Lions downtown ... and in the bathtub

John Akal, Avenue Flashes
Posted 6/25/13

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but there are lions running loose in Golden. They are all over the streets and even in the parking lots of some of …

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Lions downtown ... and in the bathtub


I don’t want to alarm anyone, but there are lions running loose in Golden. They are all over the streets and even in the parking lots of some of the towns most prominent businesses. They may approach you, but just keep calm, smile and talk nicely to them, and I promise they won’t hurt you.

I guess I should say “Lions” with a capital “L” because I’m talking about the Golden Lions Club members. You can spot them by their yellow vests, and right now they are out and about selling raffle tickets for the drawings they hold all day long in Lion’s Park on July 4. 

They get hundreds of prizes donated so you stand a great chance of winning something. This year’s grand prize is $1,000.00 in cash.

The tickets are only $1 each, or a book of six for $5. The drawings will be held at various times from noon until 7 p.m. and you don’t need to be present to win. All of the proceeds go to the Lion’s Community Betterment Fund for public projects all over Golden.

You can usually find a few guys from the club selling tickets at our local grocery stores and roaming around downtown.

Lion’s Park is the place to be

That’s right, Golden’s Fourth of July festivities are always some of the best around, and this year will be no exception. It all takes place in and around Lion’s Park at 10th and Maple streets. There will be free rides for the kiddies, bands, food and drink booths, and a really festive atmosphere. The day’s events start at noon and run until 10:30 p.m.

Of course, there is the fireworks display, scheduled to start after dark at 9:30 p.m. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of fires all along the front range, past years’ displays were postponed, and as similar conditions are happening again this year, keep an ear to the local news as the day approaches to see if there are any fireworks cancellations. You can also call the city of Golden at 303-384-8000 or visit its website at to check for updates.

These events are sponsored by the Golden Lion’s Club and the city of Golden.

My Favorite Fourth of July

It was back around 1980. I was playing all day with a band up at Heritage Square and of course, stayed for the fireworks.

Meanwhile, back at my house I had a huge gentle giant of a St. Bernard dog named Christy who absolutely hated loud noises, especially fireworks.

This was back in the days when people would be shooting off their own fireworks day and night for at least two weeks before the 4th arrived.

So, being the conscientious dog owner that I am, I had left my back patio door open for her to be able to go in and out of the house all day. Well, that was a mistake. During the course of the day, she tore down the back fence, ran into downtown Golden and into a pizza shop where she laid down in the back of the place and refused to move.

The shop owners were afraid of her so they called 911. The policeman who came to retrieve her was a friend of mine and recognized her, so he just brought her back to my house and put her in the garage. He missed the fact that the back door to the garage was open, so she just ran out of the yard again, this time around the corner and to the back door of a neighbor’s house who rented her basement to a Colorado School of Mines student. She tore open his screen door, went in and hunkered down in his bathtub.

Well, this young student was up in the park drinking beer all day and returned home after the fireworks fairly inebriated. Of course, the first thing he had to do was hit the bathroom, and when he turned on the light, he took one look at Christy in the tub, ran out, slammed the door and called the police insisting that there was a lion in his bathtub.

This was about the time that I got back home and found her missing. So, I headed out looking for her, turn the corner and see a couple of police cars with lights flashing and an officer holding my dog by the collar. So, I run up there to find four officers laughing hysterically, a now-sober college kid still shaking, and his landlord lady screaming at me about who was going to fix her screen door. My friend, the cop, filled me in on all the day’s events as I promised my neighbor that I would be back in the morning to get her door fixed. Christy was just happy that the fireworks were over.

In those days our Golden Transcript published all the week’s police news, and in the next issue … there it was. “A report of a lion in a bathtub turned out to be a dog”.

Yes, this is true, and yes you can look at some back issues to find it.

See? I told you there were lions running loose in Golden.

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 multimedia production.

akal, avenue flashes, lions, july 4, raffle


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