Saw you in the Ojo
Saw you in the Ojo
z D I R EC T O R Y z PUBLISHER
Alejandro Grattan-DomĂnguez Tel: (01376) 765 3676, 765 2877 Fax: (01376) 765 3528 Associate Publisher David Tingen Graphic Design Roberto C. Rojas Diana Parra Morales
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Special Events Editor Sandy Olson
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Book Review Panel Margaret Van Every Margaret Porter Clare Gearhart
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46 LAKESIDE LIVING
El Ojo del Lago aparece los primeros cinco dĂas de cada mes. (Distributed over WKHÂżUVWÂżYHGD\VRIHDFKPRQWK) &HUWLÂżFDGRGH/LFLWXGGH7tWXOR &HUWLÂżFDGRGH/LFLWXGGH&RQWHQLGR Reserva al TĂtulo de Derechos de Autor 04-2011-103110024300-102 Control 14301. Permisos otorgados por la SecretarĂa de GobernaciĂłn (EXP. 1/432 â€œ88â€?/5651 de 2 de junio de 1993) y SEP (Reserva 171.94 control 14301) del 15 de enero de 1994. DistribuciĂłn: Hidalgo 223 Chapala, Jalisco, MĂŠxico. All contents are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without the written consent of El Ojo del Lago. Opinions expressed E\ WKH DXWKRUV GR QRW QHFHVVDULO\ UHĂ€HFW WKH 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.
Welcome To Mexico
Bridge By Lake
Hearts At Work
Meet the Children
The Ghosts Among Us
Front Row Center
6DQGL*HOOHV&ROHSURÂżOHV5RE0RKUDORQJWLPH contributor to these pages, and one of the most accomplished gentlemen to ever grace our shores.
If there is any humor to be derived from Alzheimerâ€™s Disease, John Ward has found it: in his dotage, he plans to watch his favorite movie, Casablanca, every night and will be delighted when it seems to him that heâ€™s seeing for the ÂżUVW time.
PRINTING: El Debate
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
COLUMNS THIS MONTH Editorâ€™s Page
John Thomas Dodds has a pretty good idea of what a movie of his life might be OLNHEXWDVIRUDVHTXHOEDVHGRQKLVQH[WOLIHKHÂżJXUHVLWZRXOGEHTXLWHPHVV\ what with casting battles, story rewrites and maybe even a ghost-writer.
Send all correspondence, subscriptions or advertising to: El Ojo del Lago http://www.chapala.com firstname.lastname@example.org Ave. Hidalgo 223 (or Apartado 279), 45900 Chapala, Jalisco Tels.: (376) 765 3676, Fax 765 3528
38 FITFUL FANTASY
42 MORE FANTASY
Libby Colterjohn once had a long discussion with a possum and both she and the furry animal seemed WRKDYHSURÂżWHGIURPWKHH[SHULHQFH Robert James Taylor remembers the classic western High Noon, and here relates that what later happened to some of the principal creators of the ÂżOPZDVDOPRVWDVGUDPDWLF
Theater Critic Michael Warren
Roving Correspondent Dr. Lorin Swinehart
VOLUME 34 NUMBER 7
Rambling From Ranch
Saw you in the Ojo
Editor’s Page %\$OHMDQGUR*UDWWDQ'RPLQJXH] Trump’s Most Dangerous Mistake
he charges now pending against President Trump and many of his closest associates by Special Counsel Robert Mueller involve Collusion with a Hostile Power, Lying under Oath, Obstructing Justice, and Money Laudering. The matter of Trump and/or his representatives colluding with Russia in order to rig the election the president’s way is as yet unproven—though Trump’s oldest son, Don Junior’s meeting during the campaign with a Russian lawyer whom he thought had some dirt on Clinton (e.g. his gleeful e-mail that corroborates this) certainly is leaning strongly in the direction of guilt. Another incriminating factor, this one falling under Obstruction of Justice, is that President Trump, upon hearing of the meeting, dictated a cover story that the meeting had been only to discuss the matter of Russia’s child adoption policy. Can you imagine that three of the most important men in the Trump campaign dropped everything to attend such a trivial meeting? What has been proven, however, beyond the proverbial “shadow of a doubt” is that Russia made a major attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States. This is the stronglyheld conviction by all seventeen of the intelligence branches of the government of the United States, including the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. It is also the opinion of the intelligence agencies of several foreign countries, including Britain, France and Australia. And as if more proof was actually needed, Special Counsel Mueller has just secured the indictments of 13 Russian nationals for being actively engaged in trying to affect
the last presidential election. Whether such Russian interference actually decided the election is harder to gauge and even now remains an open question. But beyond doubt is that Russia’s meddling with the US election greatly favored candidate Donald Trump for many reasons, two of which were: Putin openly despised Hillary Clinton and felt that Trump would be far more inclined to drop the severe economic sanctions that former President Obama had leveled on Russia because of its military actions against the Crimea and Ukraine. That assumption has proven to be correct. Trump’s mistake: rather than take with enormous seriousness the findings of the aforementioned major intelligence agencies regarding Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, the president called it “fake news” devised by Democrats trying to invalidate his election. This would indicate that Trump, never before having been in the halls of power in the federal government, suddenly knows more about international espionage than all the aforementioned intelligence agencies. Such myopia has resulted with Trump failing to establish an investigation into these systemic hostile acts by Russia in what might constitute nothing short of “acts of war.” There is also ample evidence that Russia hacked into the election systems of no less than 39 states—and is still trying to divide the electorate with insidious trolls and bots. Trump has become notorious for many things, one being that he often cannot remember what he said the day (or hour) before—and so seems to have forgotten that during the campaign he openly pleaded with Russia/Putin to
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
find incriminating Clinton e-mails and send them to him. By failing to even acknowledge any of this, the president has guaranteed that Russia can continue to contaminate American elections and thereby pervert what is one of the cornerstones of democracy: the right to free and honest elections. A Republican-dominated Congress recently passed harsher sanctions on Russia, but Trump has refused to enforce any of them; and why not? One of the last times President Trump had a face-to-face meeting with Putin, he asked him if the hacking was true, to which the Russian leader (of course) answered “certainly not!” For Trump, that settled the matter, making him seem either comically naïve or complicit in the crime. Concerned Americans must ask . . . why!? The logical answer is: Trump wants to continue reaping the benefits of Russian amity, especially the Kremlin keeping a cap on the now infamous “Russian/Steele Dossier,” which allegedly contains highly salacious personal material about Trump’s activities on his many business trips to that country. Is it any wonder that the not-so-faint stench of blackmail is in the air? Trump’s failure to act against the Soviet Union goes far beyond malfeasance
and ineptitude; indeed, some might call it treason. This is, of course, an extremely serious charge and one not to be bandied about loosely, as Trump recently did when he openly considered whether those politicians in Congress who did not applaud during his recent State of the Union should be charged with Treason! He seems not to know that our elected representatives in Congress have sworn their loyalty to the Constitution of the Unites States and not to him personally. Final Note: Anyone who has ever taken a college course in Psychology 101 knows that a man facing an investigation will react in different ways, mostly depending on his innocence or guilt. The innocent will say “Bring it on. The investigation can only prove my innocence.” Conversely, the guilty will try to forestall the investigation, or cripple it by impugning its motives; also casting doubt on the credibility/expertise of its investigators or (if he has the power) threaten to conjure up a way to have them all fired. Anybody come to mind? Alejandro GrattanDominguez
Saw you in the Ojo
Hey, I Used To Be Somebody! 2OVRQ %\6DQG\2OVRQ
heard my n new ew e w D an n friend Dan say, “I used sed ed to to be somebody.” He He he didn’t say “what”” he er,, ccuuused to be so later, out ut him. him im. rious, I asked about quipm uipm ui pmen ent nt “He was a heavy eq equipment aid ai d, p erre operator.” “Oh,” I ssaid, perplexed. With a little imagination, Dan could have transformed himself into one of those interesting expats who live in Mexico. It’s an exciting new world here where you can be anybody you never were. We refer to this as the “border promotion.” To be sure, there are legitimate characters in Mexico. I met some in Zihuatanejo. There was Jim, the guy who was a diver with Jacques Cousteau in 1960 or thereabouts. Nobody had the heart to ask him how long
iit’d it t’d b been een ee n since s ncce his si his last la dive di ve,, or what what he he’d ’d d on dive, done sinc i ce then. then th en. And And there th wa th since was the haand h n so some m Fre ench h diver dive di v r Jean JJea handsome French Cllaude aude who loved the ladies, ladie as Claude l h didn’t did ’ stay around long as they too long. Long time resident Liz liked her new gauze dress so much that she ordered thirty-seven of them in the same style when the factory was going out of business. Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker, used to spend time in Zihuatanejo, too Then there was Sam. He drank beer at the pier all day, every day. To his credit, he was always goodnatured when I asked him to stop leaning on my pickup truck if I had
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
to go somewhere. He was retired from his career as a Green Beret, or so he said. When the Iraq War started I asked him, “Hey, Sam, are you going to go over there and help out?” He shushed me, looking around nervously with his saucer eyes, and said, “I can’t talk about that.” I liked Sam, but it was hard to believe his story. This was my first experience, as far as I know, with a fictitious past. Then I moved to Lakeside and heard the phrase “border promotion,” which I thought worthy of further study. Generally, the “border promotion” is harmless, but foolish statements can lead to embarrassment for everyone. Therefore, I want to offer some suggestions on how to pull it off. I’m not here to discuss the morality of lying to your new friends. Remember, though, that it isn’t nice to use your border promotion to borrow money or get married. It’s only a pastime for expats with too much time on their hands. This brings me to my first important piece of advice: Google is Not Your Friend. It used to be easy to make an undisputed claim. Irving tells us he was on the editorial staff of Rolling Stone, and hints at his affair with a famous singer with an affinity for Southern Comfort. He was interesting enough for me to do a Google search. I couldn’t find him there in the Rolling Stone archives or anywhere else. It’s very important to be vague. Specifics such as last names, dates, business ownership, or places of employment are risky. You don’t want to make fact checking too easy. Remember the Story. It’s critical to remember what you said, and to whom. Understand that Lakeside is a small area and people talk about each other. Tell the same story to everyone. There’s the Canadian who was variously an operatic tenor, editor at the Tattler in London, yoga instructor, and airline pilot, depending on his listener. One does begin to wonder. Appearance. Don’t claim to be a professional person---lawyer, doctor, CPA—if you have a lot of missing teeth. People do judge by appearance. Get your teeth fixed and learn how to play golf or tennis. Buy a home in a gated community. If you want to have been a serious athlete, visible missing teeth—incisors only-- are not a problem, especially if you want to have been a firstclass hockey player. Writers and Artists I strongly recommend that if you are not a real artist or writer you shouldn’t pose as one, since people will eventually want to see your work. Besides, we
already have enough bad artists and writers at Lakeside. Prison Sentences Claiming jail time can be interesting. A little stretch here and there, especially in a foreign country, is a bonus. My friend Ken says he was in a Spanish prison and escaped the day he was cutting logs in the forest while under guard. He hung his red prison beret on a tree and therefore fooled the head counter and ran off. He says Interpol is still after him and we don’t know how to check this. Healing Arts. Some people say they’re masters of the healing arts, but it’s important to be judicious with hands-on treatments. Walter gives unsolicited neck rubs that go on for way too long. “Can you feel the energy?” he’ll say, mostly to women. The “healer” needs to know the difference between energy work and common groping. Religious Credentials Go ahead and perform weddings down here even if you aren’t really a minister/ priest/rabbi/Buddhist nun. These services aren’t legal in Mexico, anyway. There are so many denominations and sects that these good folks confuse themselves and can’t check up on you. Also, you might pick up some spare change. Military Service Be extra careful with references to military service. Look stressed and mumble something about your PTSD. Stay away from the American Legion in Chapala. A retired US Army colonel living in Guaymas let selected people into his home to admire his portrait: full regalia, medals, ribbons and all. He enjoyed being addressed as “Colonel.” One day he had a serious accident and his friends loaded him into an SUV and rushed him across the border to the VA Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. They found that he never served in the military. We don’t know if he shows off his oil portrait these days or even if he is still willing to live in Guaymas. In summary, these tips should be enough to prop up any newcomer’s border promotion. Any further tips from readers will be credited anonymously. When I have more time I’ll tell you about how I won the women’s division of the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. I can’t quite remember the year—my shortterm memory issues--and it might have been under my former married name, too, I forget which one. Sandy Olson
Saw you in the Ojo
“ANOTHER UNRETIRED SUCCESS” %\-RDQ0HHYR\
to deal with it, the life ave you of this small Mexican discovered village is poignantly, Stones for described in careful, Ibarra, the lovely litloving, detail. The two tle novel by Harriet themes are not unreDoerr? Last summer lated, but while the as I was preparing to villagers live close to move to the Lake area, death and accept it as a friend gave me this an everyday, matter, bittersweet book, hopSarah creates fantasies S ing that it would disto help her deny it. courage me from moving The people of Ibarra will never to Mexico. I read it and cried, becompletely understand the Evercause it’s that kind of story, but I tons. Some of the villagers peer tried to explain to the friend that through the windows of the house Ajijic was not a remote, povertyand report strange customs: “The stricken village where I would be Señora cooks food from cans over the only American. Furthermore, a gasoline fire. It must be very exI told her that what I had gleaned pensive. While she stirs the pot, from the cover notes and publicathe Señor is in the kitchen. A man tion page had only given me furin the kitchen and not to eat.” And ther inspiration to move down here why are they so frugal as to share and try to write. Harriet Doerr had one bottle of beer with dinner but not started her career as a writer so extravagant as to light a fire they until she was in her late 60’s. I had do not cook on? They “lit candles a decade to catch up to that and at their evening meal and let them could picture myself writing my burn down while they talked. Ocfirst novel in this quiet, pleasant locasionally they both talked at once, cale. and loudly. At these times the SeMs. Doerr received her B.A. ñor jumped up and from Stanford University walked around the table, when she was 67 years and the Señora forgot to old. She then particibring, the hard rolls from pated in their graduate the oven. They had been fiction program, winseen and heard by the ning grants and awards postmaster’s son, who which enabled her to lived for a winter with work on this, her first his cousin in Chicago novel. Several chapters and learned some Engwere published sepalish words. “The Señor rately in literary reviews and the Señora do not before Stones for Ibarra agree about the next was published in 1984 president of the United and won the prestigious Harriet Doerr States. He will vote for American Book Award one candidate, she another. In that when the author was 74 years old. case, why do they vote at all?”’ This little treasure of a book, so The Evertons are equally, bewilpoetically phrased, tells the story of dered by much that they observe in an American couple who move to Ibarra, but gradually deep respect the remote mining town of Ibarra develops between the foreigners to reopen an abandoned copper and their neighbors. I highly recommine. The tragedy of Richard and mend reading or re-reading Stones Sarah Everton is fore- shadowed in for Ibarra, not only for its sensitive the first paragraph where we learn portrayal of a Mexican village, but that this will not be a happy-everas an example of award-winning after story, that Richard “will die fiction, written when the author thirty years sooner than he now “combed white hair,” as they say in imagines.” As we learn bit by bit Mexico. of his illness and Sarah’s struggle
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
Saw you in the Ojo 11
A POSSUM SCORNED %\/LEE\&ROWHUMRKQ
he visited my husband every evening for about three years as he savoured his Scotch and listened to classical music. I was upstairs reading my book in bed by then, so all was quiet in the house. Mrs. Possie was a large, female possum who lived in the trees next door and produced a litter of babies each spring in our pump- house. She came in to eat whatever was left in the cat dishes, and was just part of our lives. Even the cats accepted her. One day my husband was taken to hospital and I went with him. The maid fed the cats once a day and the doors were locked by the time Mrs. Possie arrived. 12 days later I returned home alone and was greeted by a furious animal. When I opened the doors, she rushed into the kitchen, got onto the counters, and threw everything that she could move onto the floor. I was in no state to deal with this so kept the doors shut from then on. When she discovered she was no longer welcome, she tore the door and window screens apart. She then came down the chimney, bringing lots of soot with her, so I had the chimney stack wired. Night after night, she sat outside my
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
bedroom window and screeched. Hell hath no fury like this possum scorned! I was living alone, newly widowed, and Mrs. Possie’s harassment became frightening. It seemed that she missed Duncan as much as I did. In desperation, I called my veterinarian daughter-in-law, Moira, who advised me to talk to her. The following evening, I opened the door, filled the cat dishes, and sat down close by to wait for her to arrive, which she did. I then talked to this big, hairy, animal for about 20 minutes, sobbing my eyes out. I told her that I couldn’t cope with her antics but, if she behaved well, I would let her in each evening as before. She looked at me full in the eyes, between mouthfuls, and finally left. Next evening, she arrived on schedule, ate her left-overs, and took a good look at me as if to say, “I’ve kept my side of the bargain now you keep yours,” and ambled out. Peace returned to the house.
Saw you in the Ojo 13
their most recent ‘Puzzler’ was about Dear Sir: the Battle of Agincourt. The French, One should always be skeptical of who were overwhelmingly favored to anonymous contributors. Whoever win the battle, threatened to cut a cersubmitted “The History of the Middle tain body part off of all captured EngFinger” for your consideration is likely lish soldiers so that they could never laughing their anonymous ass off after fight again. The English won in a major seeing it in print. I would have expected upset and waved the body part in quessomeone on your staff to do some very tion at the French in defiance. The puzbasic fact checking before publishing zler was: What was this body part? This that piece of bunk. A simple search on is the answer submitted by a listener: Snopes.com reveals this (https://www. Dear Click and Clack, Thank you for snopes.com/language/apocryph/ the Agincourt ‘Puzzler’, which clears up pluckyew.asp): some profound questions of etymolCLAIM ogy, folklore and emotional symbolism. The ‘middle finger salute’ is derived The body part which the French profrom the defiant gestures of English arposed to cut off of the English after dechers whose fingers had been severed by the French at the Battle of Agincourt. feating them was, of course, the middle finger, without which it is impossible to EXAMPLE Collected via the Internet, draw the renowned English longbow. 1999 This famous weapon was made of the The ‘Car Talk’ show (on NPR) with native English yew tree, and so the act Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers of drawing the longbow was known as have a feature called the ‘Puzzler’, and
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
“plucking yew”. Thus, when the victorious English waved their middle fingers at the defeated French, they said, “See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!” Over the years some ‘folk etymologies’ have grown up around this symbolic gesture. Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say (like “pleasant mother pheasant plucker”, which is who you had to go to for the feathers used on the arrows), the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative ‘f’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter. It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows that the symbolic gesture is known as “giving the bird”. And yew all thought yew knew everything! RATING FALSE ORIGIN The above-quoted account purporting to offer the historical origins of the obscene middle-finger extended hand gesture (variously known as “flipping the bird,” “flipping someone off,” or the “one-finger salute”) is silly, and so obviously a joke that shouldn’t need any debunking. Nonetheless, so many readers have forwarded it to us accompanied by an “Is this true?” query
that we are duty bound to provide a bit of historical and linguistic information demonstrating why this anecdote couldn’t possibly be accurate. The basic premise of that the origins of the one-finger gesture and its association with the profane word “fuck” were an outgrowth of the 1415 battle between French and English forces at Agincourt is simple enough to debunk. The insulting gesture of extending one’s middle finger (referred to as digitus impudicus in Latin) originated long before the Battle of Agincourt. And although the precise etymology of the English word fuck is still a matter of debate, it is linguistically nonsensical to maintain that that word entered the language because the “difficult consonant cluster at the beginning” of the phase ‘pluck yew’ has “gradually changed to a labiodental fricative ‘f.’” A labiodental fricative was no less “difficult” for Middle English speakers to pronounce than the aspirated bilabial stop/voiceless lateral combination of ‘pl’ that the fricative supposedly changed into, nor are there any other examples of such a pronunciation shift occurring in English. The military aspects of this account are similarly specious. Despite the lack of motion pictures and television way back in the 15th century, the details of
medieval battles such as the one at Agincourt in 1415 did not go unrecorded. Battles were observed and chronicled by heralds who were present at the scene and recorded what they saw, judged who won, and fixed names for the battles. These heralds were not part of the participating armies, but were, as military expert John Keegan describes, members of an “international corporation of experts who regulated civilized warfare.” Several heralds, both French and English, were present at the battle of Agincourt, and not one of them (or any later chroniclers of Agincourt) mentioned anything about the French having cut off the fingers of captured English bowman. And for a variety of reasons, it made no military sense whatsoever for the French to capture English archers, then mutilate them by cutting off their fingers. Medieval warriors were not motivated to take prisoners because they were observing a moral code that dictated opponents who had laid down their arms and ceased fighting must be treated humanely, but because they knew high-ranking captives were valuable property that could be ransomed for money. The ransoming of prisoners was the only way for medieval soldiers to make a quick fortune, and so they seized every available opportunity to capture opponents who could be exchanged for handsome prices. Bowman were not valuable prisoners, though; they stood outside the chivalric system and were considered the social inferiors of men-at-arms. There was no monetary reward to be obtained by capturing them, nor was there any glory to be won by defeating them in battle. As John Keegan wrote in his history of warfare, “To meet a similarly equipped opponent was the occasion for which the armoured soldier trained perhaps every day of his life from the onset of manhood. To meet and beat him was a triumph, the highest form which self-expression could take in the medieval nobleman’s way of life.” Archers were not the “similarly
equipped” opponents that armored soldiers triumphed in defeating: if the two clashed in combat, the armored soldier would either kill an archer outright or leave him to bleed to death rather than go to the wasteful effort of taking him prisoner. Moreover, if archers could be ransomed, then cutting off their middle fingers would be a senseless move. Your opponent is not going to pay you (or pay you much) for the return of mutilated soldiers, so now what do you do with them? Take on the burden and expense of caring for them? Kill them outright and violate the medieval moral code of civilized warfare? (Indeed, Henry V was heavily criticized for supposedly having ordered the execution of French prisoners at Agincourt.) And even if killing prisoners of war did not violate the moral code of the times, what would be the purpose of taking archers captive, cutting off their fingers, and then executing them? Why not simply kill them outright in the first place? Do you return these prisoners to your opponents in exchange for nothing, thereby providing them with trained soldiers who can fight against you another day? (Even if archers whose middle fingers had been amputated could no longer effectively use their bows, they were still capable of wielding mallets, battleaxes, swords, lances, daggers, maces, and other weapons, as archers typically did when the opponents closed ranks with them and the fighting became hand-to-hand.) Last, but certainly not least, wouldn’t these insolent archers have been bragging about plucking a bow’s string, and not the wood of the bow itself? So much for “history.” Perhaps you should consider including Snopes’ thorough debunking of this “history” in your March edition. I’m sure YEW wouldn’t want to be known as yet another fake news publisher! Sincerely, Mary Steele Ajijic
Saw you in the Ojo 15
He’s Coming To Get Me %\%HUQLH6XWWOH
know who he is and how he’s coming. I don’t know what to do ‘til then. My bedroom, an afterthought add-on, is separated from the real house by a closed door. I sleep alone in my youth bed with my stories, hopes and fears my only comforters. It’s swell, even though a little scary, but I am seven-years-old and brave. I hear the Pacific Electric Red Cars go by on the tracks in front of our house, twenty miles northeast of L.A. That’s how he’ll come for me, on the Red Car. Once a year Mom takes me and my older sister, Margaret, over this route to LA to get school clothes. We end our ride at Second and
Spring Streets, the area known as, “Skid Row” because of its tattoo parlors, rescue missions, novelty shops and bums. It scares me. I’ve seen him at this Pacific Electric station, seated on a bench, tall, thin, in grey work clothes, smoking, staring without seeing, drumming his boney fingers on his knee crossed over his other leg. He caught me staring at him and stared back with a slight, evil smile. I grabbed Mom’s hand tighter and wondered when he would come, to get me. My room is small but all I want. A pull-string hangs from the center light bulb. When Mom says, “Good night,” she pulls the string and the room falls into darkness leaving the
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
eerie moonlit shadow dances on my window. And then there is the outside door. “Dad, that’s neat. I can use it to go in and out of my room. Where is the skeleton key for the lock?” “Never mind a key. You are never to open that door,” Dad commanded. In bed I hear a Red Car stop with screeching breaks at Rosemead about a quarter mile to the west of our house. He is on that train. He is coming to get me. He’ll step off and start the walk to our house, my room, and me. No one will take notice. I freeze. What to do? The door to my folks’ room will be closed, not to be knocked on. My ten-year old sister, Meg, will only whine, “Why wake me up? Don’t be silly. Why would anyone want to get you? Go away.” I lie still under the covers and figure how long before he will be outside my room. What’s that? I hear scratching. I peep out of the covers and see the shadow of a hand on the edge of the window, sliding down the side searching for an opening. Now he’s doing it on the other side. Then nothing. He is going around to the other side of my room to the
forbidden door. Does he have the skeleton key? I curl my toes. The wind cries and the shadows dance on the window. I hear his footfalls on Mom’s Irises outside the back of my room. What will he do to me after he gets me? Run away with me? Where? Will he “nab” me? I don’t know what “nab” is but it must be bad. When I wanted us to move down to the right side of the Monrovia Theater at the Saturday Matinee my sister said, “No.” I said, “Why?” She said I’d be nabbed over there. I said, “What’s that?” Meg’s firm response was, “You don’t need to know. We’re staying here.” Now I might find out what nabbed means. The door that opens with a skeleton key rattles. This is it. I’m done for. I slide under the covers to the foot of the bed, eyes tightly closed, and await my end. Next thing I know the sun pierces the room and I hear Mom say, “Time to get up, Son, your oatmeal is on the table. C’mon dear don’t let it get cold.” Bernie Suttle
Saw you in the Ojo 17
ithout books, I could not have survived. I would surely have been locked away as a danger to myself and others. In my padded cell, I’m sure I would have howled endlessly and ripped my own flesh. When I was too young for school, the only book around the house was the family Bible. I pestered my grandmother endlessly to read me the stirring stories from the Old Testament. Over the years and countless hours, I sat in my grandmother’s lap and watched and listened to her read. Daniel, Joseph, David, Ruth, Esther, Nimrod, Jonah, Samson, Moses, Ezekiel, Abraham Isacc, Jacob and Essau, et. All were as familiar and real to me as our family pets . I could soon follow along a step ahead as I had memorized all the wondrous tales, pretending to be reading.
Without either of us realizing it, I actually was learning to read. She was not a skilled reader. She read each word separately and pronounced each syllable carefully. I began to identify the word above her tracing finger before she pronounced it, and began to recognize the sound each word made according to its configuration of letters, and its shape and size. I had an adumbrated knowledge of phonics and a sizeable store of sight recognition words before I began first grade at age six.
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
With such a head-start into the magic of reading, Dick and Jane were far too soft a fare for my word hungry mind. I was fortunate my first grade teacher understood and gave me the tales of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. I loved those folk tales. They reminded me so much of the stories my grandmother and I had read from her Bible, what with young boys confronting giants, animals talking, and people living inside whales. By the time I had finished the second grade, I had read every book in our school’s library, grades one through four. Some, like Bullfinch’s Mythology, the Oz books and the Black Stallion series of Walter Farley, I had reread many times. My sainted third-grade teacher took pity on me. She drove me after school one day to our small town public library and gave me the greatest gift I have ever received, my very own library card which she signed for and took responsibility for any damage, loss or overdue fines I might incur. She was never out a cent. I treated the books with reverence while devouring them voraciously. The two week loan with a seven book limit rarely lasted out the week. One of my happiest childhood memories is walking out of the library each week with an armload of new treasures. Balancing the pile of books in my arms, I would begin reading the topmost one, trusting my feet to find their own way, as my eyes were too busy feeding my imagination to bother noticing the path. Unless there was a pickup game going on of football, basketball or baseball, games I loved almost as much as books, I would read until called to dinner and after until bedtime. Sometimes I’d sneak a flashlight under the covers and read until I fell asleep. Much of my meager allowance went to buy AA batteries instead of the usual baseball cards or Baby Ruth candy bars. People who see me, most always with a book in hand often suggest I
should get a Kindle and have access to books without the time and effort of browsing through bookstores or journeying to a library, to this day, a weekly pilgrimage. I’ve considered it, but I’m a book addict. I crave the feel of a book in my hands and the rhythm of turning pages. I love books so beautiful and evocative many passages must be read and reread to savor and reflect upon before turning a page almost reluctantly, as one hesitates to swallow a wine so exquisite it dances in the mouth. These are the books less avid readers might warn you from as being too descriptive, or too lacking in action. I love books whose action is so compelling one can hardly turn the pages fast enough, books that have my heart racing so, I must pause occasionally and catch my breath and remind myself my own life is really in no danger. I love books whose characters resemble no one I have ever known, whose plots are totally alien to my experience, whose settings are unlike any place I have ever seen. I feel like an explorer might upon first viewing an undiscovered land. Some of the books I have most loved are ones someone told me I wouldn’t like. Because they were “chick books.” I know many people survive and seem to be content, who rarely, if ever read a book, who believe poetry an unnecessary affectation, who do not love the richness and subtlety of words, who do not think it terrible when language is maimed or misappropriated to foul ends. I know this, but I do not understand. Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets, loved books and the magic of language. She wrote: “There is no Frigate like a Book,/ To take us Lands away/ Nor any Coursers like a Page/ Of prancing Poetry/ This Traverse may the poorest make/ Without oppress of Toll./ How frugal is the Chariot/ That bears the Human Soul.”
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iking up the mountain on the Tepalo Waterfall route, one bright early December morning, three young Mexicans passed me on their way down. They were carrying a large, leafless branch that they had hacked off a dead tree. This was to be their Christmas tree. Ours was a beautiful tree, ten foot tall, nearly touching the ceiling, with pine scent that faded as the needles dried. Reluctant to accept that Christmas was long gone, I delayed taking it down as long as possible. I needed a ladder to reach the painted, wooden angel, tied with a gold ribbon to its top. Gently I wrapped each decoration in tissue to be cocooned in a big box until next Christ-
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mas. The memory of where each one came from links them to me in a special way. Through years of travel, the collection has grown, with many hand-crafted ones, now from Mexico. I love the task of hanging our decorations with small wire hooks: tiny cornhusk angels; stars with many points, a steepled church and nativity scene, all woven from straw; two-dimensional, brightly painted wise men, cut out of tin; a plump, pink, paper-mache heart; shiny, gold and silver balls; ruby-red plastic apples; gaudy, little, lacy Christmas trees sprinkled with shocking-pink, purple, red and gold sparkles and finally, yards and yards of silver tinsel, which, when wound around the Tree, bind all these things together. My favorites are a set of glass figurines hung to reflect the strings of flickering amber lights: three angels holding golden filigree stars in outstretched arms; a rocking horse with red neck-tie, and a group of tinkling bells that stack like a Russian matryoshka doll. I feel sad to see that empty space where the Tree has stood, its sweetsmelling branches and sparkling ornaments illuminating our home for a short month. Now I must wait these long months to repeat the loved ritual of decorating the Tree, a symbol of the bounty and riches of Christmas time. Perhaps next year Iâ€™ll try the Mexican version, a simple dry branch with lots of twigs on which to hang our lights and ornaments.
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(A True Story) There but For The Grace of God Go I
see him every single day walking down one side of the careterra or the other. He is always in motion, with a sort of awkward gait that is punctuated as he limps as he places his damaged right leg ahead. It seems as though he might have once suffered from a stroke. His right arm dangles loosely from his shoulder. He carries a bag in his left hand. And he wears an old, oversized sombrero, which flops about each time he takes a step and protects him from the elements. He makes good time as he walks. His clothes are always clean, so I know he must have a home somewhere. But I see him several times a day,
always walking. In my mind, I would play out different scenarios about who he is, where he is going, what he is doing? First I thought he must have some sort of job he was walking to or from. But as his frame became more familiar to me, I realized he probably couldn’t do much labor for his job due to his disabled arm and leg. As time has gone on, I found myself looking for him along the road. As if my day wouldn’t quite be complete until I’ve passed by him at least once. If I don’t see him, I worry that something may have happened to him. One day I was parked outside of a farmacia, and he walked up, placed his bag outside, went inside the farma-
cia, then returned, sans purchase. He then looked into the trash bin, moved things around until he found something and pulled it out. It was can, which he pulled from the bin as if it was pure treasure. He carefully placed it into his bag, replaced the lid on the bin and went to investigate the next bin, and he sneered as it didn’t even yield him so much as a soda can. “So that’s what he does!” I thought. Now I was brokenhearted. No more mystery for me. He roams from Chapala to Ajijic and back every day in search of cans to recycle. That is his work. This is his meager contribution to his family’s income, and while I feel sad, I am amazed at the amount of time and effort he spends each day for such little reward. I watched as he walked further up the street limping on his right leg, with his hat flopping with each stilted step. And I make a silent vow, that I will collect the very few cans that we use, and I’ll save them, and I will one day place them near one of his stops. Hopefully that small gesture will repay the daily pleasure I take in watching him go about his daily task. * * * * * Ed. Note: When Victoria recently told me the story, I mentioned that I knew quite a bit about him, and had actually written about his story, though it was a long time ago. So as the famed radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say, “Here now is the rest of the story . . .” LIFE CAN BE A BITCH I first arrived in Chapala some twenty years ago with two motor homes, two cars, two dogs and a distinctly dismal-looking future. (I had hired a crew of five to get me down from Los Angeles.) I was coming off a couple of years in the film business where I had developed an acute case of the Midas Touch in Reverse and had finally decided that if I couldn’t change my luck, at least I would change my location. Quite by accident, I found a lovely little trailer park right down by the lake where a space cost only sixteen dollars a month. The park was owned by a Mexican family that had been there since 1936, and in accordance with ejido law, was still farming a small portion of it. The family’s youngest grandson, Carlitos, was in charge of the park. He was an industrious, fun-loving young man and because I knew no one else at Lakeside, we soon became good pals. Then one day, two attorneys arrived from Guadalajara to inform the family that they were squatting on private property. Stunned, the family quickly collected legal documents going back several decades. Undeterred, the lawyers came again, this time with
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a pickup truck brimming over with black-shirted types. When one of them poked a pistol against the head of the matriarch of the family, the matter was “legally” settled. The lawyers brusquely informed the park’s gringo tenants that we had 15 days to move out. Many of them, elderly and living on Social Security, didn’t know what to do or where to turn. In desperation, they petitioned the American Consulate in Guadalajara, and a young officer happened to arrive at the trailer park a couple of days later, just as the lawyers were again berating the remaining residents. When the young consul officer voiced a mild objection, the lawyers yelled at him, as well, saying he had no authority to intercede. I’ll never forget what came next. The young man, in a cool, measured voice, said that was true, but where he did have authority was in the US Consulate, where he was in charge of approving all visa applications to the United States filed by residents from the state of Jalisco . . . and perhaps someday the lawyers would be standing before his desk. Had he slapped them across the face, their expressions could not have looked more startled. Instantly, contempt turned to pseudo-cordiality as the shysters did everything but fall to their knees. At that moment, I was very proud of the young State Department officer and of course the good ole US of A. But the scene only stalled the eventual final outcome. Carlitos, along with the rest of his family, was thrown off of their own property. Later, he made a raft down by the water and became a fisherman. He also became addicted to liquor in its crudest form (rubbing alcohol and water) and some few years afterward suffered a stroke which left him with a shuffling gait and garbled speech. Today he can be seen limping along the highway in a big straw hat, his black dog trailing behind him. He makes his living now by doing simple, odd jobs. I often stop to talk to him, though he does not remember me. But I remember him. He was the first friend I made at Lakeside and I have often wondered how his life might have otherwise turned out. Years ago, a very popular American president with enormous power, prestige, personal style and wealth nevertheless observed that life is unfair. Can you imagine what my old friend Carlitos must think? Victoria Schmidt
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BRIDGE BY THE LAKE %\.HQ0DVVRQ
t the duplicate bridge table, it is often advantageous to know the habits of your adversaries in order to garner the maximum number of tricks. In this month’s hand played in a Toronto area bridge club, West was a notoriously light opener who often rushed in where more conservative players feared to tread, causing confusion among his opponents and resulting in lucrative gains for his side. In this case, however, South and North were Herself and me respectively and we had played often enough against West to be able to use his aggressive bidding for our own benefit. West opened proceedings with a bid of 2 spades, ostensibly showing a 6 card suit and between 6 and 10 points. I had an immediate problem as my hand, even though it contained 15 high card points, didn’t seem quite right for a take-out double (balanced distribution, only 3 hearts) or a 1 no trump overcall (no sure stopper in spades). However, I had also been the victim of West’s machinations in the past so I didn’t feel pass was right and ventured the slightly flawed double. East passed and Herself had an easy jump to 3 no trump to end the auction. West led the 8 of clubs and Herself paused to count her winners: 4 clubs, 3 diamonds, 2 hearts and 1 spade for a total of 10 tricks. Even though the North and South hands contained a total of 31 high card points, the mirror distribution worked against the promotion of additional overtricks. However, declarer did have one extra piece of information to guide her, namely West’s opening bid.
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Declarer won the opening lead on the board with the ace and cashed the king and queen noting that West followed to all 3 rounds. Next South cashed her three diamond tricks and two heart winners as West obediently followed suit all the way. Summarizing events to date, Herself knew that West had only 5 cards in spades, not the 6 that his opening bid implied, and even this wild bidder would need to have the king and queen in his suit to justify his opening bid as the only other high card he had shown up with was the jack of diamonds. Declarer was now ready for her coup de grace. Coming to hand with the jack of clubs, South played a low spade towards the dummy and West was caught in a neat trap. Holding nothing but spades, he was forced to play an honor and return a spade into South’s Ace 10 holding, providing a second overtrick for declarer and a high matchpoint result. This time West was well and truly done in by his own impetuosity. This was a particularly gratifying outcome for Herself and me but variations on this theme occur quite frequently at the bridge table. It is just a question of watching and counting the opponents’ cards as they play. And if you know your opponents’ idiosyncrasies, so much the better! Questions or comments: email: masson.ken@gmail. com Ken Masson
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Hearts at Work $&ROXPQE\-LP7LSWRQ
“The Last Generation” ”
dam and Eve were the “last generation” to live in a world without “things”… shoes, for example, and Chinese food, or books (including The Bible), children, spoons, or Salma Hayek, clocks, exotic lingerie…or cities, or towns, or villages, or even families…in short, they were the last generation to live before there was a history of the world, before there was a history of anything. But all of us, also, are the last generation to live in a certain kind of world. Jane Doe, the protagonist in Tropic of Night (2003)*, a fine novel by Michael Gruber, reflects upon her father and “his generation, that particular lost one that was born during the Second World War. He used to tote up the things that his generation was last at. Last to ex-
perience peri rien ience nce the the segregation seg eg gre rega gati ga tion ti ion of of the the races, racces, ra last to come to sexual maturity before women’s lib and the Pill, last to believe that the United States was invariably the good guy, last to defer without much question to teachers and elders in general, last to get the full load of dead white male culture force-fed into their brains and souls, last to grow up before TV became the ruling power. If Catholic, last to get raised in the preVatican II shut-up-and-do-what-wesay, superstitious, devotional American church. The last to start screwing before Roe v. Wade, and hence and finally, the last to think it mandatory to marry the girl you got pregnant.” I was born January 18, 1942, a little over a month after Pearl Harbor, into that generation that Gruber calls “that particular lost one,” although I never thought about it as being “lost,” in part because Gertrude Stein (although the phrase was popularized by Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises) had already identified the generation that came to maturity after World War I as “the lost generation.” But I certainly
grew up in that World War II generation Gruber’s Jane Doe is thinking about. And thinking about it myself I might add a few things…that generation I belong to grew up in a world where trains were still used for transportation, where Morse Code and the telegraph were used for communication, and where bank deposits and withdrawals were still recorded by hand in a little book. And we were almost the last to be born into a world that had no nuclear weapons, no Sputniks, and no violated moon. We were also the last generation to live in a world without sophisticated computers, although, amazingly, the generation that follows us was also born into a world that did not yet have email (which was not created until 1972), or the internet (a term first used in 1974), or the world-wide-web, known to us now as the “www” (which arrived only in 1992). I grew up in Ashland, Ohio. A small town then was the heart of life itself, and it was all to be loved, including the elderly people on our street: Wiley and Macy Hart, Dr. Meuser, Rev. Brown (who always called me “Brother Jim”), Jesse Fitzpatrick and her husband Morgan (who hung himself one summer night in his garage and a frantic Jesse called Dad to cut him down), and down the street the two mysterious spinsters—the Dick sisters—who raised sheep and who taught me a few things about the centers of flowers. At neighborhood gatherings after hamburgers and croquet and hand-cranked ice cream served with peaches plucked before our very eyes, we would in those days sing…songs with our own versions of verses that went like: “how the old folks would enjoy it…they would sit all night and listen…as we sang in the evening…by the moonlight…” Now I have become one of those old folks who “sit all night and listen…” The world I was born into was a world without retirement homes, with-
out condos in Florida or cities for the aging hidden on some eternally sunny desert in Arizona. But in the 1950’s and 1960’s America was rapidly changing. A character in the John D. MacDonald novel Condominium (1977)* ponders this: “For the first time in the history of the world, millions of the elderly are isolated from the rest of life, and somehow it brings out the worst in us.” When condos began to be built in the 1950’s in the United States, people said they would never catch on; some even said they were part of the International Communist Conspiracy to destroy individual ownership of property. However, by 1970, thanks to Capitalism at work, there were 60,000 condo units in the United States. By 1980, there were 2,000,000 units. Now there are more than 5,000,000 units. Another character in that same John D. MacDonald novel makes this observation: “The thing about condominium living…was the difference between the brochures and the reality. In the brochures there were smiling friendly people in groups, having swimming parties and steak roasts and making shell ashtrays together, happy as clams, always smiling and hugging. And they all looked about forty. Move in and you were in the middle of a batch of suspicious, testy, cantankerous old folks, their faces pursed into permanent expressions of distaste, anxiety, and hidden alarm.” Of course every generation is the “last generation” for something and each generation feels some “distaste, anxiety, and hidden alarm” for what has followed them. What must my grandparents have felt. My maternal grandfather was a horse-and-buggy doctor. My paternal grandfather was a blacksmith. They were born before electricity, before radio, before the automobile, before the airplane, even before the Revenue Act of 1913 that established income tax. Well, my grandparents ultimately were unable to avoid either death or taxes; but Adam and Eve were born before both death and taxes. Had they been able to keep their hands where they belonged—or at least off the apple—they would not even have introduced death into the world. Adam and Eve were also the last generation to experience one very important thing—forgive me Martha for saying this—they were the last generation to experience Paradise. *Available in the Lake Chapala Society Library.
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HIG GH NOON – And the Holllywood Blackliist %\5REHUW-DPHV7D\ORU
igh Noon, one of the most beloved and iconic Westerns of all time, now over 60 years old, earned its place in history by portraying one of the most human dilemmas: caught in a struggle of conscience and desire the triumph of the human will – courage over adversity. But High Noon was not pro-typical of the Western genre; it was more a ‘morality play that just happened to be universal.’ Here is a brief synopsis of the story: Former Marshall Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is preparing to leave the small town of Hadleyville, New Mexico, with his new bride, Amy (Grace Kelly), when he learns that local criminal Frank Miller has been set free and is coming on the noon train to seek revenge on the Marshall who turned him in years before. When he attempts to recruit deputies to fight Miller and his gang, he finds the people of Hadleyville unwilling to support him and Kane must fight the gang alone. Back in 1951, four great talents converged to form a remarkable collaboration- namely Gary Cooper, actor; Stanley Kramer, producer; Carl Foreman, scriptwriter; and Fred Zinneman, director. Kramer and Foreman were friends who had recently had huge success with low budget films. Kramer bought the rights to a Western novel- The Tin Star- which Foreman adapted to his screenplay. Cooper read the script and knew the part was perfect for him. Production commenced, but power and politics made their entry and this cinematic landmark was almost sunk. America was at the height of the Cold War; it was the McCarthy era, and the fear of Communism was rampant: sinister circumstances would plunge the production into jeopardy.
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Carl Foreman, a most sought after script-writer, had been a member of the Communist Party earlier, but he had quit when he joined the army in 1943. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (H.U.A.C.) was in full swing: their witch-hunts were relentless. Any suspicion surrounding film industry workers brought them before the H.U.A.C. and halfway through filming, Foreman was subpoenaed to appear before the committee. Foreman’s script, unbeknownst to the Committee, which was revealed when the movie was released, was in fact an allegory about the Hollywood blacklist- -the elements of cowardice, betrayal and fear permeate the story. Foreman knew what to expect: witnesses were pressured to renounce their affiliation, and, to prove their loyalty, they were coerced to name associates in the alleged Red plot to harm America. Foreman was no snitch- he pleaded the 5th Amendment, but he was black-listed as a result; he would never work in Hollywood again. Cary Cooper and Fred Zinneman stood by him, but, Kramer,
the producer, was worried and tried to have him fired. The friendship was over. They never spoke to each other again. The movie was a great success, winning four academy awards, one to Cooper and, ironically, a nomination for Foreman for his script. There were some critics however; John Wayne, the ultra -conservative, who was known to have made racist statements said. “It is the most Un-American thing I have ever seen.” He smelled out the subversive politics lurking in the picture’s soul, but seemed to ignore, or failed to understand, the emotional, moral and societal depth never before seen in the Western genre. The black-list would be the ruin of many in Hollywood during the 1950’s hundreds of people found themselves out of work for years; there were several suicides. The film launched the careers of two other notable actors: Katy Jurado, the Mexican actress, with her deep sensuality, won a Golden Globe Award for her role; she would become one of Mexico’s most famous actresses; and Grace Kelly, who had a successful career before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco. Stanley Kramer would continue to make many more award-winning movies including Inherit the Wind and Judgement at Nuremberg. As for Carl Foreman, he savored the final irony: he went to work in England, and years later, he was awarded an Academy Award for coscripting David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai. High Noon was a classic milestone in Cinema; it is a simple plot yet a story whose message of triumph over adversity, courage over cowardice, victory over the vanquished, make it an inspiration for all mankind. It is the most watched movie by American Presidents since Robert James Eisenhower. Taylor
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Glitter Gulch %\0DUJLH+DUUHOO
ver the years, many catch-names have been given to the town I now call home. Of them all, Sin City seems to be the one that has stuck. My favorite has always been “Lost Wages” which seems to say it all. As the city grows by leaps and bounds, Glitter Gulch of the 40’s is but a memory. The myth of Las Vegas continues as the P.R. Dept tries to convince one and all that when it is 110 degrees in the shade, it is a “dry” heat. If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale. The Spanish translation of Las Vegas is The Meadows but any meadows that were here have long
ago been covered over by a mega resort. Just when you think the construction is finished they tear up the streets and begin again. The hotels seem to pop up overnight. When revenues are down the bigwigs get together and decide the only solution is to build another resort. That’s called Vegas Logic. Sin City is a complete state of mind. Where else can Joe Construction become Donald Trump for a weekend? The illusion continues as your “lucky” slot machine rings bells and mimics the sound of coins dropping into a bucket as a slip of paper is spit out that you redeem at the cashier’s cage. The fact that you have
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won a mere fraction of what you bet escapes you as you clutch your winning voucher. Welcome to Fantasy Land. All the one-armed bandits take cash only now and for a very good reason. It allows management to track your wagering. You probably thought there were only cameras in the ceilings, not so. That blinking light over the machine you have taken residence at has an eye on you as long as you sit there. As I often remind my gullible friends, mega resorts weren’t built on visitors winning. Think about it. As in the movie Ocean’s Eleven, the head honchos know what is going on in their hotels at all times. Recently a friend came to town on a gambling junket. Straight out of Smalltown U.S.A., he proceeded to overindulge and spent a good part of the day sleeping it off. That evening two gentlemen in dark suits appeared at his door to inquire when he might be heading down to the casino to place a bet. Apparently a certain amount of wagering is required when you are on their dime. Did you ever notice there are no windows in the casinos, bars and restaurants? For a very good reason. Get ‘em in and keep ‘em in is the motto here. There could be a tornado raging outside and you would be none the wiser. After eating breakfast at 2am and possibly lunch at 8pm, you are lucky (no pun intended) if you can remember your own name. Caution, should you wander into one of our finer dining establishments and there are no prices on the menus or even no menus, run, don’t walk to the nearest exit. A sandwich could end up costing you a crisp hundred dollar bill—but, the service was excellent, right? With all its new-found class and style, Vegas still has some antiquated laws on the books. Case in point: It is perfectly legal to carry a gun as long as it isn’t concealed. On the other hand, it can be an arresting offense to carry a glass container on the Strip on New Year’s Eve. A loaded sixshooter on your hip is cool but a beer bottle could get you dragged off to the pokey. Prostitution is also legal in some counties of Nevada but, thankfully not the one I live in. Tell that to the ladies-of-the-night who hang around the posh resorts. Currently we locals are anxiously awaiting a big event. A vacant post office downtown is being converted into a museum to showcase, what else, the Mob. I am told such items as portions of the brick wall from the St Valentine’s Day massacre and the blood-stained suit of Bugsy Sie-
gel will be on display. An interesting little known fact: When Bugsy was overseeing the construction of the Flamingo Hotel in the late 40’s, he was paranoid about the Mob discovering he was stealing from them so he had secret tunnels dug underneath the basement. No doubt to facilitate a hasty escape should the need arise. Too bad he didn’t have something like that in Beverly Hills when they gunned him down. I recently was offered a tour of the tunnels but my claustrophobia declined. As mayors go, ours is straight out of a True Crime magazine. He fits Sin City like a glove, having been an attorney for the Mob for years, which he proudly admits to. His favorite thing to do is to be photographed with a bevy of showgirls on his arm and a martini glass in hand. An ex-exotic dancer and a suspected murderer round out the prior list of elected officials of whom we are most proud. A while back a friend popped into town to get married and as it was her fourth attempt at wedded bliss, she didn’t feel a fuss was necessary so they opted for one of our colorful drive-thru chapels. There really are such places, complete with menus so the happy couple can pick and choose which service best fits their needs. As I sat in the back of their SUV as their witness I was tempted to holler out “Make mine a cheeseburger with a large fries.” Something for everyone in good old Glitter Gulch. But credit must be given where credit is due. There is no greater thrill than sitting atop the Eiffel tower (half-scale of the original) at the Paris Hotel as you watch the dancing fountains across the boulevard at the Bellagio Hotel swaying to the tune of “My Way” by Frankie. In the distance can be heard the rumble of the erupting volcano at the Mirage Hotel. Is this Fantasy Land or what? As you head out of town there is a 7/11 store on the right with a sign out front which simply says “free aspirin.” Take it as it is the last free thing my town will offer you as you head for the nearest pawn shop for gas money to get home. Our Chamber Of Commerce estimates that 78% of those who visit our fair city will return and that you can bet on. Glitter Gulch Awaits. *Ed. Note: Margie was a Lakeside resident for many years, and a major contributor to our magazine. She now lives in Las Vegas. Margie Harrell
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%\1LFROH6HUJHQW Clinic Director, NiĂąos Incapacitados
n Thursday February 15th, at the Real de Chapala we presented five of our children. The attendance was excellent, close to 60 people. We presented each child and their family and explained what we were supporting. We had a young child from Jocotepec who was born with neurological issues, congenital hipotonia causing swallow and gag reflux problems. A 10-month old baby from Jocotepec, born with a malformation of her right ear. A 17-year-old young man from Chapala who had a kidney transplant and his mother was the donor and he will need anti rejection drugs for life. A 17-year-old girl from Chapala la who is suffering from Lupus with renal al activity and rheumatoid arthritis who ho will need very expensive medications n ns for most of her life. A 5-year-old girl from Ajijic who o was born with crossed eyes and afterr 2 years of trying to resolve with glass-es and patches, she had surgery att Hospital Civil and is now a gorgeous little girl who looks completely nor-
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mal. We are planning to have more of these meetings where donors, volunteers and anyone interested in our organization can attend and meet these kids and their families and see the impact we have on their daily lives. We see children the first Wednesday of every month at Centro de Salud in Ajijic at 09:45, in Jocotepec at the DIF office on the first and third Wednesday at 09:45 and in Chapala on the second and fourth Wednesday at the DIF office at 09:30. For more info, please contact Barb Corol for Jocotepec 766-5452 or myself for Ajijic and Chapala.
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The Fine Art Of Living Well %\6DQGL*HOOHV&ROH
t may not be immediately obvious, but there is a strong thread that ties together the seemingly disparate careers and interests of Lakeside Renaissance man Rob Mohr. It’s all about living the creative life. Whether he is excelling as a painter in New York’s endlessly competitive art scene, doing groundbreaking work with an NGO in Latin America, pursuing a successful career in architecture, managing the family farm, or writing a long-running column (Focus on Art) for El Ojo del Lago, Mohr’s curiosity and creativity are the driving factors, he explains. “When I think and act creatively, my life has meaning and focus. That has been true from childhood until today,” he said. “The only life that is important to me is my creative life, painting and writing, and how these dovetailed into a whole with my wife, Bonnie.” Notably, one of those pursuits was the soft-spoken North Carolina native’s work in creating Children as Agents of Change, a program adopted by NGOs worldwide. Building on his years of experience working in international development throughout Latin America, including a stint in the Peace Corps, he realized that critical public health programs that trained adults to educate their communities about disease prevention were falling
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Rob Mohr short. Mohr’s creative solution? Teach children, ages 10 to 14, to tackle the task – and, not surprisingly, use the arts as one tool in the training regimen. The Children as Agents of Change program that grew out of that insight continues today and has improved the lives of countless people in underdeveloped nations around the globe. Along the way, Mohr’s emphasis on “non-formal education” in working with the youngsters placed him at the cutting edge of the pedagogical approaches in the developing world On most résumés, that might be a crowning touch. But Mohr’s apparently bottomless curiosity and desire to learn have kept him taking on new challenges at every turn. He rehabilitated and managed his family’s 3,000acre farm. He wanted to learn to fly, so he built an airstrip on his land and became a crop duster, a piece of his life he holds dear. He worked as an architect and saw one of the homes he designed featured in Southern Living magazine. He was part of a Maya studies team credited with deciphering a major section of the list of Palenque kings. And, always, there has been the art itself – as a creator, a teacher, and a critic. At various times, he was a Manhattan-based painter, Artist-in-Residence at the University of Georgia, a faculty member at other universities, and a critic for U.S. art publications as well as, as many readers know, for this magazine. Early on, he even left an indelible mark on 20th century art history, when he curated the first exhibition of works by important artists associated with the then-closing Black Mountain College. The experimental artist-owned college, located near Mohr’s native Asheville, was the storied incubator
for cutting-edge works across artistic disciplines, including painting, music, dance, poetry, and more. The list of visual artists alone is a Who’s Who of the mid-century art world, including Josef and Anni Albers, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Willem and Elaine de Kooning. At Lakeside, however, it’s literary pursuits that are at the center of Mohr’s creative life. In addition to his column in El Ojo, he is currently at work on a novel and is a prolific poet whose publication credits include the book, Shadow Love. “My whole life has been a cre-
ative adventure, filled with the joy of learning how to do many things well,” he sums up now. “But at the center, friends and those I love are the core. Gaining understanding of what love is has been a constant as well, and seeing the value of being part of a loving family from birth to now. . . “But,” he added, after a moment’s reflection, “loving a good woman is way up there among my greatest achievements, too.” He is currently enjoying life and love to the fullest here in Ajijic with his wife, Bonnie.
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 Of an offer of friendliness A gift in the giving that recognizes 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 A 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, This simple gift with no value placed on it. 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. Buenas noches! Adios! And a smile.
—By Gabrielle Blair—
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A MOMENT FOREVER H %\5LFR:DOODFH
arol put a stack o off 45’s on the record d player. Some of the he h e group were doing The Twist. wisstt. wist wi She turned the volume down. own wn.. “II want to show you The Swim, she m”” sh m, he said. “You do the front stroke, oke e, the half stroke, the backstroke oke and then the cannonball.” Sh She pinched her nose and shimmied. Everyone dancing was smiling. Vince asked her why the girls were drinking soda pop. “We got in trouble last week when Suzie got drunk and sick,” she said. “You guys are still fun.” Vince went to the front porch for a cigarette. Tom came out with his sister Karen following. “Here’s a light,” Karen said. “I’ll go get you a beer.” Vince took a drag of smoke. “Hey, great party, Tom,” he said. Tom looked into the dusk. “I want to tell you that Karen likes you,” he said. “I mean she seriously likes you. She’s crazy for you.” He patted Vince on the shoulder. “That’s surprising,” Vince said. “Don’t worry, I’ll be nice.” Karen sat next to Vince. “Thanks for the beer, you’re sweet,” Vince said. She was staring at his face. “You’re nice too and cute,” she said. “I like your hair.” Vince grabbed a handful of her hair and gave it a little tug. “You’re pretty,” Vince said. “I like auburn hair, brown eyes and your little nose.” Karen moved closer. “I had a dream,” she said. “You took me away to a beach by the ocean. Then we were on a farm with some animals and children.” Vince laughed. “Whose children were they,” he asked. Karen whispered
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
in his ear, “I get my period,” she said. Vince rubbed her head. “Noth’in on top,” he said. Karen smiled and her eyes twinkled. “Did you ever see my Mom?” “Hey, I have to get up early for work tomorrow,” Vince said. “Nice talking to you.” He walked through the passageway towards the backyard and alley taking his shortcut home. “Wait for me,” Karen said. She caught up with him in the dark passage and grabbed his hand. He turned and she hugged him, pulling his body in tight. She looked up and pressed her lips against his. They locked eyes and looked deeper. The world melted into darkness. Suddenly, they were one spirit, in blissful harmony with the universe. Vince rubbed his nose against hers to break the spell. “Only Eskimo kisses for you,” he said. Karen licked his cheek. “C’mon, that’s enough, I got to go,” Vince said. Out in the alley, he looked at the stars. “I think I just fell in love,” he said. A surge of adrenaline ran through his veins. He started to skip until he was going so fast he began to run and jump, stretching his arms and legs, soaring and floating through the air.“ I love that girl,” he thought. “I love her.” The next day Vince was confused. “That didn’t happen last night,” he said. “She better not have any ideas.” He slammed his hand on the table. “She never should have touched me; it’s her fault.” He stood and started pacing the room. “If I could possibly make it happen, I’ll do anything.” He sat down, tears running down his cheeks, and cried. Later, Vince called Karen on the phone. “I know there are some feelings between us, but it’s not going to work,” he said. She told him it did not matter, they were meant to be together. She was sure. “I’m nineteen years old and you are only fifteen,” Vince said. “It’s over. I’m going away. I’m never coming back.”
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$,1 1¶7 7/ /,)(* *5$1' %\$QRWKHU3RRU/XFNOHVV6RXO
What a morning...... 8:00 I made a snowman. 8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman. 8:15 So, I made a snow woman. 8:17 The nanny of the neighbors complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest. 8:20 The gay couple living nearby grumbled that it could have been two snowmen instead. 8:25 The vegans at No. 12 complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with. 8:28 I am being called a racist because the snow couple is white. 8:31 The Muslim gent across the road wants the snow woman to wear a headscarf. 8:40 Someone calls the cops who show up to see what’s going on. 8:42 I am told that the broomstick of the snowman needs to be removed
Waiting On The Sequel %\-RKQ7KRPDV'RGGV
because it could be used as a deadly weapon. Things get worse after I mutter : “Yeah, if it’s up your ass” 8:52 My phone is seized and thoroughly checked while I am being blindfolded and flown to the police station in a helicopter. 9:00 I’m on the news as a suspected terrorist bent on stirring up trouble during this difficult weather. 9:10 I am asked if I have any accomplices. 9:29 A little known jihadist group has claimed it was their plot. Moral: When it’s this cold, stay inside.
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
t dawned on me one morning, watching the cloud train moved along the length of Lake Chapala, east to west, from the deep end to shallow end, scurried along by the sun tying up its Nike’s for a run across the heavens, my life is a motion picture. Sitting in the front row on my terrace, coffee in hand instead of a box of popcorn, I came to the realization the movie was inspired by a true story, with conjoined scenes piling up like a train wreck. The picture, considering it was a low budget film, and the star, a well-known presence to a few people, is a cliffhanger, and The Longest Day, but a trailer compared to the story that seemingly never ends. I’m in full agreement with Roger Ebert, “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.” Somehow at this late date I’ve managed to edit out most of the nonessential scenes that have involved dead ends and doorknob characters, and to quote Orson Welles, “The whole eloquence of cinema is achieved in the editing room.” The cliché they don’t make ‘em like that anymore can be critiqued several ways; however, I’ve come to the conclusion, that although I tend to view everything as black and white, I feel it’s been a colorful movie. It could even be considered Technicolor. Underwhelming at times, nevertheless potholed with clarity, it has its moments of conflict, and catharsis, and the potential for a coronary conclusion. It’s been nominated for the Best
Picture in the Category of Having Lived This Long every year since 1945. Ava Gardner noted, “Hell, I suppose if you stick around long enough they have to say something nice about you.” As for the future, after I’ve been through reel-to-reel, Video Discs, VHS, DVD, and online streaming, I don’t think the advent of virtual reality where audiences can witness events unfolding will come into play, as most of the players in my movie have left the theater. As the star of my production, I still could have the option of being digitally reconstructed and inserted into any future film. What came first the book or the movie is no longer a chicken and egg analogy; Bill Gates has patented something that creates a visual of any random selection of text. So after the credits, if all that remains of my movie is the book, reading it will be like watching it on screen. As for the credits, most likely they will be memorable for the music, and timed so only the interesting names and places catch the eye. Anyway, who sticks around for the credits? It doesn’t seem likely there will be a remake, that I believe is self-evident, and as for a sequel; re-incarnation would only come with casting and story battles, and the Almighty would require a team of script doctors, and maybe a John Thomas ghostwriter. Dodds
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THE GHOSTS AMONG US %\)UHG0LWWDJ George Corley Wallace (1919-1998) “Sin and Redemption, Southern Style”
eorge Wallace was a good man, a Methodist, no less, and a man ahead of his time. But he made a pact with the Devil. The Devil delivered and then exacted his price, including the bombing deaths of four black Sunday School girls in Birmingham. It’s hard to think of Wallace today in any terms other than politics at the meanest level – hypocrisy, opportunism, and the unbridled exploitation of racism. He fanned a fire of racial hatred for which countless men, women, and children paid a dreadful price, including death. I’ll never forget being in Berlin,
Germany, and seeing the front page headlines and pictures of the beatings and police attack dogs. But it was not always so. Wallace began his political career at the age of 27 as a state representative. Ray Jenkins, of the Alabama Journal, said, “He had a reputation as something of a ‘socialist.’ He was very progressive, very liberal.” After serving in the legislature, Wallace became a state judge.
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
J.L. Chestnut was born in Selma, Alabama and studied law at Howard University Law School. He returned to become Selma’s first black attorney. He said, “Judge Wallace was the most liberal judge that I ever practiced law in front of. He was the first judge in Alabama to call me “Mister Chestnut” in a courtroom. I was almost shocked to hear that, it was so unusual.” In his first run for governor, in 1958, Wallace ran against John Patterson, a candidate who was the most racist imaginable. Patterson had close connections with the Ku Klux Klan. Wallace, on the other hand, advertised that “I want to tell the good people of this state, as a judge, if I didn’t’ have what it took to treat a man fair, regardless of his color, then I don’t have what it takes to be the governor of your great state.” Wallace lost badly and he was devastated. Being governor had been his lifelong dream. He understood what had happened, and became a segregationist extraordinaire. He said, “I’ll never be ‘out-niggered’ again.” The early 60’s saw civil rights sit-ins and freedom rides spread all across the South. Angry reaction from whites added more fuel to the Wallace fire. He said, “President Kennedy wants us to surrender this state to Martin Luther King and his group of pro-Communists who have
instituted these demonstrations.” In the 1962 election, Wallace won the governorship in a landslide. Asa Carter was the Wallace Finance Director. He was tied with the Ku Klux Klan and could keep them quiet or get them riled up, as needed. Carter’s followers had gone out and randomly castrated a black man. Carter wrote Wallace’s 1963 inaugural address, which included the words “. . . I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” A storm of racial violence followed in Alabama. In May of 1972 I drove a school bus from Beaumont, Texas to Houston for a field trip. The bus was filled with 100% black students, because I taught at a black school. I also served as an NAACP Youth Council advisor. A couple of the kids had portable radios on the bus. We had just pulled into the parking lot of our destination when a news bulletin interrupted to announce that Governor George Wallace, now presidential candidate, had been shot. A black boy behind the driver’s seat said, “I hope he dies.” I did not comment. Wallace was paralyzed from the waist down, but ran for governor again, for a total of four terms (16 years). Also, his wife Lurleen won in one election on his behalf because of term limits. Wallace changed after the shooting and said he was a “born again Christian.” He apologized for his racist past as a segregationist. He said he had sought power and glory when he needed to seek love and forgiveness. He said he was wrong to stand in the schoolhouse door to block a black university student: “I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over.” Wallace made a record number of black appointments to state positions in his final term as governor. J.L. Chestnut, the lawyer and activist, said, “We can forgive, but we cannot forget.” Fred Mittag
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o, time continues in its inexorable march, bullying the future into becoming the past and I am getting more forgetful with each new day. I read where researchers think they may be coming close to treating/preventing/ curing Alzheimer’s disease, but I am fairly sure it won’t be in my lifetime. To me Alzheimer’s disease is a fate worse than death, because of the hideous experience the afflicted family must endure, in addition to what the sufferer goes through. Not only that, but our existence on this planet is the sum total of our memories. Take that away and we might never have lived, loved, raged, laughed, enjoyed, cried, appreciated, travelled, learned, communicated, helped, created, etc. Also you can fall prey to the odd: “Remember you said you’d pay back that $100 loan I made you?” It’s a horribly tragic disease. A film that accurately communicates the pain and loss is a Canadian production starring Julie Christie, called Away From Her, directed by Sarah Polley. As the protagonist’s wife, the always talented and beautiful Julie Christie, sinks further and further into the abyss of dementia, her poor husband has to reconcile himself to putting her in an institution, specifically designed to support Alzheimer’s victims. In very little time she can’t re-
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
member who he is, although he visits her regularly. After a while living in this institution, she meets another patient and believes she and he have a romantic attachment. When her husband comes to visit her, she asks him to stop his visits as it might upset her boyfriend. Her real husband has to reconcile himself to, not only losing the love of his life to dementia, but also losing her love and loyalty to another patient. He is forced, by his continuing love for his wife and his desire for her to be happy, to leave her alone with her new love. It’s a poignant movie. I have told my wife that if I ever get Alzheimer’s, or some similar form of dementia that erases memories, she is to sit me down in front of the TV and put on Casablanca (my favorite film ever) on a continuing loop. Every day I will be entranced by this film for the first time and will rave to her about it... “Have you seen this movie?” I will ask, “It’s amazing, the best I’ve ever seen!” And she would just let me drift off into a Casablanca fantasy, where I identify with Humphrey Bogart and, in the end, wonder why the heck I let Ingrid Bergman leave with Paul Henreid! John Ward
Saw you in the Ojo 43
Language of Love
with Elizabeth, and plucked the future out of the very words I could have penned to you NOW.
%\-RKQ7KRPDV'RGGV “You are around me for once, you beneath me, above meI don’t have the words to tell you how much I love you, but this I know: I am not at fault for trying, for Pablo Neruda, who in the still of night, with his sonnets, ripped the future words from my mind, giving them to Matilda.
Me—sure that despite of time future, time past, -This tick of our life-time’s one moment you love me! How long such suspension may linger? Ah, Sweet— The moment eternal—just that and no more— When ecstasy’s utmost we clutch at the core While cheeks burn, arms open, eyes shut and lips meet!”
“…when I hold you I hold everything that island, time, the tree of the rain, everything is alive so that I can be alive: without moving I can see it all: in your life I see everything that lives.”
I am bereft of the words to tell you how much I love you, for that knave Robert Browning,
I cannot find the words to tell you how much I love you, for Walter Rinder’s Spectrum of Love, deftly captured the thoughts penned up inside of me, and in the silence of the night left me speechless.
“When I touch you, / or kiss you, / or hold you, / I am saying / a thousand words.”
in the middle of the night, ran off to Paris Even to this day, this hour, I can only repeat what has been said; therein lies the beauty of words, like sunsets, never the same, and blossoms erupting in beauty over and over again, and the very scent of you, a breath of color in moonlight, the sound of my heart beating to the rhythm of your soul repeating over and over again, when lips meet, how much I love you.
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
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Phone: 331-283-8529 Email: email@example.com
DINNER THEATRE AT LA BODEGA Don’t miss the Lake Chapala Chorale’s big Broadway Revue, “Singing on a Star 2,” staged in a comfortable dinnershow environment at La Bodega Restaurant. The show repeats audience favorites from the Chorale’s sold-out program last fall, including big hits such as “Impossible Dream,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “Music of the Night,” but director Cindy Paul promises that about half the program is new material. During the dinner service, you will be treated to “musical appetizers”: wandering LCC troubadours singing in small groups at your table. Tickets for both the show and the dinner are only $300 at Diane Pearl Colecciones, or $350 at the door, if available. Seating is limited, so get your tickets soon! The price includes a grilled chicken dinner as well as the show. Show dates are March 9, 11, 16 and 18, all from 5:45 pm to 8 pm, with dinner service beginning at 5:30 pm. VIVA GOES TO THE OPERA Here is the lineup for the next Viva la Musica Live from the Met bus trips. Saturday March 10, noon. Semiramide by G. Rossini (3.50 hours) Bus departs at 10.30 am Saturday March 31, 11 am Cosi Fan Tutte by W. A. Mozart (3.56 hours) Bus departs at 9.30 am Trips to the opera at Teatro Diana are 450 pesos (550 for non-members) and are available at the LCS ticket booth Thursday and Friday from 10 to noon, or call Rosemary Keeling at 766-1801. Buses leave from the carretera near the Farmacia Guadalajara. LOTS OF TALENT IN ONE PLACE The Ajijic Society of the Arts (ASA) annual judged show will be on display through Thursday, March 22. This is a not to be missed event, as it displays new work by local painters, weavers, watercolorists, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, paper-cutters, digital artists and basket weavers. VIVA ALSO GOES TO THE SYMPHONY Sunday March 11: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 and Serenade Fabric Art by Patricia Hemingway for Strings; Conductor Marco Parisotto Sunday March 18: Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 3 Sunday March 25: Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 (soloist Abdiel Vázquez) and Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances; Conductor Marco Parisotto. Viva bus trips to the symphony at the Degollado Theater are 450 pesos (550 for non-members). and are available at the LCS ticket booth Thursday and Friday from 10 to noon, or call Rosemary Keeling at 766-1801. Buses leave from the carretera near the
Farmacia Guadalajara at 10:30 for the 12:30 performance. CHECK OUT THE ART Digital art will be spotlighted as Ajijic’s Galeria Di Paola features the work of four artists, Joyce Wycoff, Steve Klarer, Marge Ellsworth and Maria Di Paola. The show will run through Tuesday, April 3, at Calle Colon 11 in Ajijic. OPEN CIRCLE Sunday morning finds many 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 11 The Irish Soldiers of Mexico Presented by Michael Hogan, Ph.D. This is the story of a group of men, mostly Irish, who fought on the Mexican side during the US invasion of 1846-48. Members of an artillery unit called Los San Patricios, or Soldiers of St. Patrick, saw action in almost every battle of the Mexican War. They were captured by US forces after the Battle of Churubusco in August 1847, and forty were executed in “the largest hanging affair in the history of North America.” Hogan will discuss why they joined the Mexicans, why the punishments were so harsh, and why they have become a Mexican legend. Michael Hogan, Ph.D., is an historian, educator, and author of 24 books, including Abraham Lincoln and Mexico and The Irish Soldiers of Mexico, which was the basis for an MGM movie starring Tom Berenger. He is Emeritus Humanities Chair at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, and a former professor of International Relations at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. He is a member of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Geographical Society of Mexico. March 18 Crisis? What Crisis? Presented by Yan Kostic & Tom Zachystal Financial crises are quite common in history and often cause economic tsunamis in affected economies (there has been at least one major financial crisis every decade since the 70’s). After reviewing what caused some of the greatest financial crises and their dramatic consequences, we will explore the current conditions, including the recent extreme volatility and compounding factors that have the potential to lead to the next financial crisis before the end of this decade. Tom Zachystal CFP, CFA and Yann Kostic, MBA, are presidents of their respective assets management firms and both are US Registered Investment Advisors (RIA). Tom is the president of the San Francisco Financial Planners Association and both Tom and Yann cater to US expats in Mexico. You can read their regular column in the Lakeside Sun at http://www.lakesidesun.com/ March 25 The Scottish Snail that Changed the World Presented by Don Munroe On August 26, 1928, a snail lay decomposing in a bottle of ginger beer on a shelf in the Wellmeadow Café in Paisley, Scotland. May Donohue entered the café with a friend who bought a fruit dish for herself and a Scottish ice cream float for Mrs. Donohue. A Scottish ice cream float was ice cream with ginger beer poured over it (although not normally with a decomposing snail!). What happened next led to a lawsuit that ultimately came before the House of Lords (then the highest Court in the United Kingdom), resulting in a decision that revolutionized the law, affecting the everyday lives of everyone not only in the UK but also in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and several other countries. This dramatic shift in the law will be explained by Don Munroe, a prominent Canadian lawyer, law Don Munroe teacher, arbitrator, and mediator. For the past seven years, Don and his wife Wendy have been coming to Ajijic for the Canadian winter. April 1 The Fool’s Way to Joyful Aging Presented by Susa Silvermarie The Ojibwe translation for female elder is Mindi Muyen, One Who Holds Things Together. Imagine what you might feel about aging if you grew up hearing every old woman referred to by a term that evokes status, strength, authority, sovereignty. Last year at Open Circle, Silvermarie heartened us by performing Mary Oliver poems, and this year she performs her own work showing us how to use the Fool archetype to celebrate growing into our own skin—that is, to celebrate aging! Don’t miss the power of this spoken word performance. BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND Potter Productions presents its first offering, a restaging of Love, Loss and What I Wore, back by popular demand with its original director, Rosann Balbontin.
continued on page 48
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Show dates are March 18 and March 25 at 3 pm, at the Lake Chapala Society. Doors open at 2 pm. Use the side entrance (same as for Open Circle). The price of admission is 100 pesos. Liquid refreshments and snacks are available. Email your reservation requests to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your preferred date and number in your party.
The Cast: Tracy Foy, Peter Luciano, Candace Luciano, Patteye Simpson, Amaranta Santos
The cast (left to right): Sue Quiriconi, Roseann Wilshere, Anne Drake, Maryanne Gibbard, and Phyllis Silverman. The play: Written by Nora and Delia Ephron, (creators of Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and more), and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, this show is a fast-paced scrapbook of stories about unfortunate prom dresses, the traumatic lighting in fitting rooms, high heels, short skirts and the existential state of having nothing to wear. Accessorizing these comical and poignant tales are the mothers who disapprove, the men who disappear, and the sisters who’ve got your back. PLAN, PREPARE AND RESPOND… ….for health care emergencies. Come to the LCS Sala talk on March 21 at 2 pm. Wendy Jane Carrel, M.A. of www.WellnessShepherd.com is the facilitator for an overview of the emergency system, healthcare system, registries, legal documents, and resources at Lakeside. WHITE NIGHT, WHITE LIGHTS “White Night, White Lights,” is the theme of the Ninos Incapacitados annual gala dinner dance on Thursday, March 22, from 5 to 10 pm, at the Hotel Real de Chapala. Organizers suggest a dress code of white, either festive attire or business casual. They say, “Be prepared for a lovely evening under the stars, and a gala full of light, sparkle and enjoyment.” Master of Ceremonies Efren Gonzalez, local renowned artist and community leader, will host the evening. There will be a live and silent auction, a raffle and a tequila lasting. A new feature this year is a reception from 5 to 5:30 with complimentary champagne, margaritas and appetizers. A gourmet meal cooked and served by members of CASA, is one of the highlights of the live auction, as well as a stay at a private oceanfront beach house for six at Rincon de Guayabitos, and a ranch barbecue for 20 plus a horse dancing show at the stable. Musical entertainment is by Great American Songbook Francis Dryden, Paul Brier and Jimmy Barto. The ticket cost is 550 pesos. For tickets contact Sue Williams at 766-0487 or email email@example.com. HUMOR AND BEAUTY IN A MESS The Clean House is the newest production of the Lakeside Little Theatre. It’s directed by Russell Mack. Show dates are March 23 to April 1. A serious career-oriented doctor has hired a maid who hates to clean. Instead, she longs to be a comedienne. She’s deserted by her husband, who leaves her for his mistress. We are reminded in the play that there is humor and beauty to be found in life’s most unlikely messes. According to reviews, this play is part telenovela, part fantasy and part social commentary, a a romantic comedy about loss, love, change and redemption, Tickets are 300 pesos and are available at LLT’s Box Office, 10 to noon every Wednesday and Thursday, also one hour before curtain. Email: tickets@lakesidelittletheatre. com or call (376) 766 0954. The first Saturday and both Sundays are matinees at 3 pm. Evening shows are at 7:30 pm.
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NEW VENUE, NEW ART The next exhibition of works by members of the Lake Chapala Painting Guild will open at Calli Gallery, Ocampo #30, Ajijic, from 5 until 7:pm on Friday, March 23. Welcome all to our new venue and reception. LET’S HEAR IT FOR QUALITY OF LIFE The next Naked Stage production is The Quality of Life .. It’s directed by Alicia Madrid. In this dramatic comedy playwright Jane Anderson explores a myriad of ethical, religious, and moral beliefs, as well as personal rights issues concerning life and death.
The Cast: Ken Yakiwchuk, Diana Rowland, Damyn Young and Jayme Littlejohn The play is the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Winner and won the 2008 Ovation Award for Best New Play. “This magnetic work of theater is filled with compassion, honesty and humor.’” It runs March 30, 31 and April 1 at 4 pm. Donation is $100. The Box Office and bar open at 3 pm. Reservations are by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org Naked Stage is at Hidalgo #261, on the mountain side and directly across from the Catholic Church. Parking is available in the Baptist Church lot. Reservations are recommended. For those who use Facebook, look for The Naked Stage for breaking news and updates. LITTLE THEATRE PLAYHOUSE SERIES Lakeside Little Theatre is pleased to continue the 2017-2018 Playhouse Series into the new year. The last production of the season will be Yerma by Simon Stone, Federico Garcia Lorca. The dates are April 7 and 8 . Performances are Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm. Tickets (250 pesos) for the upcoming shows can be purchased two weeks prior and the week of the show at the LLT box office Wednesday and Thursday from 10am until noon, and one hour before curtain. REMINDER FOR MUSIC LOVERS We’ve been waiting for this, a new website: centroculturalgg.com for current events at the Old Train Station in Chapala. On this site you will also find a link to Live @ Lakeside, where every week Francis Dryden. Canadian transplant and professional drummer, puts an amazing amount of energy into compiling a very detailed list of popular music and other events at Lakeside. Check it out.
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Springtime Somewhere Near Where Icarus Flew %\0DUJDUHW9DQ(YHU\
Thousands have made the promised hajj; hundreds have been trampled and wonâ€™t come home. Six million rams will have their throats slit in remembrance of Isaac, whose throat was spared. Others, remembering another, are nailing hands and feet to crosses or whipping flesh to shreds.
At the fallen temple of Aphrodite springtime stirs like a sensual woman shedding sleep. Snows recede to the peaks, leaf buds on poplars in the sacred grove are greening. The same source bubbles up where Aristotle and Alexander drank. Hold your breath and listen. Sibyls whisper that the wise may hear: She watches still.
MID-MONTH BONUS! 5REHUW 'U\QDQÂ¶V Legion of Merit is a KHDUWEUHDNLQJ VWRU\ DERXW WKH 9LHWQDP :DUDQGKRZLWZDVWHGPXFKRIDQHQWLUH JHQHUDWLRQRI\RXQJ$PHULFDQVZKRHQGHGÂ¿JKWLQJDQGG\LQJLQWKHZURQJZDULQ WKHZURQJSODFHDQGIRUDOOWKHZURQJUHDVRQVLegion of MeritFDQEHIRXQGhttp:// FKDSDODFRPHORMRLQGH[SKSPLGPRQWK articles (DFK PLGPRQWK ZH Rá‚‡HU VXSHUEDUWLFOHVWKDWZKLOHDELWWRRORQJIRU RXUSULQWYHUVLRQDUHSHUIHFWIRURXUGLJLWDOIRUPDW&KHFNLWRXW
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
Saw you in the Ojo 51
Missing Joe Davis Joe was black And played bass in our band That was all out of whack Till he lent us a hand, on the upright. First night I saw him doin’ his thing Barney answered the door in the early morn and Allowed me upstairs where I was hearin’ them sing Old jazz tunes, to the lead of a horn, a sax. I sat all alone, the sole white in the place As Joe laid a bass line that grounded it all But all understood from the look on my face I was in a new zone and havin’ a ball, with friends. The sweat dripped from Joe, on his bass and the stand But he played right on, till morn’s first glow ‘Twas the “bestest in the land,” One hell of a show, for us all. He joined our group later, we needed a bass, Not expecting the reaction we got ‘Bout the shade of his face That made them get hot, like red necks. We played anyway and there came a change When Joe zigzagged the floor with bass and umbrella On “Pennies From Heaven,” they gauged the full range Of the black-on-bass fella; they threw pennies. His umbrella was upside down. I was the student and he was the teacher Not about music, chords or whatever But dealing with people, their hates and their fears. Joe’s lessons will last me the rest of my years, Bless him.
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
Saw you in the Ojo 53
Tumble Off The Page %\0DUJDUHW3RUWHU
am writing two novels which trouble me greatly. The first was coming along and Protagonist #1 and I were sharing some wicked laughs, but then she went goofy on me. So I put her into a deep sleep and stuck her in a file; given the state she was in when I put her to bed, I thought maybe she’d thank me when she decides to wake up. Well, it matters not because what she did was so upsetting that it was either put her to sleep for awhile or gulp down that fifth of Woodbridge bourbon that’s been staring me down ever since Paz Liquors accidentally ran it on sale. I then began to write my second
novel, and whaddya know, Protagonist #2 got stuck in a situation that was quite painful for me to witness. I had to click ‘save’ and ‘close’ and walk away. I confess that I just left her there, wondering whether she would survive – evidently, I am not a good friend in traumatic situations, so be warned! The only positive aspect of this entire thing is that my respect for God has increased because, hell, checking the world population counter just now and we can see that God has at least 7.6 billion such stories to write here on Earth alone – lord knows how many stories there are on Exoplanet Dimidium!
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
When I was a child, my father gifted my big sister Mary – aka his “favorite daughter” – three Nancy Drew Mysteries: The Clue of the Dancing Puppet; The Club of the Whistling Bagpipes; and The Secret of the Golden Pavilion. Mary, 11 at the time, was a straight-A student and she breezed through them. Middle-sister Cynthia didn’t care much for Nancy Drew because Mary did; she read only biographies checked out from the library. So, lucky for me, the books were passed directly on to me, the youngest at age seven, and they were my first big-girl reads. “There are millions and millions of books out there being written, Margaret,” my father intoned. “And it’s your turn to join us in these new worlds.” Mary kindly instructed that I might not understand some of the subtext found in Nancy Drew’s life, not to worry if things appeared to be one way but were actually another, and to go ahead and try to get through at least one. Neither knew it at the time, but I stopped listening when my father had uttered the word “written.” It suddenly occurred to me that someone, many people, probably millions, were sitting down right then and writing books. As in, people did that. For all of the seven long years of my life, I’d read dozens of children’s books and this fact of someone creating stories had completely escaped me. It seemed so overwhelmingly generous to me in that moment and my young brain folded its creases a little deeper that day. I carefully read the Nancy Drew stories, not because I didn’t understand them, but because of how artfully Carolyn Keene had painted with sentences, one colorful phrase flowing into another, adding in some scenic sculpture, all of it varnished by moods that spooked, all of these images combining into chapters until they had 29 or so. And then, it all came together, that warm and comfortable feeling that things weren’t as bad as
they had seemed; they were rational and predictable. Frankly, by my ninth birthday, I had read around 30 Nancy Drew Mysteries and began to feel disappointed by their repetitive, neat-and-tidy resolutions. As I matured, I wanted more laughter or tears, perhaps a little of both, darker darkness, lighter lights, words strung together in a way to touch me in all my forbidden places. Cynthia by now was into books like Helter Skelter, which my mother forbade me to read until my 13th birthday, which I did. Mistake! Then my sisters and I headed into all the love stories, gothic mysteries, modern crime, horror, humor, and classics assigned by teachers and professors. These days Mary sticks mostly to the latter, Cynthia hangs onto history, and I am omnivorous when it comes to books. But wait. Thus inspired by sweet memories and it’s time to check on my own women. I can see that Protagonist #1 is ready to wake up, and no question about it she’s got to get herself to an AA meeting. She slept with Albert, the grimy pressman from the local newspaper who crushed on her years ago when they worked together; he still can’t scrub the ink out from under his nails. They ran into each other last night at the bar where, damn it all, she fell off the wagon because she’s back in town to try and solve her father’s murder. Hey, so I’m going to go easy on her for awhile, early to bed, that sort of thing … until she finds the photos. Oh. I’m so sorry, but Protagonist #2 still has a dead child, an accident, you see, that she will never quite get over, but it will inform everything else she does because that’s what happens. It will even inform how she reacts when she loses another child a year from now. There’s nothing I can do about that except to help her march forward into … danger, which she faces in the wild west of 1878, gunslingers and gamblers, prostitutes and charlatans who fall in love and try to make right, all swirling around this brave pioneer woman, widowed at 30, five children to feed and no home to turn back to except the one beyond stars, which hang there in three sparkling dimensions in the nighttime New Mexico sky. Someday they both might tumble off the page and into your world, but not if I keep writing this column on this dark, early day. Adios. Margaret Porter
Saw you in the Ojo 55
f you looked at a stack of photographs of Ajijic, Mexico from the last decade, you wouldn’t see too many changes in the pictures as time progressed. There would still be horses ridden by unfashionable, dusty caballeros, riding alongside the main road, occasionally crossing at a red light in between the stopped cars. Local Mexican women, many with a square, Mayan build, carry plastic bags of fruit and cheeses as they traipse through a carpet of purple flower petals covering the walkways. And numerous gringos
trot among the locals, wearing tennis shoes or sandals and hurrying along to nowhere special, transfixed by the local sounds and smells. The gringos all sport self-satisfied smiles as though they share a secret: They have found the key to
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
happiness in this lazy, languid life. The local culture never ceases to throw small surprises their way, assuring continuous entertainment. An occasional artist has set up an impromptu studio and offers gloriously bright renditions of paradise for sale at reasonable Mexican prices. Scruffy young musicians from the surrounding hills of Mount Garcia play on wind instruments, duplicating the high-pitched, haunting music of their ancestors as their braids dance against their shoulders. Sometimes one can stumble upon something almost magical. One day, walking in town, we noticed a crudely-written sign “Visit the hummingbirds. Flossie’s DriveBy Fast Food Feeders. Ring bell loudly, I’m hard of hearing.” So we clanged the hanging bell really hard. An old, slightly stooped grayhaired woman in a blue floppy hat and mismatched printed clothes opened her gate and invited us into her garden. This was Flossie. In her garden, she had over twenty hummingbird feeders set up in front of four chairs. “Sit down and put your hands in your laps. No scratching your nose or fooling with your hair,” Flossie commanded. Hummingbirds were swooping and diving all around us. We could hear the droning sound of their wings going rapidly like helicopter blades as they changed feeders. She offered educational commentary and we realized there were several species having their sustenance, including one rare hummingbird. Flossie flashed photos from a book when a new bird joined the scene. We were mesmerized. This was the village my husband and I stumbled upon many years ago on a long-weekend vacation. We promptly made an email offer on a house (email!) and never regretted what seemed an impetuous step at the time. We often acknowledge that this leap into a foreign culture
gave us some of the best times of our lives. Of course, the argument could be made that a major change occurred when the “evil” Walmart came into town. But try as the store might to modernize the landscape, the local vendors are holding their own against this American giant of commerce. The weekly tianguis (a street market of just about anything you could want, sold under small blue tarps blocking the sun) is still well attended and bustling. Then, a few years ago, an ill wind blew across the border towns. The narcotics business, long a key enterprise in a country catering to America’s hunger for vices, suddenly started showing up as headlines in the American daily news. Weekly stories outline the hunger the competing narcotics operations have for one another’s territories, as the Mexican government clamps down on the trade. The U.S. newspapers delight in placing these stories on front pages, right alongside world war developments and disaster reports. And its citizens comment to one another over their morning coffee about how bad it has become “down there” and nod their heads in agreement that they sure are glad they went to Cancun before all this hit. There is no way they would go now. Family and friends worry about our regular trips down south of the border. Many of them no longer want to come down to visit. The bountiful flow of new retirees has stalled, in part because of a damaged U.S. economy. We ponder these issues as we admire another glorious, kaleidoscopic Mexican sunset. From our perspective, nothing has changed. K. Pontikes
Saw you in the Ojo 57
FRONT ROW CENTER %\0LFKDHO:DUUHQ Fiddler on the Roof %DVHGRQVWRULHVE\6KROHP$OHLFKHP 'LUHFWHGE\'DYH0F,QWRVK
his is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, had the first musical theater run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. The story centers on “Tevye,” the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his cultural Jewish traditions against the growing trends of outside influences. His daughters wish to marry for love, and in a break with tradition they ask for his blessing, but not for his permission. Dave McIntosh and his team succeeded magnificently in bringing this show to the LLT stage. It was quite a challenge. There’s a cast of thirteen major characters, plus fourteen other
villagers and six Russians, and a fiddler and a small orchestra on stage. Somehow it all ran without a hitch – the choreography, the music, the scene changes, the lighting effects – it was a truly professional show. Tevye the dairyman is played with great style and vigor by Patrick DuMouchel. He is on stage for almost the entire show, and really enjoys his role. Patrick’s rendering of the song “If I Were a Rich Man” is one of the
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
highlights of Act One. I don’t have space to name the entire cast, though I should mention special performances by Helena Feldstein as Tevya’s wife “Golde” and Zane Pumiglia as “Lazar Wolf” the butcher. Carol Kaufman was very entertaining as “Yente” the everscheming matchmaker. Tevya’s five daughters were sweetly played by Genesis Dutro, Trinity Dutro, Olivia Reeser, Katie Hartup and Zion Dutro. And of course we had a fiddler on the roof. Daniel Medeles opens the show with a virtuoso solo, and also plays sadly at the end as the villagers are forced to leave their home by order of the Tsar. The Music Direction was by Ann Swiston, and the orchestra players were Judy Hendrick, Daniel Medeles, Jorge Verdin, Eleazar Soto and Gilberto Rios. The musical numbers and dances were well performed and integrated into the story, with Choreography by Flemming Halby and Alexis Hoff. One small quibble – with all the sound and action it was difficult to make out the words of many of the songs. Overall, I enjoyed the show and there were some clever touches. The set design by Ruth Kear was ingenious and effective with rotating flats making scene changes extremely slick. At the railway station the sign was in Cyrillic lettering. Very clever!
Congratulations to Dave McIntosh and the entire team for a once-in-alifetime effort. Win McIntosh was Stage Manager and Bruce Linnen was her Assistant. The show was a tremendous success with every performance (including the preview) sold out. I was lucky to get a seat! Season 53 is almost over – the final play of the season is a whimsical romantic comedy The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, which opens on March 23. Michael Warren
Saw you in the Ojo 59
I’m A Gunslinger %\%LOO)UDQNOLQ
I’m the gunslinger teaching English one I’m a gun slinger teaching’s fun. I stroll the halls with my Glock* you’re either safe or you’re not. when the killer knocks I’ve got the gun I’m a teacher teaching’s fun. I can pick out the shooter from way down the way thru the kids and crowds he’ll make my day I’m a gun-slinging teacher closing in on my prey. reading and writing and shooting too it’s liberal arts it’s a public school everyone’s loaded standing tall some are going to graduate but not all. I’m a gun-slinging teacher monitoring the hall. everyone knows what a teacher can do make the world better for me and you role models for Junior and Sally and Sue I’m a gun-slinging teacher sad but true. everyone knows the time has come to go to school armed with your favorite gun let’s teach by example and maybe shoot someone I’m the gun-slinging teacher teaching’s fun. Ed. Note: The writer was a high school teacher in California, and was perhaps prompted to write this poem when he heard the suggestion from some quarters that the “gun problem” could be easily solved by simply giving all teachers in the United States a gun, preferably an AR-15 so that “they can fight fire with fire.” *Glock is the name of the manufacturer who mass-produces one of the best-selling hand-guns in the United States.
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
PROFILING TEPEHUA %\0RRQ\HHQ.LQJ 3UHVLGHQWRIWKH%RDUGIRU7HSHKXD
ccording to the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, exercise provides important support for those in drug/alcohol addiction treatment. A maintained exercise program often translates into maintained abstinence. Creating structure, a sense of accomplishment, and the natural “happy chemicals” exercise releases in the body (Endorphins) improves self esteem. Marissa Crane B.S wrote “When someone is in recovery for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, he/she may experience a diminished ability to feel pleasure. It is known as ‘anhedonia’, and can contribute to relapse,” which is why a structured program is important.
Addiction to either drugs or alcohol takes away all ambition, life has no structure, nothing to accomplish, the only Happy Chemicals they have is a forced euphoria state of mind. When coming down from the “high”, self esteem and self worth are damaged. The tragedy with the Tepehua boys of The Hood is that they are leaving their youth on the mean streets of the barrio. The Tepehua Community Center can provide the escape route for these young minds, give them something to wake up for in the morning, create a purpose through sharing unconsciously, a therapy that builds a healthy mind and body. They were born with broken wings
because of poverty or abusive, dysfunctional families. As always, they and the center need help to get this off the ground. The Center is putting the program together and gathering material and information. We could use some help from members of the community who have been in this line of work. We have the room ready, we now need the power of people who care - those with experience in weight training, martial arts coaching and generally dealing with youth in distress. Because the Tepehua Center has been such a success and accepted so readily and controlled by the people themselves, the Tepehua Team along with another group of people that includes Dr. Todd Stong, Harvey Bernier and others, will be taking the idea to a tiny barrio called La Zapatera. It is on the Lakeside hills of Poncitlan. The people of this isolated barrio will rehabilitate an abandoned building that the local Government has donated to them for a Community Center. Just like Tepehua, they will start with a soup kitchen, a bazaar and a sewing group. Tepehua has pledged to supply them with the materials for the bazaar and the sewing room, a Lake Side Church (more information later) will help with the food and kitchen mate-
rial. They have picked their lead people who have visited Tepehua...an hour and a half drive from La Zapatera...to talk to the Tepehua Team. We will work together. It all starts with a determined group of people. Just like Tepehua, clean water will come to the people under the guidance of Todd Stong. Should you wish to get involved in this exciting project, contact Moonie or Harvey Bernier. email@example.com. “A mighty Oak is a small nut that held its ground”. Moonyeen King. President of the Board for Tepehua.
Saw you in the Ojo 61
Environmental Vandalism Now the Policy of U.S. Government %\'U/RULQ6ZLQHKDUW
here are some experiences that are imprinted indelibly upon our consciousness and endure forever. It was one of those hazy, lazy midsummer days, with the sun beating down upon the pastures and woodlots of rural northern Ohio, one of those bucolic days when, in our youthful innocence, we somehow assumed that nothing could ever go wrong. My friends and I had a favorite fishing spot, located on the fence-line between a small wood and carefully cultivated fields of wheat, alfalfa, corn and oats, a deep, silent pool on a stream that was officially named Lang’s Creek on the maps but was always referred
to by us as simply the First Creek. It was formed by the confluence of two forested streams on the farm of a man named Lang and extended out into a pasture where Holstein cattle grazed contentedly through warm summer days. Using large hand-made lures specially tied by a man in town who ran a small sporting goods store from a room behind his barbershop, we almost never failed to bring home five and six pound bronze backed smallmouth bass, scrappy hand sized bluegills and rock bass, and in the early spring large, growling catfish called bullheads. Each summer, we trudged to the spot, toting our fly rods and spinning rods, almost never returning home empty handed.
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
Then one warm July day, a fishing buddy and I arrived at the stream bank and found a scene of barbarism, waste and cruelty until then unknown to us. The usually pristine place was littered with candy wrappers, crumpled beer cans, empty packs of Pall Mall cigarettes. Two campfires had been left smoldering unattended all night. Worse yet, and far more savage, dozens of fish had been cast onto the bank and allowed to asphyxiate. There were smallmouth bass of all sizes, bluegills and other sunfish, red-horse suckers, rock bass, catfish, all dead and gone to waste. A psychopath is a person who experiences elation from acts of cruelty and destruction, finds fulfillment in the disappointments and sufferings of others. Perhaps the men who desecrated our favorite fishing spot were of that sort. There was no justification for their deeds. On that day, we learned that adults could exhibit sheer evil, engage upon a program of destruction, like the berserkers of old, for no reason whatsoever. We never did learn who they were or why they had behaved in such a wantonly destructive manner. Bad as it was, the consequences of the human impulse to destruction we observed on that faraway day were a mere microcosm of the outrages perpetrated by the Trump administration today. President Trump, his EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and his Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke manage to come down on the wrong side of every issue affecting the environment, the side that will bring about the greatest destruction. In fact, the Trump administration has advanced the most extreme antienvironment agenda in the history of the United States. Of late, the press had been focused upon this unholy triumvirate’s current plans to shrink the boundaries of several national monuments, including Bears Ears in Utah, Gold Butte in Montana, Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon, Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico, and Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine. This latter act of thievery may involve additional legal complexities, in that the proprietor of the Burt’s Bees Honey Company had donated a large parcel of the land comprising the Maine site. Such shrinkage would potentially open fragile landscapes to uranium mining, timber cutting, livestock grazing and drilling and fracking for oil and natural gas. Mr. Trump’s program of wreckage even extends to undersea sites, such as the Atlantic Ocean’s Northeast Canyons and Seamounts and the Pacific’s Rose Atoll Marine National Monument. In all probability, the worst is yet to come.
Rather than prioritizing the protection of public lands and wildlife, Trump insists upon handing them over to polluters, climate change deniers, the coal industry and anti-conservationists. To further his plans, he has named those with histories of corporate pollution to key cabinet posts in his administration and severely cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. The administration has weakened or eliminated air and water quality protections, placing public health at risk, approved the Keystone XL pipeline for the transportation of dirty oil, and repealed the ban on offshore gas and oil drilling along the Atlantic coast, placing sound sensitive dolphins and whales at risk, and in the even more fragile Arctic Ocean, where resources for ameliorating the consequences of an oil spill are non-existent. He and his acolytes have now rammed through legislation opening the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to desecration by oil companies. Republican congressman Bob Bishop of Utah has introduced five bills to weaken or dismantle the Endangered Species Act, which has been such a huge factor in bringing back the bald eagle, the gray wolf and other creatures from the brink of extinction. Many of these actions, particularly with regard to contracting the boundaries of national monuments, are soon to be fought out in the courts, as the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental and public advocacy organizations file a barrage of suits, but the oil, gas and coal industries have unlimited funds to spend on lobbying in the halls of Congress and with which to fill the campaign chests of “friendly” congressmen seeking reelection. In the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed eleven men and befouled the Gulf of Mexico with one of the world’s worst oil spills, new rules were imposed requiring more frequent inspections and better monitoring of highly complex wells. Mr. Trump has now killed those rules, arguing that they are “Unduly burdensome on oil and gas operators.” While attempts to justify the stripping of environmental and public health protections are fueled by the endless mantra of, “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” the real goal is to enrich the death merchants of the energy industry. No one who has experienced the anxieties and deprivations of unemployment or the accompanying miasma of underemployment should ever trivialize the lack of self-sustaining career options. However, the creation of jobs alone does not justify destruction of the environment. One can no more argue justly for weakening protections against air and water pollution, deforestation,
overgrazing, or threats to ocean life in order to create jobs than one can argue that medical research and auto safety requirements be eliminated because highway fatalities and cancer provide jobs for morticians and grave diggers. Some things are just never quite the same again, and it seemed that the old First Creek never fully recovered from the predations of those long ago vandals. Years passed, and in the late 1960â€™s a tank truck overturned on a nearby highway, spilling thousands of gallons of fuel oil into a roadside ditch that emptied into one of the two woodland tributaries of the Creek. The loss of aquatic life extended all the way downstream to the creekâ€™s confluence with the Jerome Fork of the Mohican River, and the local press reported thousands of dead fish. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources charged the trucking company for the loss of fish, but there were never any reports of the stream being restocked. A few years ago, I revisited the creek, wandering its boyhood haunted banks and casting into its once again pristine waters with my fly rod. I encountered only snapping turtles, rough fish like carp, and snakes. There are many kinds of snakes. Some walk on two legs and exhibit all the symptoms of psychopathology. In
the Gospels, we are told that an angry Jesus drove out the money changers who were defiling the Temple in Jerusalem with their greed and clatter. John Muir observed that man made cathedrals, beautiful as they may be, pale in comparison to those constructed by the Creator himself. The time has come to drive our modern money changers out of the Creatorâ€™s Temple. Lorin Swinehart
Saw you in the Ojo 63
%\$OYLQ$OH[VL&XUULHU ,QVSLUHGE\FKDUDFWHUVIURPWKHQRYHOÂł7KH1LJKWÂ´ E\(OLH:LHVHO
t was pouring rain on that Thursday night in early May of 1944. The pitch blackness of the sky and the steady roar of the storm, made it easy for Maria to slip past the German guards and into the Jewish quarter. After all she had grown up here. In childhood games sheâ€™d learned all the ways to dodge and dart, in and out, of the jumble of houses, yards, paths and fences that lined the narrow lanes of her town. Softly she tapped on the boarded up window. Even though a Christian, she had become part of this family. She had worked in their store for years. She even spoke a competent Yiddish. Softly, steadily, but insistently she tapped until the familiar voice of Mr. Fleishman, whispered: â€œWho is it?â€?
â€œItâ€™s me. Maria!â€? she whispered back. â€œLet me inâ€? Chains rattled and bolts slid. The door opened a crack and she slipped in. â€œMaria, Maria! What are you doing here?â€? the old man muttered in
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
hushed tones. He lit a single candle. His face was flushed and contorted with anxiety. â€œOh Mr. Fleishman, please, please come with me! Donâ€™t trust them! They are lying! Look how they treat the people theyâ€™re loading on the train.â€? Her words gushed out into the room. Mrs. Fleishman came in wrapping a robe around herself. Mariaâ€™s eyes implored her. â€œListen, listen, my family has a cottage not far from here but hidden deep in the woods. Itâ€™s high up on the mountain side, near the Ukrainian border. Youâ€™ll be safe there. The Germans and the Hungarians will soon be gone. The Russian troops are closing in. Already you can hear their artillery. Oh please, oh please Mr. Fleishman, Mrs. Fleishman, come with me!â€? Earnest conversations flew back and forth in Yiddish and Romanian. The children peeked around the corner. Suddenly it was over. The candle was blown out. The door opened again and Maria slipped out into the blackness. The answer was â€œnoâ€?. They would not; they could not leave or go. Maria slipped across a muddy yard, wedged a board loose on a back fence, and slipped silently out of the Jewish quarter, into and across the yard of her uncleâ€™s place and out onto the road to the country. She did it all by feel, and if there were Germans nearby they couldnâ€™t see her any more than she could have seen them. She stumbled along the slippery road, occasionally wrenching herself to catch her balance as her feet slipped. She cried as she staggered along. Suddenly her foot twisted. A searing pain shot through her. She plummeted forward and found herself bruised and sprawled out in the mud. She gave way to uncontrolled sobbing. As she dragged herself to her feet again her tear-filled eyes groped through the luminance at a form not too far distant. Of course she remembered. There was an old barn or shed near here, a few meters off the road. There she could rest and weather out the rain. She dragged herself toward it and soon fell down on the dry hay inside. In the bubble of her silence she rocked her troubled body and soul in a cradle of hardly audible groans and prayers. â€œLord have mercy, Lord have mercyâ€? she repeated. â€œWhy wouldnâ€™t they come with me?â€? she asked of God. â€œTheyâ€™d be safe in the mountainsâ€?, she explained to God.
â€œOh God, why?â€? she sobbed. A voice answered her. â€œDonâ€™t be frightenedâ€?, it whispered. It was deep and resonant, but soft and assuring. It was the voice of a man. Not a young man but a mature man. It was a fatherly voice. It instantly dissolved the twinge of fear that it had elicited. â€œI am Moshe.â€? The voice explained, and then after a long pause it added: â€œthe madman.â€? â€œYou have often seen me in old Jakobâ€™s store,â€? he said softly, and after another long pause he added: â€œand I have often seen you.â€? He offered her a blanket and he sat down next to her. He held her naturally as a father holds his child. She remembered him clearly. He was tall, blond and muscular. He didnâ€™t look like the other Jews. He had been deported with the other foreign Jews when the Germans came and took control of Romania from the Hungarian Fascists. A couple of years later he had returned with horrible stories of how they had been slaughtered. He had been left for dead. No one believed him. They told him that Germans wouldnâ€™t do things like what he was saying. They told him that Germans were cultivated and had culture, even if they were Christians. They mocked him, made fun of him, and called him mad. She sank silently into his companionship and warmth. She intuitively knew why he was hiding here. He was here because he knew what was coming. He knew just as she knew. She shuddered and her silent prayer hung in the thick darkness of the night. â€œOh God, why, why?â€? In pitch blackness a long silence ensued. Finally Moshe broke it. He spoke slowly, drawing out long pauses, sometimes between his words and sometimes between his phrases. â€œThe smell of the Sabbath bread, the Challah loaf, is like perfume. You can feel the fragrance when the warm loaves come out of the oven. It is the heavy aroma of home, of where I belong. It is the odor of goodness. It is everything to me, but it is also dangerous. It is seductive. It is narcotic. It does contest with the caution fathered by the stench of a hundred pogromsâ€? A long pause followed before he uttered the barely audible epitaph; â€œIt was ever so and so it will ever be.â€? Then silence and darkness swallowed everything. When Maria awoke with the dawn he was gone.
Saw you in the Ojo 65
Ancianitas de Santa Clara de Asis %\/LVD7D\ORU
KLV LV D KRPH DFURVV the lake, near San Pedro Tesistan where, FXUUHQWO\ HOGHUO\ ZRPHQ DOO RI ZKRP KDYH EHHQ DEDQdoned, with degenerative illnesses, live out the remainder of their lives under the care of three devoted sisters, two male nurses DQGDVPDOOVXSSRUWVWDá‚‡ The project started back in 2007 under the legal supervision of Instituto Medico Social de Refugio, A.C. and in 2011 the association was formalized and bears its current name. The principal care-givers are Madre Maria, 50 years service, Madre Carmen, teacher, 50 years service, and Sister Isabel, a geriatric registered nurseâ€”all three are committed to a shared philosophy which translates to â€˜Mercy, Peace and Charity be with us.â€™ The Association has attempted to provide the medical and nursing needs to assist these senior adults with dignity and compassion. But, recently, beFDXVH PRUH EHQHÂżFLDULHV KDYH found shelter there, there are increased challenges to maintain the extended care requirements. Besides the urgent need for fund-
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
LQJ WR SD\ WKH VWDá‚‡ PHGLFLQHV installation of water heaters and electric panels, there is one particular necessity that begs the most immediate attentionâ€”and that is: Nutritional Food Several months ago, a small group of expats, living here in Lakeside, got together and drove out to â€˜Ancianitasâ€™ and met with Sister Isabel who welcomed them with open arms. This was the beginning of a support group that, each month, donates and SRROV ÂżQDQFLDO UHVRXUFHV ZKLFK are used to buy food in the Jocotepec market, and taken out to the home. This is a most welcomed sustenance, one that needs to be enriched with more GRQRUV 3OHDVH ÂżQG LW LQ \RXU heart to become a donor. These dear elderly women deserve the compassion of those of us that FDUH HQRXJK WR PDNH D GLá‚‡HUence â€“ every little bit helps. For Donations, please go to this web-site: https://ancianitaslakechapala. weebly.com For any enquiries please contact Lisa Taylor at lisale888@ gmail.com
Saw you in the Ojo 67
HOW TO GET THROWN OUT OF A BROTHEL %\5RVHPDU\*UD\VRQ
he pavement was wet. It was cold through my dress. My shoulders become slowly soaked; the skirt clung shroud like around my thighs. The new bouffant hair was bravely intact. Nothing touched my flesh for a few seconds ,time to glimpse legs, trousers and high heels, marching along in Manchester’s cheap, yellow sodium street lamp light. I was at ground zero. A metallic slam of the Embassy Club’s security door, marked the evening’s end. Manchester, the UK’s second city is a live wire metropolis without London’s terrifying drawbacks. “What Manchester thinks
today, London thinks tomorrow,” proud Mancunians boast. It was an extended family. With a China Town, a flourishing red light district and a swelling organized crime wave, in the early 1970’s, the city was set for a big future. Yet, as a Londoner, I despised Manchester’s pseudo, familial chumminess. Such chumminess was a problem. My landlady had taken pity on the prospect of ‘home alone’ for me that evening. My petty thief, drug- dealing, guitar playing boy friend was a million miles from wowing them in some appalling working men’s club. Still it helped pay the rent minus
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his booze bill and pot for the night. Maureen was a homely woman; in looks and demeanor; perhaps essentially the secret of her success as a madam. The girls looked to her for so much more than just their work place. And vitally the clients adored her. She was touchingly concerned about the disabled son of one. He was perhaps the UK’s top comedian at the time. Oh and such a celebrated family man too. Twenty five years later in Barbados, at a party thrown by a multimillionaire gay TV impresario friend of our family, we finally met. He was sincerely concerned I had just been widowed. I had no heart to mention mutual friends. Though yet to burst on to an unsuspecting public both sides of the pond, in 1994 yet way back in 1970, in Whalley Range, Manchester at a call girl establishment, nestled the prototype Spice Girls. Maureen’s corporate mission statement was “Give them what they want, what they really, really want.” In the Victorian red brick town house, on the ground and first floors were vaguely look like Scary, Sporty and Ginger Spice. But next floor we had Baby Spice to the life. Blonde hair in bunches, soft toys, lisp, the full Monty, she hit the spot. Top floor was the star, our own wannabe Posh Spice. Modeled on “Irma la Douce” as Shirley McLain in the film, seen here were even the green tights and poodle. I and a chap called Steve, were on the marketing side, for a consideration in rent reduction. He lived in the basement. I shared a comfortable little second floor flat with my musician boyfriend, whom later I had arrested and imprisoned for domestic violence. In my defense, he was 6.4 and weighed 240 lbs. Steve’s marketing expertise was based on his expertise with electrics. His speciality was electric guitars
and sound systems. It was the flowering of the working man’s clubs in Manchester. So the place sprouted a hellish harvest of miserable piss poor and useless guitar players with even more piss poor equipment. My boyfriend was one such. So Steve had a unique selling proposition. Musicians could choose to relax in any one five rooms on site for ‘while you wait’ repairs. He made our introductions to Maureen. She needed a more snazzy front than poor little Steve, who incidentally was the only rubber fetishist I have ever knowingly encountered. I was a rising corporate star. What better for the police to see me marching out daily and early plus briefcase and white shirt? Even more Kosher, I was happy to chat to the local police sergeant about my work. Since he was often there, enjoying post-prandial chess with Maureen, our conversations over many a lazy late afternoon tea, were happy and relaxed. So imagine Maureen’s horror and embarrassment when I was physically ejected from the club, where she had so proudly introduced me that evening. It had all snowballed. Maureen tempted me out after a couple glasses of wine at home. I warned her I didn’t drink. Predictably I fell for the ‘what’s the harm in one’ argument. Steve, Maureen, her mink and I then swept off to the Embassy Club. It was below street level, so we took an elevator, manned by a couple of friendly heavies. At the entrance desk, trouble started. They refused to allow Steve in. He was wearing a polo necked shirt and perforce had no tie. I weighed in with words to the effect of “What, in this latrine?” Next thing I clung to the gate of the elevator stretched horizontal by the heavies ranting, “‘I write for national newspaper, you know!” But then outside, I was laughing from my prone pavement position just to be able to pronounce those immortal words, “I’ve been thrown out of better joints than this.” Maureen’s parting shot effortlessly topped mine. Clacking in her stilettos by my body at full stretch still lolling on the wet flag stones, she hissed, “And I fort yer wuz a bloody laidy.” I was on a Rosemary week’s notice to Grayson quit.
Saw you in the Ojo 69
Summer In San Blas %\:LOOLDP+D\GRQ
as I prepared for my first summer in Mexico? As the season draws to a close, I think I can reasonably conclude that the answer to that question is probably no. I can only blame myself for this, because in retrospect I can see that the clues were all there. From the first day that I arrived in Mexico last November every person that I have met has asked me when I would be heading back up north to the States, and time and again when I replied that I intended to stay here year-round, I received the same wideeyed look of disbelief. Around the end of May the exodus began. One by one my new friends vanished…to Canada, and New York, and Washington, Idaho, California… and then, in a manner I would describe as more sudden than gradual, I felt very alone. The heat cranked up and tested the capabilities of my new air conditioner, and I began to truly get a sense of what the next few months held in store for me. Some of my favorite restaurants closed up for the season, other businesses reduced their hours, and in general the entire pace of life in this already laidback town seemed to slow down even more. I had thought that as a California native I’d be well-prepared for the summer heat. I was a bit overconfident in that assessment. In California, no mat-
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ter how hot it gets in the daytime, it still cools down overnight. That doesn’t happen here in San Blas and thus the heat here is far more oppressive. San Blas in the summertime is, I concluded, hot as hell but nowhere near as wellpopulated. I found peace of mind, as I so often do, by simply breathing deeply and resolving to accept these new circumstances. When I managed to do that, I found that the rewards awaiting me were greater than I could have imagined. My young friend Alex calls this town “Boring San Blas” but in my opinion only a twenty-something-year-old who has lived here over half his life could feel that way. As for me, I am damn near spellbound by the intensity of the weather alone. Mother Nature gets right in your face here, thumping chests with you like a schoolyard bully, daring you to even try to ignore her. Flashes of lightning percolate in the night sky, and sudden black clouds can turn the brightest afternoon into sudden dusk, and the rain, in copious torrents such as I have never witnessed, falls night after night after night. It can at times seem absolutely surreal. One of the more practical rewards of spending my summer here is that with so many of my English-speaking friends absent, my Spanish-language skills have improved markedly, out of sheer necessity, and my bond with the local community seems much more solid as a result. I have begun sampling many of the smaller, humbler restaurants off the tourist track and have been delighted to find that what they lack in décor they more than make up for in friendly service and inexpensive yet extremely delicious cuisine. Finally, I must say at the risk of sounding a bit full of myself that living here year-round makes my whole experience in Mexico seem somehow more authentic. I can see why some ex-pats take flight from Mexico for the summer months, but as for myself, I have found immense satisfaction in doing just the opposite.
artnerships with shelters North of Mexico have become an ongoing lifeline for many of the traumatized dogs that find their way to The Ranch. Hector, was one of those dogs that got adopted by a couple living outside of Seattle. This is his story: Jan Gray who runs the Shelter here in Washington asked me to tell you a bit about our dog and my connection to Ajijic. When he was in the Ajijic shelter he was named Hector. I still call him by his full name, but only when I want him to know that I’m serious about something. However, he now goes by Hec (or “Heck” as Tara, my wife, insists on spelling it). The story began, for us, in the spring of 2016 when our beloved 16 year-old beagle, Tobi, finally reached the end of her life. I began researching breeders and reading ads in anticipation of the day we would get another dog. But we needed time to heal. In the interim, we began volunteering to walk dogs at our local shelter. One day in June Tara saw a notice that they would be bringing in two dogs from Mexico, Hector and Luna. The picture of Hector showed a dog that had certainly seen a lot in his life: a bit older than I was looking for, large scars around his right eye, a chunk missing from his right ear and worn down lower front teeth--but such a wonderful smile. Tara immediately called her friend, Jan Gray at the Shelter and asked her not to let someone have Hector until we had a chance to spend some time with him. It turns out that it was a good thing she made the call so quickly because Hector was fast becoming the darling of the shelter. We went and spent some time with him in the enclosure at the shelter and then took him for a walk in the woods. The rest is history. In fact, history is also a part of the story of love at first sight. Hec and I had a lot in common, besides the scars we’d picked up along the way. My parents moved to Encarnacion Rosas, in Ajijic, in 1968. My mother died in 1988 but my father lived until he was 95, in 2008. Along the way, my sister joined them, as did my invalid daughter. After my father died I kept the house for them until they died in 2009 and 2012, finally regretfully selling it in 2014. Since the first time I set foot in Ajijic, in 1968, it has been a spiritual place to me. We were a dog family. My father raised Irish Wolfhounds and then Bouvi-
ers. In fact, in their early years in Ajijic, during the long waiting list to have a telephone installed, when I needed to talk to my father I would call the Old Posada and ask them to send a boy to “get the man with the big dogs” and he would come down and call me back. They didn’t always know his name but they knew his dogs and where he lived. I spread most of my fathers’ ashes back in the mountains he loved, where we would walk miles and miles with the dogs. However, some of them remain in a rose bed, along with my mother’s, sister’s and daughter’s ashes, at the house on Encarnacion Rosas. Now Hec is my constant companion. In fact he makes typing this difficult with his head in my lap. He will not let me leave the house without him. He particularly likes the mile long circuit to get the mail. Our mail lady has taken to leaving a treat for him in the mailbox. He waits for me at the gym while I work out and a person I train there loves to walk through the town with us after a work out. He, an outgoing sort, enjoys introducing Hec to friends and tourists, alike. Hec is, indeed, a well-known dog about town. Hec sleeps between us at night and with his head in my lap, on the couch, much of the day. He finds the deer and foxes on our property to be wonderful targets of ferocious barking (although Jan originally assured me: “These dogs don’t bark”) and would chase them if we let him. I don’t want to think about life without Hec. As Tara says: “We didn’t rescue Hec. He rescued us.” For more information on giving, volunteering and adoptions or escorting dogs to the Northwest, visit our website at: www.adoptaranchdog@outlook. com or call 331.270.4447. Follow us on Facebook: Lakeside Spay and Neuter Ranch and Adoptions.
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A JOURNEY OF CHANGE %\$QD5DVJR
his is my journey of change. When I first came to Mexico, I had not yet become a world citizen. My world revolved around a U.S. lifestyle and language. I had traveled before moving to Mexico, but I still saw everything according to my heritage. Since living in Mexico, I have learned local culture and customs, and I embrace the people and local ways of life. This change did not happen overnight. It has been a work of the last eight years. But it only took a short time living in Mexico to realize my gringa ways were not sustainable. I am not pointing to the foods I ate or where I lived.
I have learned emotional qualities are much more important than superficial physical needs. The first change I had to make in my life was being surprised when someone did not speak English. In my early years here in Mexico, there were times I became frustrated that I could not communicate my needs. I wondered aloud why no one speaks English. (We lived in small villages back then.) Often, that frustration portrayed disapproval towards my Mexican companions even if not intended. I learned to point to the object. Como se llama became an important phrase. What is it called? You see when I first came to Mexico with my hus-
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band; we didn’t know a lick of Spanish. The funny part, we drove from Texas to Chiapas without being able to read traffic signs or ask for, well, anything. Our five- hour detour through Mexico City taught us how lucky we were to make it to our destination. Back then we did not have GPS or a cell phone. The one saving grace we had during that trip was our willingness to gesture with a smile. By showing friendliness, many Mexicans tried to help us along the way despite the language barrier. When we arrived in San Cristobal de las Casas, a friendly taxi driver came to our rescue. We had caught a ride in his cab and he watched us in the backseat try to decipher a guide to Mexico. We needed to figure out how much a taxi should cost. The amusement in his eyes was unmistakable. Then he spoke to us, in fluent English. He had lived in the US for many years and returned to Mexico to be home with his family. He showed us how to pay for a taxi, how to ask for change, and explained that every taxi ride cost the same in San Cristobal regardless where you needed to go in town. They had a fixed rate. It is not the same in other towns and regions so don’t let local cabbies cheat us.
He explained we should never carry large bills in the taxis. Always use coins or 20 peso bills. Larger bills may entice cabbies to keep the change. He told us to not use big bills at the stores too. Try to stick with small change. If you show wealth less than honorable vendors in the large markets will charge more for their goods. Over the years I have still found this to be true. It is always better to stick with small change. The kindness of this taxi driver still resonates with me today. He was an honest man trying to help foreigners. While it was obvious we did not speak Spanish in the worse way, he valued our attempts. It has been the same with others we have met over the years. I have experimented with not trying to speak Spanish. I have found as long as I try to speak the language, Mexicans are friendly and helpful. Older Mexicans look at me in confusion as I hack a word into many unintelligible syllables. But most embrace I have tried and my favorite phrase, Como se llama, always helps. By trying friendliness and rudimentary pronunciation of the language, I have made many friends. One young couple came to our place daily to teach us words. The wife while holding my first son, then only a year old, pointed to objects and repeating the name until we got it. Her daughters loved watching us mangle words and found our attempts as amusing as their youngest sister’s, then only three years old herself. The point is we made friends. As we gave up our American-centered ways of thinking and tried to learn the language and culture, we were embraced. Being embraced by the locals in Mexico, or any country, is a unique experience that I recommend to every gringo and gringa. Ed. Note: The title of this article now becomes the title of a brand-new column. Welcome, Ana!
HURRAY FOR HARRY! %\$Q$QRQ\PRXV Contributor
arry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 32 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House. The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire life there. When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year. After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them. When offered corpo-
rate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.” Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.” As President he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food. Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale— such as in Illinois. Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!”
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The Ojo Crossword
ACROSS 1 Man 6 Hoop 10 Desire 14 Leader 15 Realm 16 Hole 17 Main artery 18 Call 19 Roof covering 20 Decay 21 Snapple´s competitor 23 Avenue 24 Decorative needle case 26 Touched down 28 Closer $LUSUH¿[
32 Globe 33 Position with hands on hips and elbows bent outward 36 Epochs 40 Contended 42 Female deer 43 Happy Song 44 American Civil Liberties Union (abbr.) 'LV¿JXULQJ6SRW 48 Accountant 49 Land unit 51 Hemmingway 53 Loss of ability to make decisions 56 Follow 57 Public transportation 58 Squirrel´s dinner
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
6PDOOIUHVKZDWHU¿VK 65 Land mass 67 Wading bird 68 Composure 69 Delivered by post 70 Egyptian river 71 Lesions 72 Fringe 73 Money 74 Unresponsive '2:1 1 Blemish 2 Thousand (abbr.) 3 Ventilates 4 Feet shackle 5 Future Farmers of America (abr.) 6 Radiuses 7 Colored part of eye 8 Shipshape 9 Italian astronomer 10 Mountain Time 11 Book by Homer ¿JXUHRXW 13 Horse 21 Fogginess 22 Cab 25 Oolong 27 Carol 28 Type of star 29 Little Mermaid´s love 30 Cain killed him 31 To incite 34 Not busy 35 Cow sound 37 Wealthy 38 Dog food brand 39 Sun 41 Plural 45 Supporting 46 Taxies 47 Shade 50 Central Intelligence Agency 52 Business leader 53 Degrade 54 Transported by bus 55 Manipulating 56 Beginning 2ႇ%URDGZD\DZDUG 60 Brook 62 Engage 63 Consumer 64 Prime 66 Snacked 68 Pounds per square inch
What Is A Retired Toddler? %\-DNH 0LFKHOOH6FKRPS
ave you noticed some American toddlers tinkering around town this year? You may be surprised to find out that they’re just like you: they’re RETIRED! Yes, Henley (4) & Jagger (2) Schomp, better known as the “Retired Toddlers” have joined your retired ranks here by the lake for a temporary stay. These world traveling toddlers are spending two months in Ajijic before venturing onward to spend time in Guatemala, Normandy, Tuscany, New England, and foreign parts unknown for the remainder of the year. Why this stop in the Lake Chapala area? Jake’s mom Kate (Abuelita) and Grampa Tim bought a home in Riberas 15 years ago and have spent part of their year here ever since. You may run into Kate selling her handmade jewelry at Diane Pearl Collections in Ajijic while Dr. Tim Whiting volunteers much of his time with Democrats Abroad. It has been a dream come true to spend so much time with their grandkids right here in their slice of paradise. It’s also been nice that the Retired Toddlers rented their own place, because as we all know: it can be magical to have visitors here, but nothing beats having your own space! Last year the Retired Toddlers visited 17 countries that included a seaplane soar from Victoria into Vancouver; a schooner sail in waterfall-wet Milford Sound; a cable car crossing above the Blue Mountains; a longboat journey into the jungles of Borneo; a spiritual cleanse in the Holy Spring Water Temple in Bali; an adventurous Bamboo Train and tuk-tuk trips throughout Cambodia; castle climbing across Wales; a monster mirador above Loch Ness; canal cruising through Copenhagen; port town passes along Norway’s North Cape into the Arctic Circle; sun searching across the ‘ABC’ island chains around Iberia; vineyard harvesting in the Douro River Valley; fossil finding among the Kerry Cliffs
straight advice: she said ‘You know, Jacob, they’re only going to be this young once!’ That really stuck with me over time and I decided I didn’t want to miss this chance to soak up every last bit of their littleness while we can.” Michelle and Jake have been so impressed with the rich culture, fantastic food, and kind people in the area that they are already considering another extended stay here next year. They both work online each day while the kids nap in the afternoon, so they are able to pick and choose where they go next. Eventually the
Schomp family plans to settle down once the kids are ready for elementary school. They want to give their kids a childhood like they each had surrounded by a warm and supportive community. Don’t ask them for a specific timeframe, though, because they are still dreaming of destinations around the world. You can see pictures from their travels and watch their trip videos in their social feeds on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube by searching for Retired Toddlers, or on the website: www.RetiredToddlers.com
of the Wild Atlantic Way; ferrying out to Vineyard Haven; hunkering down for Hurricane Irma in St. Thomas; evacuating San Juan just before Hurricane Maria hit; snorkeling with sea turtles outside of Bridgetown; and midnight kayaking through the bio-luminescent bays of Rum Point. Here in Ajijic, the Retired Toddlers have been perfectly content trying out a new adventure: going to school! Henley and Jagger have been enrolled at Kinder Tohui where they have loved wearing the yellow and navy blue uniforms to fit in with the local kids. The teachers there have been overly welcoming and extra accommodating to help the kids adjust as they learn the language and settle into the school routine. Back in 2016, parents Michelle and Jake sold their Tampa, Florida, house along with most everything in it and took the kids to New England for the summer with plans to return in the fall to buy a bigger home. However, once they felt the freedom of nomadic living, they no longer wanted to fit back in next to the Joneses. Jake notes: “We suddenly felt free from the weight of the white picket fence. There is a lot of unspoken pressure in America to buy a bigger house, get a new car, enroll your kids in an expensive preschool, buy more of everything, and stay the course. As soon as we stepped off that train, this other path just instantly felt like a better fit for us.” Michelle adds: “Things and stuff just aren’t that important to us. We find our true happiness spending time together as a family and exploring new places all over the world. This is what works for us right now.” It was a big decision to stray off the usual course, but Jake says it helped to listen to his mom: “I had been traveling for work a lot and missing out on little moments here and there. My mom gave me some
Saw you in the Ojo 75
Over 60 years of â€œPeople Helping Peopleâ€?
Lŕľşŕś„ŕľž Cŕś ŕľşŕś‰ŕľşŕś…ŕľş Sŕśˆŕľźŕś‚ŕľžŕś?ŕś’
Lake Chapala Society, AC. Annual General Meeting Tuesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. (Rain date March 15) in the LCS Courtyard Order of the Day 1. Call to Order 2. Establishment of Quorum 3. Reading of Order of the Day 4. Receipt of Annual General Meeting Minutes of March 8 5. Presidentâ€™s Report 6. Ratification of 2017 Financial Report 7. Receipt of the 2018 Budget Projections 8. Receive Report from External Financial Auditor for 2017, Ratification of Appointment for the 2018 Financial Audit 9. Ratification of Membership Categories and Dues 10. Ratification of Reserve Fund Deposit 11. Report on Annual Objectives and Presentation of Draft Campus Master Plan 12. Election of Board Officers and Directors-at-Large 13. Granting Power of Attorney 14. Annual General Meeting authorization for the Board of Directors to approve the 2018 AGM Minutes 15. Adjournment Special Note: Please be aware that some activities will be delayed or cancelled while the LCS Annual General Meeting is in session. The Service Office, information desk, membership, Stretch and Balance, Needle Pushers, Line Dancing and all libraries will be closed until the conclusion of the meeting. TED Talks, Neill James Lectures, Tournament Scrabble and Bridge4Fun may be delayed. Introduction to Spanish will be moved to Wilkes (Biblioteca) at Galeana #18. The Annual General Meeting Every year the membership has an opportunity to hear directly from the board of Directors at this annual event. This is an moment to learn about the work LCS has accomplished in the last year, as well as our plans for the future. This year the AGM will feature the campus renovation conceptual plans. This is a project that the Campus committee and board have been engaged in for the last several years. We are very interested in sharing this with you and hope you will attend the meeting. The membership has a voice, and it is at the AGM that you can share your voice. Hope to see you there!
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
Tequila tasting led by world renown tequila expert Clayton Szczech, class is limited to 25 participants only., $250 pesos per person . For LCS Members. Neill James Lectures March 2018 March 6 â€œHow to Find Great Artâ€? presented by James Broehl. Where would you look for it and how would you know it if you saw it? James Broehl discusses his process for educating himself about art, finding and identifying truly valuable pieces, and acquiring them. March 13 â€œThe Coming of the American Behemoth: Fascist ProcessesÂ in the Epicenter of World Capitalism, 1920-1940â€? is Dr. Michael Joseph Robertoâ€™s timely presentation. Fascism was seen as a serious threat to American democracy if based a concentration of wealth and power. Were the perils of fascism postponedÂ then, only to emergeÂ now? March 20 â€œConservative Versus Liberal: Is Trump Either?â€? Examines President Donald Trumpsâ€™ political stance: does he fall into one camp or the other, or is he a political animal of another breed altogether? How will this affect the American people and U.S. economic and political influence globally? March 27 Cornelia Davis, M.D. â€œSearching for Sitala Mataâ€?. Dr. Davis chronicles her arduous role in the World Health Organizationâ€™s successful global campaign to eradicate smallpox. She also holds a masterâ€™s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Her work has taken her to twenty countries in Asia and Africa.
Buying & Brewing Great Coffee in Mexico
The Information Desk is looking for a outgoing, peoplefriendly and familiar with Lakeside volunteers. We prefer people with at least one year of residency but will consider someone with less. LCS is starting a docent program similar to those now in existence in various airports and campuses. Handyman needed. - Good with tools and repairing things. We need you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out a form on our website.
Instructor Kevin Knox is a 28-year veteran of the specialty coffee industry and author of the highly-regarded book: Coffee Basics. You’ll learn about Mexico’s coffee growing regions and get an overview of the best coffees available. Learn the best home brewing methods, tips on improving the quality of your coffee, taking into account our altitude, water and limited brewing and grinding equipment available here. There’ll be plenty of time for questions! The course fee is $150 pesos. Class will be held March 7, from10 to12 p.m. on the South Campus. Min/max students required: 15/20. (Must be 15 years old or older) Last enrollment day is March 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the LCS Service Office. Open to LCS members only. Membership must be current. No refunds.
Introduction to Spanish This casual class for beginners covers the Spanish alphabet, simple vocabulary, phrases useful about town, and information about Lakeside and Mexican culture. Two sessions are offered in March for three weeks each session: the first begins Tuesday, March 6, from 12 until 1:30 p.m. in the Gazebo, the second runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Ken Gosh Pavilion. Tuition is $220 pesos.
Warren Hardy Spanish Classes Next term runs March 5 through April 30. Classes meet two days a week for an hour and a half at the Wilkes Education Center (Biblioteca). The program is based on the Warren Hardy Spanish language course designed for the adult student. Several levels of instruction are available to suit the students’ proficiency. Register for upcoming classes at the LCS office or on line. The program manager or assistant will be available to answer questions and take registration every day during the week of February 26 to March 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Blue Umbrella Patio at LCS. Tuition for the course is $750 pesos; the course textbook is an additional $670 pesos. Other instructional materials may be purchased separately. For more information about the Spanish classes or LCS membership, visit the Lake Chapala Society website at www. lakechapalasociety.com.
Up Coming Bus Trips March Thursday, March 1 Costco and Home Depot Lopez Mateos Shop Home Depot for home and garden needs, then on to Costco and Mega. Cost is $370 pesos for members and $470 for non-members. Meet at the sculpture in La Floresta; bus departs promptly at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 14 Tonala and Tlaquepaque In colorful Tonala find home decor and handicrafts. In Tlaquepaque find upscale retailers and fine dining in an historic, architecturally significant, pedestrian-only zone. Cost $370 pesos for members and $470 pesos for non-members. Bus departs promptly at 9 a.m. from the sculpture in La Floresta.
Let’s Get Festive with Papel Picado Papel picado, is an ornamental Mexican handicraft traditionally made with cut silk paper that decorates festivals such as the Independence Day or Guadalupe’s Day, and especially the Day of the Dead celebrations. Using special paper and tools - “fierritos” and hammers, you can learn to make these intricate symmetrical designs. Instructor Sara Ulloa is a very well-known local papel picado maker. Course Fee is $340 pesos. Register from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the LCS Office. Registration ends March 2. Classes are March 7 and 9, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and will be held in South Campus Board Room. Min/ max students required: 15/20 (Must be 15 years old or older). Open to LCS members only. Membership must be current. No refunds Seminar for Ex-Pats: Handling Financial Crises Natural disasters like a category 5 hurricane making a direct hit on Florida, or the Big One that will devastate California... in the same fashion, major financial crises have happened at least once during each of the last five decades. IMF Chief Christine Lagarde said “The next financial crisis never comes from where we expect it...” Neither should you. Presented Tuesday, March 20 at 9:30 a.m. in the Sala by Tom Zachystal CFP, CFA and Yann Kostic MBA. Both are presidents of their respective asset management firms, and both are US Registered Investment Advisors (RIA). Tom is President of the San Francisco Financial Planners Association. Both serve US expats in Mexico and worldwide. Members with cards only.
Attention U.S. Citizens Follow Us on Facebook For all things LCS, you can like us at www. facebook.com/lakechapalasociety.
Need help filing your ballot for the upcoming 2018 elections? U.S. Democrats Abroad will assist you in filing absentee ballots on Tuesdays, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the Blue Umbrella Patio on the LCS campus.
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March Activities *Open to the Public ** US Citizens (S) Sign in (C) Member card Health Insurance * IMSS & Immigration Services Mon+Tues 10-1 Lakeside Insurance Broker Tues+Thur 11-2 San Javier Hospital last Fri 10-12 Health and Legal Services * Becerra & Galindo Services Thurs 10:30-12:30 Blood Pressure Mon+Fri 10-12 Glucose Screening 1st Tue 10-2 Hearing Aid Services (S) Sat 11-4 Ministerio Publico Wed Mar 21+28 10-2 My Guardian Angel Tues 10-12:30 Optometrist Claravision (S) Thur 9-3 Skin Cancer Screening (S) 2nd + 4th Wed 10-12 US Consulate** (S) 2nd Wed Mar 14 10:30 Sign up 10 Lessons(C) Cardio Dance Exercise Fri 12:30-1:30 Children’s Art Sat 10-12* Children’s Chess Club Sat 12-1 Children’s English Class Sat 9:30-10:30 Clases de Bordado Artistico Mon 3-6, Wed & Fri 4-6 Exercise Mon+Wed+Fri 9-10 Exploring Spanish Wed 12-1:30 Sat 11-12:30 Fitness Thru Yoga Mon 2-3 Help with Tech Issues (S) by email only 1st+3rd+4th+last Thurs 10-11:30 Intermediate Hatha Yoga Tues+Thur 2-3:30 Introduction To Spanish (S) Tues 12-1:30, 2-3:30 cost Line Dancing Tues+Thurs 10-11:15 Photography Club 1st Mon 12-2 Scottish Country Dancing Thurs 11:30-1 Stretch and Balance Exercise Tues+Thurs 8:45--9:45 Tai Chi Chih Fri 10-12 Tai Chi Yang Style Mon+ Thurs 10-11 Taller Communicacion Ninos de Mexico 11:30-1 check schedule Tech Help Desk Thurs 12-2 Write-to-Prompt Writers’ Group Thurs 10-12 Zumba Gold Wed 10-11 Libraries Audio Thur 10-12 Book & Video Mon-Sat 10-2 Library of Congress Books*/ Talking Books Thurs 10-12 Wilkes Mon-Fri 9:30-7, Sat 9:30-1* Members Only Social Activities (C) All Things Tech Fri 10-11:30 Bridge 4 Fun Tue+Thurs 1-5 Conversaciones en Español Mon 10-12 Creativelymindful Art Wed 11-12:30 Discussion Group A Wed 11:30-1 Discussion Group B Wed 12-1:30 Everyday Mindfulness Mon 10 -12 Film Aficionados Thurs 2-4:30 Games Group Mon 1-4 Mah Jongg Wed 2-4:30 Neill James Lectures Tues 2-4 Next Chapter Book Group 2nd Thurs 1:30-3 Scrabble Mon+Fri 11:30-1:30 Spanish/English Conversation Sat 11-12:30 TED Talk Learning Seminars Tues 12-1:15 Tournament Scrabble Tues 12-1:50 Service and Support Groups * Al-Anon (in Spanish) Mon 6-7:30,Wed 5:30-7:30 ASA Board Meeting last Wed 10:30-12 Information Desk Mon-Sat 10-2 Lake Chapala Painting Guild 2nd Fri 1:30-3:30 Lakeside AA Mon +Thurs 4:30-5:30 Needle Pushers Tue 10-12 Open Circle Sun 10-11:30 SMART Recovery Mon 2:30-4 Toastmasters Mon 7-8:30 p.m. Ticket Sales Mon - Fri 10 a.m. to 12 noon .
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
Video Library February All video rentals are now for 5 days. We can copy your old videotapes onto DVD: $50 pesos for members and $75 pesos for non-members. The Video Library needs volunteers to bring DVDs to keep our inventory current. Contact: email@example.com.
Need Help With Tech Issues? The Tech Help Desk will be open for individual consultations on a first come, first served, basis to LCS members only on the Neill James Patio every Thursday from noon to 2 pm. No registration required. Bring your portable devices; have questions answered and problems solved on the spot. Using Google Photos This March 1 class will cover Google photo storage and sharing using Android, iPhone and laptops. Introduction to Android Applies to phones and tablets. In the Sala Thursday, March 15, 10 to 11:30 am. Keeping in Touch With Loved Ones Using tech devices to keep in touch with loved ones for free will be covered. Various applications that can be used on your phones, tablets and computers will be discussed and demonstrated. In the Sala thursday, March 22 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Using Your Phone’s Camera Many people use their phone’s camera for all pictures--why not? You have it with you all the time. This class will cover the technical basics of using your camera to get the best pictures possible. Thursday, March 29 in the Sala. LCS’ resident tech wizard Mike Goss, will be teaching these four classes. Members only. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org include your name, member number, and title of the class
Handling Healthcare Emergencies “Steps to Take for Healthcare Emergencies-How to Plan, Prepare and Respond” important presentation for Lakeside residents by Wendy Carrel, Palliative Care Specialist will be held Wednesday, March 21 in the Sala from 2 to 4 p.m.
Friday Night Family Films Free Spanish language films are shown every Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the Wilkes Biblioteca Publica de Ajijic at Galeana #18. Open to the public. Bring the family. March 2 Okey, Mister Pancho starring India María. March 9 La Bella Y La Bestia with Emma Watson. March16 La Leyenda Charro Negro cartoon March 23 Me He De Comer Esa Tuna with Jorge Negrete.
Costco Returns Monday, March 26 Look for Costco representatives at the Blue Umbrella Patio. They will provide information on upcoming sales and special offers and open or renew Costco memberships. Our amazing website is a place where you can register and pay for classes and events. CHECK it OUT!
TED Talks Tuesdays In the Sala 12 noon to 1:15 p.m. Members only. Bring your card. March 6 Hosted by Fred Harland, this presentation features two TED talks, on the political divide in America and in much of the Western world. The first, “Can a Divided America Heal?” It features social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson. Haidt describes the patterns of thinking and historical causes that have led to such sharp divisions in America -- and provides a vision for how the country might move forward. The second talk, “How to Have Better Political Conversations.” It features social psychologist Robb Willer who shares insights on how we might bridge the ideological divide and offers some intuitive advice on ways to be more persuasive when talking politics. March 13 Host Phil Rylett features Michael Specter: “The Danger of Science Denial”. Vaccine-autism claims, “frankenfood” bans, the herbal cure craze: all point to the public growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason. Michael Specter tells us how this spells disaster for human progress. March 20 Host Pete Soderman features psychologist Susan Pinker’s talk: “The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life”. The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to Pinker, it’s their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions. March 27 Host Rick Rhoda features two TED talks. The first, by Eric X. Li is “A Tale of Two Political Systems.” It’s a standard assumption in the West that as a society progresses, it becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy. Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and political scientist, begs to differ. In this provocative, boundary-pushing talk, he asks if there are other ways to run a successful modern nation. In the second talk, the former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd asks: “Are China and the US Doomed to Conflict” The former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd is also a longtime student of China, with a unique vantage point to watch its rise to power in the past few decades. He asks whether the growing ambition of China will inevitably lead to conflict with other major powers- and suggests there is another narrative.
Thursday Film Aficionados Open to LCS members only. Bring your card. All films shown in the Sala from 2 to 4 p.m. No food. No pets. March 1 TBA The featured film will be an Oscar winner. March 8 Woodpeckers 2017 Dominican Republic Julian finds love and a reason to go on living in the last place imaginablethe Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. Based on a true story and winner of several film festival awards, this is the Dominican Republic’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. (105 minutes) March 15 Glory 2017 Bulgaria A reclusive railway trackman finds millions in cash spilled along the tracks and turns the money over to the authorities. Then his troubles begin. Bulgaria’s submission for the Academy Award. (99 minutes) March 22 The Music of Strangers 2016 USA The extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective known as The Silk Road Project shows the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope. Led by cellist, Yo Yo Ma. (94 minutes) March 29 Te Ata 2017 USA The true story of a woman who traversed cultural barriers to become one of the greatest Native American performers of all time. Truly an inspirational story. (102 minutes)
Introduction to Lakeside for Newbies New to Lakeside? LCS, in partnership with Lake Chapala Resource Academy, is pleased to present “Introduction to Lakeside” available to LCS members only. You’ll learn about your new community, your new neighbors, and you new neighborhoods. Topics include: Daily life – including banking, shopping, medical services, transportation; Housing - major housing developments, utility payments, maid and gardening services, Cultural Insights – greetings and other social protocols, fiestas, holidays, religious observations. Join in the Sala at 9 a.m. March 8. Cost is 250 pesos. Register in the office or on the website. Members only.
New Workshop: Enneagram Ever wonder why people react the way they do? Ever wonder about your own responses? This is an introduction to the Enneagram. Discover the nine personality types that influence our behavior. Learn how to change your perspective to foster understanding and clearer communication. Friday, March 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the LCS Gazebo. To register contact Leela. Harlem@ gmail.com or call 333-406-6962.
THE LAKE CHAPALA SOCIETY, A.C. 16 de Septiembre #16-A, Ajijic, Jalisco LCS Main Office: (376) 766-1140 Office, information and other services - Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Grounds open until 5:00 p.m. LCS BOARD OF DIRECTORS President - Ben White (2018); Vice-President - George Radford (2019); Treasurer - Michael Searles (2019); Secretary - Carole Wolff (2018); Directors: Dee Dee Camhi (2019); Nicolas Hanson (2019); Cate Howell (2018); Philip Newbold (2018); Philip Rylett (2018); Roberto Serrano (2019) Janis Sirany (2019) Immediate Past President: Howard Feldstein. * Executive Director - Terry Vidal
The LCS Newsletter is published monthly. Deadline for submissions is the 17th of the month preceding publication. Submit all news items to email@example.com Note: The editorial staff reserves the right to edit all submissions according to time, space availability and editorial decision.
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El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
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$57*$//(5,(6+$1'&5$)76 $57678',2 Tel: 33-3170-6135, 33-3677-3482 - DIANE PEARL COLECCIONES Tel: 766-5683 - LA BELLA VIDA Tel: 766-5131 - SOL MEXICANO Tel: 766-0734
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$872027,9( - FRATS Tel: 765-2505, 765-3946
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- AXIXIC SPRING CLEANING Tel: 766-5140- Cell: 33-1075-7768
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- TEPEHUA TREASURES Tel: 763-5126
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El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
+$5':$5(6725(6 - FERRETERIA Y TLAPALERIA GALVEZ Tel: 766-0880, Fax: 766-2440 3DJ
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- EXTERMINIO DE PLAGAS Tel: 765-3237, Cell: 331-102-0834 3DJ
- AUTOMATIC GARAGE DOOR OPENERS Tel: 766-4973 3DJ
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- CONFORT SOLUTIONS Tel: 33-1228-5377 3DJ - GENERAL HOME SERVICES -$PDQFLR5DPRV-U Cell: (045) 331-520-3054 3DJ - ROBERTO MILLAN - ARCHITECT Tel: 766-3771, Cell: 331-340-3758 3DJ 6,.$ Tel: 766-5959 3DJ - SOUL Tel: (376) 108-1632, 33-1465-76463DJ :$5:,&.&216758&7,21 Tel: 765-2224 3DJ
- EASY TECH Tel: 33-3598-3263
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- COLIBRI GARDEN Tel: 765-4412, Cell: (045) 333-156-9382
- INTERCAM Tel: 766-5978 - MULTIVA Tel: 766-2499
- BMV DENTAL Tel. 766-1772, 766-1774 3DJ &'6$1'5$$1$<$025$ Tel: 108-0977, Cell: 331-218-6241 3DJ - CHAPALA DENTAL CARE Tel. 765-5584, 766-3847 3DJ - DENTAL EXPRESS Tel: 106-2080 3DJ - DENTAL HEALTH ONE Tel: 106-0826 3DJ '5$/%(572'212/,9(5$ Tels: 765-4838, 765-4805 3DJ '5$$1*(/,&$$/'$1$/(0$''6 Tel. 765-5364, Cell. (045) 331 351 7797 3DJ '5)5$1&,6&2&2175(5$6 Tel: 765-5757, Cell: (045) 33 1143 1787 3DJ - HECTOR HARO DDS Tel. 765-3193 3DJ /$.(&+$3$/'(17$/*5283 Tels: 766 0144, 108 1707 3DJ - MC DENTAL Tel: 765-3225 3DJ 2'2172&/,1,&. Tel: 766-5050 3DJ - ODONTOLOGY DEPOT Tel. 766-4202 3DJ
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5(17$/63523(57<0$1$*(0(17 &2/':(//%$1.(5&+$3$/$5($/7< Tel: 766-1152, Cell:(045) 33-1175-9632 3DJ - FOR RENT Tel: 333-667-6554 3DJ - FOR RENT 3DJ Cell: 33-1961-6621 - FOR RENT Tel: 33-1835-1077, 33-1041-3493 3DJ - LORI FIELSTED REALTY Cell: 331-365-0558 3DJ - SANTANA RENTALS Cell: 315-104-3283 3DJ
Tel: 765-5719 3DJ 3(55<Â¶6 Tel: 766-2841 3DJ - PIZZERIA TOSCANA Tel: 765-6996 3DJ - SIMPLY THAI Tel: 766-4767, Cell: 333-393-2770 3DJ - TACOS FRIDA Tel. 766 3754, Cell: 33-1742-4391 3DJ - TEPETATE THAI RESTAURANT Tel: 766-2020 3DJ - THE HOT DOG SHOP Tel: 766-3807, Cell: 33-3662-9990 3DJ 7+(3($&2&.*$5'(1 Tel: 766-1381 3DJ 75,3Â¶6%85*(5 3DJ 721<Â¶65(67$85$17&$03(675( Tel: 331-433-6112 3DJ - YVES Tel: 766-3565 3DJ
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67$,1('*/$66 - AIMAR - STAINED GLASS Cell: 33-1741-3515
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- CHARTER CLUB TOURS Tel: 766-1777 3DJ /<',$Â¶672856 Tel: 765-4742, (045) 33-1026-4877 3DJ
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6(37,&7$1.3803,1* -3+20(6(59,&(6 Tel. 766-1569, Cell: 333-968-2938
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5(67$85$176&$)(6%$5 $-,-,&7$1*2 Tel: 766-2458 3DJ $/)5('2Â¶6&$/,)251,$ Tel: 33-1301-9862 3DJ $50$1'2Â¶6+,'($:$< Tel: 766-2229 3DJ - GO BISTRO Cell: (045) 33-3502-6555 3DJ *26+$Â¶6 Tel: 766-2121 3DJ - GRUPO PASTA Tel: 33-3615-4952 3DJ +8(572&$)e Tel: 108-0843 3DJ -$60,1(Â¶6&ODVVLF,QGLD Tel: 766-2636 3DJ /$&$6$'(/:$))/( Tel: 766-1946 3DJ - LA CASA DEL CAFE Tel: 766-2876 3DJ - LA MISION Tel: 108-0887 3DJ - LA NUEVA POSADA Tel: 766-1444, 766-1344 3DJ /$3$&(f$ Tel: 33-3800-6233 3DJ Â³/$7$9(51$Â´'(,48$7752025, Tel: 766-2848 3DJ - LOS MOLLETES Tel: 766-4296 3DJ - MANIX Tel: 766-0061 Cell. 33-1065-0725 3DJ 0(/Â¶6 Call: 331-402-4223, 766-4253 3DJ 020Â¶6'(/, 5(67$85$17
The Ojo Crossword
Saw you in the Ojo 83
FOR SALE: Very good condition 1995 Ford Aerostar Van. Iâ€™ll take $27,500 pesos. You register it for 2018. Iâ€™m open to a trade. Call me 376-765-6348 or U.S. # 818-570-5660, but email is the best way for me: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Iâ€™m selling my Geo Tracker 1997 /same as Suzuki Sidekick 1997. 3 sp. automatic 2WD, softtop. Asking price: $3,200 USD obo. Please call for photos or inspection. 333-100- 9690. FOR SALE: 2001 VW Super Beetle, automatic, air, tape deck, low mileage-102,000 km, clean, gently used, well maintained, great shape, new tires, shocks, thermostat. MX plated. Price: $6000 U,S, dollars or peso equivalent at currency converter rate day of sale. Call 766-4338 -or- email@example.com :$17(' Pick up truck. Must be single cab Japanese preferred needs to be in reasonable condition and drive well. Any age & mileage considered. English Spoken only Des Elwood.331-606-1745 or 331-743-5049. FOR SALE: \HDUROG9:'(5%< ZLWK 0LOHV0DQXDO 7UDQVPLVVLRQ$LU &RQGLWLRQLQJ Never involved in accident. Carport/garage stored. Original and only owner. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Classic C RV, Asking $3500 must be a temp resident or visitor ask for pics. Plate South Dakota and current. Email: BradyHuddleston@ Hotmail.com. :$17(' Want small used pick up, VW Toyota, maybe Nissan, and Dodge. Email: email@example.com.
FOR SALE: I need a VHS - DVD Combo Player to tsfr my family videos to more convenient DVDs. Or Video Capture Device - aka - Analog to Digital Converter. It has a USB on one end and coloured cable plugs on the other. Email: VLONĂ€HXUV#RXWORRNFRP. FOR SALE: Baby Locks Ellageo. Quilting/embroidery machine. Price: $1175. Call: 766-5723 :$17(' sound bar for TV. The VRXQG RQ P\ Â´ Ă€DW VFUHHQ79 LV QRW that great, especially for playing DVDâ€™s or music. Looking to purchase a reasonably priced soundbar for it. Call: 766-4338 or firstname.lastname@example.org. :$17(' Does anyone have a used I Mac for sale. Or know where I can access one that is used? Email: email@example.com. FOR SALE: FS: Asus GTX 770 video card, Upgrading to gtx 1080, so have for sale this card. It is the CU2 copper edition thus runs a lot cooler than standard edition, 1.5 years old, very light use in my home theater p.c rig. Other components maybe available (1666mhz ram 8gb sticks, 1300w fully modular power supply 128gb ssd, 1tb wd blue) will reply to pmâ€™s on other pieces if any interest. Asking 3,500 pe-
VRV RU QHDUHVW Rá‚‡HU (PDLO firstname.lastname@example.org.
PETS & SUPPLIES
:$17(' The Dog Adoption Ranch is in need of crates or donations to buy crates to transport our dogs to their new homes. If you can help in any way, please contact me here or with a pm. Email: vivtomh@hotmail. com.
:$17(' Washer/dryer not to expensive but in Working order. University student getting set up away from home. please call Susanne 376 766 4456 or 3318245205 FOR SALE: Newly upholstered Chair. 28â€? Wide, 42â€? Deep, 32â€? High. $1500 pesos. Email: tucantalk@ gmail.com or 766-5856. :$17('6PDOOGRRUÂżOLQJFDELnet, reasonably priced. Email: mike@ acspaging.com FOR SALE: Apple ipad mini, excellent condition, wiped and ready to begin anew with new owner. $325.USD RUEHVWRá‚‡HU3LFWXUHVRIIURQWDQGEDFN by request. Email: Ajijic62@yahoo. com FOR SALE: Baby Locks Ellageo sewing and embroidery machine. Minor adjustment needed. $600. USD as is. And smaller Janome (great for taking to a Bee.) The Janome is new and Iâ€™m it for $400. Email: ajijic62@yahoo. com. :$17(' I am looking for a good table to put in my casita. Email: email@example.com. FOR SALE: Gold Balls, we still have some, left including Power Distance. TITLEIST.SFT. PACKS of THREE and by the dozen. The amazing price of $30 pesos X 3 balls. Call David or Susanne 376-766-4456 Cell: 331-824-5205. :$17(' Student requires MINI BAR for his University room. Call Susanne 376-766-4456 Cell 331-8245205. FOR SALE: 10X10 GAZEBO comes complete with frame roof, and curtains. COLOUR creamy beige comes with all the hardware to install. $6000pesos. Call Susanne 376-7664456 Cell 331-824-5205. FOR SALE: THIS set comes with 3 dress pillows, king size comforter, 2 pillow shams, and bed skirt. MATERIAL is silky cotton colour cafe/beige $3500 pesos. Call Susanne 376-766-4456 Cell 331-824-5205. FOR SALE: Brand new Cannon Printer $2000pesos. Please call Susanne 376 766 4456 or Cell 331-8245205. FOR SALE: Chest Horizontal freezer 9 cubic feet, excellent conditions, Dimensions in centimeters 120X60 height 80 Must sell $3500 pesos. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Standard Utility Sink (dragged down from Canada), plastic resin, lighted used. New laundry room
El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
design precludes its continued use. 23 in. wide, 25 in. deep, 31 in. high. $1200 pesos. Call: 766-5856. FOR SALE: Large Floral Centerpiece, Silk and Plastic, 48 in. tall, 36 in. wide, 28 in. deep. $800 pesos. Call: 766-5856. FOR SALE: Painted Wood Mirror, 50 in. x 34 in. $1000 pesos. Call 7665856. FOR SALE: Two lightly used high EDFN Rá‚ˆFH FKDLUV IRU VDOH SHsos each. Call 766-5856. FOR SALE: Very nice, solid wooden rocking chair for in/outdoors. $30usd (about $560mxn) scrubbers1958@ gmail.com or 332-617-3588. FOR SALE: Large wooden display cabinet w/6 glass shelves (contents not included). W: 181cm D: 44.5cm H: 203cm $165usd (approx. $3080mxn). Email: scrubbers1958@ gmail.com or 332-617-3588. :$17(' I am interested in buying a used motorcycle but can only consider a US plated bike due to residente temporal status. Will consider anything Japanese, Italian or German. Not a +DUOH\ JX\ QR Rá‚‡HQVH MXVW QRW P\ style. Call Randy at +1-415-225-3258 or email@example.com. FOR SALE: Large framed backlit wall hanging made from tree bark 60â€? wide and 45â€? high. Interesting. $1,000 pesos. Call: 766-2266. FOR SALE: Wall unit made by Hecht Gallery in Tlaquepaque, not pine, maybe oak. 19â€? deep, 77â€? wide and 84â€? high. Paid over $2,000 US, will sell for $1,000 US or peso equivalent. Call: 766-2266. FOR SALE: New burgundy shag rug 63â€? wide and 89â€? long. $1,500 pesos. Call: 766-2266. FOR SALE: Almost a full gallon of Behrâ€™s cement stain, cream color, bought at Home Depot in Houston. $600 pesos. Call: 766-2266. FOR SALE: Shaw 600 HD receiver complete with remote and power cord. Free and clear to be activated. $2500 pesos. Call: 766-4032 FOR SALE: Adams Idea irons left hand - 5 to pitching wedge. Adams Idea Rescue Clubs - 4 (23 degrees) and 3 (19 degrees) Taylor Made R5 left hand driver. Odyssey Rossie 2 left hand putter. $3,500.00 pesos. Email: casaalba20 at gmail.com. :$17(' Furniture and Appliances, 2 Bed House and 1 Bed Casita to fully furnish. Everything Sensibly priced will be considered. Call Alison on 331-7435049 / E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. English Spoken Only. FOR SALE: Dish for Dish satellite, dish only for sale $500 pesos. Email: email@example.com FOR SALE: 4 Delanghi electric radiators. They are practically new, $750 apiece. Contact me at: 376-766-0944. :$17(' Looking to buy the following: Bedroom: dresser with mirror, bedside tables, queen bed headboard, ODPSV/LYLQJURRPFRá‚‡HHWDEOHODPS
table, lamp, Oblong tables about 3 ft high, 3-4 ft long, Small desk, Book shelve, Elliptical, Treadmill. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FOR SALE: Philips 32 inch Digital Widescreen Flat LCD TV for sale - excellent working condition. Asking SHVRV RU EHVW Rá‚‡HU 3OHDVH respond to this posting or phone 7663103. :$17(' Wanted jewelry making supplies beginnerâ€™s basic tools, 3 kinds jewelry pliers, bead board. Need crimping pliers, crimping beads. Need PD\EH RI GLá‚‡HUHQW NLQGV RI beads. Or more. Also need feathers, I will wash and clean them. Call: Wayne 766-1860. FOR SALE: Motion sensor chime and alarm for open doorway, Originally 45 USD. Suitable for shop entrance or any open doorway that is sometimes out of your sight. Can be mounted higher than your dog, or not. You can set it to sound â€œding-dongâ€? or a loud â€œwah wah wahâ€? as desired. Email: email@example.com. FOR SALE: 36â€? x 36â€? x 16.5â€? glass WRSSHGFRá‚‡HHWDEOHLURQEDVH MX in Chapala. 376-765-5121 or 331857-0798. FOR SALE: Mattress for Hospital Bed. This mattress was used for 3 weeks and has a protector cover. Price: $1500.00 pesos. Call: 7665556 if interested. Thia mattress was $2500.00 pesos new. It has a protective cover on it and only used once after surgery. FOR SALE: US Range, 4 burner stove with griddle for commercial use. Extremely Heavy. 36 inches wide, 31 inches deep. $12,000 pesos or best Rá‚‡HU &DOO 0LNH (PDLO firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: 3 pair of brand new expensive medical compression socks from Canada. Size large. $1000 pesos per pair. Call: 766-4032. FOR SALE: PRADA shoes, original, were only used once. Size 37.5 us. Mexico 24.5. Price $3,500.00 pesos. Call Alma 331-005-3109. FOR SALE: Barber Chair, paid $12,000p new, like new for only $6,000p. Email: julieywayne@yahoo. com. FOR SALE: Black evening pantsuit ZLWKFKLá‚‡RQVOHHYHV/L]&ODLERUQHVL]H 4 petite. Worn once. Beautiful. Button FXá‚‡V RQ VOHHYHV 'HWDFKHG EHOW %XWtons to waist with front zipper for SDQWV /L] VL]H ÂżWV PRUH OLNH D LQ other brands. Price: $800. Email: email@example.com FOR SALE: Lazey boy chair, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Old style TV works beautifully, top of line DVD by Toshiba both have remotes asking $1500.00 ps each. Phone: 376-106 -2160. Email: sanbt69 @live. com. FOR SALE: Have bathroom scales in pounds, telephone radio, sandwich maker all items
$200.00 each. Phone: 376-106 -2160. Email: email@example.com. :$17(' Looking to buy, borrow or rent a wheelbarrow for a week. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FOR SALE: Mini blinds white new in box. Email: email@example.com. FOR SALE: I want to buy a small window AC. It must be a newer model with remote control and not over 5200 BTU. If you have one to sell or know of one, please PM me or text me at 333949-8770. FOR SALE: In search of good TXDOLW\ GHVN IRU KRPH Rá‚ˆFH XVH SOXV lamps (desk lamp/s, table lamp/s, DQG Ă€RRU ODPSV :LOO FRQVLGHU D quality table to use as a desk. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Folding Pepsi Tables. 29â€? x 29â€?. Price: $400p each. Email: email@example.com. FOR SALE: Single mattress for sale $1500 pesos. Can deliver within reasonable distance. Call Joe at 719629-8327 (US number). Email: joe@ joemelton.com. FOR SALE: Two folding beds. Great for company. Price: $900 mxn. Each. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Two wilson triad 3.0 rackets, hardly used, and in perfect
condition. 115 sq. in (742 cm sq.) 41/2 ins. 8.6 oz. (243 grams) price each SHVRV RU PDNH DQ Rá‚‡HU$OVR Wilson shoulder carry case, for one or both rackets. Price: $250 pesos. Email: email@example.com. :$17(' Looking for quality used Rá‚ˆFH IXUQLWXUH SDUWLFXODUO\ D ODUJH GHVN ÂżOH FDELQHWV Ă€RRU DQG WDEOH desktop lamp(s). Call: 333-456-2436, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: ladies full length tartan skirt, Abercrombie tartan, glengarry 100% pure wool, purchased in Scotland, usa: 8, English: 10, waist 26â€? hip 36â€? length 43â€?. Price: $3500 pesos. Email: email@example.com. FOR SALE: Gas Heater, Portable. Propane, either hooked up to gas line or free standing with small tank (tank not included). Virtually brand new; used several hours for one day. Paid $2800 pesos, asking $2000. Puts out lots of heat: 3 settings. Anbec brand. 16 1/2 inches wide X 29 inches high, including the wheels. Black. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. :$17(' I am looking to buy an acoustic guitar with nylon strings, preferably a Yamaha. Email: jaliscoman@ hotmail.com. FOR SALE: Sound level meter.
Price: $400.00 pesos. Call Allen 669160-1435. FOR SALE: M-Audio, Price: $2300 Mx. Call Allen: 669-160-1435. FOR SALE: Conn Vintage CV1 Flugelhorn with Case Satin Finish (couple of small blemishes) All valves and slides in good condition Serial # 123237. Price: $10,000 Pesos MN. Call: Allen 376-765-5882 FOR SALE: Dining room Table Sets. NEW Cherry DR Table w/4 chairs 32â€? x 47â€? $4000p. NEW Wood DR Table w/6 chairs 36â€? x 63â€? $5000p. Email: email@example.com FOR SALE: English custom grade shoes, shoes black monk style semi brogues purchased in England and worn only two or three times, as can be seen by their condition. size: uk 12.5, euro 46, us 13, church size 100 SULFHSHVRVRUPDNHDQRá‚‡HU cost new today, approximately $11000 pesos. FOR SALE: Burberry mens extra long trench coat. this is a genuine burberry trench coat purchased at burberrys in london. Colour: blue, gabardine, size: 52 burberry (this relates to medium, chest 42â€?, waist 36â€?.) Price $5000 pesos. Approximate cost new
today is $35,000 pesos. Email: louis. firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Philips 32 inch Digital Widescreen Flat LCD TV for sale - excellent working condition. Asking $1,500 pesos. Please call 766-3103. FOR SALE: I have a 5X5 storage locker at La Floresta Self-Storage prepaid through to December 1st 2018 but my plans have changed and I no longer need it. My cost was 530 pesos per month. I canâ€™t cancel but I can transfer to a new owner. If anyone needs a storage locker Iâ€™ll absorb the transfer fee and accept 500 per month (OBO) for the remaining time. PM me if interested. Email: email@example.com. FOR SALE: I am interested in buying an acoustic guitar with nylon strings and preferably in top condition. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE: Treadmill, Lime pro equipment. Good condition. Price: $6950 Pesos, Irka Campbell. Call: 376-763-5360. :$17(' King Size Bed frame & mattress. Need to buy one immediately. Do you have one to sell? Please call: 766-4338 :$17(' 2 Queen Size beds, Could maybe do with one double and one queen. Call Donna 331-363-5580.
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El Ojo del Lago / March 2018
Ajijic and Chapala magazine devoted to news, interviews, history, culture and art.