Dec 022016
Where to buy "Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique"

Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique, by Tony Burton, with thirty original pen and ink illustrations by Enrique Velázquez, is available in both print and e-book editions from all major online retailers (prices in US$): Print edition from CreateSpace (our preference) – $19.99 Print edition on – $19.99 E-book edition for Kindle – $7.42 […]

Jan 162017
Gabino Ortiz Villaseñor, a 19th century poet and dramatist

Gabino Ortiz Villaseñor (1819-1885) was a 19th century poet, journalist, lawyer, politician and playwright born in the town of Jiquilpan, Michoacán, on the eastern shore of Lake Chapala prior to that area’s draining for farmland in 1906. Despite the fact that the commemorative plaque on his birthplace (image) gives his date of birth as 18 […]

Jan 092017
Poet, author and illustrator Regina Shekerjian (1923-2000)

Regina Alma (deCormier) Shekerjian and her husband, photographer Haig Shekerjian, spent several months living in Ajijic over the winter of 1950-51, and returned frequently thereafter, including numerous times in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Regina deCormier Shekerjian (1923-2000) was a well-known poet, author, translator and illustrator of children’s books. She was born in Poughkeepsie, […]

Jan 052017
Western artist John A. Bruce visited Ajijic in the 1960s

The renowned western artist John A. Bruce, best known for his portraiture, visited Ajijic on Lake Chapala, probably in the 1960s. His name was recalled by long-time Ajijic visitor Dr. Jim Vaughan when I interviewed him in 1990. Vaughan said that Bruce had drawn a sketch of him, but that it had required several sittings, […]

Jan 022017
Victoriano Roa described Chapala in the early 19th century

Victoriano Roa wrote a post-Independence statistical account of Jalisco which includes descriptions and data pertaining to Lake Chapala in 1821-1822. Relatively little is known about Roa, a politician and writer. It is likely that he was a native of Jalisco, given that the surname is common there. He held various state government posts in the […]

Dec 292016
Janet M Cummings photographed Lake Chapala in 1916 for National Geographic

Just who was Janet M. Cummings? I’ve managed to find out very little about this photographer despite the fact that she was one of the earliest female photographers to have several of her photographs published in National Geographic and she also had photos accepted by such august newspapers as the New York Times. One of […]

Dec 262016
Enrique Villaseñor y de La Parra (1865-1934), poet born in Jiquilpan, Michoacán

Enrique Carmen de Jesús Villaseñor y de La Parra was born on 14 July 1865 in Jiquilpan, Michoacán (at that time on the shores of Lake Chapala), in a house on a street named for another famous priest and poet born in the town: Diego José Abad. Villaseñor ‘s father, Toribio Villaseñor, was a rural property […]

Dec 242016
A Christmas Potpourri of Lake Chapala Links

A number of artists and authors associated with Lake Chapala have clear links to Christmas. Admittedly, some links are more tenuous than others. Here, in no particular order, are a few of those that come to mind: Regina Tor (deCormier) Shekerjian and her husband, photographer Haig Shekerjian, were frequent visitors to Ajijic from the early […]

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Dec 222016
Orville Goldner, of "King Kong" fame, visited Ajijic in the 1970s

Orville Charles Goldner (1906-1985) was an art director, puppeteer and special-effects artist who visited Ajijic with his wife Dorothy Goldner in the early 1970s. Goldner was born in Toledo, Ohio, on 18 May 1906 and died on 28 February 1985. He studied at the Toledo Museum School of Design in his native town before moving […]

Dec 192016
Poet and writer Jim Levy lived in Ajijic 1968-69

Poet and writer Jim Levy lived for about a year in Ajijic from mid-1968 until May 1969. Many years later, he has started publishing some of his poems,  essays and stories. Levy, whose father was a Freudian psychoanalyst, was born in Chicago in 1940 and raised in Los Angeles. As a child, he spent several […]

Dec 152016
Artist Dorothy Goldner visited Ajijic in the early 1970s

Dorothy Goldner (1906-2005) and her husband Orville Goldner (1906-1985) spent some time in Ajijic in the early 1970s, as evidenced by Dorothy’s participation in the large group show “Fiesta of Art” held on 15 May 1971 at the residence of Mr and Mrs E. D. Windham (Calle 16 de Septiembre #33, Ajijic). Other artists at […]

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Dec 122016
Salomón Zepeda's novel, "La Ondina de Chapala"

In my on-going quest to document the authors and artists associated with Lake Chapala, I occasionally come across individuals about whom very little is known. In most cases, diligent research eventually unearths a few savory tidbits, even if I sometimes still lack sufficient material to compile a formal biography. Salomón Zepeda is an exception. I […]

Dec 102016
Review  by Dale Palfrey of "Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique" for Guadalajara Reporter

This review, by Dale Palfrey, of “Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique” appeared in the 24 November 2016 edition of the Guadalajara Reporter: New tome uncovers obscure details about amazing Mexico “Mexican Kaleidoscope,” the latest book by Tony Burton, takes readers on a delightful romp through Mexican history and culture, spanning 10,000 years from the […]

Dec 082016
Lithographer Alan Horton Crane  (1901-1969) visited Chapala in 1948

Alan Horton Crane, aka Alan Crane (a name also used by his artist son), was an American artist, illustrator and lithographer who spent most of his life in New England, but who visited Mexico several times in the 1940s and 1950s. Crane was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1901 and died in 1969. (His […]

Dec 052016
Poet and novelist Al Young visited Lake Chapala in the mid-1960s

The distinguished Black American poet, novelist and educator Al Young visited Lake Chapala sometime in the mid- to late-1960s. It was in Ajijic that he first met Black American artist Arthur Monroe, the beginning of a long artistic friendship. Al Young subsequently published two works with a direct connection to the lake. “Moon Watching by […]

Dec 012016
Robert Clutton painted in Ajijic from about 1959 to 1961

Robert Clutton (1932-2016) lived in Ajijic from about 1959 to 1961. His time in Mexico introduced him to the pantheon of ancient Aztec and Maya gods which so strongly influenced much of his later art. He revisited Ajijic several times after this initial extended stay in the village. “Bob” Clutton, “Roberto” to his Mexican friends, […]

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Nov 282016
David Dodge on Chapala and Ajijic in the late 1960s

Travel writer and novelist David Dodge lived in Ajijic for several  months in 1966. He had traveled throughout the country and subsequently published a popular motoring guide covering all of Mexico. The book, Fly Down, Drive Mexico: A Practical Motorist’s Handbook For Travel South of the Border, was published by Macmillan in 1968, together with […]

Nov 242016
Jacques Van Belle took postcard photos of Ajijic in the mid-1960s

Dutch-born photographer Jacques Van Belle, who died in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2012 at the age of 88, took several black and white photographs of Ajijic used for postcards. The postcard views, presumed to date from the mid-1960s, included at least two of the “Hotel Laguna” (Posada Ajijic) as well as one of the bee hives […]

Nov 212016
Barbara Nolen Strong, editor of children's books, had close connections to Lake Chapala

Barbara Strong used her maiden name of Barbara Nolen professionally, as an author and editor of children’s books. Strong was born on 19 December 1902 and died at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on 13 December 2002, less than a week shy of her 100th birthday. She and her husband David Strong lived in Morris, Connecticut, and […]

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