SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Hey Mr. Tally Man, Tally Me Banana
Apr 29th, 2010 by Les

Groucho Marx said: “Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.” (American comedian, actor and…believe it or not…singer.)

Hey Mr. Tally man, tally me banana

Daylight come and I wanna go home

Daylight come and me wanna go home

Chop banana till morning come

Daylight come…..

Day-o, day-o

Daylight come and me wanna go home

Day-o, day-o

(Aw, come on, admit it, you were singing and your toe was tapping….just a little bit.  And, if you are like me, this song will pop into you head constantly over the next few days driving you absolutely crazy!  Or, maybe not, as my head isn’t filled with normal anyway!  This is exactly what I mean….The Tally Man song led me to the Carmen Miranda song…..

I’m Chiquita banana and I’m here to say

Bananas have to ripen in a certain way…..

and so on…see what I mean….no normal in my brain just pictures of a fruit basket on my head.  Boy, have I digressed this time!!)

Shades of Harry Belafonte singing the Banana Boat Jamaican calypso song.  My mind wanders toward the Beetlejuice version where the host and guests are seated at the dinner table, become possessed and begin to sing and dance to a rousing version of the Banana Boat song.

There are, in fact, many versions and David and I, singing the Banana Boat song, as he carried the harvest of bananas our gardener cut off of one of our banana trees for us a few evenings ago, could not compete with any of them.  My guess, our neighbors who seem to have grown accustomed to our somewhat bizarre behavior, thought it just another kooky day in Lawrence Land.  (Odd factoid.. Alan Arkin co-wrote the Banana Boat Song while part of a singing group called The Tarriers and working at The Second City in Chicago.)

This is a somewhat lush area.  Something is always growing. We are particularly happy with all of the limes we continue to harvest from the huge lime bush we have in our yard.  David has concocted a delicious fresh lime drink: 4 limes-squeezed, vodka, a splash of ice, several teaspoons of sugar and Sprite Zero.  It is quite a delicious warm weather drink and, after just two, you are EXTREMELY relaxed.

The photos below show David as he tallied the bananas from the front porch to the back cardboard box.  With jaunty step, voice raised … he tallied and I photographed.  I think I got the better end of the shtick.  This harvest is just a smidgen of what remains on the banana trees throughout our yard.  Banana bread, anyone?  Since I’m not close by you do not have to worry about finding banana bread on your doorstep when you wake up in the morning.

No pratt falls although you have to admit one of the great physical comedic actions is the banana peel – tush fall.   We maintained our upright posture and ported those banana’s to their destination in our backyard.  One day we are hobnobbing with a European artist and the next getting down and getting funky with our very own bananas!  You gotta love it.

If you intend to move to this area of Mexico, my suggestion, be open to all that it has to offer.  Keep a sense of humor and of the absurd.  Be alert….not just on the cobblestones.  Be willing to listen and most of all, keep your heart open for in will wander the sights and senses of this beautiful land called Mexico…..or a bug….but I digress YET AGAIN!!  Viva Mexico!

BeginTallying

BeginTallying

Tallying Onward

Tallying Onward

Still Tallying

Still Tallying

For this I went to Yale?!

For this I went to Yale?!

Tallied Out

Tallied Out

Doo Doo, Doo Doo (just picture the music in Jaws when the shark was about to attack...okay) more to come.

Doo Doo, Doo Doo (just picture the music in Jaws when the shark was about to attack...okay) more to come.

Ajijics Bohemia
Apr 28th, 2010 by Les

“It was a day as different from other days as dogs are from cats and both of them from chrysanthemums or tidal waves or scarlet fever.”  Hamptons Bohemia – written by Helen Harrison and Constance Ayers Denne

My mother said to me, “If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.” Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.

Where to begin?  This tiny village is many things, raucous, enchanting, lovely and loud.  It is full of life somewhat exaggerated and certainly more intense then a sleepy New England town.  Most everyone arrives via the Carretera and you find it bustling with life.  Turning down any of the tiny streets will instantly take you back to the slightest glimpse of what it might have been like 50 or 60 years ago.  The old mixed in with the new.  Mexican in flavor with a dash of European, a touch of Canadian, a smidge of American joined together to create a feeling of marvel of what was, what is, what might be.

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind (thank you DA).

Oh yes…artists.  David’s uncle, James Brooks, was an American muralist, abstract painter and winner of the Logan Medal of the Arts. Brooks was a friend of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner on Eastern Long Island.  If you grab a copy of the book mentioned above “Hamptons Bohemia” you will learn a lot about the Hamptons and its artist colony.

I bring this up because it has a lot to do with who David is.  He comes by his artistic bent, his ability to capture things most of us miss, on film, by way of genetics…of a sort and a love of his art form.

The other day, as we were returning from the mundane but necessary chore of grocery shopping we ran into the lady who runs “Manhattan” – our local Blue Bell Ice Cream connection.  Rosalia stopped to chat and we were to find out she and her husband, Stefano Quaiotti, lived in our home before we occupied it.  He’s the one who set up the studio that David and I fell in love with. 

In the course of our conversation Rosalia said her husband was opening up “another” gallery in Ajijic…..he has galleries in Guadalajara, and a few other cites throughout Mexico.  I mentioned David’s photography and she said they’d love to do a show of his works at her husband’s gallery sometime.  (We tentatively set it up for October, in case anyone is interested in attending.) 

We stopped in last week to purchase our fix of Blue Bell and Stefano happened to be there.  He and David hit it off immediately and Stefano asked David if he would be able to take some pictures of his art (he is an abstract painter) that would truly capture their beauty and style.  Of course he can.  A date was set for this past Monday and David and I (I’m the schleper in the program) arrived at the gallery at 1:00 p.m.

We spent the next four hours with David working and me taking pictures of the two of them talking, laughing and enjoying the whole experience.  What a wonderfully entrancing day.

Stefano was born in Venice, Italy and migrated to Mexico in his early 20’s.  He has shown his work in Europe, South America and Mexico (as far as I could tell).  He has a show coming up in Nayarit (near Puerta Viarta) on June the 6th.  The show is entitled “El Punto Mas Alto” (The Highest Point).  He is a very quiet and soft spoken man who explained he met Rosalia here and has remained because he loves her and he loves Mexico.  His style is European (self-described), he was born Italian and his heart is Mexican.

Let me ask you, where could you go and bump into someone like this in search of ice cream….okay – maybe NY or Paris or Madrid ….alright a lot of places.  But did you expect it in little Ajijic?!  Another good reason to spend your time in this never endingly fascinating Lake Chapala area.  Viva Mexico.

Aviv Artes Studio in Ajijic

Aviv Artes Studio in Ajijic

The artists in conversation.

The artists in conversation.

Where to begin.

Where to begin.

A passtionate artist full of warmth and humor.

A passtionate artist full of warmth and humor.

Just the right angle and light play a significant role.

Just the right angle and light play a significant role.

Help moving the larger works to areas with better light.

Help moving the larger works to areas with better light.

Lots of activity and excitment.

Lots of activity and excitment.

The last of seven prints takes a little more time as the painting is behind glass and reflects light.

The last of seven prints takes a little more time as the painting is behind glass and reflects light.

Do you believe in rock ‘n roll? Can music save your mortal soul?
Apr 24th, 2010 by Les

An old 1972 commercial with actor Lew Wood says… although the beetle does definitely float, it will not float indefinitely. Fun!  (Unsaid – don’t use it as a boat even though we show it floating – like the disclaimers we see now that say “don’t try this at home”.)

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”
Jimi Hendrix, Guitarist, Singer, Composer

No floating beetles around here….at least none that I’ve seen in the Lake Chapala area.  Boy, have I seen a LOT of old Beetles, including old number 53 – The Love Bug (see picture below).  We actually live on the same street as Herbie.  This little gentleman of yesteryear poses for pictures constantly and you can almost hear him say “cool man”.  Talking about picking the right hamlet to live in…..what better spokesperson for Ajijic then Herbie The Love Bug?!  This Love Bug does not have the “rag top” so my guess is he is an impostor, but a charming one who brings a smile to the faces of all who meet him.

This Love Bug was not bought for anyone’s upstairs maid; he is driven by the owner of the Hacienda and parked out front to give him a chance to cater to his many fans.  (As usual, folks, I’m taking poetic license on this since I’ve not been able to confirm any of it from the source – Herbie – as he seems to speak Mexican with a German accent and we all know I’m only on my second Rosetta Stone lesson.  Too complicated for me.)

I’m including a vintage 1969 ad so that those of you too young to remember the original movie star can take a gander at what stardom really is.  Enjoy.

I’ve been smitten with the bug since high school.  It was my dream car – I aspired to great heights… I know!!  The car dates back to 1939 when the German government began building the autobahns and the Bug became known as “the people’s car”.  I did not fall in love with it then as, yes, it was before my time.  I fell in love with the 1969 version.

I can remember my seventh grade teacher had one and we delighted in “moving” it once a week to a place other then where he parked it.  He never tired of our fun and joined in the humor of the entire homeroom class picking the car up and moving it…by hand.  Ah, the memories.

Of course along with the stuffing of phone booths – a fun sport I believe started in the 60’s, stuffing a Bug came next.

Any who, my point is, I never could afford a Bug back then – although I bought one of the first new bugs in my home state (a lime green one) when they came out in 1998.  I have always wondered where they went.

I know longer wonder.  They are right here in the Lake Chapala area!  You can’t go far without seeing them.  These wonderful little “buggers” are everywhere and, quite often, they are being driven by vintage humanoids.  What absolute fun is that?  Not only have they found a home but some of the hippie’s have as well.  Is that not groovy man?  Shades of the psychedelic 60’s.  Can you dig it?  Let’s get everybody together and stuff a Bug!!

Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Jocotepec….I guarantee you, this place will blow your mind.  Peace out brothers and sisters!  Viva Mexico!

The Love Bug of Ajijic

The Love Bug of Ajijic

Our Car the Movie Star - Ad from 1969

Our Car the Movie Star - Ad from 1969

Vintage Beetle

Vintage Beetle

Another Bug

Another Bug

A Working Bug

A Working Bug

The VW Van that drove many a father crazy!

The VW Van that drove many a father crazy!

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Copyright 2009-2011 David and Les Lawrence, Ajijic, Mexico