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Comments regarding Judy Garland as Rockaway Person of the Week



Judy Garland in her Neponsit home, in March of 1958. She is being interviewed by a reporter regarding the assault that she alleged was inflicted upon her by the Brooklyn Nightclub owner, Ben Maksik, who had also fired her.
March of 1958. Judy Garland wipes away tears in her dressing room at Ben Maksik's Town and Country Night Club in Brooklyn, where she had just been fired. She had walked off the stage having sung just two numbers.

Saw the newsletter about Judy Garland,

To the best of my recollection, I recall that Judy Garland rented the really large brick house (mansion) on the corner of 145th and Rockaway Beach Blvd. (still there??). Judy Poland (maiden name), who lived on the bay block of 145th used to play with her daughter, Lisa Minnelli, at the house and at the beach. Judy Poland married and has several children...I don't know where she lives at present.

Bruce Haskell (FRHS 1965)

Regarding the Judy Garland story, I clearly remember her and her children renting the house behind our house. We lived at 439 Beach 142nd Street. The house was owned by the Dubrows who owned the Dubrows cafeterias but only used the house as a summer home. I think Judy was performing somewhere not too far from Rockaway, like Ben Maksik’s(spelling?) nightclub. Thanks for that memory.

Elaine(Weisman) Lipton (FRHS, 1954)

Hey Marty…my Mom was HUGE fan of Judy Garland….there was a time in the 50’s, I’m not sure exactly when, when apparently she was heavily in debt and she was performing quite often at a nightclub on the Brooklyn side of the Marine Park Bridge…My parents went often…the Club was called TOWN AND COUNTRY….and although this is the first I heard of her living there, It’s quite possible that was when she took a place in Neponsit….

Actually I’m remembering the story…Again this is from my Mom…and she passed away 3 years ago so it’s down to my memory…At this point in her life Garland was having a lot of problems….at the time it was put down to drinking…she was considered a bad risk…she’d miss performances etc…she was also heavily in debt…the guy who owned TOWN AND COUNTRY…I believe his name was Ben Something…was one of the few who would employ her…and when she was there the place was always sold out with her real true fans…and the nights she didn’t show they’d be very forgiving…

I would imagine this is the period that she was living in Neponsit…

Found this online…


Ben Budick


Did YOU ever have the opportunity to frequent Ben Maksik's night club?

Back in the early 1960s when I was an undergrad in college and working days for the Ford Motor Company in Manhattan -- I was dating a girl from Brooklyn and on two occasions, I took her over to the Town & Country. Run-of-the-mill food and and older group of entertainers. I was never impressed with the place.

Back in 1964, I was enrolled in an evening dance-lesson class through Lawrence High School and at the end of the session, the organizer decided to book the class for an evening of dining and dancing at Maksik's. Money was collected and we "booked" well in advance -- the main table (directly in front of the stage for 24 people). The entertainment for that evening was Buddy Hackett.

If you remember the layout of the place, the main stage also served as the dance floor and you had to climb up a few feet in order to dance.

Fred Clark

Anyway, when our party arrived, there was a traditional Ben Maksik's mixup -- the table we had reserved was not available. They apologized but did not give us any rebate and broke us up into smaller groups and that was going to have to do. About a half hour later, an entertainer showed up with his large group of personal friends and then we knew exactly why we had been "bumped." So the director of our group (and myself) went over to annoy this jerk -- his name was Fred Clark and his major claim to fame was the role of Blanch's (Bea Benaderict) husband on the original television version of the 'George Burns and Gracie Allen Show," however I also had seen him many time doing dramatic characters on series such as "The Twilight Zone." Anyway, things got a bit heated up and before long it had developed into a shouting match and the culmination was when Fred Clark (then a man of 50) threatened to take me (I was 20) outside and beat me up.

Such wonderful memories!

Stevie S. Stevens