My name is Jan Gaudina. I was born in Billings Montana In 1940. My father was of Italian descent and my mom had German, French, Dutch, and some Italian. I have one sister Joni who also lives in Colorado. My father was born in Red Lodge Montana but when he was three years old went to Milan Italy with his mom to meet his grandparents in 1913. His mom died on the trip and needed to stay in Italy until he was 13. My mom was born in Wray Colorado.
When I was eleven years old, I worked for my uncle to learn how to be a meat cutter in a grocery store and did that work until I was 19. I went to high school at Billings Senior High and took some college courses in Billings as well. I moved to Denver Colorado in 1959 to live with my mom. I moved to Kansas City for about a year, got married than moved back to Denver. I had a son born in Denver called Jeff but a few months later I moved back to Kansas City and had another child Robyn. I worked as a meat cutter at a grocery store full time and parttime I sold 8mm Home Movies Cameras and projectors.
Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last and I moved to Minneapolis Minnesota where I started a business again selling Home Movie Equipment. I did that business for a couple of years and moved back to Denver. A friend of mine from Minneapolis called me and asked if I would come back to Minnesota and work for him as a manager selling Built In Vacuum systems. I did that but it didn’t work out and I started my own company again selling Home Movie Equipment.
I got married again in St Paul Minnesota to Nancy and we had two children. Beth and Deborah. I went to work for The Independent Order of Foresters (IOF). They were a fraternal Life Insurance company. My job was to enroll members into the Fraternity while setting up a life insurance plan for the family. I really liked that work as I felt I was helping families. One of my clients a woman died at age 35 from cancer who had three children. I felt good that I had provided protection for the family. I might add the first year I worked there I was the 3rd highest producer for the IOF in the world.
Sometime in 1970 the movie Airport was filmed in Minneapolis and I was an extra in that movie. As a result, I got to meet Dean Martin, George Kennedy, Burt Lancaster, Jean Seberg, Jacqueline Bisset, and Hellen Hays. I few years later I read in the newspaper Jean Seberg had committed suicide at the age of 40.
In 1974 we moved to Boulder Colorado. I bought a lot in the Devils Thump subdivision and built my first home with a mortgage of $100,000. For a few years I worked for The Woodmen of The World another fraternal insurance company. In 1979 I borrowed against the house and I bought three homes as an investment. I formed a corporation called North American Mortgage and I continued buying homes. By August 1987 I had 175 single family homes in the Denver Boulder area that I owned and was renting out. I also was a Relator during the time and Insurance Broker.
In 1979 I had an opportunity to be an extra in a 26-hour TV miniseries called Centennial. This series was about the history of Colorado from the mid-1700s to the late 1970s. The novel was written by James Michener. It was considered one of the longest and most ambitious television projects ever attempted at the time. It had a cast of 182 actors. Filming took place in Colorado, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Wyoming, and California.
I was able to meet many famous actors in that film like, Lynn Redgrave, Barbara Carrera, Raymond Burr, Robert Conrad, Dennis Weaver, Richard Crenna, Andy Griffith, Timothy Dalton, David Janssen, Robert Vaughn, Richard Chamberlain. I was in some scenes with Alex Karras, Lynn Redgrave, Anthony Zerby, William Atherton, Cristina Raines. On one night I played a card game “Harts” for several hours with Lynn Redgrave, Jessie Vint, and William Atherton. I found out recently that George Clooney first appearance in a movie was as an extra like me in Centennial. While I did my part in Colorado Clooney was filmed in his hometown of Augusta, Kentucky.
A couple months later I had a chance to be an extra in “Charlie’s Angles” with Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, and Kate Jackson. I was one of the skiers in that film which was filmed in Vail. A month later I was an extra skier in “Hart To Hart” another popular TV series starring Stefanie Powers, and Robert Wagner also filmed in Vail. A highlight to that was I was able to meet Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner’s wife.
Because I was interested in film making, I took a course in Hollywood California on how to make movies on a low budget. This course was being taught by Ridley Scott who had directed Alien in 1979. Ridley has directed many movies in his career some with his brother Tony Scott and I just heard that he has two new movies coming out called Napoleon and Gladiator 2. In August 2012 Tony Scott age 68 killed himself by jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro California. These two brothers have directed or produced more than 150 major films.
Because of my love of being around this industry in 1982 I started a film company in Boulder, Colorado called North American Filmworks. I put an ad in Variety looking for key people to be in business with me.
We went to Hollywood to interview several people that were proven producers and Directors. I decided on some several key people to be on my board of directors in the corporation. They were George Edwards who wrote and produced Harper Valley P.T.A. staring Barbra Eden. Joel Freeman who produced The Octagon staring Chuck Norris. George Cahan who was involved in The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, and Corey Allen who directed Avalanche in Colorado staring Rock Hudson. Corey got his start as a actor and one of his first leading roles was in a movie called “Rebel Without A Cause” filmed in 1995 starring James Dean. Corey won an Emmy for best Director for an episode of “Hill Street Blues”.
Another director in our company was Wayne Crawford who had produced, directed, and wrote a movie for $30,000 called Barracuda in 1978. In December 1982 he asked me to raise $300,000 for a new film he had written a script for. Turns out Atlantic Records gave him the money for the movie. This movie starred Nicholas Cage and this was Cage’s second movie. The movie was called “Valley Girls” and made 75 million dollars. Unfortunately getting the money from Atlantic Records AKA as Atlantic Distributing we were not able to participate in the profits. Cages real name was Nicholas Coppola and Frances Ford Coppola was his uncle. Frances Ford Coppola had produced many movies including “The Godfather series.
In 1984 my agent at JF Images called and asked me if I would be in a scene as a driver in a TV movie called “When She Said No” which starred Rip Torn and Kathleen Quinlan. A year later I was an extra as a TV cameraman filming actors in “American Flyers” starring Kevin Costner and Ted Danson. American Flyers was partly filmed in Boulder Colorado during the Coors Bicycle Classic.
In 1987 the real estate market crashed and I had several vacancies and decided to give by “quit claim deed “all the 175 homes I owned to my investors. This turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. Also because of my financial condition at the time I wasn’t able to continue in the film production business. A few years later I got divorced and married Cindy.
During the 1990s I worked in Home Theater, selling and installing front projector systems in people’s homes. I also built my second home in the mountain 9 miles west of Boulder on one acre. One year after we moved in my step daughter Amy age 22 was killed in a car accident in New Mexico. That hit me pretty hard. We attended support groups of people who also loss a child. I read that most marriages won’t survive after a loss of a child and neither did mine.
I also worked with my brother-in-law Nick Mangeris as a sales associate in a company called Turning Point. He was promoting an antioxidant called Pycnogenol by network marketing. One of the people I worked with was Dennis Weaver. Dennis was a major actor in Gunsmoke, McCloud and Centennial.
In 2008 I met a woman from Colombia South America and we were married. Diana had one daughter from a previous marriage. Diana had a car accident on the road not far from my home because of black ice. She had went around the corner and the car did three 360s and went backward into the trees. Thank goodness she was not hurt but that experience was so bad she went to live with a friend in Thornton. Because of her fear of living in a area with snow one of her friends from Florida suggested she move to the Orlando area. WE remain very good friends.
Also, In 2008 I had an invitation to attend a dinner in Washington DC that President George Bush and Laura Bush would be at. I wasn’t able to attend because I was in Colombia at the same time.
I got two dogs in 1996. A Golden Retriever called Molly and a Border Collie called Riley. It was after this I learned how bad most dog food marketed by most companies was very bad for your dog. I decided to only feed my dogs a human grade diet and still do.
In 2002 I got very interested in internet marketing. Since I had a lot of real estate experience, I wrote a book called “Get Rich My Helping Others” I marketed that course along with many other courses over the internet until around 2014.
In 2015 I got my second Golden Retriever I call Princess Amber. I got her as a pet and not to breed. My last Golden Molly lived to 16 years. I contribute her long life to the human grade diet she had eaten most of her life. Riley my Border Colley lived 15 years on that same diet. Both dogs were very healthy and very seldom needed to go to the vet.
I met a man at Pets Mart who had a boy Golden and asked if I wanted to breed Amber with his Golden Buddy. I said I haven’t ever thought about that and was scared I believe to start breeding. But after much research I decided to try to breed her. It was successful and Amber had 10 puppies. I kept one of the girls I call Princess Rose.
I might point out I was 75 years old when I got Amber. Average life expectancy for a male is 76.5 years. But after having my first litter and how it gave me very much satisfaction, I decided to continue breeding Goldens plus it helps with my retirement.
Since I had been in business for most of my life doing different things, I didn’t have a retirement plan and thought the breeding would help me while I was retired. I estimated I had between 15 to 20 puppies per year to place. I have many clients that have told me that I am one of the best breeders they have gotten a puppy from. My puppies are born in my bedroom. The parents are my pets. We are not a puppy mill.
In a puppy mill the mother dog is in a cage outside most of her life and gets no human bonding and neither do the puppies. Were totally the opposite and that is why people want to do business with me over many other breeders.
I make each family that wants a puppy fill out an application so I know if they are suitable. I also state in my agreement that they are not to alter their puppy until the puppy is 15 months old. The reason is because it has been proven that to alter too early will cause the dogs to have joint problems as well as early cancer.
This type of work has been the most satisfying work I have ever done and gives me a purpose to live. I am 83 years old now. While I would love to continue breeding Goldens, I found out animal control of Lafayette is trying to get the city to pass a law making it illegal for anyone to sell a dog or cat within the city. In order to help get this law approved the animal control through illegal, or unproven claims, took five of my dogs and three puppies away January 11, 2023 sighting animal cruelty, and took them to the shelter in Boulder. I also got a ticket for having more than three dogs in the city of Lafayette.
The vets at the shelter in Boulder said the dogs were well fed and healthy and could not find any abuse but were traumatized because they were taken from me and put in cages in a strange place. They were denied their human grade diet as well. My Rose gave birth to eight puppies at the shelter.
Out of 16 dogs of mine at the shelter, the city of Lafayette would only give me back three of my dogs on the condition they would be altered meaning so I could no longer breed them. The shelter than altered all of the dogs and puppies and the shelter sold my dogs.
The city had me pay a fine of about $500.00 for having more than three dogs and dropped the animal abuse charge as they would never been able to prove any abuse at all because of the vet’s report of no abuse.
The punishment did not fit the crime I don’t believe. Because of the city’s actions, I had to get an attorney which cost $6,000.00, lost two of my adult dogs that were my pets as well as future profits from breeding. I lost the income from selling the eleven puppies of about $22,000, and I had to pay the shelter about $9,000.00 that kept the dogs which included the cost to keep the dogs and puppies I didn’t get back. That is 38,000.00 in actual cash. I also lost future income from breeding so they put me out of business. For a retired person on a fixed income that is very hurtful. There are laws against Elder Abuse and Elder Financial abuse. Perhaps the Lafayette police think they are above the law.
How would you feel if that happened to you or your parents?
As I mentioned above, I read in the Lafayette newspaper last March that the city council had been thinking of passing a bill last December to not allow the selling of dogs or cats or breeding dogs or cats in the city of Lafayette. The article did say that the proposed law would be further discussed in 2023. I don’t believe the law has passed yet.
But what I do feel is that animal control people who is part of the Police Department who took my dogs and puppies is the ones that are trying to persuade the city council to pass that bill and by giving me a ticket for animal cruelty just added fuel to the fire toward their cause.
I have given notice to the City of Lafayette and the Lafayette police that I intend to sue for their unlawful actions.
On the website of the police department the slogan of police says “To serve and protect. Somehow, I feel they don’t really mean it. As you know: Actions speak louder than words.
I have lived a very exciting life and have been involved in many different business ventures. But I feel that the most satisfying thing I have done is breeding Golden Retrievers. I believe in the miracle of life and I love animals. When I can, I contribute money for different animal causes. I believe in God, and the right to life.”
In conclusion I would like to point out that I don’t think there is another person in the world except me that has the name Jan Gaudina. If there is one, I’m 100 percent sure there is not a Jan Harvey Gaudina on this planet.
News Paper Article on The Film Company We Started