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 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 […]

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 […]

Nov 172016
Chicago artist Richard Robbins painted Lake Chapala in 1898

Richard Smith Robbins (1863-1908) was a Chicago-based artist who painted Lake Chapala in 1898. According to a short piece in The Mexican Herald (12 December 1898): “Richard Robbins, the Chicago artist, who is at present in Guadalajara … has secured a number of sketches of the most picturesque points some of which he proposes to […]

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Nov 132016
Al Young's novel "Who is Angelina?"

A significant section of Al Young’s novel Who is Angelina?, first published in 1975, is set at Lake Chapala, where Young had spent some time in the mid- to late-1960s. The plot of Who is Angelina? is relatively simple. Angelina Green, an intelligent, 26-year-old, life-loving woman living in Berkeley, after the hippie phase, goes to […]

Nov 102016
American writer and composer Paul Bowles relaxed at Lake Chapala for several weeks in 1942

The famous American writer, composer and translator Paul Bowles (1910-1999) was a frequent visitor to Mexico in the late 1930s and early 1940s prior to moving to live in Morocco in 1947. Bowles spent a few relaxing weeks in Ajijic, on Lake Chapala, in the first half of 1942. Paul Bowles was born in New […]

Nov 072016
Santa Fe painter Betty Binkley lived and painted in Chapala in the mid-1940s

Betty Binkley, a painter mainly associated with Santa Fe, New Mexico, lived and painted in Chapala in the mid-1940s. In 1944, she exhibited her work at the Villa Montecarlo in Chapala in a group show that also included works by Jaime López Bermudez, Ernesto Butterlin (“Lin”), Otto Butterlin, Ann Medalie and Sylvia Fein. Betty (sometimes Bettie) […]

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Nov 032016
Novelist and travel writer David Dodge (1910-1974) lived in Ajijic in 1966

David Dodge was already a successful author of plays, novels and travel books when he and his wife Elva settled in Ajijic in 1966. David Francis Dodge was born in Berkeley, California, on 18 August 1910. When his father, an architect, was killed in an auto accident, the family moved to Southern California. After attending […]

Oct 312016
Mysterious author Arthur Brooke Caden wrote about Lake Chapala in 1898

Help needed! I have managed to learn very little about the writer Arthur Brooke Caden (ca 1871-1906) beyond the fact that he accompanied American novelist Charles Fleming Embree and his wife on a multi-day boat trip on Lake Chapala in 1898, and wrote about their experiences in “Mascota’s Cruise”, published in The Mexican Herald on […]

Oct 272016
The innovative artist Don Martin lived in Ajijic in the 1950s

Among the more innovative artists experimenting in Ajijic during the 1950s is one almost-forgotten American painter: Don Martin. Donald Theodore Martin (1931-1989) lived in Ajijic from early in 1954 until late summer, 1961. As Joan Gilbert Martin points out, on the website she established as a tribute to her late husband, his “long stay” in […]

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Oct 242016
Hazel Wilson visited Lakeside in 1971 to research a children's book

Hazel Emma Wilson, a prolific author of children’s books, visited Lake Chapala in 1971, “doing research for a Mexican book”. At that point in her career she had already written 19 books. Unfortunately, it remains maddeningly unclear whether or not any book based on her Mexican research was ever published! Wilson (née Hutchins) was born […]

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