Lakeside Living – December 2023

Don Beaudreau


From the Lakeside Living Editor: Please note that deadline for submission of notices about a local cultural, civic, or charitable event is the first day of the month, an entire month BEFORE the article can appear in El Ojo Del Lago. Appropriate notices should include the name of the event, its location, date(s), time, and cost (if applicable). Please include a high-resolution photo if possible. But no lengthy articles, please! Send such information to me directly at  Thank you. Don Beaudreau

BRAVADOS – A new collection of stories by Lakeside writers is being launched.

Some of the authors of BRAVADOS. Janice Kimball is holding the book.

Meet the Authors on Thursday, December 7th at 1:00 p.m. at the Lake Chapala Society, south campus.

Janice Kimball has created an anthologyon life, loving and aging by 21 writers in Lake Chapala, Mexico.

She describes the anthology with these words: “BRAVADOS is an invitation to explore a world where new beginnings flourish. From heartfelt lessons to unexpected triumphs, this stellar collection of stories will resonate with anyone yearning for a fresh start…. Prepare to be captivated by candid and deeply personal narratives that will open your eyes to the benefits of living in a rich and diverse Latin culture that reveres its elders. Be inspired as the authors reveal the unexpected ease of their transitions into a foreign environment and describe the hidden treasures they will discover on their journey.”

The Lake Chapala Orchestra presents: VIVE LA FRANCE

Lake Chapala Community Orchestra

Saturday, December 9, 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Lakeside Presbyterian Church

Following its highly successful Basically British concert in October, the Lake Chapala orchestra changes its focus to the music of France for its next concert on Saturday, December 9.

Music by much loved French composers such as Ravel, Gounod and Faure are complemented by one of Haydn’s Paris symphonies. His Symphony No. 85 is titled “La Reine” (The Queen) in recognition that it was Marie Antoinette’s favorite symphony!

Michael Reason, the orchestra’s conductor, explains that “this program offers a chance for our audience to experience a more intimate musical selection rather than the big orchestral works we usually present.”

During the past year the orchestra has presented concerts on Friday evenings with a repeat concert on Saturday afternoons. This concert will offer two afternoon concerts on the same day, Saturday December 9, at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

“With so many of our audience preferring to attend performances in the afternoons, during daylight hours, we made the decision to have two back-to-back concerts on the same day. The only difference will be that there will be no intermission,” says Reason.

Vive la France by the Lake Chapala Orchestra takes place at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, 250, San Jorge, Riberas on Saturday, December 9, at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $350 and can be reserved by emailing Early booking is advised as all concerts sell out weeks in advance.

The Lake Chapala Society hosts Open Circle every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. This community gathering in Ajijic presents a wide range of topics. Entrance is by the side gate on Ramón Corona, opening at 9:30 a.m. We recommend bringing a hat and bottled water. Check the website for upcoming topics, and make your reservation.

 If you missed a past presentation, you can catch it online at:

December 3


Dr. Michael Hogan

Michael Hogan is an historian, poet, and teacher who has lived in Guadalajara for the past three decades. He is married to the textile artist and translator Lucinda Mayo.  Hogan is well known for his many best-selling books on Mexican history, including The Irish Soldiers of Mexico, which was the basis for an MGM movie, and for his popular classes at the American School Foundation where he is Emeritus Chair of Humanities. Two of his more recent works are highly praised: Mexicans and Mexican Americans, which was reviewed in both Latina Magazine and the Smithsonian; and Guns, Grit and Glory: How the US and Mexico Came Together To Defeat the Last Empire in the Americas, which was selected as the book of the year on U.S.-Mexico relations by Washington University.

December 10


This movie presentation will be part of the Ajijic Indie Film festival. All films are local and the filmmaker will be present to discuss the film.

December 17


Let’s consider the consequences.

Greg Custer

A geopolitical Cold War simmers with China. The Mexico-Central America humanitarian migration crisis only worsens. A long-view immigration strategy has eluded the Western Hemisphere.

Lurking and hunched across 2,000 miles of sand, bi-national urban clusters and desert voids, this crisis is the Americas’ most intractable ongoing challenge.

Do we have the imagination as Americanos to rethink a long-term response?

Greg Custer has been an observer and student of Mexico for over 40 years, working for Mexico’s tourism ministry for over 25 years. He has resided Lakeside since 2015 and brings his perspective on Mexico-U.S. relations through a unique lens nurtured by a Southern California upbringing and decades of observation and reflection.

NOTE: Because of the holidays, there will not be Open Circle presentations on December 24 or December 31.

Friday, December 29; Saturday, December 30; Sunday, December 31 at 4:00 p.m. (door and bar open at 3:00 p.m.)

THE GAME’S AFOOT or Holmes for the Holidays!

Written by Ken Ludwig, Directed by Roseann Wilshere

Tickets are $200. RESERVE NOW at:

It’s a dark and stormy night—specifically, Christmas Eve 1936. The world’s foremost portrayer of Sherlock Holmes, William Gillette, has invited the cast of his latest play, a notorious theater critic, and his mother to his newly completed “castle” for the holidays. (Both Gillette and his castle were real.) Gillette, recovering from a gunshot wound at the closing of his long-running play, dons his Sherlock Holmes persona to unmask the perpetrator. Then, a murder occurs and, amidst all the revelry and confusion, a bumbling yet sincere police inspector rings the doorbell . . . and the game’s afoot! All the elements of a tantalizing mystery are present: murders, intrigue, romantic entanglements, storms, blackouts, and even a séance! Written by veteran playwright Ken Ludwig (who also wrote Murder on the Orient Express), The Game’s Afoot will have you not only trying to figure out whodunit, but also rolling in the aisles.

Roseann Wilshere, Director

Roseann Wilshere directs the cast, which includes Donna Burroughs, Greg Custer, Linda Goman, Brian Kaulback, Deborah Kloegman, Paul Kloegman, Kathleen Morris, and Roxanne Rosenblatt.

We are located at #261 on the mountain side of the carretera in Riberas del Pilar, across from the Catholic Church. Door and bar open at 3:00 p.m. All bar proceeds go to Operation Feed. Seats are held until 3:50 p.m.

Facebook Page: but please use the Gmail address above for reservations!


TOM PAINE’S BONES by local writer Jeffrey J. Smith

Thomas Paine, American Patriot

Thomas Paine may have been the first working-class hero across the globe. His heroism made possible an idealistic America. Let us bring him back to life during a wonderful night at the theater.

Despite his celebrity and being the first bestselling author in the English language for his books extolling justice, The Rights of Man, and sparking revolution, Common Sense, Paine rarely spoke about his private life.

He saw action as a legal pirate, which cured him of his youthful eagerness for swordplay. After his young wife and newborn son died in his arms, he shied away from romance, politely refused the many groupies of his era, and formed deep attachments with special women. He quietly gave away his immense royalties to worthy causes and rescued street animals.

Besides being the guest of some of the famous personages of his time—Ben Franklin, Edmund Burke, Napoleon, and many others—Paine also loved the salon and the pub where he held forth with great wit and humor.

All that and more is told in the biographical play, Tom Paine’s BonesIts premiere early this year drew three standing ovations in Portland, OR.

(Ask to see the script or some scenes from the video or some press coverage.) Let’s revive the magic here on Lakeside. Do you act? Direct? Produce? Stage manage? Design sets? Assemble wardrobes? Get in touch and let’s have fun. Contact the author, Jeffery J. Smith, former editor of the news site, Progress, at 503/568-5889 or

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

Don Beaudreau
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