Stir Fry You Say!
February 27th, 2011 by Les

“We have never been a melting pot. The fact is we are more like a tossed salad.  We are green, some of us are oily and there’s a little vinegar injected when you get up to Ottawa.”  Arnold Edinborough, Canadian Writer and Arts Advocate

 Jane Elliott, American teacher and anti-racism activist said: “This country isn’t a melting pot.  Think of this country as a stir fry.  That’s what this country should be.  A place where people are appreciated for who they are.”

For a brief moment in time they came together in this tiny Mexican village of Ajijic.  Sweden and the Bronx.  South Africa and South Carolina.  Australia and Alaska.  Equator and Wisconsin.  Dallas and Paris, Minnesota via Saudi Arabia.  Canada and Calvary.  And on and on and on….

They mixed and mingled.  Toes tapped and hineys wiggled.  Heads nodded with the music.  Hands clapped and a universal smile played upon the lips of all who were there.  The hacienda was alive with melody drifting out and caressing those who sat on the veranda (okay porch…but veranda sounds so much better) and spiraling gently around those who sauntered through the gardens or sat by the pool, enjoying David’s wonderful photography framed and mounted on the walls of the veranda or displayed artfully within the great room.

Maybe not a melting pot but, as Jane Elliott said, more like a stir fry.  Each person bringing with them their individuality and yet a common bond….life in a Mexican village.

What brought them together on this beautiful evening with gentle breezes traveling off Lake Chapala?  The setting sun in all its pink and orange colors nestling slowly behind the mountains leaving the brilliant blue and puffy white clouds behind and giving us a star-filled evening sky allowing the music from within to soar unencumbered to the heavens above.

Mark and Emmie Clifton

It is said that music is the speech of angels.  The commonly held belief that anyone who can fiddle his way through Virginia Reels without losing his grip, can be depended upon in a musical emergency was validated yet again.  Mark Clifton, with his amazing wife Emmie, brought his special brand of musical talent and banter to our home to share with everyone present.

George Harrison said: “I would rather be a musician then a rock star”.  Well folks Mark is both as well as a composer and writer.  Moving from acoustic to electric guitar effortlessly he blended classic blues, rock and roll, a touch of jazz with a sprinkle of spiritual songs all of which captured his audience giving wings to their fantasies and delight to their senses.  Banter and comments while engaging his audience in spirited repartee and raucous laughter, brought chutzpah, pizzazz and life to a gathering of many.

Can you blend cultures, countries, quirky personalities and a strong sense of bohemian nature?  Yes you can if you add a touch of music that can transcend individuality and strength concocting a liquidity that lingers in your thoughts and gives commonality to each person who had come to simply enjoy. 

During a break in the music we were extremely fortunate to hear about Casa Corazon (House of Heart) a shelter started 10 years ago in response to the many abandoned elderly Mexicans who were sleeping on the streets of Jocotepec.  If you would like to know more about this wonderful cause you can email Rose Ann Wagner at

Archie Bunker a character portrayed by Carroll O’Connor, said: “Listen Edith, I know you’re singing, you know you’re singing, but the neighbors may think I’m torturing you!”  That was not the case on this night.  The music that was shared by Mark Clifton brought nomadic characters from all over the world together to celebrate life as we know it.  And, folks, it was good!

Viva Mexico!

Below you will find some of David’s latest photographs…


Chapala Zona Restaurante

Sunset on an Evening of Music in Ajijic Mexico

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos. 

5 Responses  
  • Les Wollam writes:
    May 7th, 201112:22 pmat

    That sunset shot is beautiful, but i’m not so sure i’d like to rent that house.


  • Sid Grosvenor writes:
    March 8th, 20117:47 pmat

    Hi Les, Another great post. I’d be glad to answer the post from Marvin (at least partially).

    Marvin. IMSS now requires that you take a through physical to get coverage. Anything related to your prior heart valve replacement would likely not be covered.

    Other pre existing things discovered would likewise not be covered. But having said that, most of us are members of IMSS and use it like a Major medical policy.

    We don;t go to the local clinic because we may come out sicker than when we went in (the working poor only have IMSS from their jobs (if any coverage at all) and so they go to the local clinic with long wait times and often out of the medicine you may need.

    The IMSS hospitals in Guad. are low frill places and you will be in a ward unless your condition demands a private or semi private room.

    Many of the doctors are English speakers and the overall level of care is very good so we keep the coverage.

    The cost of private care in hospitals in Guad is much less expensive than the same procedure in the USA and the level of care is equal or better to the best in the USA I hear.

    So, I would check any procedure I needed at a major private hospital in Guad if it was not covered by your policy in the USA for sure. I’d check the co pay in the USA against total cost here. It may not be much different.

    Some folks just have IMSS and save what ever their premiums used to be in the USA and then if and when they need private care here they have a fund waiting to use.

    Sort of a personal self insured major health care fund which they may never need.

    Hope this helps some. Sid

  • mortsahl writes:
    February 27th, 20115:31 pmat

    In one of your future posts, can you talk about medical care (costs, specifically)? I’m 59. My wife and I were planning on spending a few weeks in the Ajijic area this spring, then, in a total surprise to me, I had to have open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. If I were living in Mexico, what is available (IMSS or private) or for something serious, should I just head back to the States?

  • MAry Ann Borman writes:
    February 27th, 20114:02 pmat

    SO sorry we were not there as well. If they are playing locally let us know. Sounds like fun.

  • Elin Lawrence writes:
    February 27th, 20113:26 pmat

    Sounds like it was an wonderful evening. Too bad we were in CT freezing our asses off! Maybe next time.

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