An update from my end of the avenue

Column by John Akal
Posted 4/8/20

As an older guy, keeping track of time is a challenge in itself, but now that we are all supposed to stay home and most of my work is on hold, all of the little weekly markers I usually rely on to …

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An update from my end of the avenue


As an older guy, keeping track of time is a challenge in itself, but now that we are all supposed to stay home and most of my work is on hold, all of the little weekly markers I usually rely on to keep the days strait have disappeared. It’s amazing how much my internal clock was wired into playing music on certain days of the week. Now, the only thing I need to worry about getting to on time is writing this column. Thank goodness I have that or I wouldn’t have any idea what day of the week it is. It’s all sort of becoming a blur. One thing that made me feel better about that was my wife spending last Saturday thinking it was Tuesday. At least I’m not alone in my state of confusion.

Of course most of us have been following the news pretty closely to try and figure this whole thing out, but I’m not entirely sure that’s such a good idea any more. I mean, I write for a newspaper and keeping tabs on what’s happening in the world is kind of my responsibility so I’ve always assumed that knowledge is king. But I have a retired friend about my age who lives up in an isolated place in the mountains, miles from the closest town. He doesn’t get any television reception, doesn’t subscribe to a newspaper and only has an Internet connection through his phone, which he rarely checks. He’s totally oblivious about what’s going on down here. He keeps texting me asking if my band is playing this weekend and if the bars are open so he can come and hear us. Then I have to call him to give him updates and when I do, he’s completely surprised by what I’m telling him. But, he’s also totally calm about the whole thing, doesn’t give it a second thought and is perfectly happy just worrying about whether it’s the bears or the raccoons that got into his garbage last night. I don’t know, maybe he’s got the right idea.

Well, I can tell you, I’ve found something wonderful to take my mind off of what’s going on in the world. This stay at home order is kind of a blessing in disguise for me. So, since everything is canceled and I can’t tell you about any public events coming up, let me tell you what’s going on at the house on my end of the Avenue.

Let me start with I’m a crazy dog guy. By that I mean, I have had 14 dogs in my life and most of them have been Arctic dogs. Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. If you haven’t experienced those, they are the very definition of crazy dogs. They are totally wild, squabble like wolves, don’t listen to anything you tell them and pull you down the street like a dog sled. They are notoriously difficult to train and have selective hearing. They only hear what they want to hear. They are beautiful, majestic and loads of fun when they aren’t destroying your valuables or knocking you down and eventually get over their puppy phase…when they are about 8 years old. Let’s just say that they are kind of an acquired taste. My wife, Lisa, is just as bad as me. She was born in Alaska and her family raised Huskies, Malamutes and Samoyeds.

Well, we lost our oldest Husky, Dakota, last December at the age of 15. So, in January we adopted a 10 month old Siberian Husky pup and named him Maxim. He had a few behavioral issues and was kind of out of control so he had been through 3 different households before we got him. Training a Husky is a totally different experience than having a Labrador and not for everyone. But, we worked with him and got him over his major problems. He’s a sweetheart but all he had were two AARP members in the house for playmates. So, we looked around and found a solution to that little problem. A 4 month old Husky puppy that we adopted and named Ivan. Now we have Mad Max and Ivan the Terrible. Yes, they live up to their names. They play really rough and wrestle constantly. They chase, bite and growl at each other and use the wood fence like the boards in a hockey game. They get into everything they can find and tear it up. Last week, they found a Halloween prop we had and were out in the yard playing tug of war with a human head. It looked like a werewolf movie. The next day, they got into my wife’s lingerie and were tearing around the yard with wigs, brassieres and panties. I swear the neighbors must think we are serial killers or something.

But you know what? At least now we have the time to work with them, try and train them and just enjoy having two kids in the house again. Sometimes the best events in Golden are the ones right in your own back yard. So stay safe, enjoy the little things when you can and know pretty soon, rush hour will return.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at


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