A week or so ago, my husband and I attended a performance of the play Amadeus at Camelot Theatre. What a show! It had been a long time since I’d thought of the life of Mozart and his amazing talent and tragically short life but it all came flooding back that night. The cast and crew did an excellent job of bringing this story to life – and filling my head with questions… about Salieri and about the music that might have been. That night I also learned the meaning of the name Amadeus; it translates to “love of God.”
Ashland Mayor John Stromberg and Senora Chela Tapp-Kocks
The friend who shared this insight with me is Senora Chela Tapp-Kocks. The very same Senora who is singlehandedly responsible for creating the sister city relationship between Ashland, Oregon and Guanajuato, Mexico. That relationship began with a University exchange in 1969 and has continued on to this day. This relationship has “been forged and nurtured over four decades by officials of both city governments, university and high school administrators and teachers, actors, artists, police officers, firemen, service clubs and — most of all — families” ( GlobalPost.com).
Senora Chela Tapp-Kocks
Some of the “consequences” of this sister city relationship are as follows:
- Several thousand students have taken part in the University Exchange
- 80 marriages have taken place between Ashlanders and Guanajuatenses
- Over 200 homes have been constructed in Guanajuato with funds provided by the Ashland Rotary Club
All this occurred because Senora Chela wanted to bring a little bit of Mexico to Ashland. This is what she has to say about the program, ““The most important thing is the family relationships that we’ve maintained for 40 years,” said Tapp. “It’s people to people connecting with their city, their lives, their love, their passion. It has a life of its own.” Last week to honor all that she has done – and continues to do – to make the world a friendlier, more connected place, I brought Senora Chela an Apple Crumb Crust pie. She is an incredible inspiration and I am honored to know her.
“Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals. ”