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Those Were the Days….

By Donna Fullerton

Join us this Thursday for an entertaining walk through San Miguel’s past, from the perspective of an interesting mix of people who helped make San Miguel a mecca for artists and adventurers.

Live Presentation
“A Walk Through San Miguel’s Past”
By the San Miguel Archive Project
Thu, Aug 20, 5:30pm
La Biblioteca
Teatro Santa Ana
Reloj 50A
100 pesos

The program kicks off with a video compilation of fascinating insights by some of the first foreigners to settle in San Miguel. The video features Stirling Dickinson, who in 1937 was one of the earliest Americans to move here; and Dorothy Vidargas, who moved to San Miguel in 1947 to study at Dickinson’s Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes. Dickinson, interviewed in 1992, and Vidargas, interviewed in 1993 and 2009, talk about what San Miguel was like in their day.

Following the video, event host Camie Sands will interview a panel of long-time residents who will share their stories and take questions from the audience. Tickets to the event can be purchased for 100 pesos at the Teatro Santa Ana box office at La Biblioteca.

The event is produced by the San Miguel Archive Project, which aims to create a permanent and ongoing record of San Miguel history from the 1940s onward. The project is being managed jointly by La Biblioteca and our committee of volunteers, which includes Diane Largman, Pam Knoles, Sue Beere, and Dennis Lanson. Archived materials, including dozens of videos and audiotapes, will eventually be archived at La Biblioteca. For more information, please email Pam at

Videos on the San Miguel Archive Project’s YouTube channel

Now you can view videos of 25 full interviews, plus 17 short story excerpts, featuring early residents talking about San Miguel in the 1940s through the 1990s. Some were filmed more than 20 years ago; others are more recent but equally entertaining. If you want to be informed when new videos are added, just click the “subscribe” button on our YouTube channel:

Host and Moderator

Camie Sands

Camie first came to San Miguel as a high school student in 1973 to study at the Instituto Allende. In 2000, she and her husband sold their ad agency in Washington State and moved to San Miguel to start a new episode of their lives. Since then she has served on various boards of NGOs and was director of the Chamber Music Festival of San Miguel from 2008 to 2013. She is now serving on a board that aids the disabled.

Camie is also publisher of the San Miguel Walking and Shopping Guide; owner of Access San Miguel, the on-line business directory (; and has recently created a bi-lingual online magazine called San Miguel Scene (


Daniel Rueffert

Dan arrived here in 1969 at the age of 21. His talent and tenure in San Miguel and elsewhere in Mexico have afforded him iconic status as a master post-impressionist painter of Mexican life, lifestyle, and landscape. As one of Mexico’s most accomplished and collectible artists, his art can be found in collections worldwide. Dan taught at the Instituto Allende for several years in the early 1980s. He currently lives and exhibits his work in Mineral de Pozos.

Polly Stark Ortega and CC Stark de Osornio

In 1973, the young Stark sisters arrived in San Miguel with their adventurous parents, Alice and Bill Stark. Polly worked for several years teaching printmaking and painting at Bellas Artes and the Instituto Allende, and now applies her skills as a painter and muralist in many of San Miguel’s finest homes. She is also on the board of directors of El Centro de las Artes Contemporaneas de San Miguel. CC is an event planner and runs food tasting and cultural walking tours around San Miguel.

Paulina Hawkins Masip

Paulina, a native sanmiguelense, is the director of Academia Hispano Americana. Her mother, Carmen Masip, founded the Academia in 1959, and it is now the oldest school in San Miguel specializing in teaching Spanish as a second language.


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