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By Bob Alvarado

From the Editor's Desk....

As always, the art, stories and most importantly, the people, featured in this issue are cutting edge. Our writers have again done an excellent job of chronicling their lives.

“Potters Round-Up” is a progressive presentation of the great artists who are coming into world prominence thanks to their unique and disciplined talents. Some are gone, some still carry on their family tradition.

Fulfilling our promise to bring you news of Santa Cruz de las Huertas, Allyn Hunt, who is one of our personal favorite writers and who has achieved worldwide syndication with his observations of the Mexican scene— from politicos to campesinos— brings us his memories of drinking a few cold ones with celebrated potter Candelario Medrano.

Then there’s Candelario’s son, Serapio, who carries the baton of the “betus” clay tradition. His story, by Gustavo Hernandez, gives us a deeper understanding of the pottery style made noteworthy in Santa Cruz, and much later in the Ocumicho region of Michoacan.

Lassoing some of these at times eccentric and at times humble artists was not an easy task. Our cover story, on charro artist Ildefonso Goche, was an assignment put to task a year ago, almost to the day. Historian Ruben Rodriguez finally managed to ambush Ildefonso, bringing us an insightful piece on this 70 year old artist.

Juan Francisco Basulto gets our attention hands down. He comes from a long family line in the art of burnished earthenware and is now developing his own loyal following of collectors. Formally trained in the plastic arts, he is a talent to be closely watched.

Also in this issue, from our own Guadalajara back yard we present junker, antiquarian and auctioneer don Ramon “EL Ruso” Alvarez in “Virtues and Vices of an Antiquarian.” Lou Christine brings us guitar maker Sergio Huerta, from San Miguel de Allende, and from Texas we have Cheech Marin’s (“Hey did you see the name of my car when you got in? It says La Bamba.”) Mexican-American art collection touring the United States museum circuit.

However, the real surprise in this edition is a refreshingly new addition to our roster of writers. Veteran penman Charlie Vincent (a sports writer, of all things) has been covering the fields since the days when Jimmy Jones’ panacea for dramatic tantrums first blossomed on the football field back in his high school years.

Mr. Vincent, an award winning sports columnist with the Detroit Free Press for 30 years, comes to us with vast experience, not so much for his knowledge of sports, but for his unique ability to deal with people. The eccentric, the prima-donas, the overpaid, the pedantic, and the at times obnoxious sports figures are his specialty. With this type of background, I knew instantly that dealing with some of the artists, dealers and collectors with equal qualities as those mentioned above, would be a pastel walk for him. (Dear Susan, I promise this is not aimed in your direction). Don’t miss Charlie’s first play action, Benign Obsession, which was completed brilliantly and with a lot of time remaining on the clock. I suggest you start with his column, aptly christened, “From Left Field,” where he actually confesses to his dismal shortcomings as a collector. Readers, let us know what you think of Charlie and his new column, your notes to us are more important than the huge salaries we deserve but don’t get.

Good news for our amigos in the USA and our pals in Mexico. A club is forming for all El antiQuario Magazine advertisers and subscribers who are in good standing and carry a current El antiQuario ID badge with photo (and who have adequate knowledge of the secret hand shake).

Casa Hoy, not exactly an ex-hacienda, but for sure an ex-ugly white elephant, has turned into an exhibition center, antique mall and information hub for the club. The function of this NPO is simple: To have a collective presence under a single roof of all our antiquarians, pickers, collectors, potters and other artists— both new and old, rich or poor, famous or not. Rent is free for members (what a concept!!!) and there are few requirements other than emphases on professional integrity. Little to ask for and a lot to receive.

Visitors who come from afar can start and end their Guadalajara buying trips at Casa Hoy, as it now houses a great selection of trinkets and information on who made them and where to to buy them. Orders can be placed, or buy right off the floor. Shopping plans can be made through the use of our locator service and hot lines, plus we offer consolidating, tracking and service recommendations.

Although the local inauguration has already taken place, and a president has been elected (Ramon “El Ruso” Alvarez), the international opening is slated for September the 3rd. Dinner by our outdoor chefs will be served in the garden and soothing music from some our favorite crooners will be on-going. So if you’re in town, please drop by, become a member, learn the secret handshake and meet the great people that make buying and collecting so much fun. You’ll love it, you’ll be back, I promise. El antiQuario Magazine’s CASA HOY awaits you.