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 […]

Apr 202017
The extraordinary talents of Anne McKeever: model, poet, painter, photographer and teacher

Anne McKeever (1928-2002) was an artist, model, photographer and Beat poet who spent some time in Ajijic during the 1950s and was a close friend of the painter Don Martin and folksinger Lori Fair. Another of McKeever’s closest friends was Jeonora Bartlet, who lived in Ajijic in 1956-7 and later became the partner of American […]

Apr 182017
George Ballou and a lost 500-page book about the artist-tourist colony at Lake Chapala

George Adin Ballou was born in Madrid, Spain, probably on 21 November 1927, and died in May 1986. By the age of 21, according to an article in the Amarillo Daily News, Ballou had already completed several books, including, “a 500-page work on the artist-tourist colony at Lake Chapala”, with the working title of Ajijic. […]

Apr 112017
Pioneer photographer Dorothy Hosmer visited Ajijic in 1945

Dorothy Hosmer, born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, in 1910, spent much of her life combining adventure and photography. She visited Ajijic with her mother for a short time in 1945, where she met, among others, artists Otto Butterlin and Sylvia Fein. Fein recalls that Hosmer was planning to write an article about the area, with the […]

Apr 102017
Ross Parmenter describes a boat trip from Chapala to Ajijic in 1946

In a previous post, we offered an outline biography of Canadian writer Ross Parmenter, who first visited Mexico in 1946 and subsequently wrote several books related to Mexico. One of these book, Stages in a Journey (1983), includes accounts of two trips from Chapala to Ajijic – the first by car, the second by boat […]

Apr 062017
Prolific painter and batik artist Gustel Foust lived in Ajijic in the 1980s

Painter and batik artist Auguste Killat Foust (1915-2010), better known as Gustel Foust, had lived for twenty years in Mexico before moving to Ajijic, where she lived from 1978 to 1984. Previously she had resided fifteen years in Guadalajara (1963-78) and five years in San Miguel de Allende (1958-1963). Auguste Killat Myckinn (her birthname) was […]

Apr 032017
Martin Goldsmith, Hollywood screen writer, was in Ajijic in the mid-1960s

Author Martin M. Goldsmith was born 6 November 1913 in New York City and died in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, at the age of 80, on 24 May 1994. He wrote several acclaimed screenplays, including Detour (1945), adapted from his 1939 novel of the same name; Blind Spot (1947); and The Narrow Margin (1952) which […]

Mar 302017
In the early 1950s, "Peter Arnold" ran one of Ajijic's earliest advertising campaigns - to attract tourists or artists?

One of my more maddening failures in trying to piece together the history of the artistic and literary community at Lake Chapala has been my inability to corroborate the existence of the “Peter Arnold Art Studios” in Ajijic in the early 1950s. The term appears in the obituary of author and serial adventurer Peter Elstob […]

Mar 272017
Entrepreneur and balloon pilot Arnold Eiloart lived in Ajijic in the early 1950s

English etrepreneur, balloon pilot and writer Arnold Eiloart (1907-1981) lived in Ajijic from either late 1948 or early 1949 until 1950, and again from 1951 to April 1952. Arnold Beaupré Eiloart, usually known as “Bushy”, was born on 23 August 1907, at Whiteway Colony, Gloucestershire, in a tent in the middle of a field. His […]

Mar 232017
American-born artist Barbara Zacheisz Elstob painted in Ajijic in the early 1950s

American-born artist Barbara Jean Zacheisz Elstob painted in Ajijic in the early 1950s. She lived in Ajijic (where she met her future husband, the writer Peter Elstob) for more than two years, from late 1949 or early 1950 to April 1952. Barbara Jean Zacheisz was born on 22 October 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her […]

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Mar 202017
Author and adventurer Peter Elstob lived in Ajijic in the early 1950s

Peter Frederick Egerton Elstob (1915-2002) was a British author, adventurer and entrepreneur who lived in Ajijic from late 1949 until 1952. Peter Elstob was born in London on 22 December 1915. The family lived in various places during Peter’s childhood, and his early education was in the U.S. where he graduated from Summit High School […]

Mar 162017
The stories in "40 Years", a multi-media exhibit by Paul Huf

We looked in a previous post at the life and work of multi-talented German artist Paul “Pablo” Huf who spent his early childhood in Ajijic. Huf, born in Guadalajara in October 1967, is the elder son of two professional artists closely associated with Ajijic – Peter Paul Huf and Eunice Hunt. The family lived in […]

Mar 132017
Novelist James Kelly lived more than twenty years in Ajijic

James F. Kelly was a writer and novelist who lived in Ajijic for more than twenty years from the early 1960s. More usually referred to as Jim Kelly, James Frederick Kelly was born in 1912 (in Ohio?) and educated at Staunton Military Academy, Swarthmore College and Columbia University School of Journalism. He also studied at […]

Mar 092017
John Kenneth Peterson's contributions to Ajijic's art community in the 1960s and 1970s

John Kenneth Peterson, known in his family as “Kenny”, was born in San Pedro, Los Angeles, on 24 September 1922, to Andrew Gustof Peterson (1886-1957) and Edith Anna Danielson (1892-1973). He passed away in Ajijic, Mexico, in 1984, at the age of 61, and is buried in San Diego. Peterson was active in the Ajijic […]

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Mar 022017
German artist Paul Huf spent his early childhood in Ajijic

Multi-talented German artist Paul “Pablo” Huf, the elder son of two professional artists closely associated with Ajijic – Peter Paul Huf and Eunice (Hunt) Huf – was born in Guadalajara in October 1967. According to his parents, his first word was alacrán (scorpion) because of the large number of those arachnids that shared their humble […]

Feb 272017
Batman writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. lived at Lake Chapala in the 1950s

Famed Hollywood writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. lived at Lake Chapala in the 1950s and returned several times thereafter. While living in Ajijic, Semple wrote The Golden Fleecing, a play that was produced on Broadway and subsequently turned into a movie. Semple is best-known for creating the big-screen and TV character Batman. Lorenzo Elliott Semple Jr., […]

Feb 232017
Beverly Johnson, Ajijic's unofficial photographer in the early 1970s

Free-spirited Beverly Johnson (1933-1976), who was Ajijic’s unofficial photographer in the early 1970s, first moved to the village in 1961. She is one of the many people who helped make Ajijic tick in the old days who are really difficult to categorize. In 1961, she extricated herself from a disastrous relationship in the U.S., shortly […]

Feb 202017
Ramón Rubín's novel about Lake Chapala: "La Canoa Perdida"

Novelist Ramón Rubín (1912-2000) lived much of his life in Jalisco and was a staunch defender of Lake Chapala. Rubín never actually lived on the shores of the lake but his novel, La Canoa Perdida: novela mestiza (“The Lost Canoe: a mestizo novel”), reveals an excellent understanding of the people and places that make the […]

Feb 162017
Canadian artist Eunice Huf spent several years in Ajijic in the 1960s and 1970s

Eunice and Peter Huf are artists who met in Mexico in the 1960s and lived in Ajijic on Lake Chapala for several years, before relocating to Europe with their two sons in the early 1970s. Eunice Eileen (Hunt) Huf, born 27 February 1933 in Alberta, Canada, can trace her family’s roots back to Switzerland and […]

Feb 132017
Novelist Ramón Rubín (1912-2000) was a staunch defender of Lake Chapala

Mexican author Ramón Rubín Rivas (1912-2000) wrote a novel set at Lake Chapala: La canoa perdida: Novela mestiza. He wrote more than a dozen novels and some 500 short stories over a lengthy career and this work, first published in 1951, is considered one of his finest, though it has never been translated into English. […]

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