Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Continuing Adventures of Stern Down Under (the US)

Azotar Anado

The San Miguel Home and Garden Tour

When we left “The Blue Elephant” we headed ‘out of town” toward the City of Guanajuato in the state of Guanajuato. I think. We had traveled the same road the day before, but it was still dark. 

We passed a few places that looked like this

...and this   

 “Are we there yet?”


On the other side of the railroad tracks and another couple of miles up or down the road, our driver turned right up a rocky dirt road a couple hundred yards until we saw a wavy adobe wall fortified with countless dark blue tequila bottles with the bottoms facing out and the tops facing into the courtyard surrounding the Chapel of Jimmy Lee Ray.

Suddenly we were there. In adult Dizzyland.

This is Walt Dizzy (aka Anado McLauchlin), your amiable host at his “home” in Guadalupe en La Cieneguita on the San Miguel de Allende House and Garden Tour. 

It’s hard to say what is most remarkable, remember-able and rejuvenating. The three buildings built by Anado and his husband of four years, Richard Schultz or Anado McLauchlin, the head Frog of Casa las Ranas.

Jim Powell and I have more than 140 years of collective experiences. We voted the house the surprise highlight of our Mexican adventures and the man who put all of it together most likely to have succeeded in delighting, amusing and stimulating our joint psyches. We’re glad our tour driver found it. It’s not that easy.

“FORGET the address,” Anado McLauchlin is quoted in a 2008 New York Times story as having told somebody on the phone asking for driving directions: “It’s like a dream: it doesn’t exist. How’s your Spanish? Tell the cabdriver: near the balneario. That’s the bathhouse. Or the casa de los colores — that’s the way
 a lot of them know us.”
The house has a ceiling made of bricks ... Anado alleges none have ever fallen.


It's cheerful.  It's cozy. 

 I wouldn't sleep well there, waiting for a brick to come loose and put me to sleep, maybe forever.

The pathway to the entrance to the main house features this ... um ... interesting mosaic.   Who knew Shaquille O'Neal was an artist's muse? Yes, the red thing hanging from the belt is what you think it is. 

The art inside The Gallery at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray, a mythical character that Anado has been paying homage to in his art for over 30 years, is every bit as as weird and wonderful as the outside.

Click here to see more of Anado’s story. And be sure to visit Casa las Ranas, the place that doesn’t exist, the mythical Jimmy Ray and Richard and Anado next time you’re in or near San Miguel de Allende.

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