Lakeside Living – May 2014


Sandy Olson
Phone: 331-283-8529

May 2014



On May 3 some expats woke up extremely early to the “music” of cohetes (bottle rockets to gringos). This was Dia de la Santa Cruz, which is also the patron saint day of construction workers, a large and loud group in Ajijic.  In Ajijic this means that workers will start the fiesta very early with bottle rockets, but the parties technically start around noon with food, drink, and maybe some music, all of which is paid for by the owners of the project. 

Altars with decorated crosses were erected on these sites, accompanied by large buckets of ice cold beer. Presumably a good time was had by all.


The beach in front of Maria Isabel Restaurant (formerly The Old Posada) was awash in activity on Saturday morning, April 7, as members of the Lake Chapala Kayak Club gave local children between the ages of 6 and 18 the opportunity to have a water adventure.


Chick Twyman and Leticia Romero with Student


Bilingual club members showed the kids the fundamentals of kayaking: how to get in out of a kayak, maintain balance, and handle the paddle.   Fifteen children attended this session. The club plans to offer this introduction to kayaking on a regular basis. The number of children will be limited to twenty.

In February the Club offered a basic training class for local fisherman. The vision of club members and Leonardo Conejo, the new owner of Maria Isabel Restaurant, is to expand beachfront activities to have a kayak rental concession and establish a permanent children’s training center, and generally to help support beachfront development for recreation and water sports.

The Club is soliciting donations of recreational kayaks. For further information, email Commodore Wayne Renz at


Taking Leave, by Nagle Jackson, is a comedy about life. And living. And dying. And trying to make sense of it all.  It was the last play of the season for The Naked Stage


Top row from left to right: Fred Koesling, Amy Friend, Georgette Richmond (Director), Mark Bennett. Bottom row from left to right: Barbara Pruitt, Sandy Jakubek, Pamela Richardson, Tina Leonard



Alejandro Grattan, long time Ajijic resident and editor of Ojo del Lago, entertained members of Democrats Abroad at their last meeting with reminiscences of his days in the Hollywood movie industry and his experiences after arriving at Lakeside 27 years ago.

On a more serious subject, he drew attention to the need for immigration reform in the US. He also read from his book, The Dark Side of the Dream, which was first published in 1995 and republished this year. Check the web site

The book is historical fiction about a Mexican family arriving in the US in the 1940’s. Copies aren’t no longer available at Lakeside but can be ordered from Amazon, both POD and Kindle. Also Grattan’s last feature film, Only Once in a Lifetime, is now at the LCS Video Library.


At the April 8 Lakeside Little Theatre Board Meeting, a new management team was selected by the newly elected president, Peter Luciano.

Board Members now include Georgette Richmond, Past President, David McIntosh, 1st Vice President, Collette Clavadetscher, 2nd Vice President, Kevin O’Byrne, Treasurer, Geoff Long, Facilities Manager, Beth Leitch, Secretary, Mike Campo, Public Relations and Kathleen Neal, Production Manager.


New LLT Board Members


LLT is beginning its fiftieth continuous season serving Lakeside.  Season tickets for the 2014/2015 season include six productions:  God of Carnage, directed by Roseann Wilshere, Betrayal, directed by Neal Checkoway, Sinderella, directed by Paul Kloegman, Wrong Turn At Lungfish, directed by Peggy Lord Chilton, The Night of the Iguana, directed by Dave McIntosh, and The Dixie Swim Club, directed by Barbara Clippinger

Season tickets go on sale August 26 and 27 for 1100 pesos and include LLT membership, reserved seating for the six shows, and an invitation to the fiftieth season kick-off party that is planned for August 30. 

A seventh pre-season production of The Last Romance, directed by Ann Swiston,will be performed as a fundraiser to help pay for the cost of converting the theatre to solar power.


Last month Jaltepec Centro Educativo hosted its “Micro-Entrepreneurs Fair 2014,” a yearly contest for its students who want to start a business selling/creating goods and services. The winners get a trip to Mexico City.


The winners, left to right: Mónica Ríos, Sarahí Magdaleno, Liliana Esparza, Adilene Suarez and Teresa Juárez. Not shown: Guadalupe Cañada.





A new cooking school in Ajijic promises to be of interest to serious and not-so- serious cooks.  It got off to a lively start with an open house on March 30 with an assortment of snacks and beverages for local friends.

About owner/teacher Luzma Grande: her experiences traveling in other countries made her realize the richness and diversity of her own Mexican cuisine.  She lived in Italy for four years and learned to cook traditional Italian food under the guidance of one of the best cooks in Umbria.


Alejandra De Anda and Luzma Grande


She also completed both a Cordon Bleu course and a degree in Gastronomic Arts. She looks forward to welcoming you to her kitchen!

All courses run four mornings a week, from 10 to 1. Demonstrated (and served for lunch) are salsas, soups, antojitos, and traditional main dishes.

Of special interest will be Luzma’s Friday market and street food tours.

To register, and for further information, email her at or call 376-766-0955. The store is located at #3 Constitucion, Ajijic Centro.


La Rueda (the wheel), a new coffee/gallery in San Juan Cosala, stages monthly readings in English. They are held on the first Wednesday of each month.    The next reading will be on May 7.

Readers in April were John Thomas Dodds, Patricia Eyre, Margie Keane, Patricia Hemingway,  Glenda Roman, Sandy Olson, Gloria Palazzo, L. Paris Drebes and Michael Cook.

Directions to La Rueda: at the only stop light in San Juan Cosala, turn towards the lake. Go one block and turn right at the plaza (on Porfirio Diaz). Drive two blocks or so, past Viva Mexico restaurant on your right.  Please arrive at 3 pm to order refreshments. The readings begin at 3:30.


Moderator Judy Dykstra-Brown


Writers who want to read, or those needing further information, can contact Judy Dykstra-Brown at 387 761 0281 or email her at  


May 10 is the day when we see cakes and bouquets of flowers being purchased and walked through the streets of Ajijic.

This is Mexican Mothers’ Day, when people honor their mothers and grandmothers. Since most women are mothers, there will be family parties and picnics and—to our surprise—sometimes serenades in the middle of the night.

Many small businesses will be closed and other services may be hard to obtain.


The Long Weekend is a Naked Stage reading of a comedy. It’s about Wynn and Max Trueman, who are hosting their friends, Abby and Roger Nash, in their small cottage, somewhere in up-market Ontario. These couples are old friends. As the weekend progresses things turn rough as the truth and lies of a friendship come to the surface.  There are plenty of surprises and countless laughs along the way.


Front, left to right: Avril Stephenson and Roseann Wilshere
Back, left to right:  Dick Yanko, Clay McAdam and Ed Tasca


The play, by Norm Foster, will be directed by Don Chaloner.  It runs May 23-25.

The e-mail address for future reservations: Reservations guarantee a seat until 3:50, after which seats will be sold to those waiting without reservations.

The Naked Stage is located at #10A Rio Bravo. Directions: west on the carretera from Ajijic, south on Rio Bravo, about two blocks down behind Daniel’s Restaurant on the east side. Daniel’s is open for lunch and dinner with a no host bar available at 3:00 p.m. The box office opens at 3:15 and the show starts at 4:00 p.m.


…and that’s just what owner Lorraine Farrow of Sol Mexicano did four years ago in July.

Lorraine came to Lakeside in 2007 after one of those chance encounters when she rented a room in San Diego from a woman who later moved to Ajijic. At the time, Lorraine was studying to finish a masters’ thesis on educational technology, not remotely related to her fine arts degree from the University of Kent in England.

She went to work for Jan Mellis, the previous owner (of Dos Lunas), and when Jan left Ajijic six months later Lorraine said to herself: “Why not buy the gallery?” 


Lorraine Farrow with Master Sculptor Bob Wilson


She promptly changed the name to Sol Mexicano and has since showcased many Lakeside artists alongside the incredibly beautiful artisan crafts of Mexico. She travels to places like Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Michoacan and other cities to select unique pieces for the gallery. Every piece has a history and Lorraine is happy to share her knowledge of Mexican artesanias to the gallery visitors

The gallery is quite successful and a delightful place to drop in and browse. And oh yes, Lorraine did finish that thesis!

She has announced that the gallery will close for vacation soon. May 12 will be the last day to shop for your Mothers’ Day gifts. The reopening date will be July 15. After that, Sol Mexicano will be closed on Sundays. Also, the Caminarte de Ajijic will hold its last walk of the summer on May 9. Check for the times. 

Sol Mexicano is located at Colon 13 in Centro Ajijic. Opening times are 10:30- 4:30 Monday through Saturday and Sundays 12-5. Tel. (376) 766-0734. Email:


John Keeling, Viva Musica President, has announced the summer program for Lakeside music lovers.

There is one remaining Live at the Met Opera at Teatro Diana, on Saturday, May 10: Cinderella by Rossini. There may be a few seats available on the Viva bus. 

All bus trips are 250 pesos for Viva members and 350 for non-members.

The bus leaves just east of Farmacia Guadalajara at 10.30. Contact Marshall at


Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra

Friday June 6:  Homage to Richard Strauss No. I (Conductor: Marco Parisotto) – Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel, Four Last Songs, An Alpine Symphony.

Sunday June 15:  Symphonic Jazz (Conductor: Marco Parisotto) – Bernstein: West Side Story, Gershwin: Walking the Dog, Ellington: Harlem, Gershwin: I Got Rhythm, Rhapsody in Blue.

Friday July 4:  Baroque (Conductor: Jean-Christophe Spinosi)  –  Handel: Orlando Overture, Water Music, Telemann: Flute Concerto, Vivaldi: Two Flute Concertos, Handel: Royal Fireworks

Sunday July 13:  Impressions of Italy (Conductor: John Nelson) – Verdi: Four Sacred Pieces, Puccini: Edgar, Giordano: Fedora, Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana, Respighi: Roman Festival

Friday July 18:  Homage to Richard Strauss No.2 (Conductor: Marco Parisotto) – Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier, Schumann: Cello Concerto, Strauss: Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Ticket prices for all bus trips are 250 pesos for Viva members and 350 for non-members. Tickets are available at LCS Thursdays & Fridays 10-12. Friday trips leave at 4.30 p.m. and stop at a better restaurant in Guadalajara before the concert. Sunday trips leave at 10.30 a.m.

Buses leave just east of Farmacia Guadalajara. Seats are reserved only when tickets are purchased. Viva orders the symphony tickets ten days ahead, so please make your purchase before that time.




A friendly and welcoming bridge group meets every Monday and Wednesday from 1 to 5 on the rear terrace, near the gazebo, at the Lake Chapala Society.


Standing, left to right: Wesley Fink and Ramona Bennett
Seated: Bob Wilson, Ron Mohr, Donna Mansfield and Judy Temple


The group invites new people of all levels. Organizer Wesley Fink says, “We play ‘kitchen bridge.’ We welcome all interested people, from those who haven’t played since college to people with master points.”

For further information, call Wesley at 376-765-5890 or email him at


Join others every third Wednesday at 10, to share your expertise on growing vegetables and herbs in the Lake Chapala area. 10am The next meeting will be on May 21 at Azul Frida Restaurant, Carretera #62. New members can contact John McWilliams at  or by phone at 376-766-0620


Members of ASA will show their art works on the third Sunday of the month through April, on the Ajijic Plaza. The next event will be on April 20.


Saturdays:      3:30 – 6:30 p.m. Fish Fry

Sundays:               Burgers & Dogs 12 – 3 p.m.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

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