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Only in L.A. / People and Events

February 17, 1988|JACK JONES | From staff and wire reports

Marilyn A. Cole is upset. Several months ago the district attorney's office seized Rolling Hills attorney Michael Lyons' 1972 Rolls-Royce--which he valued at $35,000--to satisfy $28,000 in child support payments he owed Cole for a 6-year-old daughter.

However, complains Cole, the county marshal's office "decided to give the vehicle away" for less than $7,000 at auction on Jan. 26. The minimum bid, she says, was set at a mere $1,600 to cover the cost of towing and storage.

If the marshal's office had simply advertised the car or sold it to a dealer, she concludes, "I'm sure I would have received far more than the estimated $3,000 I will be receiving from this questionable auction."

Deputy Dist. Atty. Thad Young responds that the car probably was worth nowhere near what Lyons had claimed (although Cole submits newspaper classified ads listing similar models for $22,000 or more). Also, he says, Lyons--suspended as a lawyer in unrelated cases--bought it from a leasing agency and had driven it around for a couple of years without re-registering it, thus raising a "possibility" of a clouded title.

That, too, brings a denial from Cole.

Young says she could have acquired the Rolls at the auction by simply putting up her own $28,000 interest in it, then paying off the towing and storage charges. After that, he suggests, she could have sold it herself. Cole says nobody ever told her that.

Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner's "so-called war against delinquent child support payments is a farce," is her considered opinion.

We hear now from a different Lyons--this one named John. He insists that horses are not stupid, contrary to the views of many human beings.

The Colorado rancher plans to be at the Pomona Fairgrounds this weekend to show folks how to train horses without whips, spurs or prods.

"It's much more of a psychological approach rather than the old cowboy grab-'em-and-throw-'em-down approach," says Lyons, 40, who goes around the country demonstrating his technique during two-day seminars for which horse owners pay $55 apiece.

The horses get in free.

Even a mustang isn't an aggressive animal, Lyons says. "So when you get in front of him he is going to stop and change directions. You can control the direction he runs or turns by where you stand. Eventually, he will let me walk up and pet him. You just have to alleviate his fear."

Lyons says he developed his training system as an alternative to the traditional method of "breaking" horses because "I just wanted to get along better with horses. I was tired of being bucked off."

Actor Charles Durning, who confided to an interviewer several years back that he felt insecure despite the great number of parts he was getting, probably feels better now. He has been picked as grand marshal for the third annual Los Angeles St. Patrick's Day Parade down Hollywood Boulevard on the afternoon of March 12.

It's not that anybody is really nervous, says Biltmore spokeswoman Victoria H. King, but some banquet staff members have been wondering just how to serve the Duke and Duchess of York at the UK/LA Royal Dinner on Feb. 28.

"Basically," says King, "we have been told that the royals are to be treated just like any other banquet guests. But some of our people have asked, for instance, whether he gets served first or she does."

To make certain that nobody does it wrong, King is arranging to have the British Consulate send over "their protocol person." The latter probably will go to the hotel sometime next week and conduct a little royal etiquette seminar for about 25 banquet staff members. They can then pass the word along to nearly 50 others.

It's been a long time since the Biltmore has entertained royalty on that scale, says King. About the last thing of similar importance she can cite is the farewell luncheon held for former Gov. Ronald Reagan when he left for Washington, D.C., to take over his big new job.

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