Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Ingé Lökös, well-known author and community favorite, passed away March 13, 2012 in New York recovering from surgery for cancer. She left us with her son Laszlo and daughter-in-law Barbara, both beloved by Ingé, by her side.
I can think of no better way to honor her and her late husband Stefan than to re-print an article I wrote in 1996 soon after Stefan passed away. She and Stefan made everyone who came in contact with them better people.
Inge and Stefan Lökös - What A Couple!
Polly G. Vicars, January 1996
"Inge and Stefan give the best parties in Vallarta" was the buzz when Husband and I moved to Vallarta in 1988. The gringo group was much smaller then, so we were quickly added to their list of invites. The Lökös were living at Loma del Mar and gave a grand party around the pool for their friends, old and new. Stefan, a handsome and charming Hungarian and I, the daughter of another handsome and charming Hungarian, immediately, in the words of today, "bonded." And of course who would not fall in love with Inge, his beautiful wife?
At that party several important things took place: Husband and I bought our first work of art in Vallarta, a charming Stefan original that still graces our home we found friends for life in our hostess and host; we became a part of "the group" many of whom are still with us and lamentably some have left us, including the dapper Stefan.
Not only was Stefan a world class artist, he was an extraordinary musician! He would record himself playing one part of a classic and then at performances his would use his recording to accompany him while playing some of the world's most beautiful classical music.
There was never a sound in the room while Stefan played as we were all awestruck by the music and the imposing presence of the man. But don't be fooled, he was a fun loving man who never met a stranger, never missed flirting with a beautiful woman and never strayed far from his beloved Inge who probably had to extricate him from some of those beauties when they took him seriously.
And he painted! He was a prolific painter who loved trying to show others the world as he saw it. His works are in many of the great collections around the world and now you Vallartenses have a chance to see and buy some pieces never before shown to the public. On January 25, 2006, 6 to 10 pm, Galería Uno is featuring these new works along with a fine collection of his work that Inge has guarded since his untimely death. The following question to Stefan taken from his website is so typical of his great sense of humor that I must share it with you.
When asked, "What inspires you?" or "Where do you get inspiration?" his answer was always the same. "I do not get inspired. What I do is paint everyday. I first put the blank canvas in front of me. I stare at it. I see that it intends to stay blank... I take a deep breath and urge myself to put a little color on it. I make a few stokes, then something comes."
However I promise that you will be inspired by Inge's tale of their life together, "Still Life With Violin," Along with the showing of Stefan's work, Inge will be signing her book*. This spellbinding book is an exciting and amazing chronicle of the human spirit's ability to, not only endure, but thrive in face of the hell of war and the most severe deprivations, with unfailing optimism, incredible bravery and enduring love.
I can do no better than to quote from her book jacket: "They met in the chaos of post World War II and knew each other immediately and intimately through their shared passions for art and music. Her childhood fantasy of rescue by a prince in white had been squashed and she did not intend to open herself again to another, to risk the pain of loss she'd experienced repeatedly by the end of the war. He was undaunted by the hardship he had endured and would not take no for an answer, either from her or from life. They could not imagine the trials the post war years had in store or the stakes they would be playing for if they gambled on each other and on art and music as a way of life."
I can't recommend "Still Life With Violin" too highly. It is an absolute "must read." From Inge's description of her first meeting with Stefan to her profound grief in his death, she pulls you deep into their lives with awe and admiration. Inspiration! I think so!
* I am very sad to tell you that this book is no longer available. If you know someone who has a copy, borrow it (return it as whoever borrowed mine failed to do!) and read a true tale of adventure, love and fortitude.
Polly G. Vicars and her late husband, Hubert (a.k.a. "Husband") retired to Puerto Vallarta in 1988 and soon became active members of several charitable organizations. Polly is the author of "Tales of Retirement in Paradise: Life in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" [a sell-out!] and "More Tales of Retirement in Puerto Vallarta and Around the World." Proceeds from the sale of her books go to the America-Mexico Foundation, a scholarship foundation that is their passion.
Click HERE for more articles by Polly Vicars, or click HERE to learn more about Becas Vallarta and the America-Mexico Foundation.