Lakeside Living – April 2015



Sandy Olson
Phone: 331-283-8529


April 2015




…but it didn’t. However, the perplexing March storm (what’s up with all this rain?) didn’t stop art lovers from attending and purchasing some great art at the opening reception. The Ajijic Society of the Arts—also known as ASA—held its 33rd annual judged show at the Ajijic Cultural Center last month.


Artist Phoebe Monroe on her way to the ASA Art Show


Each category in the show had a first, second and third place award.   There will also be the every popular Best of Show award and the People’s Choice award of their favorite piece entered in the entire show.

Membership in ASA has grown steadily and there are now 165 members. The group meets at 10 am the first Monday of each month at La Bodega Restaurant.

Artist members create a wide range of media: wall art, jewelry, pottery, fabric art, sculpture, photography, and other types of art. New members interested in art are encouraged to join the Society.

ASA also sponsors the Children’s Art Program at the Lake Chapala Society, through donating funds for materials, providing volunteers who teach them every Saturday morning. The group does sponsor the more gifted. Says John McWilliams, “Most of the Mexican professional artists in Ajijic today attended these classes as children. Usually there are at least 50 kids who show up and have a great time.”


Last month The Lake Chapala Painting Guild opened their latest exhibition, “Love is in the Air,” at the Ajijic Cultural Center.  



All the members were present that day for a photo. They are Anita Lee, Carol Ann Owers, Cynthia Dubois, Efren Gonzalez, Geraldine Classen, Inak Gieysztor, Lois Schroff, Marian Decker, Maryann Linhart, Nancy Gray, Sonia Mocnik, Steve Achs, VARN, Winnie Hunt, and Isabel LeBlanc.


Lakeside retired firefighter Doug Scrimgeour is responsible for the amassing of loads of gently used firefighting equipment and getting it down here from Canada. He enlisted the Cruz Roja, the Shriners and Masons, and the American and Canadian Legions into a group called “The Lakeside Fire and Red Cross Assistance Group.”


Doug Scrimgeour in Canadian Turnout Gear


The goods were held in an eventos hall at the Hotel Perico on the libramiento for a week, then were sorted and catalogued and distributed to eight different fire houses (more to come) around the lake.

There was enough gear for 400 firefighters, including boots, jackets, helmets, air tanks, EMT uniforms, and more. In Doug’s words, “There’s a ton of stuff. I’m just overwhelmed at this dream.”

Lakeside owes Doug Scrimgeour and The Lakeside Fire and Red Cross Assistance Group many thanks for this impressive volunteer effort.


“I, Claudia,” performed at the Bravo Theatre last month, was a tour de force for Jayme Littlejohn as the characters of Claudia, Drachman, Leslie and Douglas. The show was directed by Lynn Phelan and Rob Stupple created masks and the stage design.



The show evoked a lot of response from audiences. One person said: “I have so many questions…I want to know what happens to each of these characters after the play ends.” Another commented on how much it resonated with his life, both as a child and currently.  

Check out The Bravo! Theatre for future listings. The address is Rio Bravo #10B.  It is directly across from The Naked Stage in the old Sol y Luna Complex.  The space will also be the permanent home of My, My, How Nice! Productions, and will be available for other theatrical, music, fundraiser and lecture events.


Democrats Abroad, Lake Chapala Chapter, has had their bi-annual election and selected a board of directors. The new slate is excited to lead the organization for the next two years and will assist all US citizens living abroad to register and obtain their ballots during upcoming election cycles. 



In the photo, starting with front row, left to right: Lynn Cleek, Member-at-Large; Patricia Hyland, Secretary; Lorene Fields, Member-at-Large. Back row: Sandra Loridans, Member-at-Large; Larry Pihl, Chair; Dee Dee Camhi, Vice-Chair; David Fields, Treasurer, and Sheryll Soderdahl, Member-at-Large.   Not present were Henri Loridans, Parliamentarian and Tim Whiting, Member-at-Large.  

Contact information for Democrats Abroad: Larry Pihl,, cell 331-704-6475, home 376-766-3274 or Dee Dee Camhi,, cell 331-295-5795, home 376-766-3274.


Lakeside Little Theatre most recent production was The Dixie Swim Club.” April 5. It’s a comedy about five unforgettable women. It was directed by Barbara Clippinger.


The 11th Annual Lake Chapala Writers’ Conference was held last month at Danza del Sol and was a huge success. There were 69 writers present, including prestigious speakers such as Roberta Rich, best-selling author of The Midwife of Venice, Diane Hicks-Morrow, a Canadian Poet Laureate, Dennis Stovall, winner of the prestigious 2015 Rittenhouse Lifetime Achievement Award, Linda Joy Myers, president of the National Association of Memoir Writers, as well as our Lakeside resident Rachel McMillan, with her popular Dan Connor mystery series, and respected New York editor Sandi Gelles-Cole.


Los Ninos de Chapala y Ajijic  is a non-profit charitable organization. Its mission is to assist qualified, needy Lakeside students to achieve their maximum scholastic potential. NCA sponsored students must maintain a scholastic average of 80 percent or better to remain within the program.


The new Board members are Nancy Allan, Treasurer; Lori Skoda, Director at Large; Bill Friend, President; Nicole Belinne, Director at Large; Shannon Blair, Director of Events; Amy Friend, Secretary; Susan Johnson, Director at Large; Tim Whiting, M.D., Vice-President; and Doug Friend, Director Webmaster


NCA looks forward to building on its success in the coming year. You may access further details at: E-mail


Juan Castañón and the Blue Velvet Jazz Quartet will be playing at several venues in April. The schedule:


Guitarist Juan Castañón


April 4 at 8 p.m., Adelita’s Bar, San Antonio Tlayacapan

April 8, 15 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. Ocampo 71 Snack Bar 

April 10 at 9 p.m., at El Bar Co., Ajijic Carretera Oriente #33

April 11 and 25 at 7:30 p.m., Lago Cafe

Find the Blue Velvet Jazz Quartet on Facebook as blue velvet.jazz trio.


Villa Infantil Orphanage is in need of volunteers who can purchase, prepare, and provide a nutritious and appealing lunch for the 30 children who make Villa Infantil Orphanage their loving home. Their “Lunch Bunch” coordinator can tailor your volunteer experience to suit your needs.



It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the orphanage, practice your Spanish while the little ones practice their English, and you will be heartily thanked for your efforts by 30 of the most endearing smiles you’ll ever see.

For more information on the volunteer lunch program and how you might help, contact Connie Ondola at (376) 765-3839. Also, to learn more about Villa Infantil (its mission, location and vision) please visit


Last month at Open Circle Lakeside resident and long time Buddhist teacher Karin Miles gave a talk on the subject of dementia, a problem of growing concern to our aging population. Karin was recently diagnosed with vascular dementia herself.


Karin Miles


Karin has started a group for those who are struggling with memory loss, or caring for a loved one who is.  For more information or directions, contact Amara at 765-2629, or email at 


Booze, schmooze and all that jazz!  The Not Yet Dead Poets Society read poetry, and there was also jazz flute from Mike Liesenbach and two for one drinks at Maria Isabel Restaurant. This was a very enjoyable evening and we hope for another event like this one.


Margaret Van Every


Poets included Bill Frayer, Mel Goldberg, Jim Tipton, Margaret Van  Every, Michael Warren, and Judy Dykstra-Brown





The April reading at The Naked Stage is Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. It’s directed by Jim Lloyd. Show dates are April 24, 25, and 26.

A critic says, “It’s a mixture of the bizarre and the banal, a slice of lives that could never have been led, a richly textured mixture of confessions, obsessions, and surprises.”

The title refers to the legendary “Rebel Without a Cause”. In Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, an all-female fan club called the Disciples of James Dean meets at a Kressmont five-and-dime branch in McCarthy, Texas. The group reunites in 1975 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Dean’s death.

Naked Stage is located at #10A Rio Bravo. The box office opens at 3:15 and the show starts at 4:00 p.m. The email address for reservations: Reservations guarantee a seat until 3:50, after which seats will be sold to those waiting without reservations.


Viva Musica will organize a bus to this final concert of the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra. The price has been reduced to 250 pesos (350 pesos for non-members).As always, there will be a stop for dinner in a restaurant area in the Zona Rosa. The bus leaves at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday April 26: French Virtuosity: D’Indy: Symphony on a French Mountain Air; Ravel: Daphnis & Chloe (complete). There will be one final Viva bus trip to Guadalajara for the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD

Saturday April 25, Double Bill: Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni and Pagliacci by Leoncavallo. Tenor Marcelo Álvarez rises to the challenge of playing the leading roles in opera’s most enduring tragic double bill. Bus departs at 10:00.

Get your tickets at LCS Thursdays and Fridays 10 to noon; or to make alternate payment arrangements contact Marshall Krantz (766-2834, or Ingrid Goodridge (766-2194, The buses depart from the carretera, just east of Farmacia Guadalajara in Ajijic.


La Rueda (The Wheel), a coffee gallery in San Juan Cosala, stages monthly readings in English. They are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:30.

The next reading will be on Wednesday, May 6.


Jeremy Monroe


Readers in the last two months were Bonnie Phillips, Antonio Rambles, Larry Kolczak, Bill Frayer, Becky McGuigan, Tom Hally, Margaret Van Every, Dilia, Robert Drynan, Mel Goldberg, Judy Dykstra-Brown and Jeremy Monroe. 

Singer-songwriters are welcome if they write their own music and lyrics. Writers who want to read, or those needing further information, can contact Judy Dykstra-Brown. Email her at  


Work is well under way for this summer’s first ever LLT/LCS Children’s Summer Theatre Camp. The camp is a collaborative project between the Lakeside Little Theatre and the Lake Chapala Society and will be a performance by children enacting the ancient local legend of Queen Xochitl- Michi-Ciualli. Well known local artist and alumnus of the original Neill James Children’s Art Program, Antonio Lopez Vega, has transformed the legend into a script and will be the Artistic Director of the production. Assisting Antonio will be Thom Weeks, Jennifer Stanley, and Kathleen Neal, Production Manager at LLT.


Antonio Lopez Vega and Friends


This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the participating children and their families, and is aimed at nurturing children who have shown an interest in art and taking it beyond the visual arts into the performing arts. Performances will be held for the families of the children at Lakeside Little Theatre on August 1 and 2. While no public performances will be given, volunteers who have worked on the project will be given a preview of the performance on July 31.

Other Children’s Theatre projects sponsored by Lakeside Little Theatre will be forthcoming in the next year. Anyone wishing to volunteer may contact Kathleen Neal at or Jennifer Stanley at



For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

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