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La Manzanilla Memo - January 21, 2017


On September 18, long-time life partners and long-time La Manzanilla expats, Jose “Ginger” Rogers and Scottie Turner, exchanged vows and rings.  

The couple were married in the back yard of their home in Powell River, British Columbia, in an intimate ceremony and reception.  Flash forward to Monday, January 16, 2017.  Back in La Manzanilla, the newlyweds held a “Nuptials Fiesta” beyond compare.  Being one of La Manz’s favorite couples, the guest list grew to over 150 friends, both foreign and Mexican, all toasting the bride and groom with well wishes and congratulations.  

Tables overflowed with a variety of foods and beverages.   The live band, led by Scottie, was composed of the many talented musicians and singers who reside in town.  The dance floor was filled the entire evening.  There was love and positive energy flowing through the crowd. In lieu of gifts, Josie and Scottie set up a donation box for the Second Chance Rescue Centre for La Manzanilla’s homeless dogs.  

May this very special couple be blessed with many more years together as husband and wife.

Blond Gypsies Are Back!

After five long years, Restaurante Martin brought the Blond Gypsies back to La Manzanilla to perform their signature blend of Spanish gypsy rumba and flamenco guitar, castanets and superb dusky vocals. 

Both Sunday and Monday night shows were sold out as soon as Martin announced the event.  Ticket holders were treated not only to Restaurante Martin’s excellent dinners, but to music that stirs the soul. While neither Latcho or Andrea have Romany blood, they do have the love and passion for the music. 

Leaving his home in Northern Europe at the tender age of 15, Latcho traveled with various gypsy families throughout Germany, Hungary and Spain, absorbing not only the lifestyle of the gypsy society but also learning the music. Sitting by the campfires each night, watching, listening and repeating. There were no music sheets to follow, just the ear of the student and the words of the masters in each community. He practiced until his fingers bled, and then he practiced more.  He practiced until he too became a master.  He eventually had his own band, which included a member of the Gypsy Kings family and toured Europe.  

He met his partner, Andrea, a flamenco dancer and aficionado of both the guitar and castanets, when the two were touring Germany in a Wild West show.  The show was cancelled, but the partnership has lasted for more than half their lives.  In 1996, the two decided to leave Europe and move to Puerto Vallarta.  

Since then, the couple have toured Mexico, the United States and Europe, truly a gypsy life with many stories to share.   Their upcoming performances in Mexico are listed on their website, www.latchoandrea.com, along with three full length songs for you to enjoy.  If you are in one of the cities they will perform in this season do go and see them.  You will carry home their music in your heart.

Efren Gonzalez reception

Last Friday, La Galeria hosted its Meet the Artist reception, featuring well-known and admired Ajijic artist Efren Gonzalez.  

Always a favourite, Gonzalez and his latest works drew a full house yet again.  Among his newest creations were a series of paintings displaying the many tianguis throughout Mexico.  My personal favorite was the painting of the escaramuzas, the famous Mexican female horsewomen.   

Gonzalez will be back in town the last two weeks of January holding two workshops, one in oil, and one in watercolor.   Each workshop will consist of a painting each day for four days.  

The workshops will be held at La Galeria La Manzanilla.  The dates are as follows: oil painting January 23-26, watercolor painting January 30-February 2.  For details, contact La Manzanilla Galeria at 315-351-7099, or 315-104-9489.

Four Author Chat

Last Friday, the book devotees of La Manzanilla were treated to a special evening as four diverse authors read excerpts from both prose and poetry.   They also spoke about what inspired their writings, dealing with writer’s block, and answered the many questions from the audience.  

The panel consisted of three Canadians and one American: Roberta Rich, who divides her time between British Columbia and Colima and the author of the best- selling “Mid-Wife of Venice” series; Rachel McMillan, another B.C. native and author of a series of mysteries that blend together the First Nation and Western cultures; Dianna Hicks Morrow, Prince Edward Island’s Poet Laureate of 2013; and Judy Dykstra-Brown, hailing from California and now the Lake Chapala area who has a book out entitled “Lessons from a Grief Diary, Rebuilding Your Life After The Death of A Loved One.”   

All four authors donated the proceeds from the sales of their books that evening to Helping Hands Bookstore, which sponsored this event.  These proceeds along with the admission raised enough funds for the Bookstore to continue sponsoring their education scholarship program for La Manzanilla students.  Well done authors and Helping Hands!

Upcoming Events

Women’s March La Manzanilla: Saturday, January 21, 10 a.m. starting in the main plaza.

Death Café: an open forum, discussing death and eating cake.  Saturday, January 28, 3-4:30 p.m. Casa Luz.

La Manzanilla Art Walk: Sunday, January 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., “all through the town.”

Rodeo Days: February 3-6, events happening both in the main plaza and the bullring.

Grab Your Balls! It’s Bocce time.  3rd Annual Bocce on the Beach Tournament, sponsored by Figaro’s Restaurant, February 11, 10 a.m.  Tickets available at Figaro’s Restaurant.

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