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La Manzanilla Memo - December 24, 2016

Five New Houses

Unbelievable, but true!  This past Friday, at our primary school, the Grade 6 class feverishly worked to not only build, but decorate five Gingerbread Houses. (Got you!)

This sugary event has been the highlight of the last school day of the year for several seasons.  The activity was the brainchild of long time expats, Deb and Dave Dagoli. This year’s houses were donated by Joanne and Andy Turner.   A sticky grin was on everyone’s face.   Although the Gingerbread House ritual is reserved for the senior class, all of the students had an enjoyable day out of the classrooms.  Carols were sung, games of musical chairs, blind man’s bluff and, of course, that ever-popular pastime, “beat the Santa piñata till the goodies cascade to the ground,” were played until lunch time.   And what a lunch it was!  Twenty-five large pizzas and 300 cupcakes were on hand to satisfy even the most voracious of appetites.  The ringing of the dismissal bell on Friday officially announced the start of the Christmas season.

Mosaic Workshop

Mazinka Rutherford, resident and mosaic artiste extraordinaire, opens her studio for these workshops several times during the winter months.  Mazinka has more than 20 years’ experience in this age-old art form and her works are stunning! The classes are limited to six, so that they are usually filled the day they are announced.  She gladly shares tips and techniques to her students.  I had the pleasure of attending one last year, enjoying it immensely. 

 Even though there were moments of frustration where I discovered that I’m angled challenged.  I was certain that my butterfly would look like it was stuck on the windshield of a car, but Mazinka assured me that she wouldn’t let that happen. She patiently explained and demonstrated the “how to” until I finally got it right (or was that left?)  

At the end of the four days I was thrilled with the final result.  There will be another class or maybe two in February.  You can view and purchase her art at the La Manzanilla Art Walk on January 29.

First Open Mic Night 

There is so much talent in our pueblo that Open Mic Night – now in its 11th year – at Palapa Joe’s is always full of fun and surprises. You never know what you will be seeing and hearing on stage, and this first of the season was outstanding.   Patrons were treated to a variety of musical acts that took them from their chairs to the dance floor almost immediately.   While all the acts were impressive, there was a young newcomer to the stage, who in my humble opinion, stole the show. 

Jake Perrine, from Washington State, crooned through two sweet love songs, bringing an evocative sense of Sinatra and Dino onto the stage.   Then in a blink of an eye, he switched gears by belting out Springstein’s “Born to Run.”  It takes a lot of spunk to take on “The Boss” but Perrine had no problem bringing down the house with his rendition.  The applause was long and loud!   

Thanks to Willy Mason and his amazing staff at Palapa Joe’s for these nights of entertainment, fun and great food.  Thanks also to musician/sound man Scottie Turner who keeps everyone sounding good, and of course, Jane Gorby, our MC, who entertains us with her wit between acts.   Looking forward to the next one!

The Baker is back!

When Arkansans Leia and Will Bowers made the decision to make La Manzanilla their home, thankfully Leia brought her “homemade” baking skills and Grandma’s recipes with her.   Earlier this fall, they opened Panaderia Leia, where the aroma of homemade artisan breads and cinnamon buns now arouses memories past and literally makes the mouth water.   There is an extensive menu to choose from, including muffins, scones, brioche rolls, pies, cakes and more. Her multigrain loaf is a mixture containing whole wheat flour, oats, flax seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds, and best of all – it is sugar free!  Leia wholesales not only to merchants here in town, but makes regular deliveries to Melaque and Barra Navidad stores and restaurants as well.  Retail sales are available, but by order only.  Cake orders require 48 hours’ notice, while all the other items can be ordered 24 hours in advance. Orders can be phoned in at 315-112-8981, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   The bakery is located at Lazaro Gardenas 7 for pickup of your order.  

Zumba with June

Yes, it’s true, June Nery, our Zumba gal (and former journalist for the La Manzanilla Memo) and her family are back in town for the Christmas Holidays.  June has an extensive dance background and started up Zumba here in La Manzanilla several years ago.  She is an excellent instructor and will be leading the classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the two weeks that she’ll be in town.  Don’t miss an opportunity to “get jiggy with June.”  I want to ask her how happy she is that she’s not in Denver right now – Brrrrr!  

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