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Why Do We Do the Things We Do?
Anado: Life and Work

Saturday, August 7

by Dr David, Editor / Publisher

Why we do the things we do is a source of wonder, not just to others, but often to ourselves. Yes, we have our "reasons," but psychologists have made a profession out of looking behind those superficial explanations.

My reason for starting publishing my San Miguel Events in March of 2012 was because in February of 2012 I missed the inaugural event at Anado's Chapel of Jimmy Ray. Following Scarlet, who in Gone With the Wind declared, "With God as my witness, I will never be hungry again," I declared, "With God as my witness, I will never miss an event again."

At least I never missed another of Anado's events. He had two each year, one in February and one in August. I would ride my bicycle out from town along a crosscountry path that starts at the railroad crossing and goes most of the way to his place in Cienegita. It's a beautiful, peaceful route. Each trip I would stop on the top of the hill, in the middle of the campo (countryside), and admire the landscape and sky.

If I socialized regularly, I would get tired of it. As it is, socializing is rare enough in my life that when I do it I do it exuberantly. I am like cows, which when let out of the barn for the first time in spring after a long Vermont winter, want to jump and frolic. For those once agile creatures, long since bred to be awkward (wild cows kept running away), such playfulness is dangerous. Similar to my bovine friends, sometimes my social playfulness gets me into trouble, too.

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray is nothing if not festive. Its architecture alone is a celebration. Throw in a crowd on a sunny Saturday afternoon and a good dose of marijuana and it's over the top, at least, it always was for me.

Anado was nothing if not colorful. Back in September of 2012, I decided to get literary and publish a magazine in addition to my event calendar. (Who knows why we do these things?) An interview with Anado was the first thing I published.

Some days after the interview Anado came to dinner. I made my famous miso soup. He raved about it, consuming a few helpings, adding extra miso to it. For desert we had two flavors of ice cream, carmel and salt, made by a place on the Ancha that isn't here anymore. Anado isn't here anymore either.

For someone who is supposed to have his finger on the pulse of the community, I am really out of the loop. I found out late that Anado had died... of cancer. I still haven't found out the particulars. With six planets in Virgo, detail-oriented to an extreme, sometimes I swing in the other direction; sometimes I'd rather be spared the specifics.

Two years ago Veronica had a couple of friends from Chile visit on their way through Mexico. I gave them micro-doses of peyote and we all went to Escondido Place, some nearby thermal waters. (The dose was so small that she didn't feel hers.) Afterwards we dropped Vero off where she teaches school in nearby Atotonilco (Arbol de Vida) and drove following the back road towards Cienegita.

From an article I wrote about the episode:

I had hopes of showing my guests Anado's place. But knowing how much he values his privacy my approach was tentative. Despite it being unlocked, we stood outside the lower gate and made whistling sounds until catching the attention of a young man on the other side. Not wanting to disturb the maestro, I asked the young man if we could just enter the compound and look around. "Not without permission," was his reply. I gave him my card and asked to be announced. Moments later the upper gate opened and Anado performed a caricature of himself; "This is a private residence. How am I supposed to get any work done with these interruptions?" It was funny, because it was true. Moving up the road I protested, "Anado it is enough only to see you. You are the real work of art. Everything else is just a reflection." Laughing, he warmly embraced me and invited us in. Taking his keys out of his pocket, he asked his assistant, Carlos, to show us the gallery, and told us to come visit him in his studio afterwards.

That visit Anado asked me, in return for our impromptu visit, to help promote him, to advertise a poetry reading in which he was involved. I responded, only half in jest, "I am always working for you."

Anado was good at self-promotion. He was criticized for not coming up the old-school way, for advertising himself in New York. Call me cynical, but I figure that all is fair not just in love and war, but also in marketing.

Who is this Jimmy Ray, who has a chapel in Cienegita named after him? The man himself, Anado, aka, James Ray McLaughlin. In that earlier incarnation, Jimmy Ray was swept up in pop culture in 1960s San Francisco. Later, as a a successful artist, re-christened by his guru, Anado hung out with the beautiful people here in San Miguel and elsewhere.

Anado wove those two identities (and for all I know, a few more) into a dazzling whole. During that interview in 2012, sitting in the shadow of the Parroquia, he observed:

"There are so many ex-pats in San Miguel, party people arriving, wealthy people buying homes. It's good for the economy and at the same time it's that whole thing you see in LA or New York... a celebrity culture....I can't keep up with them. I don't want to... They can have their dance... I join in from time to time... But Richard and I have a very secure life with each other and that's where our focus lies, out in the campo with our critters..."

In addition to his flamboyant self, I knew, or at least, connected with, or at least admired, the Jimmy Ray side of Anado, the kid from suburban Oklahoma, who, as fanciful as he was, always kept at least one foot on the ground.

Who really knows why we do what we do? I suspect that beauty, a quest for harmony, is a big factor. Certainly, Jimmy Ray, the recently deceased multi-colored master, created a lot of that. In any case, Anado, whatever psychedelic heaven you are now inhabiting, I'm still working for you.


Grand Re-opening of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray


Dr David and his merry band believe that the new expanded Lokkal will change the world, city by city.

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