A fun way to remember the golden of yesteryear goldentranscript.net french vanilla ice cream brands

I do something all the time that most residents here in golden don’t do very often. I drive down washington avenue at about 2:30 a.M. When all the businesses are closed. That’s because I’m heading home after a music gig that finished late. It’s amazing what you notice when you can look at the town without many people distracting you.

The other night I saw the inside of the buffalo rose, which is under renovation. They left their construction work lights on. They have completely gutted that place down to the bare walls and brick. That left me with some mixed emotions. On the one hand, I’m really excited to see what they are going to do with the place, but on the other I’m a little sad to see another golden landmark disappear. The long bar in that place had a lot of stories it could tell if it could talk. Maybe they will put it back in once the rest of the work is finished.

Well, that got me thinking about how many things have changed on washington avenue since I was a kid in the 1960’s and 70’s growing up here.Buffalo rose the answer is … almost everything. There are only a few businesses that are still the same since then. Heck, the buffalo rose wasn’t even the buffalo rose until the 1980’s. Before that is was a bar called dud’s where the main bar was, a clothing/department store called eaker’s where the stage was and a tiny barbershop in the corner of the building.

One thing that has stayed fairly consistent are the actual buildings. Most of them have just been remodeled, not replaced. There are a few exceptions, which you can’t miss because the construction is obviously a lot newer, but overall the structures are still the same.

Nowadays golden is pretty much just a part of the greater denver metro area. It’s easy to just drive five or 10 minutes to get to all the major department stores, big box stores, chain restaurants and loads of entertainment. But, years ago this was a very self contained town where people could just walk a couple of blocks to get the things they needed.Department stores

Here’s a partial list of what used to be right on washington avenue when I was little that isn’t there anymore. Two pharmacies, one on each corner of the same block. A shoe store, candy store, hardware store, two department stores, two barber shops, doughnut shop, three bars, a soda fountain, a nifty dime store, a grocery store, a movie theater, a pet shop, a car dealership, a flower shop, just one hotel that had a popular restaurant, and a mortuary (the sign’s still up but the there’s no life in the old gal). There was also a lumber yard tucked behind the east side of washington avenue and that’s just some of the stuff I can remember right off the top of my head. I’m forgetting at least a dozen other things.

Now, make no mistake in my intentions here. Although it’s sentimental to remember all of those things, I don’t really consider it the “good old days” because what we have in golden right now is really great.Department stores I can still walk a few blocks and get to bike shops, terrific restaurants, fun little bars, a big grocery store, a liquor store, about five banks, art galleries, 5-star hotels, a live theater, ice cream, sandwiches, pizza … more pizza … coffee shops, a toy store, several gift shops, a gas station, a feed and tack store, real estate agents and yes, even the same hardware store, even though it built a new building and moved right behind where it used to be. I say new. They built that place back in the 1970’s.

OK, so what’s the point of all this? Well, in addition to just walking down memory lane, I discovered a group on facebook called “you might be from golden if?” it’s a public group, so anyone can join and it’s a place for those of us from golden to share pictures, stories and memories of the place and the people we knew. So, if you are from golden, it will spark some memories of days gone by and if you are new to the area, it will give you some insight and a little history of our fair town.Washington avenue

If that sounds interesting to you, log on to facebook, and search for “you might be from golden if.” how many of you remember goosetown? If you do, you will feel right at home in this little group.

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 jaimaging@aol.Com

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washington avenue

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