament: Judas Iscariot.

Associate Publisher David Tingen Graphic Design Roberto C. Rojas Reyes Diana Parra Morales


Katie B. Goode begins her offbeat article with this admonition: Be kind to people with bad habits. Yours may be equally disgusting to them.

Associate Editor Victoria Schmidt Art Critic / Contributing Editor Rob Mohr


Patricia Guy remembers that one of the most unforgettable things about her mother were her hands.

Theater Critic Michael Warren

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


Editor’s Page

10 Imprints Front Row Center


Of Faith and Fables


Bridge by the Lake

52 TRAVEL (sort of...)


Profiling Tepehua

Scott Richards and his wife visited 21 countries, looking for their retirement “Shangrila” before coming to realize that such a place is not only a geographical location but a state-of-mind, as well.


Welcome to Mexico





Lakeside Living


Gringas and Guacamole


Uncommon Common Sense



Robert W. Sconce recently found a letter that his father had written in 1932—about something that is still a source of humor all these years later.

Kathy Koches grew up in Los Angeles and often went to the world-famous Griffith Park Observatory—and in doing so became a life-long fan of Carl Sagan. But in ending her short article, Kathy remembers a quote not of Sagan’s but of Vincent Van Gogh: “I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.”

Send all correspondence, subscriptions or advertising to: El Ojo del Lago Ave. Hidalgo 223 (or Apartado 279), 45900 Chapala, Jalisco Tels.: (376) 765 3676, Fax 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.




Book Review Panel Margaret Van Every Margaret Porter Clare Gearhart

Sales Manager Bruce Fraser Carmene Berner

8 Cover by Maureen Clark

Special Events Editor Sandy Olson

Roving Correspondent Dr. Lorin Swinehart



El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

Saw you in the Ojo



Editor’s Page

By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

The Wit and Wisdom of George S. Kaufman


f 19th century Americans had voted for the person most deserving in this W&W category, it surely would have been Mark Twain. Here, we make the case for a 20th century American who might have later won in that same exalted category. Over the course of a long career, Kaufman was a newspaperman, drama critic, playwright, stage and film director and the leader of a group of similarly-quick-witted famous people who met regularly in the 1920’s at the Algonquin Hotel in downtown Manhattan, gathered around what is now the legendary “Algonquin Round Table.” Starting at a very young age, Kaufman was given a column at the Washington Times and started jabbing at the Establishment, quickly alerting his readers that he soon would be a force with which to reckon. Of the U.S. Senate: “Office hours are 12 to 1, with an hour off for lunch.” On Big Oil: “Has anybody ever called it the Slandered Oil Company? Because it isn’t.” Needless to say, he had a knack for choosing subjects that deserved deflation. Next stop (obviously): the New York Herald Tribune and soon thereafter the New York Times, then as now, the most influential newspaper in the United States. While still in his mid-20’s, Kaufman was made Drama Editor for the Times, a job he had been born to hold, and this at a time when the American Theater was about to burst wide open with both quality as well as quantity: playwrights like Eugene O’Neill, Clifford Odets, Sidney Howard, Maxwell Anderson and George M. Cohan, performers such as Will Rogers, Katherine Cornell, Helen Hayes, Al Jolson, the Barrymores, Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne and Fred Astaire. Yet Kaufman, young as he was, quickly earned their respect while also proving that despite his age, he was not easy to push around: when a wellknown, high-powered press agent demanded an answer as to how he could get his actress/ client more publicity in the Times, Kaufman’s answer was quick:


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“Try shooting her.” Before his legendary career came to an end, Kaufman had co-written 32 Broadway plays and directed 31 of them (many written by other playwrights), as well as having directed the Marx Brothers film, Coconuts, today considered the most outrageously funny movie ever made. Among the plays that he directed were such major hits as Guys and Dolls, Of Mice and Men, The Front Page and Once in a Lifetime. Among his many awards were the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Award. But it was Kaufman’s devastating wit that is best remembered today, a talent that would have made him memorable had he never been anything more that a cab driver in Manhattan—a type, incidentally, that he disliked almost as much as he did the snooty waiters in fancy restaurants. On hearing of the death of a surly waiter whose attention Kaufman had rarely been able to attract, he said, “Well, it took God himself to finally catch his eye.” To a rival playwright: “I understand your new play is filled with single entrendres.” On receiving a phone call during his dinner from someone asking what Kaufman might be doing for dinner that same night, he simply said “Digesting it” and hung up. Lunching with Harpo Marx (who could talk!) at a fancy restaurant, Marx, stunned by the prices on the menu, asked what he could buy for fifty cents. Kaufman replied: “A quarter.” A self-made millionaire once bragged to Kaufman that he had come into the world without a single penny, to which Kaufman replied: “Think that’s tough? When I was born, I already owed twelve dollars.” Rather aghast at the spending hab-

its and lack of taste of some of his wellheeled friends, Kaufman remarked to one of them, “This kind of stuff you buy is what God himself would not have bought, even if He had possessed the money.” To this same man, he said, “I like to be near you. It comes under the heading of gelt by association.” Ordinarily, men of such wit are compulsive talkers; Kaufman could sit silent for an entire evening while dining with his illustrious friends, and only mutter a few words as he was leaving. Invariably, they were the wisest, wittiest words said over the course of the entire night. Another anomaly: despite his often bit-

ing wit, he was at heart a sentimental man who could be brought to tears by some of the hard-luck stories he would occasionally hear. It was those two sides of his nature that had helped make him such a compelling dramatist. Is it likely that the American Theater will any time soon again see the likes of a George S. Kaufman? Don’t bet any serious money on it. Alejandro GrattanDominguez

Saw you in the Ojo



The Enigmatic Apostle Who Betrayed Jesus By Dr. Lorin Swinehart


e is remembered as one of the world’s greatest traitors, a figure of scorn and loathing, ranked alongside Benedict Arnold and Vidkun Quisling. In his Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri places him at the lowest level of Hell, a dark frozen lake, farthest removed from the light of God, alongside Brutus and Cassius, fellow traitors to lords and benefactors. We know very little about him. He hailed from the Judea, while most of the other Apostles were Galileans. His father was Simon Iscariot. He came from the village of Kerioth, which may account for his name, but some scholars have concluded that his name originated with the Greek word “sicarios,” meaning dagger. The name Judas was once much respected. Judas Maccabeus was an Old Testament hero, and one of Jesus’ brothers was named Judas, ever since called Jude. Now, no one names a child Judas. No cathedrals, hospitals, medical centers, monasteries, islands, mountain peaks nor even volcanoes bear his name. Only a goat that is trained to lead unsuspecting sheep to the slaughter is called a Judas goat. The authors of the Gospels make no real attempt to explain why Judas


chose to become a traitor. In John 17:12, he is described as one headed for destruction. Matthew 26:24 tells us that he would have been better if he had never been born. In John 6:70, we are told that Judas, one of the Twelve, was a devil. It is suggested that he was a thief and embezzled the money given to his fellows. It seems that he was greedy, self centered, resentful. And yet, none of the Apostles were without fault, not even St. Peter who vehemently denied that he even knew Jesus when questioned by mob members. The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy asserts that Judas was demonically possessed from birth. The non-canonical Gnostic Gospel of Judas attempts to explain that in choosing to sell out Jesus, Judas was actually following the orders of his Master, that it was all a part of the divine plan. Some scholars have suggested that Judas was a member of the Jewish Zealots at the time, that he hoped Jesus would, once arrested, emerge as the long awaited military leader and perhaps call in legions of angels and

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restore the Davidic kingdom. Was Judas, then, a devil? Apparently, he did not look like a devil. He did not appear in horns and a tail, as medieval artists portrayed the Prince of Darkness, and he did not resemble Freddy Krueger or the Dark Lord on his dark throne in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. He succeeded in deceiving all the other Apostles, but he did not deceive Jesus, who knew him for the avaricious, hateful person that he was. Why he selected such a one to live and serve among the others remains yet another mystery. Perhaps there had to be a Judas in order for the story of Jesus to play out. In 1974, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram published his study Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. In a series of experiments conducted in the 1960’s, Milgram selected a number of average citizens who were told to deliver a series of ever more powerful electric shocks to a subject who was tightly secured in a chair behind a glass window. The subjects were unaware that their victim was an actor and that there was no actual electricity involved. In the earliest studies, all of the subjects, in response to the commands of an authority figure, administered 300 volts of electricity to the hapless victim, who realistically shrieked in apparent agony, and 65% of those who participated delivered what they believed to be a lethal dose of electricity. They acted with extreme cruelty, apparently unquestioningly and without conscience, because an authority figure told them too. One cannot help but conclude that the average man on the street is as much a potential devil as the hapless Judas was. However, the perfidy of Judas cannot be laid at the feet of any authority figure. He was a normal human being who opted to do evil. To suggest that Judas was created specifically in order to betray Jesus and then suffer eternally for his offense is to make God the author of evil. While blasphemy is vaguely defined in Holy Scripture, it seems to involve attributing evil to the Holy Spirit, an offense that demands a severe consequence. Why some people choose evil, while others do not is one of life’s perennial mysteries. Why, for instance, do some care for and protect children, while others profit from child labor or the sexual trafficking of children? Why does one man brutally kill a beautiful African lion, while others strive to save wildlife from such acts of cruelty? Egotism, jealousy and greed seem to lie at the root of most human misbehavior. In her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, the political theorist Hannah Arendt con-

cludes that those who commit acts of cruelty and destruction do not stand out from the crowd as visibly different from others. Evil is dull, plodding, shallow, and, in her words, banal. The perpetrators of the Nazi death machine were indistinguishable from the average man on the street, from the participants in Migram’s experiment, from Judas. Many years ago, I was invited to speak to the student body at a large state university. My topic, taken from the writings of Elie Wiesel, was “Neither Hangman nor Victim Be.” Echoing Wiesel, I asked, “Who will be the hangman? Who the victim? Who the indifferent bystander?” It is frightening to learn from Dr. Milgram that so many of our countrymen would eagerly put aside all ethical considerations willingly torture an innocent victim to death. So, a frightening question might be who will be the next Heinrich Himmler, the next Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Raoul Wallenberg, who the compliant members of the mob cheering and shouting, “Sieg Heil!” Why all the Apostles but Judas were later willing to die mostly horrible deaths in order to spread Jesus’s message, while he chose to betray him will perhaps forever remain a mystery. Given that he later threw the infamous thirty pieces of silver at the feet of the members of the Sanhedrin implies that he was motivated by factors other than filthy lucre. That he committed suicide without repenting of his offense would seem, in the minds of many, to preclude any possibility of atonement. The manner of his death even leaves questions. It is said not only that he hanged himself but that he burst and his bowels came tumbling out. Papias of Hierapolis wrote in the first century that Judas may have been infected with elephantiasis. Others speculate that he was left hanging until his rope broke and he exploded upon impact. No one loves a traitor. Benedict Arnold spent his remaining years in the shadows, ostracized by the British people after the Revolution, French collaborationists were dealt with most harshly after the defeat of Nazi Germany, Quisling was shot by a firing squad. It would seem that Judas was so filled with remorse that he hanged himself, implying a desire to repent of his bad choices. Perhaps there is hope even for the arch-betrayer Judas. Lorin Swinehart

Saw you in the Ojo


IMPRINTS By Antonio Ramblés Redeeming Works


anta Cruz de la Soledad is less than 4 kilometers east of Chapala, but by many measures it’s separated from Chapala by light years. It sits back from the coastline, connected to a string of even more remote villages by a road that seems to shrink as it unravels, seemingly a road to nowhere. The villagers here have fished or farmed for generations, but these days more of Santa Alberto in the carpentry shop: Contagious enthusiasm Cruz’s 1,700 souls farm maiz, calabazas, and frijoles than fish the lake. It’s not a lucrative occupation, and it only takes a quick walk through the village streets to confirm that prosperity has largely passed this place over. I’m here with my Cuban-American friend Alberto to see in action a program that teaches carpentry skills to at-risk youth, and which he has helped to jump-start. Upon arrival we pass through a modest house and small courtyard to reach the carpentry shop. Here Joel Morando, carpenter and volunteer instructor, patiently watches and coaches a dozen children doing everything from operating a jigsaw to painting items that they’ve fabricated. Their finished work is sold to the public, both to help make the program selfsupporting and to teach the children not only how to make their products, but also to market them. These children are 9 or 10 years old, but there are no childish hijinks going on here. All are intently focused on the work at hand, watching earnestly as each takes a turn at working the power tools. About a third of the students are girls.  Alberto tells me that there’s a waiting Carpentry instructor Joel Morando list of students hoping to enroll in future with students classes. The children seem at first shy as I begin to snap photos, but then one asks to see the digital image on the camera screen and suddenly I’m surrounded by others asking me to take their photos.


El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

After each shot I’m obliged to turn the camera around so that all can see each image, and there’s lots of laughter and chatter as each portrait is revealed. As a parting gift Joel is presented with the donation of a first aid kit that’s been on his wish list. Older kids are just beginning to arrive for their advanced apprenticeship as we depart. Alberto next takes me a few doors down and introduces me to community advocate Antonio Morales, where in short order I come to understand that the children’s carpentry program is only the tip of Santa Cruz’s self-help iceberg. Antonio is quick to laugh and his compassion for his neighbors shines through when he talks about projects – some already launched and others not yet hatched – for their betterment. There’s also a steadfastness about him that leaves no doubt about his willingness and ability to drive hard bargains where the welfare of his neighbors is concerned. On this day it’s less than a week after the Dia de los Reyes Magos – Three King’s Day – and as we pass through the plaza a life-sized nacimiento is still arranged there. These figures were annually borrowed for many years until Antonio talked the owners into donating them to Santa Cruz. The features of these statuary are predictably, if incongruously, European. The village, though, has placed its own subtle stamp on the tableau: At the edge of the scene beneath a Mexican clay pottery basin hangs a handwoven blanket that Antonio tells me is nearly as old as the village itself. In Antonio’s nearby house it becomes obvious that the  nacimiento  gift pales in comparison to donated goods of every kind that he’s collected.  Clothing.  Walkers for the disabled.  Books.  Children’s toys. It resembles a flea market except that nothing’s sold here, but rather freely distributed within the community on the basis of need. On a table in the jardin out back sits a bottle of Antonio’s favorite tequila, and as our visit draws to a close we’re obliged to accept his proffered hospitality.  Purists may drink it straight up, but for everyone else he has set out mixers:  There’s the perennial Squirt, which makes a sort of lazy man’s margarita, or (the first time I’ve seen this) Coca Cola! As we sip the elixir, the air is suddenly split by an announcement blaring over a loudspeaker, and it recalls for a moment the recurring P.A. announcements in countless episodes of M.A.S.H. In a town without its own newspaper, loudspeakers perched on poles strategically situated throughout the village are the way that folks get their local news. It’s a low-tech solution perfectly suited to the need. It’s almost time for us to leave as Antonio begins talking enthusiastically about another unfolding project that will teach local farmers how to raise moringa trees, the leaves of which are so rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins that they’re often called “the super food”. The fast-growing crop fetches a healthy price on the world market, and promises to help even Antonio Morales more of Antonio’s neighbors pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. A few local farmers have already sprouted the first moringa seedlings, learning how best to cultivate and care for them so that their experience can be shared with others.  Hopes are for a first crop before this year’s end, and I’m eager to return and see the result! Afterwards as we head back through Chapala, I reflect on the amazing enterprise demonstrated by people who so ably apply what little they have to better themselves and their community. There’s little here by way of a social safety net except the support that these villagers readily give to one another… but which is clearly priceless. Antonio Ramblés

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FRONT ROW CENTER By Michael Warren The Same Deep Water As Me By Nick Payne Directed by Neal Checkoway


his play is about a fake claim pursued under the “no win no fee” personal injury legislation in the UK. Prior to 1999, an injured claimant was obliged to pay his/her solicitor for legal services, regardless of the result of the claim. It has been alleged that the change in the law has encouraged ambulance chasers and has caused an increase in frivolous claims. Nick Payne has created a sort of dark comedy around this legal background. Regretfully, the play is not well-written nor is it entertaining. A hard-working cast do their best with the shallow dialogue, and there are some good moments in the courtroom scene in Act 2, but on the whole I was disappointed by the play. The first Act opens in the office of Scorpion Claims, a small-town legal outfit. Russell Mack plays “Barry Paterson,” the owner of the firm, portraying him as a genial and basically lazy lawyer. He spends most of his time ordering in donuts and planning his next vacation. His associate “Andrew Eagleman” is aggressively played by Mark Donaldson, who is frequently on the telephone. It’s a boring scene, and nothing much happens until “Kevin Needleman” shows up. Kevin has seen the personal injury TV ads, and concocts a plot to stage a fake car accident with a food truck. He reckons that the Whole Foods people will pay his supposed damages rather than suffer the legal expense of taking him to court. John Ward is very good as the odious and foul-mouthed


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Kevin, and his presence livens up the scene. The courtroom scene is potentially more dramatic. Rob Stupple plays “Judge Jessup” as a parody of an old and easy-going judge who has no understanding of the real world. The only thing that rouses his interest is Kevin’s habitual foul language. Patricia Guy does a good job as a sharp lawyer, but the author doesn’t give her any incisive lines. Emily Crocker acts well as Kevin’s wife “Jennifer” who has a hard time lying on the witness stand. In the final scene she becomes a love interest with Andrew – but this scene is disconnected from the rest of the play. It’s as if the author decided to throw in some romance to liven up the ending. Kelly Mills also makes her debut at LLT in an emotional outburst as the truck-driver, but the judge doesn’t seem to be paying attention. Other parts were well handled by Jill Flyer, Todd Pifer, Judy Long, Gloria Bryen and David Dennis. Neal Checkoway always has a clever and unusual set, and here he has a back projection window which illustrates Andrew’s thoughts. It’s an ingenious idea, though it was distracting at times. But he couldn’t do much about the lackluster dialogue and cardboard characters. Unfortunately, this was not a good choice of play. I should also mention Karen Lee as Sound/ Video Operator. Evidently there were hundreds of sound cues and it all went smoothly. Shellie Checkoway was Producer, Debra Bowers Stage Manager and Bruce Stanley was her Assistant. Next up is the musical Sweet Charity which opens on March 22. This is Barbara Clippinger’s last show as Director, and it should be a lot of fun. Michael Warren

Saw you in the Ojo 13

Forgiving Those Bad Habits By Katie B. Goode


e kind to people about their bad habits. Yours may be equally disgusting

to them. I think we acquire our habits without much thought, slipping into them like a Freudian glove as children, wearing them into adulthood. Be it hair twisting, ear tugging, swearing, overeating, toenail picking, or drinking straight out of the juice carton, all of us can lay claim to at least one annoying habit.


Just ask any spouse—or ex-spouse. In fact, it’s usually the “little things” that morph into marital malcontent. Could being bothered by inconsequential matters, like open cupboard doors or missing toothpaste caps, just be a symptom of larger problems in the relationship? Unable to talk about the biggies, do we latch onto the small stuff to strike out at our mates and justify our own pulling away from the relationship. It’s funny how you don’t notice

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those “little things” when the romantic fires burn bright. It’s when the flames flicker that our faults flame. I’m not sure how we pick up our bad habits. I like to attach a melodramatic justification to mine. I’m sure I bite my nails because I was denied piano lessons when I was young. Maybe I take out my frustration at not being able to tinkle the ivories on fingers that were denied Bach and Beethoven. Sometimes it’s just easier to remain a solo and bask in our behavioral quirks rather than give them up—even for love. “Love me, love my dirt swept into the corner of the kitchen” we declare. Or if we do decide to take the leap, maybe a line should be added to the wedding vows. “I promise to love, honor, and accept his rotten habits as he accepts mine.” Sometimes, we try to compromise. “I’ll stop letting the dog eat off our plates if you will stop answering my questions before I ask them.” But if there’s one thing worse than someone with habits you find repulsive, it’s the mutant whose only apparent vice is… perfection. You know the type. We’re talking about the weirdo who never leaves dirty dishes in the sink, rotting lettuce in the refrigerator, or underwear on the

bathroom floor. The kind of “place for everything and everything in its place” person who has never had a hair or a kid out of place. Those fabulous folk intolerant of anyone who fails to measure up to their stringent standards. “If I can do it…” Forget those guys. Give me a guy whose towel hanging form resembles a LeBron James slam dunk any day. He’ll be much more forgiving of my shortcomings. After all, we, the perfectly imperfect, have to stick together!

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The Triple Filter Test


he Internet, television and radio, have become major delivery sources of information for us. And they are able to do so with such rapidity, it simply boggles the mind. They have connected us no matter where we live—north, south, east or west. These media sources have combined in such a way that each one of us is bombarded with information and we have become instant receivers of news—both good and bad. For example, I can watch any TV channel that is provided by my cable service in Northwest Arkansas. The programs and news are live, just as though I am looking at my home TV. I am able to do so over something called “Slingbox.” I can even change channels by clicking on the replica of my “clicker” at home that is shown on my Slingbox program. Don’t ask me how it works, it just does. In Ajijic, I also can watch news from Mexico and can get glimpses of news from all around the world. Data is everywhere. There are also groups called ‘chat groups” that fill up my e-mail almost to the point of choking me with so called “factual information.” So the problem comes in knowing which articles, stories, reports, chat groups etc. are really telling the truth. In contemplating how to discern truth for both good news and bad news, I found an old children’s tale, which in the age of information bombardment, can teach us to be more dis-


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cerning. In ancient Greece, Socrates’s knowledge was held in high esteem. One day a fellow met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?” “Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.” “Triple Filter?” the man asked. “That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test.” “The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?” “No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…” “All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good.” “No, on the contrary,” the man replied. “So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there is one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?” “No, not really,” the man replied. “Well,” concluded Socrates, ‘If what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?” The lesson is clear. While we participate in loose talks to curb our boredom, when it comes to friends it is not worth it. You can relate this ancient tale to the stories we hear over the Internet, talk shows, news analysis shows. That’s true when it concerns events that—if they were true—would materially affect our world, but which may or may not have really happened. We should put them all through the Triple Filter Test. Shalom! Bob Haynes

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Bridge defenders learn early in their careers that it is important not to give away tricks to declarers that they could not earn themselves. One of the most common errors is the notorious ruff/sluff where the lead of a side suit in which declarer is void in both hands allows him to trump (ruff ) in one hand and discard a loser (sluff ) in the other. Sur-


prisingly this month’s hand which was played at the Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club in Riberas required the defenders to give declarer 2 ruff/sluffs in order to defeat the contract! South dealt and opened a standard 15 to 17 high card points 1 no trump. West, with his decent six card suit bid 2 ♥ and, with

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East far too weak to enter the fray, North bid 3 ♥ which in their agreement was Stayman showing four spades and game-going values. South was quite happy to bid 3 ♠ and North to bid 4 ♠, so this became the final contract. West began proceedings by cashing the ace and king of hearts and, with no attractive alternative, continued with a third heart which declarer trumped with dummy’s 3 of spades while pitching a club from his hand. South now called for the spade king from dummy and noticed with suspicion West’s trump 10. If this was a singleton then declarer could not afford to draw trumps without finding out who held the club king so he now led the club jack and let it ride. Not unexpectedly, based on the bidding, this trick was won by West but now this player failed to see the possible benefit of continuing hearts and returned a small club instead. That was exactly what declarer needed. He won the club in the dummy and cashed the trump queen, thereby exposing the location of the spade jack. He now cashed all the trumps by way of the marked spade finesse and claimed

4 spades making. But look at what happens if West offers declarer a second ruff/ sluff after winning the club king: it doesn’t matter in which hand South wins this trick, he will not be able to capture the spade jack and the contract will go down by one trick. I guess this is one of those cases where the exception proves the rule in spades! Ken Masson

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President of the Board for Tepehua


u Shi, a Chinese essayist who died in 1962, said “Fighting for your rights is fighting for a nation’s rights, fighting for your freedom is fighting for a nation’s freedom”. Education is a right that everyone should fight for, if not for self, for others. A society that’s illiterate will remain oppressed and poverty stricken. A sure way to control the masses is to keep them in ignorance. There is no such thing as free education. If parents are faced with the costs of registration, books and uniforms, education is out of reach for most families. If a little money is available, the boy is usually chosen.  Many of the Tepehua children lucky enough to get into the school system have to make a choice, bus fare or snack money. A hungry child cannot concentrate. A simple answer to this is ALL children going to school have a free bus card, or just show the school registration card. All drivers should honor this. Lack of money also means lack of eye care, which automatically will make a child have bad grades if they cannot see.  Challenges abound here in Mexico for the child eager to learn. The Tepehua Centro Comunitario AC, in the hills of Tepehua, outside the bustling tourist town of Chapala, made a pledge to educate as many children as possible, even if it is just basic education.  For those who cannot make higher education, we plan a trade school program. The success of a strong middle class can only be from education.  Children with higher education tend to leave the village, but those who have a trade school background usually stay, and make the village stronger. Help with the cost of education is coming from amazing sources, from other children.  Across the infamous wall to the North, there are children setting up lemonade stands, making things out of rocks and selling them. One such child is in secondary school in Vancouver BC, and states she does not need all this ‘stuff’. Theo Binnie, a girl who spends her time collecting money,


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selling things to send two Tepehua children to school, says “I care because how could you not? If you don’t pay attention to others in other places of the world, you are crazy...I don’t understand how someone couldn’t care.” Ella Comber from Halifax, Nova Scotia, a 7th Grader, is sending two Tepehua children to school by selling lemonade and home-made bracelets. “Knowing there are thousands of people with no homes, education, care...I support these children because I want them to be in good health and have enough education to get a job.” At the Rochester Day Care Center in New Hampshire the little ones, 6 years old and younger, have a cookie and candy booth, and every month or so send dollars from their sales to go towards a child’s education.  It seems there is no age limit for philanthropists. What makes these children look around and object to the injustice of others?  Certainly for the very young it is the instigation of the parents and teachers. There are many teenagers changing the world, such as Malala in Pakistan,  Amanda Halpuch in New York,  David Smith in Johannesburg and more scattered over the world.  Is this bravery taught or is it that special people are born to preserve justice for others?  Mexico’s very own heroes “Ninos Heroes”, teenagers from 10 to 19 years who died defending Chapultepec Castle from the USA in 1847.  The last teen standing jumped to his death with the flag of Mexico wrapped around his small frame.  Sept 13th is a day to remember the courage of the young. Truman once said “Brave men don’t belong to any one country, I respect bravery wherever I see it”. Look to the courage of the children.  Those who fight and those who support them.  They are our tomorrow.

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Dear Lakeside Arts Fan


s you may know, thanks to the Teatro Diana in Guadalajara and to the fine bus service provided by Viva La Musica, Lakeside Opera fans have enjoyed the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD program series quite some time. Although a recent convert to the Met’s fantastic programs, I too have enjoyed this service in recent years. Now having become a fulltime Lakeside resident, I began to wonder if there could not be a better, more convenient option by having the HD Live programs broadcast here in the Ajijic area. After exploratory discussions with a number of people including the Met Opera staff in New York and of course with Rosemary Keeling of Viva Musica, I have obtained a production license with the Met and its’ Mexico licensee, Auditorio Nacional. This agreement allows me to organize and produce in the Lake Chapala market the Met Live HD broadcasts right here at Lakeside…. Including English subtitles! So why write this letter right? Well, I have only an interest in serving the Lakeside opera audience in gaining this local oppor-


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tunity. I am a retired businessman who does not seek a new job or new income opportunities. As I see it, there are three requirements to take advantage of this production license: first, the license to produce HD live here locally, so check this off. Second, a convenient and appealing venue for screening the shows, and third, a local support group – an Opera Guild - to provide support and (limited) funding in order to sustain the broadcasts year to year. Without going into more details here, I invite you to consider joining me in the formation of initially an informal, non-profit Guild which can assist in accomplishing the number two and three requirements. If you or someone you know is interested in bringing a totally new arts’ experience to Lakeside, please contact me at the address below. I am happy to reply with a brief fact sheet to bring you totally up to-date. Sincerely, Howard J. Willis Tel: 376-7665631 Ajijic E-mail: hw4310@yahoo. com

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My Mothers’ Hands By Patricia Guy


ometimes when I look at my hands, I see my mother’s hands. Hers were strong, capable hands, weathered by the sun. Hands that pet the cat, patted the back of a baby, and loved to grow tomatoes. She wore a simple white gold band with a wave pattern, no diamonds or gemstones for her. No polished nails or white, tapering fingers. She had serviceable hands, meant for hard work and hard play. My mother wore a Timex watch with a steel, flexible band, a watch with an easy to read face, so that when she took a child’s vitals in the middle of the night she could easily see the second hand. She was a pediatrics night nurse, a special breed. Though she was caring and nurturing, it was in a no frills, no nonsense kind of way. There was a brisk efficiency with which she checked your forehead for a fever, and yet I knew she cared about the results, the information, she gathered in this way. My mother’s hands taught me how to bait a hook, how to tie a shoe, how to swim, wrap a bandage, cook over an open fire, raise a tent, how to cook a huge pot of chili when the snows came, and how to reach out to protect. Before seat belts were required, my mother’s right hand would dart out to hold us against the car seat, protecting us if she had to stop suddenly in traffic. She taught us to wield a sharp knife to slice open and gut a fish. She felt it was important that if you were to eat a fish that we know how to catch one and prepare it for the table. At the end of the fishing season in Galveston she would hold a huge fish fry at the boat club and invite all the young nurses and interns from the Children’s hospital. It was quite a party! I loved to watch her put together the Christmas decorations with such care. There were a pair of gold painted wooden shoes from Holland that she carefully arranged ornaments and greenery in until the balance was just right. We had a big house, and she enjoyed decorating every room, even the bathroom! My personal favorite was a Santa Claus toilet seat cover that covered his eyes when the lid was lifted. On Christmas eve she would jump into her red jeep and “play Santa”, delivering


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the cookies we had baked to our neighbors. I liked watching her light all of the candles when we got home, and building a big fire in the fireplace. She taught us simple crafts as Den Mother for my twin’s Cub Scouts Troup (I was allowed in as a mascot). Sometimes it was as simple as colored nail polish designs on a block of wood, or just hammering nails, and sometimes as adventurous as pouring melted paraffin and crayons over cracked ice to make candles with a porous texture. I don’t remember her talking much with her hands, but I do remember a favorite photo of her in Mexico, holding a barracuda up against the sun, laughing out loud, true fish worship! When music, especially live music was playing, she would clap along, though always a little off rhythm. She loved to dance, but I don’t remember her hands dancing. As I watched my mother’s hands age, I was aware that time was passing, that changes were afoot that could not be reversed. The age spots came, the skin reflected the hours fishing in the sun. I felt a little sorry for her then. Though never a glamour girl, she had her own vanities, and she let me know that it wasn’t easy for her to watch the changes in the mirror, or in her own hands. In later life she wore a custom silver ring of a lively, flowing fish, made by a friend who admired her “Joi de vie” character. Towards the end, I remember staring at the IVs in her hands, taped so as not to pull too hard on the veins. Somehow those hands reflected her strength while expressing this new fragility. My own hands are now aging, like hers. The spots are appearing, the texture of the skin is changing. I, too, wear my nails short, without polish, so that I can garden, play music, cook, and create with them. My right hand is stiff

from the side effects of a wrist injury, and though still serviceable, requires continuous care. My hands still love to dance, express, and flow when I talk. They love to caress and touch and hold people, plants, animals, and wonderful textures. My hands love to feel all there is to feel. They, too, are telling me that time is passing, that changes are afoot that I can’t reverse. I, too, have a simple wave patterned band on my left hand to express my marriage, and a ring on my right hand to express my own character, silver, with a prayer wheel. My plain Timex watch has been replaced by a Fitbit

watch, telling me the time and how far I have come. It has no second hand to measure vitals. Now when I remember my mothers’ hands I see my own hands. If she were here today, and we had a nice long chat while peeling shrimp, what would she have to tell me about living fully, with grace, strength, courage, vitality and dignity, in this the third age of my life? Maybe her hands have already taught me all I need to know. Inspired by Las Manos de Mi Madre as sung by Mercedes Sosa

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By Victoria Schmidt

Empty Tanks


remember the gas shortages in the United States in the 1970’s. It wasn’t anything like the day Ajijic went dry. My friend and I were going on what we thought would be a quick trip. It took one hour and 20 minutes to drive from Riberas to Bougainvillea’s Plaza. And we weren’t looking for gas. The traffic was jammed in every direction. My friend actually exited the car and went into a restaurant, ordered an ice tea to go, and returned to the car that had only progressed one car length. Eventually, the traffic unblocked. On our way back east, transito had diverted traffic onto the side road, and there was two-way traffic. I think that’s when I used up most of the gas I had left in my tank. People approached these problems in so many different ways. Those walking were travelling at a faster pace, and relaying information to those of us stuck in traffic. We thought maybe there was a traffic accident ahead. But that’s when my friend and I first heard of the gas shortages. We were in for a long couple of weeks. My friend wasn’t inconvenienced too much, because she usually takes the bus. Yet, people changed their life style, parked their cars, and started using the bus, so the buses were full and stopping at almost every stop. Whenever I went out, which wasn’t often, I had a route that would take me by four of the seven gas stations within Lakeside. Someone started a link on where we could report where there was gas. That was helpful. Facebook postings popped saying “I got gas!” People were acting like they’d just won the lottery! I sat in one line for 45 minutes. I was within one block of service, when people started walking along side telling us they were closing because they were all out of gas. They still had diesel. With lines that were blocks long people would wait for hours. Most


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of foreigners seemed perturbed. The Mexicans seemed to take it in stride. I asked one of my best Mexican friends how she was handling it in Guadalajara. She runs two businesses and has two children, ages 2 and 1. She said, “I love it! I had to wait in line for two hours and it’s the only time I had time for myself in ages!” Other Mexicans knew an opportunity when they saw it. I saw a taco bike going along the lines selling tacos and cold drinks. In the line I was in, people in cars, would get out and do a little shopping, and get back in and move their car when the line would move. Now back in the 70’s. My Dad told me never to let my tank go below half a tank. It’s been my practice since then. But my car has a broken gas gauge. It either indicates full or empty, when neither is the case. So I drove, never knowing when the moment would come that I be out of gas. That moment came after giving a ride home to a friend of ours. I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, and turned and found myself in a gas line. I told my husband I was riding this out, because I had no idea how much gas I had. I settled in, had a book. I shut off the car, and waited. The line moved a bit, I started the car, and worked my way across the street. And that was the moment the car went dead. No gas. I tried, and tried, but couldn’t get it started. There were four transitos working the intersection. And before I knew it, one reached in, put my car into neutral, and the other three pushed the car. I thought we would be going out of the line of traffic, but they pushed me straight to the pump, and told them to fill it. The line at that time was about 8 blocks long. I turned to my husband and said, “I feel like I won the lottery!”

Victoria Schmidt

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The Great Condom War Of 1932 By Robert W. Sconce


sst, buddy! Slip me a can of condoms, will you? This is probably the way I put it to a trustworthy pal who worked at the drug store. That was in 1932 when I was a lad of 14 and condoms were largely unmentionable among respectable people everywhere. Still, I thought it time I found out about such things, so a friend and I collaborated on a condom caper. He had the 50 cents. I had the gall. We both agreed that our parents would kill us if they found out, but we felt we must take that chance. We expected to get exciting merchandise with possible aphrodisiac side-effects. No such luck. Instead, what we got reminded me of grandma’s grubby little thumb protectors (she called them thumb stalls), a device used in sewing. Our curiosity satisfied, we decided to destroy the condoms but finally yielded to the waste-not-want-not cornerstone of our home training and hid them for a later stage of life. I had just the place...three hollow coins in a Mysto-Magic set my folks gave me one Christmas. Perfect fit. The condoms snuggled into the coins, the coins went back in the Mysto-Magic set, and the set went back in its place on a high shelf in my closet where it had been sitting unmolested for several years. Then one day I made an alarming discovery: The set was gone! Who? Where? When? I didn’t dare ask so the mystery persisted. On the eve of my departure to the army, I was then 23 and a fullfledged member of the family. I wanted to ask my dad a few family questions. Not about the condoms, of course. That one I planned to carry with me to the grave, but I wanted to know what happened to my Uncle Roy. He was my mother’s brother, and he and his family often dined with us on festive occasions.


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I asked my dad if he would care to explain why Uncle Roy had simply dropped out of our lives. Dad, a hard-shell moralist of the old school, was not happy with this question, but he seemed to recognize my right to know. “Son,” he said in a confidential tone, “do you know what a rubber safety is?” I told him solemnly I thought I knew. “Well,” he continued, “a few years ago Roy wrote me a nasty letter having to do with your old Mysto-Magic set your mother had given Roy’s daughter as a Christmas gift.” Oh, God...I could see it coming. Seems that when Uncle Roy’s 10year old daughter was performing magic for a Sunday visitor—their minister, no less—the condoms fell out of those coins, and everybody went into shock. Uncle Roy reacted by writing a “nasty” letter referring caustically to what he called Dad’s holier-than-thou attitude and accusing him directly of hiding his “rubber safeties” in a used magic set which he then tried to fob off as a brand new Christmas gift. “Pretty tacky!” said Roy. Dad blasted back with fury claiming the “rubber safeties” were probably some of Roy’s own he’d hidden and forgotten. That did it. Uncle Roy and family dropped out of sight never to be seen by us again. Though all the leading players in this domestic drama have gone to their rewards, I still feel compelled to clear my conscience before I die. Will the remaining kin of Uncle Roy please come forward? I’ll treat them all to a holiday dinner. They’ll eat turkey while I eat crow. I want to get this outfit back on track again. Contact me at Box 1113, Omaha, Nebraska 68101. Ed. Note This article was written many years ago by the father of our popular columnist Mark Sconce, who found it only recently.

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Jump By Judy Dykstra-Brown Once the grass had grown waist-high, some summer nights, my dad and I accompanied by the shake and rattle of his old truck, would go watch cattle. In the twilight, barely light– but not yet turning into night, he’d drive the pickup over bumps of gravel, rocks, and grassy clumps, over dam grades, then he’d wait as I opened each new gate, and stretched the wire to wedge it closed, as the cattle slowly nosed nearer to see who we were, curious and curiouser. We’d park upon some grassy spot where a herd of cattle was not, open the doors to catch a breeze, and I’d tell stories, and dad would tease until at last the cattle came, and dad would tell me each one’s name: Bessie, Hazel, Hortense, Stella, Annie, Rama, Bonnie, Bella.


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Razzle-dazzle, Jumpin’ Jane. Each new name grew more inane. Yet I believed he knew them all, and as they gathered, they formed a wall that grew closer every minute to that pickup with us in it. Finally, with darkness falling, and the night birds gently calling, with cows so near they almost touched the fender of the truck, Dad clutched the light knob and then pulled it back as the cows––the whole bunched pack jumped back en masse with startled eyes due to the headlights’ rude surprise. Then he’d flick them off again, with a chuckle and devilish grin. As the cattle edged up once more— the whole herd, curious to the core— again, my dad would stage his fun. Again, they’d jump back, every one. He might do this three times or four, then leave the lights on, close his door, and gun the engine to drive on home as stars lit up the heavenly dome that cupped the prairie like a hand, leaving the cattle to low and stand empty in the summer nights to reminisce about those lights— miraculous to their curious eyes. Each time a wondrous surprise. Life was simpler way back then and magical those evenings when after his long day’s work was done, laboring in the dust and sun, after supper, tired and weary, muscles sore and eyes gone bleary, still when I would beg him to do what we both loved to do, he’d heave himself from rocking chair, toss straw hat over thinning hair, and make off for the pickup truck, me giving thanks for my night’s luck. These were the finest times I had–– these foolish nights spent with my dad

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Hierarchy? By Sue Schools


s it true that a gazillion people believe we’re all one in the universe? OK, maybe billions, or simply millions, share this belief. But surely you’ve heard this premise. The belief is that we are all single droplets in an ocean of time, that we create a whole and are not individuals at all. So this would mean there’s no hierarchy. What? Would that mean because you have more educational degrees than I have that you are not superior (unless I choose to be subordinate)? Or because you are taller, thinner and more popular than I, that we are equal? Well, let’s take it a step further …. What about the toothless vagrant on the corner? Or, God forbid, the Pope? Surely we all understand we are at least equal to a politician on any given day (smile). But please stop a moment to consider the person beside you or in front of you or


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behind you. And please be considerate of their feelings. So, if we do that, what about the mammals, reptiles and sea creatures? It has been proved that even wild fish and wingless bees react to affection from humans. If we are one with them, should we devour them? OMG, I’d have to give up bacon! OK, then we all become vegetarians or vegans as is the current fashion. But hasn’t it been proven that plants respond to musical vibrations and feelings of human beings? Two identical plants were placed in a high school entryway and one was praised and one was bullied. The nourished plant thrived and the other shriveled. Taking it to the max, it has also been proven that even WATER responds to emotions and frequencies. So if we get crazy with these theories, we all starve, emotionally and physically. And that would certainly be the end of everything we love. So, to make it simple…I suggest we simply follow the Golden Rule. I will do my best not to judge you, your habits and beliefs, and you will try to accept me as I am. Deal?

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Real Life Stories By Unknown Interviewers/Observers (Courtesy of Gloria Palazzo)



oday, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.” * Today, I asked my mentor - a very successful business man in his 70swhat his top three tips are for success. He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.” * Today, after a 72-hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.” * Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face. * Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW


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pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow. * Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.” * Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About five seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy. * Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?” Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said. * Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again. * Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.” * Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away.” It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years. * Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over three days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.” The best sermons are lived, not preached.

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The Gola De Allende Goat Farm By Chad Olsen


ave you b e e n thinking of going to a goat farm? This probably isn’t on your bucket list, but is something to consider when you have guests from up North. The Gola Goat Farm is East of Ajijic in the village of Mezcala. A delightful couple, Juan Diego and Laura, run it. Juan is the expert in raising goats and cheese making, while Laura is in her final year of veterinary school. —The perfect team for a goat farm! The village of Mezcala has been upgraded since we were here last, with some newer roads and a renovated town plaza. Many of the roads are still very rough and an arbitrary closure for a birthday party, or a funeral, made us detour and our last leg of the trip to the farm was very bumpy. The first activity on our tour was a delicious breakfast of granola and goat yogurt. The goat yogurt came in peach, berry, thick, like Greek yogurt, and thin, like the regular Mexican yogurt you get at most Lakeside stores. There was also a nice bowl of fruit; peach, kiwi, papaya, etc. The coffee was rich and strong; a little goat’s milk topped it off nicely. Since the goats will eat most anything, they are kept enclosed except for tours and escorted grazing. Mostly they feed the goats special grass and Moringa, the Drumstick Tree. The Moringa leaves are the most nutritious part of the tree, being a significant source of vitamins B, C, and K, plus beta-carotene, manganese, and protein. The goats also eat plums, plum leaves, branches, bark, your shoelaces and jewelry. Like I said they will eat most anything. The farm provides all the food needed for the goats; Juan and Laura just need to control what they eat to keep the sweet taste in the goat’s milk. Something in their future may be goat yoga. Yes, I said goat yoga.


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Goat yoga is an animal-assisted therapy in a natural setting with this smart, social, and cuddly animal. It’s not a cancer cure, but it is a distraction from politics, work, stress, sickness or depression. Mostly goat yoga is a class with just letting goats do what they want. They might jump on your back, stare at you, burp in your ear, or give goat hugs. Most often they’ll just lie down on your yoga mat and snuggle up next to you. (goatyoga. net) The next activity was to meet the goats and feed them! Right now there are about 35 goats on the farm and they were delighted to see us with branches from the farm’s numerous plum trees in our hands. The goats are curious and gentle creatures and it was fun feeding and walking around the farm with them. The finale to our tour was a relaxing goat cheese and wine tasting experience under the plum trees at a beautifully decorated table. The cheeses Juan Diego and Laura make are excellent and are available at some local stores on the Lakeside. They also provided homemade chutney and jellies. This was a time to socialize with other members of the tour. The views of Lake Chapala, Mezcala Island and the village of Mezcala were incredible. The wine was okay, and included in the cost, but next time I think I’ll bring a nicer wine. The trip back was on Highway 104, Ctra. Chapala-Mezcala. They call it the Mezcala libramiento because it bypasses Mezcala. But Beware! It has many axel-breaking potholes. Juan navigated this obstacle course, like he had done it before! If you are driving, go slow, be watchful, and make sure you go in daylight. The farm tour is by reservation only. Call Juan or Laura at 333 1479903 or email at Their slogan is: “The goats are looking forward to meeting you.”

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There’s a Band Around My Heart

By Sydney Gay Resident Chef, International Cities of Friendship

Yummy Fresh Apple Sauce


There’s a band around my heart. It is like an elastic band, stretching and allowing my heart to expand so there is more room; More room for love, more compassion, Adding and growing every day. There’s a band around my heart. It is like hard steel, cutting deep. It helps me contain pain and grief; My own and that of others, such as when I see the abuse and suffering of children, animals, strangers and friends.


pple peel contains essential vitamins and minerals. Remove pesticide residue by dissolving ¼ cup baking soda or vinegar into four cups of water. Soak fruit minimum 15 minutes, quarter apples into blender with a tad of fresh water, add honey or sugar to taste, it’s a very enjoyable applesauce. To create a power-meal, add one avocado. Why eat apples anyway? Apples are packed with phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium and flavonoids, they contain pectin, a prebiotic fiber. Scientists recently discovered laboratory mice given

By Kathy Koches

There’s a band around my heart. It is like a wooden ring, with warm, rich colors and many layers. It is beautiful, as well as useful, and I consented to the placement eagerly, knowing it would enrich my life. There’s a band around my heart. It was not put there by a surgeon, though it was placed with great care. I can show you a replica, made of gold and adorned with diamonds; A daily reminder to me of the true band around my heart. apples have better memories than those who do not and migraine headaches can be by cured cutting a green apple into pieces and sniffing it. www.sniffinggreenapples. com

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There’s a band around my heart. It is made of love. It was placed there nearly twenty-five years ago. It is my most cherished possession and I will keep it around my heart forever.

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Sandy Olson

Phone: 331-283-8529 Email:

OPEN CIRCLE Sunday morning finds Lakeside residents at the Lake Chapala Society and Open Circle, a forum on a variety of stimulating topics. A social hour with coffee and snacks at 10 am is followed by an interesting lecture and discussion at 10:30. March 10 Compañía de Ópera de Jalisco (formerly Ópera ad Líbitum de Guadalajara)  Presented by Compañía de Ópera de Jalisco  The newly named Compañía de Ópera de Jalisco is the same exquisite quartet who have delighted Open Circle audiences for the last four years. Today’s program will include parts from a Mendelsohn oratorio, two duets by Léo Delibes, and selections from zarzuela music, a genre of musical theatre that originated in Spain during the Baroque era and enjoys current international popularity. The vocalists are María de Jesús Cárdenas (soprano); Teresa Banderas (mezzosoprano); José Maria López Valencia (tenor); and Ricardo Lavín (baritone).. They will be accompanied by an ensemble of musicians: Cesar Castro (piano), Monserat Velázquez (bassoon), José Luis García (violin) and Juan Fernando Magdaleno (violin). March 17   Three Women Who Made a Difference in Mexico:   Empress Carlota, Princess Agnes, and Mary Todd Lincoln.  Presented by Michael Hogan Come and hear the story of how Charlotte of Belgium became Empress of Mexico, how a circus rider became a princess and a Mexican heroine, and how an ignored American First Lady helped a 24-year-old Mexican envoy restore the Mexican Republic. Based upon research in archival documents, historian Michael Hogan will entertain Open Circle audiences once again with little known facts and true tales from Mexican history. March 24  Be Careful of the Stories You Tell—You Become Your Stories Presented by Jan Miller    We are all story tellers. Sharing biography is a way to connect. Some of our stories are sad.  Victim anecdotes are common. We want others to know it’s not our fault. Unfortunately, claiming innocence robs us of the possibility of change. Our narratives release hormones and stress chemicals. Our biography becomes our biology. Our stories can empower us and our listeners.  They are living stories that evolve as we do.  March 31 Stressing the Needs of Our Rural Villages Presented by Dr. Todd Stong His 16th year at lakeside, Dr. Stong will talk about the rural village water supply. Additionally he will focus on efforts to define the causes of kidney disease in 2000-3000 children in villages east of Chapala and to identify actions to slow down the advance of the disease. Jobs, children’s health care, and adequate safe water are the key needs of the rural poor about the lake where many have household income of less than $10/day and piped water of less than six hours a week. In conclusion, he will offer his view of Mexico’s future. Please note that Dr. Stong’s talk will conclude at 12:00. April 7 Sacred Circles: Wheels of Power and Connection Presented by Gale Park Since the ancients first wondered at the sun and moon, circles have had a special spiritual significance. In this presentation on the symbolism and uses of sacred circles in spiritual practice, we will see how they align us with the natural world and the spirits that animate and sustain it. We will pay special attention to European and Native American traditions and seek to deepen our understanding of the most basic concepts--the directions, the elements and the seasons. ROTARY CLUB OF AJIJIC… …..hosted a fundraiser last month at the Hotel Montecarlo. Rotary Club devotes itself to many charitable projects, such as support of Tepehua Clinic, youth soccer clubs, the Jocotepec Youth Orchestra and breast cancer research. The Rotary Club of Ajijic is one of the few English-speaking Rotary clubs in Mexico, and has been serving the Lake Chapala area since 2002. Santiago Hernandez, MD, is the


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Committee Members Dr. Cherry Adjchavanich, Dr. Santiago Hernandez, and Antoinette Brahm

2018-19 president. They meet at Hotel Real de Chapala on Tuesdays at noon, Guests are welcome. PIG OUT AND HELP A FRIEND On March 10, from 11:30 to 2:30, come and enjoy a benefit luncheon with cabaret performances at Manix Restaurant to benefit Victor Garcia. Victor is a well-known and very talented, local Mexican musician who has recently been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The luncheon will include a pig roast with all the trimmings as well as several vegetarian options. Tickets at $550 are available at Diane Pearl Colecciones. The entertainment will start at 1:30 and will include performances by Patteye Simpson, Doug Voet, Suzanne Bullock, Mike Liesenbach, Karen Procter and Michael Reason.

WHAT A WOMAN It all started with a visit from the landlord of the Bravo! Theatre property on Calle Rio Bravo. “You have to vacate” was the word. So Jayme Littlejohn started looking for a home for the theatre and it wasn’t easy in this tight real estate market, not to mention her recovery from an auto accident. But she did it. The Bravo!s new location is at 441 Hidalgo (on the carretera, just west of S&S Auto). Jamie hopes that the theatre will be ready to go in a couple of months and so do her fans. She’s already getting inquiries about season tickets. SEE SOMETHING THAT MEANS SOMETHING Democrats Abroad is holding its 7th Annual Film Festival at the Plaza Bugambilias Theater in Ajijic. Tickets are $100. The shows are on Sundays at 1:30 pm. The doors open at 12:30. A portion of the proceeds funds local voter registration. March 10 Fahrenheit 11/0 (2018) Michael Moore’s new film about how we created the Trump presidency—a provacative Jayme Littlejohn and comedic look at the times in which we live. March 17 Green Book (2018) When a racist Italian-American is hired to drive a Black concert pianist on a tour to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to find the establishments that were then safe for African Americans. March 24 Age of Consequences, The (2016) An investigation into the impact of climate change: water and food shortages, extreme weather, drought, and sea level use and how, left unchecked, these threats will continue to grow with grave implications for future peace and security in the world. March 31 Wag the Dog (1997) An entertaining political satire that seems almost too relevant to the events of today. April 7 Equal Means Equal (2016) The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment (introduced in 1923 and still not ratified) to the Constitution meant to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of gender it seeks to provide equal protection to women as a matter of law. GET THE REAL STORY Lakeside author Judy King and her newly published book, Echoes From The Wall: Real Stories Of Mexican Migrants, are featured at the next Riberas Authors Second Wednesday event on March 13. Take it in at 2 pm on the Lake Chapala Society’s South Campus. Judy will read selections from her work, discuss her writing influences and process, and autograph copies of her book. ENJOY UNA NOCHE MEXICANA It happens at Ninos Incapacitados’ annual gala fiesta at Hotel Real de Chapala, on Thursday, March 14, from 5-10 pm. Festivities include a live and silent auction, complimentary bubbly and margaritas, live music and entertainment. Tickets are $600. Contact Donna Arthurs at Tickets can also be picked up and paid for at the Spotlight Club in San Antonio, daily 2-5 pm from January 28 to March 4. Check the website at

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SINATRA SWINGS … …….we remember that and have a chance to revisit our youth on Sunday, March 17 in the home of Linda Buckthorp, Community Facilitator, in a benefit for the students of Centro Educativo Jaltepec starting at 12.30 p.m. Come and hear the music of Cole Porter, the lyrical genius, brilliant arrangements by Nelson Riddle, as sung by Frank Sinatra. In an intimate home concert setting, 30 guests pay $1200 each for an all-inclusive afternoon. Alumnae of Jaltepec serve hors d’oeuvres, along with bottomless glasses of wine and a three course luncheon to follow. To make reservations email or call her at 766-1631. SHE’S A HOPELESS ROMANTIC Sweet Charity, by Neil Simon, is the next offering at the Lakeside Little Theatre. It’s di-

rected by Barbara Clippinger. Show dates are March 22-April 2. “Through song, dance and laughter, the show explores the turbulent love life of Charity Hope Valentine, a hopelessly romantic but comically unfortunate dance hall hostess in New York City.” Tickets are $300 and are available at LLT’s Box Office from 10 to noon, every Wednesday and Thursday, also one hour before curtain. The evening shows are at 7:30 pm and matinees are at 4 pm. The first Saturday and both Sundays are matinees.  For email reservations, email or call 376.766.0954.   VIVA’S LAST CONCERT We hear from Rosemary Keeling, outgoing president of Viva la Musica: “It looks like our next concert will be our last.” Rosemary is retiring and nobody so far has stepped up to take her place. So Thursday, March 28 at 7.00 pm in the Haus der Musik on Calle Constitucion come to enjoy A Serenade for Mandolin and Piano with Alon Sariel, mandolin and Michael Tsalka, piano, playing works by J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonardo Coral and Yehezekel Braun. In addition to the works for mandolin and piano, Alon will play the Bach Chaconne on solo mandolin. Tickets for this last concert are $500 pesos and are available at the LCS ticket area Thursdays and Fridays from 10 to noon, Diane Pearl Colecciones, Mia’s Boutique, or by calling Rosemary at 766-1801. CATS, A DOG AND TWO LONELY HEARTS The March production from The Bare Stage is Chapatti. The play runs March 29, 30


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and 31. It’s directed by Rosann Balbontin. The plot: Dan seeks to heal his aching heart, with only his faithful dog Chapatti for companionship. Betty spends her days with a litter or two of kittens and an aging employer to nurse. For both, romance is a distant memory - until a chance encounter brings these two lonely Irish hearts together for one more adventure. The theatre is at Hidalgo #261 on the mountain side of the carretera in Riberas del Pilar, across from the Catholic Church. Parking is available in the parking lot of the Baptist Church, behind the theater. Donation is $100. The Box Office Fred Koesling and Roseann Wilshere and bar open at 3 p.m. Reservations are by email at: For those who use Facebook, look for Bare Stage Theatre 2018 for breaking news and updates. FUN IN THE SWAMP? What did (front to back) Judy DykstraBrown, Rachel McMillen and Gloria Palazzo think when the deal was to go birdwatching in the mangrove swamp at La Manzanilla? What happened was not what they expected. Check Judy’s blog for more photos and an explanation: https:// judydykstrabrown. com/2019/01/05/whatwas-so-funny/ LAKE CHAPALA SHRINE CLUB RIBFEST The Lake Chapala Shrine Club presents its Thirteenth Annual Ribfest Fundraiser. The event will start at 1 pm ending at 5 pm on Wednesday, March 27 at the beautiful Cumbres Garden Event center located high above Chula Vista Norte Colonos. Funds raised from the $600 Ribfest ticket donation will be used to provide physical examination of Lakeside children younger than 18, to determine if they qualify for treatment locally in Ajijic or Guadalajara or will need transportation to the Mexico City Shrine Hospital. Tickets are available from any local Shriner or by contacting David at 331 017 1724 davidheccles@ END OF LIFE PLANS Wendy Jane Carrel, MA, will speak at LCS in the sala on March 29, Friday, from 2-4 pm.  The title is “Why Creating an End of Life Plan for Expats is a Good Idea….” Wendy is a Senior Care Advisor, Palliative Care Advocate, End-of-Life Planner for Mexico. Contact her at  THE SOUND OF MOVIES Following its sold out Christmas concert last December the Lake Chapala Community Orchestra takes to the stage once again, this time with a performance of great movie themes. Experience “The Sound of Movies” as the orchestra takes the audience on a cinematic journey of some of the best known film scores. The conductor is Michael Reason. The concert takes place Sunday March 31 at 3 pm at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 250 San Jorge, Riberas de Pilar, two blocks south of Mom’s Restaurant on the carretera. Tickets go on sale March 1 at Diane Pearl Colecciones at a price of $200 pesos ($100 for students). For information: mjrmusic01@gmail. com or call 33 1089 8338.

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ur not so tranquil day started with a conversation with my husband Tom: “Let’s go to Mazamitla when John and Lynn come to visit,” I said, “this book says it’s situated in the middle of a pine forest and nearby there’s a great waterfall and lots of flowers. They’re such nature lovers this will be perfect.” Tom’s idea of “loving nature” is sitting in our hot tub, Jim Beam in hand, admiring our bougainvilleas. Grumbling, he said, “Let’s take them on the Tequila Express. They’ll get mariachis, refreshments, look out the train’s windows and see all the nature they want.” “Mazamitla,” I said. “We’ll probably have to tromp through the woods, climb over boulders. I’ll bet there are snakes. Poisonous snakes!” “I patted his head and said, “We’ll go tomorrow and check it out before we take them.” Mazamitla looks like an Alpine village and it is well worth the drive just to see it and to be in such clean piney air. After a wonderful lunch off the zocalo, we set out in search of the waterfall or Cascada – the Spanish name. We followed some pretty bad directions that took us in circles and up a couple of dead end roads but


e ve n t u ally we got there. When we arrived we saw a large gate with a guard and assumed we had to pay to drive through. The paying part was right but we weren’t allowed to drive through. Even though this is a state forest, it is a gated community inhabited by private home owners. Outside the gate was a vaquero on a horse holding onto three others. “Renta dos caballos?” he asked. We saw a sign when we paid our entry fee that said Cascada tres kilometers. We figured we could easily walk it so we declined the offer, to which he replied in Spanish, a sly smile playing on his face, “You’ll be sorry.” We started down the road paved with very smooth stones, admired the foliage, the views and the wonderful homes. There were also strategically placed resting spots with benches, shade, and water fountains. Tom said, “We must be getting close,” and around the next curve we found a sign that said, “To Cascada.” We walked on, came to another sign that said, Cascada tres kilometers. As we continued our walk, we started critiquing the homes, the foliage didn’t seem so special and the rest stops became harder to find. Tom

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said, “Maybe we should have rented horses.” Soon there was another sign that said Cascada dos kilometros. We were pretty warm and pretty tired and decided when we brought our visitors we would definitely rent horses. We finally got to the falls and there was another vaquero with caballos to rent. Tom told him we would see him on our way out, and off we went following the signs to the cascada. We came to a barranca and across from this we saw a stream of water, about three feet in diameter, trickling down the mountainside. We looked at each other. We went back to talk with senora selling bottled water and soft drinks, and asked if this was really the cascada. “No, senor, senora,” she replied. “There is a bigger one, but you have to go up those steps to find it.” We looked behind us at the precipitous path. The steps were either non- existent or close to falling. “How far do we have to go?” “Maybe one hour walk.” We looked at each other, shook our heads, bought two bottles of water and headed back. Victor, the vaquero, was waiting for us. “Caballos, muy tranquilos,” he assured us. Maybe the caballos were muy tranquil, but the equipment was “muy savage,” I found, as his helper gave me a boost onto a wooden saddle. The stirrups were way to long and the cinch straps had knots in them that cut into the inside of my knees. I said, “Victor. The stirrups are too long.” “Caballo muy tranquilo.” “Si, but stirrups (I said, pointing at the stirrups) are muy long,” I said, pointing at them so he could see that my feet couldn’t reach them. Victor kept assuring me that my horse was muy tranquilo. I discovered that this was all Victor could say in English, and I knew hardly any Spanish. His helper got the idea and short-

ened them some but it didn’t help. I finally gave up and off we went. Too late we remembered we had not seen any horses as we walked to the cascada. It’s because the horses take a different path! They go over a road, covered by at least six inches of dust. The path goes up steep inclines and almost straight down the other side. Victor kept telling me to stand up in my stirrups to make the ride easier. I would have been happy to comply if I could have reached my stirrups. Actually I could touch them with my toes so I did this with arthritic knees frozen in place, and they were killing me. About two-thirds of the way back to our car I couldn’t stand the pain any longer I screamed “Stop!” I told Tom I would rather walk – or crawl if necessary – than sit on Muy Tranquil for one more minute and I was dismounting. Well, that should have been easy enough right? But no! My poor arthritic knees refused to bend. I tried getting off on the left side, then the right but could not bend my knees enough to get them over the horse. Victor decided he would bend them for me, causing terrible pain. “Stop!” I screamed. He did, but I was still on the horse. “Well, this is just great,” I thought, “Will I have to spend the rest of my life astride this horse? It should be fun hostessing dinner parties, sitting at the table on a horse. I wonder if a bed pan will fit on this saddle. What if I die on this horse? How deep will my/our grave be? Maybe we can be cremated. Do they cremate horses? Maybe we could both be stuffed and placed at the beginning of this trail with a sign reading, Muy Tranquilo. In my delirium I thought I heard cavalry trumpets. It was Tom to the rescue! He told me to put my hands on his shoulders. I did so and he walked backward, literally dragging me off muy tranquilo. By sheer will I started walking albeit looking like one of the old men in the Ballet Foklorico. And I’m here to tell you that yes, there is a God. Hallelujah!! A SUV, driven by one of the inhabitants of the gated community came by and asked us if we would like a ride. We clambered in with many muchas gracias offered. Looking up at Tom, on our way back to our car, I said, “The Tequila Express sounds like a Margie Keane great plan.”

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When Insults Had Class!


hese glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with words was still valued, before a great portion of the English  language got boiled down to four letter words, not to mention waving middle fingers. A member of Parliament to Disraeli: ‘Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.’ ‘That depends, Sir,’ said Disraeli, ‘on whether I  embrace your policies or your mistress.’ ‘ He has all the virtues I  dislike and none of the vices I admire.’— Winston Churchill ‘I  have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great  pleasure.’ —Clarence Darrow ‘He has never been known to use a word  that might send a reader to  the dictionary.’ — William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway) ‘Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big  emotions come from big words’?

—Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner) ‘Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.’ —Moses Hadas ‘I didn’t attend the  funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.’ —Mark Twain ‘He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.’—Oscar Wilde

‘I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have  one.’ —George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill ‘Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is  one.’— Winston Churchill, in response. ‘I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.’ —Stephen Bishop ‘He is a self-made man and  worships his creator.’ —John Bright ‘I’ve just learned  about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.’ —Irvin S. Cobb ‘He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.’—Samuel Johnson ‘He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.’ —Paul Keating

‘There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.’—Jack E. Leonard ‘He has the  attention span of a lightning bolt.’ —Robert Redford ‘He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.’ —Forrest Tucker ‘Why do you sit  there looking like an envelope without any address on it?’—Mark Twain ‘His mother should  have thrown him away and kept the stork.’ —Mae West ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’— Oscar Wilde ‘He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.’— Billy Wilder ‘I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening but this wasn’t it.’—Groucho Marx

The Mexican Smile Buenos dias! Buenas tardes! Like an opening in the forest, A clearing filtering light, A window to beyond, Invitation to pause, A moment of connection, The passing traveler’s smile surprises with its intimacy, Offer of friendliness, a gift, That in the giving, recognizes and affirms A moment of “I - Thou”. Slow down and stop to let that someone cross your path, Reward - a smile of thanks that’s brighter than your lights. Face lit with greeting From an open heart and generous spirit. For in spite of cares and needs, The Mexican can always spare a smile. No value placed on it, this simple gift. Take it for granted if you will, We who have so much to burden us, But were it not so freely offered, Then would our world be so much less. Buenos dias! Buenas tardes! And a smile.

By Gabrielle Blair


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Ballykelly By Seamus O’Hagan


hen I was a boy of some nine or ten years, I had the good fortune to reside in a small Irish village called Ballykelly. It was a hamlet of three hundred people and included two churches, a primary school, and a small shop that mostly sold three-day old newspapers and fruit that had seen better days. For occasional visitors, the shop also stocked two picture postcards of the place, one of which was inscribed “Ballykelly Main Street looking North” and the other “Ballykelly Main Street looking South.” This summed things up rather nicely. At the time, the school was the center of my own universe. It was a modest affair of three classrooms, each occupied by pupils according to their ages. Children embarked on the long road to knowledge at the age of four in the infant classroom and progressed through the other two until, upon reaching the exit door at around twelve years, one was presumed ready to go on to places of higher learning or, alternatively, to a life doing something more useful like sweeping the roads. There was an unofficial cut-off age of fourteen for those slower on the academic uptake and likely destined for the latter career. We were therefore something of a motley crew. The show was run by a headmaster called Master Stewart, a bald-headed


man with an aquiline nose that could have done duty as the beak of a golden eagle, and a ferocious temper initiated by an extremely short fuse. It would have been difficult to imagine a man less suited to be in charge of seventyodd impressionable children. In those days, academic standards in Ireland were extremely high, likely a consequence of their origins in both the Catholic and Protestant Churches, neither of which was viewed as being particularly accommodating for flexibility in matters related to learning. These standards were rigorously applied to the 3R oriented curriculum (Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmatic being at the core of everything) and enforced with varieties of physical discipline that, today, would be viewed as next best thing to barbarism. The cane, strap and slipper, often applied to one’s rear, were considered to be essential to the acquisition of academic excellence and I later reflected that this may well have been the origin of the term “seat of learning.” One day, the humdrum of daily existence was shattered when, in the hours just before dusk, three boys were interrupted in the process of breaking into the village shop. In this they were unfortunate in encountering the shopkeeper himself who, at variance with his normal practice of going home for his tea, had lingered to take stock of

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the day’s takings and update his inventory. In a small village the identities of the burglars were as readily available as information on the weather, and the next morning the local policeman marched the three unfortunates up to the schoolhouse. Back then, minor crimes involving young people seldom troubled the county judiciary as they were dealt with quite summarily by local residents, and often within the semi-official jurisdiction of the school. In any well-run judicial system, the severity of punishment is adjusted to match the level of the crime. In this, our school was no exception. Failure to produce homework at the appointed hour merited a single stroke of the cane. Cheeking the teacher earned you three. For most serious crimes, the sanction was the proverbial “six of the best.” I had often wondered why this was “of the best” when clearly “of the worst” would be much closer to the mark. In later years I came to ponder as to whether this use of an antonym was the genus of the political practice of covering up the truth with an obvious opposite. But I digress. This was clearly a situation demanding of six. The first two boys endured their ordeal with a decent level of stoicism and only a modest amount of blubbering. The third boy, however, was made of far sterner stuff. “Come here to receive your punishment,” shouted the Master, red faced from the exertion of administering the two previous floggings. “No,” replied the boy. It was the only word he uttered throughout the whole affair. The Master and the shopkeeper, two grown men, then attempted to drag the wiry, fourteen-year-old potential road-sweeper into the headmaster’s study where justice awaited. This proved more difficult than one would normally have supposed. In the course of the melee that ensued, the headmaster’s cane broke and the shopkeeper received an elbow to the head which he later characterized as

having “loosened five teeth and blackened my left eye.” After a while it became clear there would be no outright winner in this contest. “Tell him!” shouted the Master to the merchant in an attempt to break the stalemate and regain the initiative. “Tell him you saw him at the stealing. Tell him you’re sure of it.” “I did,” came the trenchant reply. “I saw him for sure. It was him that was the one hiding his face with the sunglasses!” An icy silence descended. It did not last long and was broken by the Master. “Sunglasses!” he roared. “Sunglasses is it? You say them’s the boys taking half rotten apples from your stinking shop and you think they have the money to buy sunglasses?” His famously short-triggered temper, a thing best viewed from a safe distance, was now on its way to full-open throttle. “And, if they did they would never dare bring such frippery into this school of mine! You’re a goat, sir. A goat!” In Ireland this was a serious insult. It derided the intellectual capacity of its recipient in combination with clever allusion to a classic biblical story. Before this withering scorn, the shopkeeper’s credibility wilted like one of his lettuce. It lay in tatters for all to see. So, with that, the trial was over. There was no more talk of culpability. The headmaster retrieved a new cane from his seemingly limitless supply; the shopkeeper retreated to his recently maligned establishment; the boy, unpunished, returned to his classroom. No apologies were offered or accepted. That is the way it was in those days. At the close of a regular school day it was our practice, like the ploughman in Grey’s Elegy, to “homeward wend our weary way.” This, however, was no ordinary day. I ran to catch up with the hero of the hour. “Did you do it?”I asked, referring to the burglary. “No,” he replied. I think this was his favorite word. “You must have been scared in the fight,” I offered. “No,” he said. “Sure it’s easy to stick up for yourself when you know you’re in the right.” Having firmly established himself on the moral high ground, he paused, carefully removed a pair of battered sunglasses from an inside pocket of his jacket, placed them squarely on the bridge of his nose, and strode off purposefully towards the setting sun. Ed. Note: Seamus O’Hagan is a native of Ireland and a longtime Ajijic resident.

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Hola to Ajijic! By Scott Richards


he last plane my wife and I are planning on flying for a very long time, finally landed in Guadalajara from Istanbul three weeks ago delivering us to this enchanting pueblo of Ajijic. Two years, thirty-six flights and almost 100,000 air miles, we find ourselves home. A couple of middle-aged nomads hopping around the world looking for paradise, our Shangri-la only to find it within ourselves all along and not on any map, have finally put their suitcases away. Twenty-one countries later, we have both decided that if we have a problem living here, we better get over it. We have run out of countries and even continents. Literally, where on earth would we go to find it better than this? We love the weather, the music, food, art and most importantly, the warm and welcoming hearts of the people. From our recent travels, Americans are not always welcomed everywhere in the world anymore. It is a real pleasure learning the language and interacting positively with everyone we meet. We sold everything in 2008 in Orlando, Florida where we lived for the last twenty-five years performing our proper nine to fives, taking trips every three months in order to keep the will to live alive. It finally dawned on us that we had our lifestyle in reverse. We


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should be living the life of our vacations. Life is short and we aren’t getting any younger. Although satisfied in my work having a small art gallery and picture frame shop for almost three decades allowing me to meet interesting clients and handle many exceptional, historic and moving pieces of art, I and my wife sought more than material gain and a dead end consumer existence. It was the soul and heart that needed feeding; badly and soon. The world is full of great places to live but we invariably encountered political, cultural, language and emigrational differences or hindrances disqualifying one after another. The adventure of a lifetime was becoming a nightmare of airports, suspicious food and customs agents. Traveling constantly is more arduous than first suspected; it’s really unsettling to view your luggage as next of kin. Living in villages throughout the South Pacific, surviving ancient Thailand trains, TukTuks, attempting to live the life of the people whose country we were in and eating from the market of where ever we were was our goal. This monumental mission was becoming real work on our parts, unpacking, settling, another box of Imodium, money, packing up, more money, arriving, unpacking our lives over and over again until we began questioning the wisdom of our quest and possibly our own sanity. We originally left the States to learn to live with less and love it, but here in Lakeside, we get to have everything we need. Most of the countries we have lived in did not have hot water at the kitchen sink, almost no ice and hot showers were not a given. After two years on the road, our little casita is first world living and we love it. My wife and I have enjoyed numerous trips and adventures in Baja and the Pacific coast as well as interior cities, never thinking we would end up in Mexico, but we have long ago learned never to say never. So we say Hola to Ajijic and its colorful wonders.

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By Susa Silvermarie

By Gail Nott


stand here in the roar of the sea and the cold blow of autumn with her ashes in my hands. Her ashes, hers, in a carved box. How can she be in a box. I stand here on the bluff at dusk, under a sky that races its clouds towards the horizon, where rays burst from the sun that has sunk below. The sandy grass under my boots might yet go soft and swallow me. I am alone with all the world around my body pressing me upright. I can think of nothing, nothing but the presence of her/not/here. I must scatter what remains of the one who has been my heart. How can I surrender what is left? But she asked me, she, she asked me to give her back. Back to the great sea of her own dream, to her own watery nature. My legs hold me up despite my sinking, sinking into loss. My hands cradle the carved box. The salty air won’t yet let me stop breathing. It stings me as awake as I have ever been. Yes. I will do this thing for her, this


last thing. This last thing she wanted from me. I straighten my tired back. I lift my chin. I raise the box as high as I can, offering it, offering back the great gift. Seagulls swoop from behind me toward the waves. Seagulls, the birds she loved, bend their cries into the whipping wind. My cap blows into the sea. I do not know how to let her go. I bring the box to my heart. I must let her fly, but I bring the box one last time to my heart. I open it! In a single gust, the wind lifts her ashes up, the wind carries her home over the last edge, the wind carries her back to the waters. My mouth is open, my eyes are streaming, her ashes whirl away from me. I drop the box and reach my arms wide. I reach, reach out, to the wide horizon. w w Susa Silvermarie

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am fearful that U.S. television programming may have resulted in the death of a few million of my brain cells. This conclusion is based on the fact that I am now watching and listening to commercials, and I don’t understand them. We have all spent hours wading through insurance forms and listening to the drone of an insurance agent. Now I learn that if you deal with a duck, I think its name is AFLAC, you can get health insurance. At least the stuff you get from the duck can fertilize your garden. Maybe it is the result of too much holiday cheer, but I still haven’t figured out what three green men, covered in blue paint, throwing themselves against a wall, are trying to sell. At first I thought they were marketing a new psychotropic drug to control aberrant behavior. Sure, I am going to give my money to an investment firm who is encouraging people to paint their bodies and self-abuse. Daily, I see the joggers, tennis players, and folks off to the gym. I appreciate this commitment to exercise and having a great body. Seems to me, however, there is an easier way. AII you have to do to have great buns and ABs is buy exercise videos. Watching welltoned male bodies in spandex, doing a rigorous exercise program, certainly will increase my heart rate and respiration. I have been obsessing about keep-

ing my stove and counter tops clean. It is scary to think that a squad car, with sirens blazing, may pull into my driveway, and two policemen will rush through my kitchen door with a spray bottle. Sure, the neighbors are going to believe that all this is over a little grease! Hour after hour I am inundated with advertisements for dot coms. Perhaps someone can clarify for me what a dot com is? From the decline of the NASDAQ, I guess not too many people are buying them. Of course a runny nose, watering eyes and sneezing are annoying; I have allergies. You better believe I plan to buy a medication that can cause a heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. I want some relief. I always thought I was a good pet owner. Now I am told that unless I feed my dogs a special food they won’t be able to catch a Frisbee 10 feet in the air, or retrieve a tree from a lake. This explains why my dogs never quite make it to the yard to pee. Madison Avenue has too much confidence in my ability to reason and comprehend. I still don’t understand why Viking warriors would want to ransack my neighbor’s house if I charge Christmas presents on my credit card!

A Brick And A Stick By Dennis A. Crump


was having brunch with a couple of very close friends, Susie and Anita, from our old days growing up in Ajijic in the late 1950’s & early 60’s. The other two friends are an interesting Dutch lady, Johanna, wintering here from Colona, B.C. and Phil, a professional digital graphics film producer from Houston. We all have varied interests in common - making conversation flow easy and interesting. As it happens frequently in our gang from the past, someone in the old gang will mention something of our growing up days, which immediately triggers the “remember when.” This gathering was no exception. Anita made a comment that the Tango Restaurant is today located in the old Ajijic movie theater. Flashback to 1958-1960 as kids with no television, no telephone, and still too young to go to Guadalajara movie theaters alone. The Ajijic Theater was essentially the home of one of the industrious Ajijic natives, with a large bare ground courtyard constrained by four walls. (Remove the cover over the existing restaurant, and leave the bare walls with patches of bare adobe where the plaster had fallen off, presto – the old Ajijic Theater. Ticket price was one peso and you could bring your own chair, or you could get a Brick & a Stick at the door. The brick to sit on – unless you chose to sit on the ground OR stand around the perimeter walls…and the stick to take care of the critters that might be crawling around. You brought your own palomitas y refresco, popcorn and soda, and my industrious, younger brothers brought extra popcorn to sell – the small bags were made to order for such entrepreneurs. The movie was projected onto the whitewashed wall from a reel to reel 16mm projector set up on an elevated stand in the middle of the courtyard. There were frequent intermissions where one could socialize

and comment on the movie – this resulting from breaks or burn-throughs in the film. The projectionist was an expert and could remedy the situation in five minutes. We might have missed a few frames with each break, leaving to our imagination to fill the gap if we were so inclined. Most films featured Cantinflas, Pancho Villa, and other comedians or heroes from the Revolution. On special occasions, we were entertained with two-three year old American movies with Spanish subtitles. Of course there would be a packed house and the price of the palomitas and refrescos doubled as a couple of dozen gringos would flock to the “must attend” event. Movie going – like most everything in Ajijic in those days, was simple, a social event to take a break from the rigors of the day – or was it the week, or month or year?! Anyway – it was a simpler, less hurried life where each day was to be taken in for its pure and simple pleasure. Ed. Note: Dennis and his mother and father, along with various siblings, had made plans many years ago to resettle in Ajijic when his father, a B-17 pilot, was killed. Despite that, the rest of the Crump Family came anyway, and the hardiness and true grit they showed was something right out of a pioneer saga.

Saw you in the Ojo 55

A Misunderstanding By Mel Goldberg


hen I started working the graveyard shift, my wife JoAnn thought it would be better if we slept in separate rooms. I went to bed about seven when she was watching TV. I went to work at eleven after she was in bed, and returned home nine o’clock in the morning after she had left for work. One Friday night she told me she was going out for drinks with her girl friends. Then I ran into her good friend Carol at the supermarket. “I haven’t seen JoAnn for a while. Is she okay?” I must have looked puzzled. “Didn’t you two go out for drinks Fri-

day night?” Carol blushed and looked at the floor. “We haven’t gone out for over a month.” When I confronted JoAnn, she said she had been seeing someone named Charlie and she wanted a divorce. She called our marriage of five years a misunderstanding but wanted us to remain friends. “Misunderstanding?” I thought. She cuts out my heart and asked me to remain her friend. I gritted my teeth and said yes, although what I really wanted was to strangle her. Should I have said I hated her and Charlie and wanted to see them dead? Besides, I believe in karma.

Sometimes it just needs a little help. I rented a furnished, one-bedroom apartment and Charlie moved into what once was our home. I wanted to keep Calico, our cat, but JoAnn thought the cat would be better in the house she had always known. As always, I agreed. They got married on a rainy Sunday, a month after our divorce. I was sitting at my yard sale table drinking coffee and feeling sorry for myself. I watched the rivulets of rain run down the window, matching the tears of anger wetting my face. I remembered that we once loved walking in the rain. For some, rain had a cleansing effect. For me, it reinforced my sadness and repressed rage. As if the clouds, understanding how I felt, empty themselves until there was nothing left. Two months after they got married, JoAnn called to tell me she and Charlie were going to Hawaii. “Why are you telling me?” I asked, remembering that we had gone to Hawaii on our honeymoon. “I have a favor to ask. Could you please water my plants and feed Calico for the week?” “Why don’t you ask a neighbor?” “Calico knows you,” she replied. What a thoughtless request. It wasn’t enough to drive a splinter under my fingernail. She expected me to leave it throbbing and pretend it wasn’t there. Hawaii. I imagined them sitting on the beach in the warm sunshine, her head on his shoulder. I imagined them in their hotel room. In my mind I could see her moving seductively. I wanted to shut out these images but I couldn’t. I felt like “Alex” in the movie A Clockwork Orange with my eyelids held open. But I agreed to her request and thought about revenge. There was a hole where my heart used to be. I could feel the wind of requital howling through.

“By the way,” she said brightly, “The key to the house is still under the stone in the planter on the front stoop. And thanks.” I drove to the house every morning after work for a week, although it was several miles away. On the last day, I carried a wrench. I walked to the bedroom and found Calico sleeping on the bed. I looked at the bed and imagined them together, windows open, the soft breeze caressing their naked bodies. Their entire house smelled of stale cigarettes and sex. I told her to quit smoking hundreds of times after I quit, that it would shorten her life. She tried, even used the patch. She might have been successful, but he smoked, so she had no incentive to quit. I almost vomited but that would have ruined my plan. My whole body began to shake and I had to take several deep breaths and let them out slowly until I relaxed. I walked back into the kitchen. I moved the stove slightly away from the wall. I remember installing it. Propane has a slight acrid smell. I loosened the shut-off valve a bit and used soap to test the leak. Then I move the stove back in place. Very little had changed in the house. The table had the same woven mat we bought in Arizona. Calico purred and rubbed her face against my leg. She went willingly into her traveling cage where I fed her. Outside the air smelled clean, a fresh crisp autumn day. The maple leaves were turning gold, orange, and red. The robins were twittering to each other, preparing for their southern flight. Today I felt a release. When she asked me for this favor, she reiterated her desire for us to remain friends after what she called the misunderstanding. She said I should move on. Good advice. Yesterday I quit my job and today I vacated my apartment. I put Calico in my car for the long drive to Montana. No forwarding address. They will be back late tonight. They will attribute the slightly acrid smell to a house closed for a week. By habit, she will put an unlit cigarette in her mouth and hand him the monogrammed lighter I gave her. He will think it sexy to light it. Mel Goldberg


El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

Greeters Of The Dawn By Julie Elizabeth Mignard


oonless night on the high plains was never deeply dark. In the black sky the universe shines from all the vast and far flung stars. In the east, before the glow of dawn appears, the Hummingbird Star is rising. Ten thousand men and women are silently preparing to walk the path of one thousand years. The perfection of today’s celebration provides security for the coming one thousand years. By the reckoning of the historians this will be the eighth time the ceremony has been performed. All of the many accomplishments of the last seven thousand years are attributed to the perfection of the Ancestors’ actions on this most important day. The one thousand most accomplished men and women of the world are being tethered to the sky throne by the sacred threads. They will dance in a compact circle, shoulder to shoulder. These masters who know the secrets of the four sacred metals, those who had learned the lifting of giant stones, the weaving of the twelve sacred fibers making up the threads representing the spirits of earth connecting to sky, the wise historians and shamans, they are the greatest treasures of the world. Only once every 1000 years were all of these arts united in one ceremony. Three girls all born eight years ago to the day traditionally make the sacred footprints in the Hummingbird Path. These are sisters, the daughters of the Holy Emperor of the World. If it were not for their high birth they’d never be here today. There are women present who secretly hold severe doubts about these ghost daughters. Traditionally, ghost babies were killed at birth not raised to perform this most sacred dance. The three identical sisters are magical. They are pure white, white skin, white hair, and turquoise eyes. Now, hands hanging relaxed, fingers motionless, they wait, their long straight hair lifting lightly in the cool pre-dawn breeze. Smooth shoulders untouched by chill bumps, they radiate a heat of their own. Everything in their eight years of life has been in prepara-

tion for this day. They hold no doubts about dancing the Hummingbird Path. Now the sky throne is aloft. Floating high overhead, their god-king father watches. Already the sun is illuminating the pure colors of his sky throne’s giant canopy held aloft by the spirits of air and fire. Behind the sisters, the drums begin. Tiny bare feet pat the dust. Left right pause, right left pause for the sacred breath, marking out the ancient Path of the Hummingbird. For twelve days the path has been purified by the smoke of copal. It has been swept by the blessed feather brooms. No tiny pebble will mar the footprints of the shining white sisters. The sisters are intelligent, their preparation complete. The assurance of safety and well being of the earth is felt by all of the thousands here combining their spirits in a wall of force that rises to the height of their floating god-king. The one thousand masters are connecting the earth and sky with the threads, now tautly stretching from the sun headdress of the throne to each of their own headdresses glittering with the flutter of thin gold feathers. The sun has now fully illuminated the plateau. The clear sky has lost all of its dawn colors and shines pure beautiful blue. All is perfection. The ten thousand greeters of the dawn have begun their march to the east. From the west, behind the backs of all a bolt is coming from the blue. For an unseen instant a thin electric leader reaches from the sky throne towards it. In that instant the lightening completes the circuit from miles away, exploding throne, king, and canopy in a blinding fireball. The one thousand sacred threads incandesce electrocuting the one thousand masters. There will be no protection for this age. The sky gods have spoken. It is the end. The empire has fallen, never to be rebuilt. The Hummingbird ceremony will never again exist. In the profane ages to follow all sacred knowledge remains lost. Only the mysterious paths remain. Unexplained.

Saw you in the Ojo 57

ART HESS—the Dog Guy A Profile by Kay Davis


o you want a dog that jumps up on people? Do you want your hand bitten if you reach for the food dish? Some dog owners bear bruises or scars on their arms from well-intentioned animals. Other owners may have been pulled down the street with the dog clearly in control, or worse, down onto the sidewalk. Not fun. We want our dogs to be loving companions with good manners. And at Lakeside there is one professional who has worked with both horses and dogs all his life. He can help. In training the basics, there are five primary areas of concern: 1) pulling on the leash, 2) digging, 3) chewing, 4) barking, and 5) nipping and biting. The answer is discipline – for the owner and the dog. How do we get there? It takes time and commitment. The dog is willing and is happier once it understands what we want. So how do we communicate? Step by step to keep it simple for the dog. For us, too. We don’t need language at all, it seems. Remember whales and dolphins at Sea World? Trainers use whistles and clickers with fish for reward. That positive approach is what Art has perfected. He says the old methods for dog training were too rigid and more people-oriented than dogs


El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

comprehend easily. All we need is a positive attitude and attention to the dog. Dogs know when we are tense. But when we are happy, it becomes fun. We communicate by motivating and teaching one step at a time, then rewarding the dog, including praise like “good dog.” Art uses hand signals instead of words, a “clicker” to indicate the dog has executed a behavior right and treats as motivation for success. The most immediate thing to learn is that the dog doesn’t understand human language. They will, over time, learn some key words, however. Where did Art come from and what makes him qualified to train dogs? High River, Alberta, is about an hour’s drive south of Calgary. It’s a small town situated in farm country and one of the key people in his life was a grandfather who trained dogs. He said, “Art, watch your dog…she’s telling you stuff. Pay attention.” Art did. For many years he worked with dogs and horses, his two passions. But he also had to make a living. At one point he was a Canadian Horse Show judge. He was also an American Quarter Horse Society judge, director of a race track, and vice president of a very large real estate company in Calgary, Alberta. Along the way he developed business sense while con-

tinuing to work with the animals he enjoyed. Meanwhile his wife Barbara was online with a lady who had lived in Ajijic, Mexico. When they were ready, they headed south. At Lakeside, Art trained horses, including those at an organization located in Ajijic where horses are now rented out to the public. He worked with both handicapped children and the animals they learned to ride to improve their sense of balance. That was before Pasos Milagrosos. He also worked with dogs at the shelter. Art has a column that runs in this magazine. In each, he addresses a problem and tells how to resolve it. For more information, he also has his own website at http://anyonecantraintheirdogbyartthedogguy. You might find it easier to work with one idea at a time, bookmarking the website, and once that idea works for you, move to the next. “I’m a full time trainer who handles over 100 dogs a year including dogs in my classes and individuals in one-on-one training. I don’t believe a dog is trained until he will perform all the basics off leash in public places. My training days are filled with young dogs (my favorites) and problem dogs (whose main problem is

usually at the other end of the leash).” So says Art Hess, whose column in the Ojo del Lago is very popular with its readers. Art is a gentle soul which is why he can walk up to a strange dog and gain that dog’s respect as he leads the animal through a lesson he is teaching, and the dog has fun the whole time. Art Hess, a real modern day Dog Whisperer. Kay Davis

Saw you in the Ojo 59

Uncommon Common Sense By Bill Frayer

Leapfrogging Past the Evidence


hen George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq in 2003, he used the argument that Iraq was a danger to the United States and its allies. He made the case that Sadaam Hussein had a stockpile of dangerous weapons which he could unleash on the world if we failed to act. He used a secondary argument, which he only made indirectly (because he knew it could not be proven) that Sadaam Hussein was complicit in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The United States Congress authorized use of force, and the invasion of Iraq, and its subsequent problems, was launched.   Of course, after the invasion, it became clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction; Sadaam had


no such capability, and the invasion was shown to have been based on a false conclusion. Bush had help in this thinking error. Judith Miller, of the New York Times, supposedly an expert in WMD’s, wrote a series of articles supporting Bush’s position. Many experts supported Bush’s assertions.  How could he have been so wrong? Actually, jumping to conclusions based on insufficient evidence is very easy to do; we do it all the time.  Here’s how it happens: When we are trying to decide what to believe, ideally, we examine the evidence.  Then, based

El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

on the evidence available, we draw a conclusion. The only problem is: How do we really know if we have enough evidence?  The short answer is, we don’t. We can’t ever be certain about this. Good thinkers understand this.   For example, when you visit your doctor with particular symptoms, she will examine you and possibly order tests.  Once she has examined the test results, she will make a diagnosis. Of course, if she’s a good physician, she will make the diagnosis provisional.  She may prescribe a medication, but add “If you don’t start feeling better in five days, give me a call.” She knows that she cannot always have all the evidence she needs to make an accurate diagnosis. She is speculating based on the evidence she has. If it proves incorrect, she knows she will need to gather more evidence.   Think about our own lives for a moment. We are always trying to make sense of the world. Every day we draw conclusions based on the evidence we see. The problem is, we often only have a little bit of evidence. We can run into this problem if we try to diagnose ourselves by searching medical sites on the internet. This can be dangerous because we usually only have a little bit of information, unlike our physician. We may alarm ourselves with drastic

conclusions! We may also jump to premature conclusions when we are dealing with people. For example, if someone is late getting home, we may fear there has been a terrible accident. If something we need is not where we thought we left it, we can blame another person for taking it. We may jump to a conclusion about hiring an auto mechanic based solely on what a friend tells us. That may be insufficient evidence upon which to base a decision. And how often have we formed an opinion of a person based on first impressions only to find out later that your initial empirical evidence was incomplete?  So, as good thinkers, how do we handle this problem? The most important thing to keep in mind is that when we make decisions, we will necessarily have to make them based on insufficient evidence. However, we should be aware of the fact that this evidence may lead us to an incorrect conclusion. Just like the physician, we should make our conclusions provisional when we can.   Instead of thinking, “This must be true,” try, “Based on what I know now, I think this is likely to be true, but I may change my conclusion later based on new evidence. If we have intellectual humility, we realize that our decisions cannot always be correct, because, by definition, they are often based on only partial evidence. So, we have to be willing to reconsider our conclusions. In my view, the reluctance of the Bush Administration to admit that they might not know all there was to know about WMD’s in Iraq led to the hubris for which it will be remembered. History is full of such examples, of course.   (Next month I will continue to look at common thinking errors with a look at stereotyping.) Bill Frayer

Saw you in the Ojo 61

Where Were You In 1958? (You should have been in Ajijic!) Courtesy of Kay Borkowski


EXICO CITY (AP)-Feb. 2, 1958—Worried about retiring on that pittance of a pension? Well, perk up! You can live in Mexico for as little as $50 a month! On $90 a month, you can even have a servant. On $150, you can have a three-bedroom home, two servants, entertain and travel around a bit. With $200 and up, you’re in the luxury bracket. You can’t do this in Mexico City or any of the other large cities or in resorts like Acapulco. In the capital, living is high even compared with US cities. Rents have doubled in three years. But there are scores of little paradises scattered all over Mexico, some near cities, where the living is cheap. Take for example the village of Ajijic on the shores of colorful Lake Chapala. It’s a day’s drive northeast of the capital and just 30 minutes from Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. Montana-born Bob Thayer moved there seven years ago to escape high taxes and the pressure of living in the States. He opened a posada (or inn). He gives these figures and will give you more if you write him care of Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. For $50-65 a month, you can rent a room in an ordinary inn, pay $24 a month which includes meals and laundry and have enough left over for clothing, entertainment, drinks, and cigarettes. For this same $24, you could also room and eat with a family


El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

that takes in boarders. For $90-100, (which includes most pensioners), you may take a long lease on a home, paying as little as $8 a month rent, then spend a few hundred to modernize it. You may employ a maid, live well and pursue hobbies. For $150, you can rent a two or three-bedroom home, with patio, cooks, maid, lots of entertainment and travel—and still have a good chunk left over for fun. For $200 and up, you can live high on the hog. Thayer said that he has a four-bedroom home with four baths, servants’ quarters, a cook and two maids. You can buy Mexican-made Bacardi rum for 88 cents a fifth, brandy for $1, tequila for 60 cents a quart, 25 bottles of beer for $1.80. Mexican cigarettes are as cheap as three cents a package, cigars one cent. Regular gasoline is 17 cents a gallon, a car wash 16 cents. Labor is cheap. Bricklayers work for $1.20 a day—not an hour! Is there much red tape for those who want to live here? No. Most merely use a tourist card, and renew it every six months by returning to the border. You may obtain resident immigration papers if you have a proven steady income (such as a pension) of $160 a month. (Ed. Note: Before we all go get drunk, remember that 50 years from now, people will be saying “Dammit, if only I had been in Ajijic in 2019!)

Saw you in the Ojo 63

LIMITATIONS ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH: A Canadian Perspective (Republished by Request) By Roderick MacDonald


atching CNN of late, it’s hard for a Canadian to get caught up in the hoopla about the recent US midterm election. Nearly everything else of interest was eclipsed by exhaustive (if not exhausting) reports on polls, probabilities and proclivities of various candidates, but I guess we can be thankful for the comic relief provided by the amount of air time dedicated to the practice of witchcraft as a qualification for aspiring senatorial candidates. However, there is one story that far outweighs all others in terms of


its gravity and potential implications for American society. I refer to the US Supreme Court case of Snyder versus Phelps. This controversial First Amendment case involves members from a fundamentalist church in Kansas who say they want to draw attention to U.S. government policies that tolerate gays in the military and elsewhere. They typically carry signs at funerals that say, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “God Hates

El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

Fags” and a variety of other anti-gay insults. The lawsuit against them was filed by Albert Snyder, a Maryland man whose son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in 2006 in Iraq. Snyder sued the Rev. Fred W. Phelps and his followers for intentional infliction of emotional distress after they protested at his son’s funeral. A jury awarded Snyder $5 million but an appeals court later overturned the judgment, saying the church members’ actions were privileged as free speech under the First Amendment. Now the case is being heard by the US Supreme Court. Now I would consider myself to be pretty much mainstream and like many of us has had to confront my own prejudices about same sex marriages and gay rights. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that this case could represent a turning point in American social culture, if Snyder were to win. And that is a very big “if.” However, if that were to happen, and it appears doubtful, the US Court may move a little closer to the views held by Canada’s Supreme Court, which places reasonable limitations on free speech. Whatever the US Supreme Court decision, it will come at a time when Americans are facing a flurry of challenges concerning the value of respect for simple human dignity. We witness the unforgiveable consequences of bullying in school as articulated in past weeks by CNN reports of the recent suicides of no fewer than five American teenagers, all of whom allegedly faced daily torment over real or perceived notions of sexual identity. Further underscoring this lamentable situation, CNN aired several reports recently about an assistant attorney general (if you can believe it) in Michigan who elevated harassment to an entire new level by his personal attacks on a college student president who happens to be gay. These are the real victims of a growing wave of intolerance in America. While I realize First Amendment protections are not limited to gay-bashing, this is the very real human context in which the US Supreme Court must decide whether to place “reasonable” restrictions on freedom of speech abuses by a handful of cranks and wing-nuts who labor under the illusion that they are marching under personal instructions from the Almighty. Give me a break. Canada, like the United States,

has a constitutional guarantee of free speech. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of expression, subject to such reasonable limits as are “demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.” In other words, we have free speech, but the state can limit it in reasonable ways. This may be contrasted with the absolute language of the First Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights, which states: “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.” The words of the Canadian guarantee acknowledge the state’s right to limit free speech; the words of the American guarantee forbid the state from doing so. The Canadian Supreme court has already wrestled with the implications of giving free rein to fruitcakes, and found in several cases that freedom of speech comes with some responsibilities toward our fellow man and places certain restrictions on an open assault on public sensitivities. In one highly publicized case in 1990, the majority of Supreme Court Justices looked at hate speech as not being a victimless crime, but instead having the potential for psychological harm, degradation, humiliation, and a risk of violence. And that’s really the nut of it. In my opinion, this court also has the responsibility to protect the rights of its more vulnerable citizens from such onslaughts of hatred and bigotry. In other words, a dual responsibility to take the leadership required to move its constituency further along the road to an enlightened society. While the issue of gay rights has supplanted abortion as one of the most contentious social issue today, it clearly has the ability to inflame passions on both sides. But like the protection afforded a woman’s right to choose, there will be no going back on an individual’s right to choose who they may love or marry. In the case of Snyder versus Phelps, the issue at stake seems more than whether to censure the unforgiveable insensitivity of the invasion of privacy at a young soldier’s funeral, but also speaks to the need for a strongly worded declaration that this egregious affront to civilized behavior will not be tolerated. It is, at least for some, a matter of life and death. (Ed. Note: Roderick MacDonald is a former Canadian journalist and writer now living in Ajijic.)

An Outside Curve

By Michael McGrath (Republished by Request) Reply to Jim Tuck’s Bleeding Heart Liberal Article


hoa back, Friar Tuck! It seems to me that in your last “Inside Straight” (Ojo, Nov. 2009), you are advocating the burning of another “witch.” We more or less gave that up as a country when we adopted the principle of freedom of speech. I say “more or less” because there has been a good deal of vacillation on the part of government lawyers as to what constitutes giving aid and comfort versus exercising freedom of speech. For example, when Senator John Kerry returned from his tour of duty in Viet Nam, he not only joined the Viet Nam Veterans Against The War, he also gave a two hour speech against the war before Congress and then joined his fellow vets against the war in a demonstration outside the capital where all of them tossed their ribbons and medals over a fence erected in front of the capitol while making protest statements against the conduct of the war. At the time, Kerry was still a Lieutenant J.G. in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Now he is a U.S. Senator and nobody breathes a word about his protest being treasonous. Heck, there was even talk of making him President. I suppose it could be said that neither Kerry nor Fonda were prosecuted because of who they are. However, despite the fact that the First Amendment is both ambiguous and silent as to what exactly constitutes giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, it is interesting to note that the punishment identified for an act of treason is clearly spelled out as anywhere from five years in prison to death. It would appear that the law recognizes a wide variety and degree of heinousness when it comes to what might be considered treason. Despite the ambiguity in the Constitution and the law, perhaps we could make some distinctions about aid and comfort that we could agree upon as reasonable people. For instance, it would seem to me that we might be able to agree that French and German nationals harboring French resistance fighters—as many did—would very likely constitute giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

However, there might be the small problem that we would very likely agree on how wonderful a thing that was. Loyalty and fidelity to the cause of the German fatherland be damned. After all, they were the bad guys. A lot depends on your point of view. But we can be pretty certain that King George did not think of the Founding Fathers as patriots. So it seems that the problem here boils down to a couple things. First of all there is the legitimate nature of protest. And then there is the legitimate method of protest. Both of these issues have been spoken to, acted upon and wrestled with by many who have gone before us. Perhaps we should study the past before we condemn the present and ransom the future. “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.” - Frederick Douglass “Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” - Abraham Lincoln

Saw you in the Ojo 65

Intercultural Communication


By Tracy Novinger

By Kathy Koches



lie on my bed, gazing out the window at the night sky, and I am filled with wonder at the beauty spread out before me. The twinkling stars seem to kiss the mountains and sparkle off the waters of Lake Chapala. I feel as if I can reach out and touch them. The night sky is different here. I realize that I am several thousand miles south of my former home in Washington. I try to remember some of the constellations I learned about as a child. I can see the Big and Little Dipper, Orion’s belt and yes, there is Cassiopeia! But how different they look, so close and lower in the sky. I grew up in Los Angeles, the big bright city, with millions of lights, and we almost never saw stars in the night sky. Only when we went camping could I lie on my sleeping bag at night and look up at the magnificent array of stars. I remember feeling small and insignificant as my Dad pointed out the


various constellations to me. It was a magical time that I will always hold in my heart. He used to take me to the Griffith Park Observatory and we would gaze at the stars and planets through their powerful telescopes. These trips are what sparked my interest in space exploration and I eventually worked for a company that manufactured parts used on the first moon landing! I became a fan of Carl Sagan, and his quote resonates with me: “The cosmos is within us. We are made of starstuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” As Vincent Van Gogh said, “I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”

El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

d. Note: What follows is an excerpt from Ms. Novinger’s excellent book. It was published by the University of Texas Press, sells for $16.95 and can be purchased from Communication between the United States and Mexico will always be difficult but never impossible. The successful U.S. corporation Corning and the giant Mexican glass manufacturer Vitro, in Monterrey, formed a cross-border alliance in 1991 that seemed blessed. They both had histories of successful joint ventures and a global orientation, and both were still headed by founding families. In February of 1994, however, Corning handed back Vitro’s $130 million dowry and called the match off. Francisco Chavez, an analyst with Smith Barney Shearson in New York, said, “The cultures didn’t match...It was a marriage made in hell.” On a day-to-day basis, no single country affects the national interest of the United States in more ways than Mexico. On an economic level, in 1993 Mexico had become the United States’ second largest trading partner, after Canada. Mexico was buying 70 percent of its foreign purchases from the United States, which in turn absorbed 67 percent of Mexico’s exports. One year after the 1993 signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), statistics from the U.S. Commerce Department measured Mexico’s imports from the United States as equal to the combined U.S. imports of Germany, France, Italy, China, and Russia. Jesus Reyes-Heroles, Mexican ambassador to the United States in 1998, pointed out that by 1997, trade between Mexico and the United States had reached $170 billion- double the amount in 1993. ReyesHeroles called the success of NAFTA a well-kept secret. But even greater success is available to those who will take the time to understand cultural differences, whether they be Mexicans or North Americans. The twenty-five-month business union between Corning and Vitro that held such great potential was damaged by constant cultural clashes that proved fatal. Corning managers did not expect to have to wait for important decisions. The manner of decision-making in U.S. and Mexican cultures is different. One needs to know that only highlevel executives in Mexico can make decisions, and Vitro’s decision-makers were often busy with other matters. Vitro-as is typical of Mexican businesses-was more

hierarchical in structure than is the norm in the United States. In Mexico, a loyalty to fathers and patrones somehow carries over to modern corporations. As a matter of loyalty or tradition, decisions are often left to a member of the controlling family or to top executives, and the opinions of mid-level managers are usually not requested. The cultural gap separating the two businesses amounted to a different approach to work, which was reflected in scheduling, decision-making, and etiquette. Cultural disparities hurt the two companies’ ability to react together to a fastchanging market with a stronger peso, increased overseas competition, and a rethinking of market strategies by both Vitro and Corning. The cultural hurdles to successful business seemed insurmountable, so the two companies called off the promising joint venture. The failure of the Corning-Vitro alliance was unfortunate. Many think that Mexico offers the greatest business opportunities that North Americans will see in their lifetimes. In the 1950s and 1960s “Made in Japan” signaled an inferior product to much of the world, but the Japanese made a remarkable change in the quality of their production in just a few decades. Mexico today may be on the same track to significant change-and some say that now is the time to establish a market presence. Henry Kissinger wrote that Mexico’s propensity to import from the United States is the highest in the world with or without NAFTA. In the next century Mexico will have a population of more than one hundred million, our de facto open borders make friendly relations a vital national interest, and twenty million Mexican residents in the United States link the interests of the two nations on the human level. Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, who was elected mayor of Mexico City in 1996, campaigned in Chicago for Mexican votes.

Saw you in the Ojo 67

Fiction By John Ward, himself a fiction


iction. Life is a fiction. Not even a well-written fiction. Who authored this drivel? Some say God. Some say Nature. Still others say the Thetans that sprang from L. Ron’s dementia and greed. I’d like to know the truth but the likelihood of truly discovering the truth is from infinitesimally, nano-minimally small to “Oh PUH-LESE!” Some fiction is better than fact, in fact, much better. Ever seen the movie “A Walk In The Clouds?” I put quotation marks because my modern version of an Underwood does not have Italics, forgive me God and Alejandro Grattan! Reality is many things: dull, lonely, scary, unfair, brutal, pleasant, stupid,


El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

frustrating, interesting, sweet, bitter, tiring, irritating... notice the proportion of positive to negative. Fiction is anything you want it to be. Exciting, thrilling, fair, balanced, loving, sweet, decent, fulfilling, actualizing, impressive, magnificent, awe inspiring... I want more of that, not bloody reality. So I am thinking of writing a serial. Something fictional that has to be updated every month. OK let’s begin. I had just sat down in my seat when I saw the Conductor slip something shiny into his pocket. Immediately he turned on his heel and strode towards the back of the carriage, passing closely by my aisle seat. He was about five foot seven inches tall, with a stocky build and a face you would think twice about insulting. His one salient feature was a handlebar mustache. It seemed anachronistic somehow, enough to stay in my memory. I couldn’t see the man he’d been talking with clearly, but I noticed a brown fedora and a camel-colored overcoat. “You’re just bored” I told myself. “Your imagination is playing tricks again.” As the train approached the second to last station, Wheeling Downs, the man in the fedora stood and started to pull a clutch bag from the overhead baggage store. A child whined somewhere in the carriage and the train derailed. In the screeching clatter and the smoke and confusion. In the screaming of women in shock and the clanging of pneumatic hammers and wrenching Jaws of Life, I awoke. I thought I had been dreaming. I hoped I’d been dreaming but I hadn’t. It was real, all around me. The smoke was acrid from burning nylon covered seats. For a moment I did not recognize this hideous Hellscape, but then the memories came painfully flooding in. I remember the world keeling over, as if reality had been usurped by

a universe in which the laws of physics don’t apply. I remember people and hand luggage interchanging freely in mid-air, the constant sound of metal screeching upon metal, but not much else after that. I raised my hand slowly to my head. That was still there, thank God, even if a bit wet and slippery. Incongruously, I thought of a child I’d seen on the platform, holding a yellow balloon. I remember thinking: “if that thing pops when the train slides in, this kid is going to jump out of his skin.” “Helloooo!” I shouted as loudly as my painful ribs would allow. “Can anyone hear me?” No one answered, but there were shouts and seemed to be hundreds of people actively trying to extricate passengers from the metallic tangle. I took a quick inventory of myself. I wasn’t pinned, so I tried moving limbs and body parts one by one. My feet seemed to work. “That’s good I thought.” One by one, legs, hips, hands, arms, all reasonably unscathed, would my luck hold? Then came the head and thorax. I started to feel the throbbing during my self-exam. The slippery liquid on my head should have told me. My ribs felt broken, it felt like every single one was shattered, but I knew this would not be the case; that they just felt shattered. Raising my working right arm to my head was the shocker. I felt a deep, open gash, like a ravine in my head. Oddly, although copious, there was less blood than that sort of wound would normally produce, but I could feel my skull, which, thank God, was intact and seemingly unscathed. I pushed the flap of skin and hair up and tried to hold it against my exposed skull. I knew that, soon, I’d be incapacitated by shock and wished I had some Gatorade or some drink with electrolytes to slam down. I knew I’d need help soon, I was already thinking of getting up and heading into my scheduled interview if I could just walk the rest of the way to Billington Quay. I know now that would be idiotic, but it seemed quite feasible at the time and a good way to ignore the accident. “Are you alright? Hey, are you alright?” I looked up and there was a man in a fireman’s helmet asking the most stupid question I’d ever heard. “Never better, except for my body” I answered as dryly John Ward as I could.

Order In The Court? By Jim Rambo


d. Note: This is the second in a short series of columns about the author’s experiences over his long career as a prosecutor up in the “old country.”) THE JUDGE SUMS UP During jury selection in a murder trial before Judge Carl Goldstein, the prospective jurors were asked whether there was any reason that they felt they could not serve. One man came forward. He was young and wore a tee shirt. Shaking his head, the guy said that there were only two people that he hated, “all black people and Rambo here.” I didn’t recognize the man and wondered why he felt so strongly about me. Seeing all of the spider web tattoos covering his neck and face, I surmised that I had likely convicted one of his friends of something. However, Judge Goldstein put it in perspective with his comment when he excused the man from further service. “At least he’s an equal opportunity hater.” Speak Up! In the throes of one penalty hearing in a capital case in Wilmington, Judge Henry DuPont Ridgely was presiding.  He made a ruling in favor of the state and I sat back, quite satisfied with the developing situation. However, defense counsel, Theo Gregory, leaned over and, in a soft voice, said to me “That ruling’s bullshit, Jim. You know it, that’s bullshit!” My mischievous mood overtook me.  I leaned over to Gregory and told him that I couldn’t hear a word that he said. In frustration, Gregory loudly answered me, declaring “I said that was bullshit, Jim!” Judge Ridgely, of course, heard Theo the second time and dressed him down immediately. We both heard every word that Judge Ridgely said. Goin’ South Judge Albert Stiftel, of the Superior Court, was a fine judge and a wonderful, humorous man.  The story is told that he once sentenced a man with the unlikely name of “Northeast West.” When all arguments had been completed by the state and defense, Judge Stiftel began his sentencing order: “Northeast West, you’re going south!” (south being the

direction to the Delaware Correctional Center) Albert Leaves ‘Em Laughing One particularly engineer who worked for the DuPont Company was charged with a speeding offense and somehow got himself a jury trial in Superior Court. It must have been my unlucky day because I was the assigned prosecutor. The trial took several days and Judge Stiftel was the presiding judge. Neither Judge Albert Stiftel, the jury nor I was amused at the engineer’s antics as he represented himself. There were endless technical arguments about weather and how it, along with numerous other things, might have affected the police radar reading. Finally, it was over. The defendant was declared guilty by the exhausted jurors.  I could barely bring a smile. However, Judge Stiftel asked the defendant whether he had anything to say before sentence was imposed. This was clearly in the nature of “judicial error” and several jurors rolled their eyes. The indignant defendant began a tirade against the jury and how they couldn’t possibly understand the true meaning of either the presumption of innocence or reasonable doubt. When he had finished, I sat mute as Judge Stiftel stared at the defendant. “Well, think about all the times that you were speeding and never got caught and you’ll feel better.” He slammed the gavel and left the bench. The jurors sat bent over in laughter.

Jim Rambo

Saw you in the Ojo 69

There Are Always Consequences By David Moss


he phone rang a few min-

utes ago. My friend said he was canceling our lunch together. “It was just too cold,” he told me, “to go out.” We made the usual global warming jokes and wondered who had had the bright idea to hold an international meeting on global warming, in Copenhagen during a northern European winter. Not only did Europe experience seriously cold weather but President Obama had to rush back to Washington before record breaking snows covered the eastern United States. And it has just gone on getting colder with more and more snow. There were no binding agreements made in Copenhagen, to reduce carbon in the atmosphere; but when the spin-meisters had their turn, you would have thought great progress had been made. Although the spin-


meisters did not take claim for it, the extreme cold wave did coincide with the meeting on global warming. What is interesting is that our earth, all by itself, had decided that some extra cooling was due this winter. And this was not the first time! Just a few hundred years ago during the Medieval Warm Period, temperatures were higher than they are today. Then around the mid 1300s the Little Ice Age began and lasted to around 1850. A 500-year time span. Popular winter festivals were held on the frozen River Thames in London, England; while in the US one could walk from lower Manhattan Island, on the ice,

El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

to Staten Island. Mother Nature then switched from this cold period and the current warm period began. It has taken our world some  150 years to reach the current degree of warming. How long could it take for our scientists to show proof that our world is actually cooling once carbon pollution begins to be  reduced? Politicians and their policies are by their nature short term.  Remember it took 150 years for the current warming period to reach this level. So what could go wrong? For one, it could turn out that carbon levels in the atmosphere have only a minimal effect on global temperatures. Mother Nature and the presence or absence of sun spots are probably major players in the cyclical cooling and warming of our planet. One has to admire the scientists who talk about controlling the carbon in the atmosphere to reduce global temperatures by one or two degrees. They must be kidding. Right? To believe that humans can micromanage the climate, so accurately, demands a level of faith greater than imagination or common sense can credit. If they should succeed however, and  world temperatures go down about 3 degrees, then  perhaps we can throw some carbon up into the air to warm it up a bit. It is important to keep in front of one’s mind that when thinking about reversing global warming, which has been with us for some 150 years, that any changes, when and if they occur, could be as low as one hundredth of a degree  each year. An amount so small that it could not be accurately measured or taken into consideration, especially when to all other appearances global warming was continuing as usual. And of course there are always consequences. The International Community might actually expect countries, provinces and states to reach their mandated lower levels of carbon that they put into the atmosphere. China

has a serious problem, in part, because the United States has shipped so much of its industrial production to China from the US.  Very clever, these American CEOs. All the time we were thinking they were only interested in making products for less money, while all the time they were really exporting carbon pollution! Countries with a high-birth rate and a large population could encourage their citizens to move elsewhere. Lowering carbon emissions by a percentage point or two may not be too difficult to achieve.  But what happens then? What draconian measures will need to be enacted as politicians realize that getting carbon levels down is very difficult and the world just goes on being warm? Then the mandated lower levels of carbon kick in and the International Community insists on action. First will come the warnings to reduce the level of carbon pollution. Then sanctions will have to be enacted for noncompliance.  And lastly military action against the offending country. Will we go to war with China to get them to reduce their pollution? Will we bomb the offending smoke stacks? Will we avoid bombing the factories that make our cars, our refrigerators, our toys, our televisions and much, much more? The trust we must  have in our politicians, to set achievable-reducedcarbon levels, may be one of the most important political actions we have to consider in future elections. We must be sure that any reduction is based on the science we have today. Reductions based on future science have no merit. Is it worth achieving a reduction in air pollution? Surely, the answer is an emphatic yes! Cleaning up our world is, without question, a task that needs doing and doing properly. Ed. Note: We are running this article for the second time, believing that its contents are something of a public service.



ublished as something of a gift to Lakeside’s many talented writers, to help keep them from getting discouraged.) 1. Stephen King Mr. King received dozens of rejections for his first novel, Carrie; he kept them tidily nailed to a spike under a timber in his bedroom. One of the publishers sent Mr. King’s rejection with these words: We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell. 2. William Golding Mr. Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected by 20 publishers.   One denounced the future classic with these words (which should be inscribed on the hapless publisher’s tomb): an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull. 3. John le Carré    After Mr. le Carré submitted his first novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, one of the publishers sent it along to a colleague, with this message: You’re welcome to le Carré – he hasn’t got any future.  4. Anne Frank   According to one publisher, The Diary of Anne Frank was scarcely worth reading: The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level. Fifteen publishers (other than this dope) also rejected The Diary of Anne Frank.  5. Joseph Heller In an act of almost undiluted stupidity, one publisher wrote of Mr. Heller’s Catch-22: I haven’t the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say… Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level. 6. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (later Sorcerer’s) Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers, including biggies like Penguin and HarperCollins. Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, only took it on at the behest of the CEO’s eight-year old daughter, who begged her father to print the book. God bless you, sweetheart.       7. Ursula K. Le Guin

One publisher sent this helpful little missive to Ms. Le Guin regarding her novel, The Left Hand of Darkness: The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable. The whole is so dry and airless, so lacking in pace, that whatever drama and excitement the novel might have had is entirely dissipated by what does seem, a great deal of the time, to be extraneous material. My thanks nonetheless for having thought of us. The manuscript of The Left Hand of Darkness  is returned herewith.  The Left Hand of Darkness went on to win both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.  8. George Orwell  One publisher rejected Mr. Orwell’s submission, Animal Farm, with these words: It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.  9. Tony Hillerman   Mr. Hillerman, now famous for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels, was initially told by publishers to: Get rid of all that Indian stuff.  10. William Faulkner  One publisher exclaimed in the rejection letter for Mr. Faulkner’s book, Sanctuary: “Good God, I can’t publish this!” Moral of all this?—Whatever each writer chooses to make of it. 

Saw you in the Ojo 71

THE NEW SCIENCE OF STRESS —Self-Evolvement Series By Anna Elena Berlin CPC, Experience of Life Researcher

MID-MONTH BONUS! Robert Drynan’s Contempt is a searing look back at an official Pentagon hearing about women in the military which took place during the war in Iraq. Drynan, a former officer in the US Army, knows whereof he writes—and the upshot is downright distressing. You can find the story at Each mid-month, we offer superb articles that while a bit too long for our print version are perfect for our digital format. Check it out!


El Ojo del Lago / March 2019


University of Wisconsin (Univ. of WI) at Madison study conducted in 2012 by Keller, Litzelman, and Wisk examines the relationship between participants’ stress levels, the perception that stress affects their health, and health and mortality outcomes in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The study shows that participants’ amount of stress and the perception that it affects their health interacted with each other. Those that reported a lot of stress who also believed that stress negatively impacted their health had a 43% increased risk of premature death. Again, individuals who reported a large amount of stress and believed that it had a bad effect on their health had a huge increase of premature death over those with similar levels of stress that believed their stress didn’t affect them. Take just a moment to reflect on this new finding of how belief about stress affects health and well being.  This evidence is contrary to decades of previous stress studies, and is part of the new science of stress. My research and writing about the human experience of life based on decades of previous studies has gone through an upheaval.   I’m not alone, Kelly McGonigal PhD, a leader in the growing field of “science-help”, has been thrown for a loop too.   She is a Health Psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University that has been teaching that stress is bad for you for more than ten years, about the same amount of time I have been researching stress and its effects.  We both had to change our paradigm about stress upon learning the compelling results from this U of WI study.  As it turns out, we were both unwittingly encouraging people to believe that stress is harmful to their health based on the findings of previous studies.   Kelly McGonigal’s enlightening Ted Talk about stress has important information that can save people’s lives by changing their beliefs and perceptions

about stress and its effects on their health and well being. This is the web address for her talk: http://www.ted. com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_ make_stress_your_friend#t-74060  I urge all of our readers to invest eighteen minutes to learn about the new science of stress by watching this easy to understand and absorb talk. That being said, it is important to point out that there are different kinds of stress. The kind of stress that was the focus of the U of WI study appears to fit in the category of acute stress, which raises the heartbeat and breathing enough so that people are aware of it. This kind of bodily stress response is normal and healthy. The category of stress that concerns me the most is chronic stress, that people may not be aware of or may barely be aware of as something that is not right going on within them. This kind of stress can certainly be caused by factors on the outside of us such as ongoing noise that grinds on our nerves constantly. However the more insidious type of chronic stress is the kind that comes from our own subconscious minds as a result of habitual judging and emotional distress.  These do more to negatively impact the way we experience our own lives than practically anything else. Chronic stress tends to keep us in a state of hyper-vigilance, which keeps our fight or flight response turned on, which keeps our sympathetic nervous system activated, which suppresses our parasympathetic nervous system and keeps it from doing its rest, digest, and repair job, which leads to immune system issues and the deficiency and toxicity that leads to most human disorders and diseases. It is possible for this domino reaction to be so subtle as to be imperceptible.   So how do we save ourselves from ourselves? As with every good thing

we do throughout our lives, we do it one conscious act at a time, because it is worth it to us. The most effective way to activate the subconscious mind and get answers from it is to ask it questions. What kind of experience of life will make me content, fulfilled, satisfied? What changes can I make to accommodate this life upgrade? Are these destiny goals worth the investment in time, effort, and resources needed for me to achieve this personal growth? It’s your subconscious mind’s nature to keep everything it has received throughout your life stored safely within you. To make the most of this vast po-

tential just keep asking yourself questions about what you need. The answers sometimes come in unexpected ways that your intuition will recognize as true for you. They appear when your subconscious mind is ready to push them into your awareness, so be patient. To make the most of your very finite existence know yourself deeply. As always, selfknowledge is the best knowledge. Anna Elena Berlin

MY OP-ED! (Sort of...) By Maggie Van Ostrand

Maya Doomsday

(First published in 2010)


’m sick and tired of hearing disagreements between the U.S.A. and Mexico. First, there’s the emigration thing with fences and coyotes and blustering politicians; second is the drug thing where the U.S. blames Mexico for their own addictive population; and now the U.S. is blaming the Mayas for a prophesied doomsday scenario. Let’s take them in the above order: the truth is that, with the U.S. in steep recession, their citizens are swimming across the Rio Grande to enter Mexico, not the reverse. The drug thing is bad, true, but without demand, there’d be no supply. As to the most important third item, the Maya calendar predicts an apocalyptic ending to earth in 2012. Much as we may hope they were having a bad day when they came up with that doozy, fact is that, when it comes to cosmic matters, Maya were right way more often than not, as evidenced by a few of their predictions: 1. Solar Eclipse occurred exactly on Maya schedule in 1999. 2. A colossal black hole at the center of our Galaxy, which MIT scientists were unable to gather direct evidence until September 5, 2001. Science calls it a galactic puppeteer. 3. An eruption of cosmic energy rays from the black hole would occur in 1992, helping to create sun spots and

bring increasingly hotter temperatures to Earth. Global warming anyone? 4. Change of consciousness from left-brain thinking (logical) to rightbrain (intuitive). If you doubt this, read Sarah Palin’s ghostwritten autobiography. 5. Humanity will lose confidence in paper currency and turn back to gold. Check out Wall Street, dear reader, for confirmation. The Mayas only misread one of their predictions, at least I think it was only one, when they enthusiastically greeted Kukulcan, a white-bearded god from the east and survivor of mythical Atlantis and Kukulcan was really Spanish conquistadors who nearly wiped them out. Whether God or conqueror, that unfortunate arrival did coincide perfectly with the Maya calendar. Wouldn’t you think the U.S. would agree with Mexico about the Maya Doomsday predictions? Here’s why: The Maya year of 360 days is called Tun (toon), 20 Tuns equals one K’atun (k’atoon), and 20 K’atuns equals one Baktun (back-toon). And what do you think I call the U.S. attitude toward Maya predictions? Loonytune. Maggie Van Ostrand

Saw you in the Ojo 73

The Ojo Crossword

ANIMAL TALES By Russell S. Dowd


ACROSS 1 Pros 5 Got out of sleep 10 Jounce 14 National Capital 15 Cultivate 16 On top 17 Neutralize 19 Department (abbr.) 20 Star 21 The one left 23 Anne Frank´s hide out 26 Monte__ 28 Leather Worker´s tool 31 Honey abr. 32 Group of seven 33 Toddler 34 Affirmation 37 Lose blood 39 Fuel 40 Game animal 42 Fairy Tale writing brothers 45 Oven righteousness 49 Dine 50 Parentless child 53 Disapproval 54 Ram´s mate 55 Available 56 Sells for money 58 American-Indian language 60 To be 61 First letter of the Arabic alphabet 63 Assistants to Lawyers 69 Ms. Minelli 70 Express emotions 71 Notion 72 Lager 73 Prices 74 Haze DOWN 1 Bow 2 Speak softly 3 Flightless bird 4 Pick up 5 Small bird


6 Canoe propeller 7 Killed in action 8 Convoy 9 Irritate 10 Old Testament book 11 Steer 12 Sever 13 Explosive 18 Black tie 22 Breeding ground 23 Expression of surprise 24 Second to last mo. 25 North northeast 26 Penny 27 Able 29 Misery 30 Limited (abbr.) 32 Body of water 35 Revolutions per minute 36 Computer storage 38 Caustic substance 40 Commune 41 Operate 42 “To the right” 43 Crude 44 List 45 Doctoral degree 46 North by west 47 Not pro 48 Aurora 51 Farmhand 52 Central American country 56 Before (prefix) 57 Protection 59 Far away 60 Beers 61 Loose gown worn at mass 62 Tell a tall tale 64 Decay 65 Snacked 66 High naval rank (abbr.) 67 MGM´s Lion 68 Droop

El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

here I was in my office, feet-up, watching TV when I glanced out the doorway and into the hallway mirror where I saw the Cat peering under the ottoman, intently. This can only mean one thing. A snake! That’s my conclusion. So I jumped up and rightly so. I hate snakes. In fact they scare me and I don’t appear to scare them. So without any headgear, footwear, or full body amour, I leaped into action and rushed into the scene to join the Cat in the ‘what’s up’? Yikes! It’s a Rat! In my house! Somebody has left the screen door ajar. Me! So thinking bravely and with superior intelligent thoughts, I think if I open the screen door all the way then the Rat will smell fresh air and know his way to escapement and freedom. This turns out to be well planned by me but poorly executed by the Rat. This inferior mammal decides to go the opposite way of my intended plan and runs out from under the ottoman and into the hallway linen closet. Somebody has left the linen closet door slightly ajar. Me! The Cat then springs into action and follows the Rat into the linen closet. There, I thought, the Cat now has the Rat cornered and all’s well that will soon end well. Instead, these two inferior mammals conspirer against me with the Rat running out of the linen closet followed by the Cat into my office room where the whole problem started in the first place, that being me not playing attention to the TV where no doubt some golfer is struggling to make a three inch putt. But now, a true disaster is surely lurking, for in my office room is a hide-a-bed. I think to myself, “What happens if the Rat, who is now under the hide-a-bed gets the notion to climb up into the workings of the hide-a-bed to escape the claws of the

Cat and decides to stay there until death does him part?” A brilliant plan, I think, on behalf of the Rat, but fear not, for true bipedal intelligence will have at last its shining moment. For in my office room there too is a sliding door, with a screen door of course, and in a Nobel Prize moment I flash on this: Open the door, grab the Cat and exit the room. If all goes according to plan the Rat will eventually smell his way to freedom. And it worked! This completes part one of our animal tale. As for another part of our story it concerns the other animal I live with, commonly called, The Wife. This one is convinced that she can talk English to a Mexican Cat and the Cat will understand her, even though she is speaking in complete sentences that go something like this. “Now, Becky, we’ve already discussed this.” Witnessing this, I have tried to give the Cat listening lessons, as in: “Pretend you’re hard of hearing.” Or, “Just look the other way.” Of course, the Cat looked at me with those wonderfully understanding eyes that said internally: “My dear fellow, you don’t seem to understand, but I am of the Feline gender and therefore it is in my nature to look at you as if I understand every word you say. Then do what I want.” And that’s when I realized, talking to my Cat was like talking to my Wife. They’re both completely oblivious to what I’m saying. So much for Male Dominance. However, there is some good news and bad. We no longer have Rats, no thanks to the Cat, but instead we have squirrels, and with even more understanding eyes they look at me, as they tear up my garden and dig holes underneath my pool, that they can do whatever they want. So now what? Oh, what to do, what to DO?

The Ajijic Writers’ Group


jijic is known for many things, not least of which is the literary ambience of our little village. For almost a hundred years, writers have gravitated to this corner of Mexico. In the 1920s, D.H. Lawrence wrote The Plumed Serpent while living at Lakeside. Later, another celebrated British author, W. Somerset Maugham, put the finishing touches on The Razor’s Edge while spending a summer in Ajijic. A few years afterward, Tennessee Williams stayed at the Old Posada, where he penned a short story which eventually became a full-length play. You might have heard of it. A Streetcar Named Desire. Given this illustrious backdrop, little wonder that writers’ groups have always flourished here. The oldest and most established of the current crop is the Ajijic Writers’ Group. The group was formed almost 30 years ago, and this writer was one of its co-founders. The driving force, however, was a lady named Mary Jo (something-or-other). The first meeting was held at the Old Posada, and I thought—given that writers are usually non-conformist (if not downright unruly)—that the meeting had gone rather well. Mary Jo apparently thought otherwise. She never came to another meeting. Some two years later, I ran into her and asked why. She replied by enquiring if I had ever seen the Frankenstein movies. When I nodded uncertainly, she said that when she realized what a collection of egotists and rowdies she had brought together, she felt like Doctor Frankenstein must have, wondering what kind of a monster have I created! Well, maybe not all that much has changed, but in the many years since then, a sizable number of unique personalities and formidable talents have come through our doors. Among the most famous were Ray Rigby and Barbara Bickmore. Ray had won the British equivalent of an Academy Award for his script of The Hill, which starred a young fellow named Sean Connery

— who, it is said, went on to bigger things. Ray also published many topflight novels. Barbara wrote several novels, most of which were translated into a dozen languages. The late Marilyn Davis, penned what became a classic, Mexican Voices, American Dream, a book published by Henry Holt which went through six printings. Another early member of our group — just recently having returned to Lakeside — is Ann Brandt, whose novel Crowfoot Ridge was published by Harper -Collins. Long-time member, Jim Tuck, has published several critically-acclaimed books, while Jim Penton has worked successfully in the same field of non-fiction. In the tourist season, our meetings sometimes attract as many as 70 people, and most remark that the sessions are surprisingly civilized. Occasionally, however, someone complains about the harshness of a particular criticism. I usually counter by telling them about something which happened years ago. I was reading what became the opening chapter of my first published novel. When I finished, an old lady ambled up to ask if she could voice her opinion of the chapter. “Of course!” I said, apprehensively smiling. “Burn it,” she snarled. “Then dump the ashes in a garbage can!” Now that was the ultimate critique. Luckily, I recovered sufficiently to go on to publish not only that novel, but several others, as well. Today, our group continues to flourish, with new members appearing with gratifying regularity. We have few rules, no dues or by-laws, and no recipients of “border promotions,” nor any alleged “serious” writers (who notso-surprisingly have never published a book in all their lives). As for the qualifications to attend, I once told an elderly gentleman (dubious about being allowed admittance) that we were very stringent in that regard. Attendees must have a palpable pulse rate! The group meets the first and third Fridays of each month at 10:00 at La Nueva Posada. The public is, as always, cordially invited, as are new members.

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El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

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- CASA DEL SOL Tel: 766-0050 - CASA FLORES Tel: 766-5493 - CASA TRES LEONES Cell: (045) 331-350-6764

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* ANIMAL CLINICS/PET SHOP - CLINICA VETERINARIA SAN ANTONIO Tel: 766-0808 Pag: 21 - LAKESIDE FRIENDS OF THE ANIMALS AC Tel: 765-5544 Pag: 17 - MASKOTA’S LAKE Tel: 766-0287 Pag: 58 - PET PLACE Cell: 333-1964-150 Pag: 14 - PET FOOD AND GROOMING Tel: 766-3062 Pag: 60

* BEER & LIQUOR STORES - BETO’S WINE & LIQUOR Cell: (045) 333-507-3024 - VINOS Y LICORES PAZ Tel: 766-0292

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* ART GALLERIES/HANDCRAFTS - ART21STUDIO Tel: 33-3170-6135, 33-3677-3482 - AZTEC STUDIO - DIANE PEARL COLECCIONES Tel: 766-5683 - LA BELLA VIDA Tel: 766-5131 - SOL MEXICANO Tel: 766-0734

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- CUGINIS BOUTIQUE Tel/Fax: 766-1790 - MI MEXICO Tel: 766-0133 - THAT’S MEXICO! Tel: 766-0213

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

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* CHIROPRACTIC Pag: 31, 47, 49

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- AXIXIC SPRING CLEANING Tel: 766-5140- Cell: 33-1075-7768 - STEAM CLEAN Tel: 33-2385-0410

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

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- LUNA SOL Cell: 33-3676-4552

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- ONE OF A KIND Tel: 766-5680

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766-1760 765-4444 766-5555

- BAJA GRILLS Tel: 106-2430, (760) 314-9685 - NAPOLEON Tel: 766-6153

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* HOTELS / SUITES - LA NUEVA POSADA Tel: 766-1444, 766-1344 - VILLAS MONTE LAGO Tel: 766-5447, (331) 095-6808

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* INSURANCE - HEALTH INSURANCE Tel: 766-0395, 1-888-449-7799 Pag: 61 - LAKESIDE INSURANCE - EDGAR CEDEÑO Cell: (045) 33-3106-6982 Pag: 34 - PARKER INSURANCE SERVICES Tel: 765-5287, 765-4070 Pag: 26 - PROTEXPLAN U.S. Toll Free 1-800-608-5743 Mexico Toll Free 01-800-681-6730 Pag: 22 - TIOCORP Tel: 766-4828 Pag: 24


* LEGAL SERVICES - AJIJIC LEGAL SERVICES Tel: 33-1172-1724 - SOLBES & SOLBES Tel: 331-520-5529, Cell: 333-676-6245

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- AJIJIC WATER GARDENS Tel: 766-4386 - GARDEN CENTER Tel: 765-5973

066 765-2308, 765-2553 766-3615

- KITCHEN & HARMONY Tel: 766-2954, Cell: (045) 331-444-8582


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- CHRISTINE’S Tel: 106-0864 - CRISCO SALON Tel: 766-4073 - EDITH’S Cell: 33-1310-9372 - GLORIOSA Tel: 766-3372 - NEW LOOK STUDIO Tel: 766-6000, 33-3950-9990

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- FRATS Tel: 765-2505, 765-3946 Pag: 48 - MULTISERVICIO AUTOMOTRIZ ESCALERA Tel: 765-4424 Pag: 73

- INTERCAM Tel: 766-5978 - MULTIVA Tel: 766-2499

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- COLIBRI GARDEN Tel: 765-4412, Cell: (045) 333-156-9382

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- AGUILERA & GARCIA CONSTRUCTION Cell: 33-3186-1990, 33-1696-3660 Pag: 53 - ARELLANO CORPORATION GROUP Cell: 331-331-0249 Pag: 67 - CONFORT SOLUTIONS Tel: 33-1228-5377 Pag: 16 - DARK ARCHITECTURE Tel: 33-2174-7525 Pag: 50 - GENERAL HOME SERVICES - Amancio Ramos Jr. Cell: (045) 331-520-3054 Pag: 55 - PISOS Y AZULEJOS DE LA RIBERA Cell: 331-250-6486 Pag: 69 - ROOFING & WATERPROOFING SPECIALISTS Tel: 766-5360 Cell: 331-282-5020 Pag: 62 - ROBERTO MILLAN - ARCHITECT Tel: 766-3771, Cell: 331-340-3758 Pag: 25 - SIKA Tel: 766-5959 Pag: 50

- AJIJIC DENTAL CLINIC Tel. 766-3682 - C.D. SANDRA ANAYA MORA Cell: (045) 331-218-6241 - DRA. ANGELICA ALDANA DDS Tel: 765-5364, Cell. 331-351-7797





- L&D CENTER Tel: 766-1064

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* LUMBER Pag: 23 Pag: 16

- REAL ORTEGA & SONS-Hardware for Carpenters Tel: 765-2404, 765-3404 Pag: 36



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- CENTRO LAGUNA Tel: 766-5514 Pag: 28

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* MEDICAL SERVICES - ALTA RETINA - Dr. Rigoberto Rios León Ophthalmic Surgeon Tel: 766-1521, 688-1122 Pag: 63 - DERMIKA Tel: 766-2500 Pag: 41 - DR. BEN - CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON Tel: 766-4871, Cell: 333-105-0402 Pag: 23 - DRA. CLAUDIA L. CAMACHO CHOZA Ophthalmologist Tel: 33-3403-3857 Pag: 38

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

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* MUSIC / THEATRE / EVENTS - 7th ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019 Pag: 66 - BALLET FOLKLORICO - NUEVO JALISCO Cell: 33-1835-6216 Pag: 59 - BARE STAGE THEATRE Pag: 28 - D.J. HOWARD Tel: 766-3044 Pag: 60 - LAKE CHAPALA CHORALE Pag: 48 - SCHOOL FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN Pag: 70 - SHRINERS’ RIBFEST Tel: 331-017-1724 Pag: 51 - THE SPOTLIGHT CLUB Tel: 331-845-1523 Pag: 41

* NURSERY - LAS PALMAS VIVERO Cell: 33-1195-7112

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

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* POOL MAINTENANCE - EQUIPMENT AND POOL MAINTENANCE Tel: 766-1617, Cell: 33-3952-4175 Pag: 32

* REAL ESTATE - ALL-IN-1 Tel. 766-1161 Pag: 21 - AJIJIC HOME INSPECTIONS Tel: 766-2836 Pag: 58 - AJIJIC REAL ESTATE Tel: 766-2077 Pag: 33 - BETTINA BERING Tel: 766-1049, Cell. 33-1210-7723 Pag: 24, 29 - CHULA VISTA NORTE Tel: 766-2177, Cell: (045) 33-1892-2194 Pag: 07 - CIELOVISTA Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - COLDWELL BANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 766-1152, 766-3369 Fax: 766-2124, Tels: 765-2877 Fax: 765-3528 Pag: 84 - CONTINENTAL REALTY Tel: 766-1994 Pag: 15 - CUMBRES Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - EAGER & ASOCIADOS Tel: (376) 766 1917, 1918 Pag: 83 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 33-3614-8018, Cell: 333-115-9289 Pag: 75 - FOR SALE BY OWNER

Tel: 333-115-7742 Pag: 70 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 766-0527, 331-268-8509 Pag: 73 - GEORGETTE RICHMOND Tel: 766-2077 Pag: 11 - JUDIT RAJHATHY Cell: (045) 331 - 395 - 9849 Pag: 17, 27 - LORI FIELSTED REALTY Cell: 331-365-0558 Pag: 35, 47 - MARK ROME Tel: 331-845-1523 Pag: 39 - MPR REAL ESTATE Tel: (315) 351-5167 Pag: 63 - RADISSON BLU - Ajijic Resort, Spa & Residences Tel: 766-4525, Cell: 332-255-5972 Pag: 02 - RAUL GONZALEZ Cell: 33-1437-0925 Pag: 03, 55, 71 - VILLAS MONTE LAGO Tel: 766-5447, (331) 095-6808 Pag: 44-45 - VISTA ALEGRE Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05

* RENTALS/PROPERTY MANAGEMENT - COLDWELLBANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 766-1152, Cell:(045) 331-386-7597 Pag: 68 - FOR RENT Cell: 333-667-6554 Pag: 70 - FOR RENT Cell: 333-115-6584 Pag: 59 - FOR RENT Cell: 331-411-6622 Pag: 75 - HACIENDA PMR Tel: 766-3320 Pag: 65 - SANTANA RENTALS Cell: 315-104-3283 Pag: 63 - ROMA Tel: 766 3163, 766 5171 Pag: 62

* RESTAURANTS/CAFES/BAR - AJIJIC TANGO Tel: 766-2458 - ANTOJITOS INTERNACIONALES Tel: 765-6135 - ALFREDO’S CALIFORNIA Tel: 33-1301-9862 - ARMANDO’S HIDEAWAY Tel: 766-2229 - BLUE ROSE Tel: 766-2948 - C2 Tel: 766-1300 - CASA LINDA Tel: 108-0887 - EL JARDIN D’SHANTI Tel: 766-5792 - ELEGANTE Tel: 766-1066 - GO BISTRO Cell: (045) 33-3502-6555 - GOSHA’S Tel: 766-2121 - GRUPO PASTA Tel: 33-3615-4952 - HUERTO CAFÉ Tel: 108-0843 - LA 133 Tel: 766-2033 - LA CASA DEL CAFE Tel: 766-2876 - LA CASA DEL WAFFLE Tel: 766-1946 - LA GRAN MURALLA CHINA Tel: 766-2636 - LA HACIENDA DE DON PEDRO Tel: 766-4906 - LA NUEVA POSADA Tel: 766-1444, 766-1344 - “LA TAVERNA”DEI QUATTRO MORI Tel: 766-2848 - LOS MOLLETES Tel: 766-4296 - MANIX Tel: 766-0061, Cell: 331-0650-725 - MOM’S DELI & RESTAURANT

Tel: 765-5719 - PANINO Tel: 766-3822 - SIMPLY THAI Tel: 766-4767 - SPAGOS AJIJIC Tel: 766-2301 - TEPETATE THAI RESTAURANT Tel: 766-2020 - THE PEACOCK GARDEN Tel: 766-1381 - TONY’S RESTAURANT CAMPESTRE Tel: 331-433-6112 - TRIP’S BURGER - YVES Tel: 766-3565

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* STREAMING TV - 7000 CHANEL TV Tel: 387-761-1101

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- CHARTER CLUB TOURS Tel: 766-1777 - MAGNIFICENT TOURS Cell: 33-1159-3486

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* SELF STORAGE - SELF STORAGE-BODEGAS CHAPALA Tel: 766-0661, Tel/Fax: 766-1045 Pag: 32

* SEPTIC TANK PUMPING - JP HOME SERVICES Tel. 766-1569, Cell: 333-968-2938

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

Tel: 766-3379

- PURE HYDRATION Cell: 314-197-8228 - TECNO AQUA Tel: 766-3731, 688-1038

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* SOLAR ENERGY Pag: 82 Pag: 56 Pag: 18 Pag: 34 Pag: 28 Pag: 27

- OPIERE SOLAR Tel: 766-6148, 01-800-099-0763 - SUN QUEST ENERGY Tel: 766-1761, Cell: 33-1603-9756

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Saw you in the Ojo

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The Ojo Crossword

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Saw you in the Ojo 79


FOR SALE: 2005 Artic Fox 11.5’ Camper $8000. US. This camper can be used on a one ton truck or for a completely self contained guest area on the ground. Air conditioned, Forced Air Heater, Hot Water Heater, Solar Panels. Email: FOR SALE: 2016 Honda CRV, Ex, dark grey, 35,000km, It is from Yucatan, but registered in Jalisco. It is a one-owner car, purchased when the warranty expired at 3 years. The car is spotless in/out, and mechanically checked and sound. Price: $335,000. We are accepting offers (reasonable ones). Email: jaliscosusan@gmail. com. FOR SALE: For Sale: 2006 Land Rover, Range Rover Supercharged SUV, 111K miles new tires fully serviced, fully loaded. Dk. Gray, with Leather interior. California title in hand. Located in Ajijiic. For more info and photo, email wrandywood@gmail. com or Whatsup App 858-336-6326 Make Offer. FOR SALE: 2017 Veloci motorbike 250cc. This motorbike is in like new conditon with only 7,000 kilometers. Comes with cover and safty helment, Is not damaged in any way and has no mechanical problems. E-mail me for pics at or text me at 332-726-5718 was asking $29,000 but now open to any serious offer. WANTED: Need: US Plated Car and/or Trailer for a move to the states. Call Mike at : 331-330-1050 WANTED: Would like to buy a 2006 to 2010 Ford Explorer. Call: 376-106-2204. WANTED: Looking for a 2009 t0 2012 Ford Escape if you have one for sale or thinking about selling one Pm Me. Email: WANTED: Toyota 4 Runner. Email: FOR SALE: Motorcycle 2017 Pulsar 200 AS, black - perfect condition, 18,700 Km, $38,000 pesos firm. Mexican title (factura) paid and clear. cglane2007@yahoo. com – 376-766-1218 “Chris”


FOR SALE: Logitech speaker system Z313, Upgraded my system so no longer required, make me an offer. Call: 376-7660847 or 331-793-2625. FOR SALE: 2017 LG 29” UltraWide Monitor Full HD 2560 x 1080 IPS 21:9 LED Gaming Monitor, Screen Split 2.0, On-Screen Control, Reader Mode, HDMI, Headphone Out, USB Type  Cost US$399 delivered. Sell US$200. CORSAIR HS60 - 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset w/USB DAC - Discord Certified Headphones Cost US$90 delivered. Sell for US$50. Corsair Gaming M65 RGB Laser Gaming Mouse, Black Cost US$70 delivered. Sell US$35. Contact Charlie at Villas Formoso in La Floresta Cell 331-693-5536 Landline 766-0200. Email: WANTED: I’m looking for a used 19” or 21” Computer Monitor that can be connected via HDMI, I have a 2018 Lenovo Desktop and need an additional monitor for my work. Email: linda.excellenceenterprises@gmail. com FOR SALE: Renewing system in home theater, I have the following pieces up for sale all in immaculate condition, as you can imagine they didn’t get abused as they were used in a Hometheater server application. Gigabyte H87-d3h, LGA 1150 socket, 32gb ram maximum, sata 6gb/sec, asking 1799


pesos. Intel core I5 4570 quad core 3.2 ghz, 3.6 boost. $ 1,600 (have original heatsink). Email: FOR SALE: I have a rebuilt tower with a 1TB hard drive, and six USB ports. Tower was originally built three years ago for $7,000p with 2 Gigs RAM, and I’ve added 2 more for a total of 4Gigs. It is now a Windows 7.1 machine, based on a Gigabyte GA-M68M-S20 motherboard and an Athlon AM3 II X2 250 Dual Core CPU. Basically, a rocket. Asking $200 US. I can add a monitor for $50. (The manufacturer of the video chip does not recommend Windows 10, but it will work.) 765-4156 or mike - at -


FREE: I don’t have the full story, but our cleaner’s daughter ended up with 9 puppies/rescues. The family is too tenderhearted to toss the dogs on the street, thank God, but they just can’t keep them for ohso-many obvious reasons. These dogs are adorable and have their first sets of vaccinations. They were born (approximately) 31 November and are just waiting for their forever home. Please, can you help out? There are 3 females and 6 males. If interested, please PM me or call me at 332-6173588. WANTED: Wanted Male Chihuahua, female dachshund or female Chiweenie (dachshund/chihuahua cross) 2 to 6 months. Puppy must be ready to travel to Canada by April 1, 2019. Email: FOR SALE: Pet Carrier, 22x27 new 2700+ pesos for sale half price $70 dollars or equivalent. PM me if interested. Email: MISSING: Our black tuxedo cat is missing.  He’s very friendly. Please call if you have any information. There’s a reward if he’s returned to us. 376-766-2559, 551796-3897, 332-803-5402. FREE: Beautiful Female Dog Needs Permanent Home. Email: Rueann42@


FOR SALE: 37” Samsung LCD TV. Price: $80 USD. Email: setaner@hotmail. com. FOR SALE: 2003 Yamaha 15hp 4 Stroke Outboard Motor. The motor comes with a stainless steel cart for transportation and storage. There is also a plastic gas container and the tubes to connect it to the motor. I am asking $15,000 pesos for all 4. Send me a PM or call 33-1526-1032 if you are interested. WANTED: Rearranging our outdoor space and looking for two COMFORTABLE armchairs. Any reasonable options considered. Email: FOR SALE: Two Small Desk Lamps, Taller white one $100 pesos. Smaller Black One $75 pesos. Email: setaner@hotmail. com. FOR SALE: VCR PLAYER and collection of 250 PGand PG13 movies. Sanyo HiFi VCR player can be connected to flat screen TV plus over 250 PG  and PG13 movies. Email me at rsw46231@aol. com. FOR SALE: Talavera horse statue. Approximately 38 in high and 36 in wide. No chips or cracks, excellent condition. $4,800.00 pesos. Call 376-766-0237 leave message if no answer. FOR SALE: Full/matrimonial bed-

El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

spread, Off-white. 20” drop from welting at edge of bed top. Phone 766-0527. FOR SALE: Wood picture frame. Hang horizontal or vertical or stand horizontal or vertical. Glass included 7-1/2” x 9-1/2” inside; 9-3/4” x 11-3/4” outside. $100 pesos. Phone 766-0527. FOR SALE: Lightweight purse. Never used cotton/leather (we think) purse. Folds up (with velcro snap) to 14” (incl. handle) x 2-1/2”. Open size is about 13” wide by 12” high. Zipper opening. $150 pesos. Phone 766-0527. FOR SALE: 2 fabulous iron bar stools, beautifully upholstered. $2000 pesos for both. Phone me for picture. 376-766-1390. FOR SALE: Equipale round table 51.5” (129 cm). This table is really one of a kind, purchased at the Féria a few years ago and rarely used. It has a Lazy Susan with an Aztec design in the middle 21.5” (54 cm) diameter.  The table is 30” (75 cm) high. Can easily accommodate 6 regular dining chairs, possibly more, or 4-6 equipale small dining chairs. Phone: 766-0527 FOR SALE: Jules jeans - Men’s. Grey. W32”, L30”. Button front. Like new condition. $400 pesos. 376-766-0527. WANTED: Looking for 10 speed men’s bike, mountain bike or hybrid bike in good condition. Email: FOR SALE: Honda gas generator. Like new. Less than 20 hours use. Model EG6500CXS-LD1H,6.6 KWS/5.5 KWS, Max/normal, 1 fase, 120/240V.motor 389 CC. Battery included. Phone 762-1695.  FOR SALE: Cinsa-13B Propane Gas Hot Water Heater, 10 l./min. capacity; used only 1 month; original price $3,700 pesos; asking 2,500 or B.O. Call 763-5258(Vista Del Lago). E-mail: pedro121440@gmail. com. FOR SALE: Honda Gas Generator. Model EG6500CXS-LD1H. Has less than 20 hours use. Like new. Includes battery. $1200 U.S.D. Phone 762 1695. FOR SALE: 12 setting china dinner service. 108 items unmarked rarely used. Make me an offer. Iain 376-766-0847 or 331-7932625. FOR SALE: Brand new portable toilet 950. p. Bath towel never been used 50X29 130.p. each. Call me 333-721-4968 or pm. FOR SALE: 4 Large suitcases (2 wheels) approx 27 X 17 x 10 inches $400 pesos each. One  carry on $300 pesos. 2 backpacks with handle and 2 wheels can be used as carry on $500 pesos each. 376766-4032 FOR SALE: I have a wooden framed, glass display cabinet for sale. The approximate measurements are 6’ 8”/2.3 mts in height x 5’ 7”/1.7 mts wide x 19”/48 cms deep with glass shelving. Asking price: $115 USD/Peso equivalent. Buyer moves. If interested contact FOR SALE: Golf balls in bag- $400 pesos, Golf balls- &80 peos each box, Books and &CD-$ $250 for all of them, Golf shoes$1,000 (Size 11 US), Body board $800, Weight lifting bar $ 400 . All prices are in pesos but I accept dolars equivalent as well. If you have any questions please feel free to message me. All items are used but in good condition. Email: FOR SALE: 2014 8x5 enclosed trailer. Tie downs, lights with snap on baskets and accessories. Light wear. Title available. Travel ready. $1000 US or $20,000 pesos. 332-497-4148. English/ some Spanish. FOR SALE: Roku 3600R Streaming Media Stick - US Version. Price: 700 MXN.

Email: FOR SALE: Lovely sofa $500 pesos in Upper Ajijic. Email: tomorrew@hotmail. com. FOR SALE: Selling sundolphin kayak 8 foot long brand new never used paid $6500 pesos now $5500 pesos obo. Antique pine trunk refurbished by noe asking $5000 pesos other pieces for sale. 2 piece desk also refurbished asking $10,000 pesos obo. Men’s brand new italian shoes sizes range from 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 must see to appreciate. If interested please call 33-2257-1104. WANTED: I am in need of a food thermometer (0 to 120º Celsius or Fahrenheit equivalent). Any type/style is ok as long as it’s accurate. Email: ShalomBeWell@gmail. com. FOR SALE: MAN (German) Gas powered on demand water heater. Wall mount. Works like new. Manual settings and LCD with operational status. $5000 pesos or best offer. 766-2534. WANTED: Yogurt maker or pressure cooker that makes yogurt. Email: FOR SALE: Selling two used Head Liquid Metal 8 oversize racquets in excellent condition plus an Adidas tennis bag, three rolls of Babolat Hurricane string and three rolls of grip tape. Asking 3,500 pesos for all or will entertain reasonable offers. Contact Charlie at Villas Formoso, La Floresta 331693-5536 or 766-0200 or chazgree@yahoo. com. FOR SALE: Vintage Black Arcoroc Cups Gold Linear Art Deco Detail 8 each:  dinner plates, salad plates, cups and saucer, soup bowls. 40 pieces total. Email: FOR SALE: Very nice reclining dark brown leather sofa in virtually new condition.  Purchased it for $22,000 pesos about a year and a half ago and have barely ever used it.  Length 78 in. (200 cm) and depth 36 in. (90 cm) Asking price $10,000 pesos or US$525. Contact Charlie at 331-6935536.  Located in lower La Floresta. FOR SALE: Shaw 630 Dish and LNB. In good condition desactivated, ready to use. Also Dual Guad LNB E 75 Dish $1,000.00 pesos. 333-721-4968. Call or PM me. FOR SALE: 2017 Veloci 250CC motorbike with only 7,000 kilometers, Jalisco plated, bought new in Guadalajara. $29,000 pesos with cover and helment, or U.S. dollar equal. Bike is near Joco, call or text 332726-5718 for pictures or appointment, or email me at and i will send pics from my tablet to your e mail. FOR SALE: Werner 6-Foot 250-Pound Duty Rating Aluminum Multi-Master Articulated Ladder #M1-6-12. As new, can deliver  $4,000p. Email: angusamactavish@ FOR SALE: Zojirushi bread maker used once, pull out gold color couch used 2 times. Contact: FOR SALE: Shaw 600 HD receiver with remote and power cord 2000 pesos. Shaw 630 PVR with remote, power cord and HDMI cable $4000 pesos. Both are free and clear to be activated. Also Shaw 800 receiver $3000 pesos. 376-766-4032. FREE: “gay” novels. I have collected a lot of novels over the years. Drop me a line. No charge, just haul them away. WANTED: Still trying to find a DVD recorder to transfer VHS tape to a DVD. If you have one, I would like to borrow it or if you no longer need it, I will buy it from you. I know they are scarce but I’m hoping some-

one still has one. Email: silkfleurs@outlook. com. FOR SALE: CANON PRINTER PIXMA MG 3029 $1200 pesos New still in box. Call Susanne 376-766-4456 - Cell 331824-5205. STAR CHOICE Motorola DSR 319RTZ  $ 500 pesos. We still have a fantastic selection of GOLF BALLS pks of three(3) or by the dozen 90 pesos. TITLEIST, NIKE, PROV 1, NEXT TOUR, VELOCITY, and many more Brands. Golf shirts and caps $80 pesos $60 pesos various sizes. Call Susanne or David 376-766-4456 - Cell: 331-824-5205. FOR SALE: CHAIR LEATHER. Call Bill 376-106-2160 or FOR SALE: Window Blind, size 84 inches long by 46 inches wide. Original cost was $1,850 pesos, will sell for $1,500 pesos or best offer. Please phone 376-766-3103 and leave a clear message or arjay333@gmail. com. FOR SALE: Dining Chairs $4000. 4 new in box dining chairs from Costco. If purchased separately, $7900 pesos. Please call 331-805-4654. Email: mysanditoes@ FOR SALE: Beige Patio Umbrella. This was purchased at the store a little west of Super Lake for $2149.00 pesos. The base cost extra. It has a 9’6” diameter when open and the stand is either straight or tilts. I’m selling both pieces for $1000.00 pesos. Rick 331-442-3930. WANTED: Where do I find mini split air

conditioners in Chapala or Ajijic. Does anyone sell Carrier? Email: FOR SALE: Santa Fe Large Area Dehumidifier-Gone. $1500US but asking $10,000 pesos. Has pump which is usually 125US to facilitate discharge of water. Call 333-8215148. Can be seen in West Ajijic. FOR SALE: General commercial meat grinder GSM50 as new, used only once. Asking $6,000 pesos. Call: 333-8215148. Located in West Ajijic. FOR SALE: Butterball Xl Electric fryer, steamer, or boil. Fry, steam or boil your favorite foods. Accommodates 20 lbs Turkey, 5 lbs wings, or a large seafood boil. Tested to commercial standards. Easy clean up.  Used twice, returning to us. No room in car. $99.00 dollars check Amazon US for more info, as I am having difficulty posting pictures. Listed under Xl Butterball Electric Fryer.  Email: FOR SALE: 2 Single Beds or use as a king - orthopedic mattresses and very solid, heavy bases in excellent condition. Selling only as a pair. $5900 pesos.  376-106-2204. FOR SALE: X-CARGO SPORT 20SV Rooftop Carrier. 20 Cubic feet Excellent condition. All mounting hardware and keys included. Asking $3000 pesos. Call 331340-8115 or FOR SALE: Sea Eagle 14 SC Sail Catamaran with Custom Trailer. Included: Catamaran - full set: 4 sits, mast, main sale, boom, 2 leeboards, rudder, and floor - all in excellent condition; Accessories: foot pump,

all transportation security straps, 2 adult life jackets, repair kit; Paid including custom fees $44,000 - sale $29,000. Email: mark. FOR SALE: 2 pedestal cabinets for under washer & dryer. (samsung) 8 gal. Capacity. Never used. Still in original boxes. $450.00 pesos for the pair. West Ajijic. 376766-5545. 331-450-3384. FOR SALE: I have a nice occasional chair, $2500 pesos; a bamboo desk that could also be used as a sofa table $1200 pesos, a big 6 ft tall, 30 inch wide white bookcase $2000 pesos, a long mirror for $800 pesos and another long mirror for $1000 pesos, a nice painting with dark green background/seated woman with backside facing viewer holding big bunch of calla lilies $2000 pesos. Email: is4916@ FOR SALE: Fireplace Grate and Screen, The screen has a very small tear in one spot otherwise in good condition. $400 pesos. Dimensions: 31 inches wide; 22 inches tall. Email: WANTED: We need to purchase washer and dryer, large capacity. I know about Electro Venta.  Looking for on line sources where they can be ordered and delivered. Email: FOR SALE: Sofa and loveseat purchased earlier this year at Costco: Grey fabric - a matching pair. Asking $12,500 Pesos or $675 USD.  Email: FOR SALE: Stamina Aero Pilates Table

Pro XP 556: Home Pilates Reformer with free-form cardio rebounder (video included). Like new/ apenas utilizada. Price: $6500 pesos. Call Louise (376)766-5701. WANTED: foldable pingpong table in good condition. Please pm response. Email: WANTED: Recliner wanted. Call Bill 106-2160 or FOR SALE: Twin Bed Frame in very good condition. Mattress not included $700 pesos obo 766-4360. WANTED: I need a microwave. I live in Ajijic but I could arrange a pick-up anywhere Lakeside. Email: FREE: I have a shoe box full of pictures of several European countries. They are all sorted according to country.  I now have CD’s. I hate to throw them out and would gladly donate them. Email. FOR SALE: Barely used skateboard in excellent conditions, $400 pesos. Email: FOR SALE: 3 Pullman sized (largest allowed on airlines) suitcases. Used once. As new. Ultralight, Delsey ‘Featherlite’, American Tourister. $100USD each. Ajijic Centro. 376-766-1175. FOR SALE: Original Prada Shoes, size 24.5 mexican, Only 1 time was used, price $3000 pesos. Call to Alma 331-005-3109. FOR SALE: Individual Brass Headboard, Price $2,200.00 pesos. Call to Alma 331-005-3109.

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El Ojo del Lago / March 2019

Profile for El Ojo del Lago

El Ojo del Lago - March 2019  

Ajijic and Chapala magazine devoted to news, interviews, history, culture and art.

El Ojo del Lago - March 2019  

Ajijic and Chapala magazine devoted to news, interviews, history, culture and art.


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