Over The Rainbow

April 20, 2013

The highlight of my weekend was seeing “The End Of The Rainbow” with Tracie Bennett…about the last chapter in Judy Garland’s life….I went with my wonderful…. oldest (in age) Jimmy Terry…who is much more with it than I am….it is funny but I have gravitated to older people all my life….both in love and as friends …I guess since a child I love the stories you can learn…as you journey on…..the years in High School I realized  I did not fit in and really could not learn anything from them…as they were struggling to also to find their identity …and that is why I would go home from St Albans and race down to sit on a crate in the basement with wonderful Alice Boyd …our laundress….to listen to her stories….

 

 
The  Blonde English Actress …Tracie Bennett is TOTALLY UNBELEIVEABLY Wonderful in “The End Of The Rainbow”….I have never seen such energy since “Billie Elliott”…if you have the chance do not pass it up…Jimmy said it was probably the Most entertaining experiences in his 90 years of existence….she is breathing on 52….but WHAT a Fireball of NON STOP  Energy…….
 
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Judy’s last husband Mickey Deans  …was Gay as were 2  of the other  five  she married…but Mickey Deans was not favorably looked on by Paul as he said he had heard Mickey would line up the pills on a shelf in her bathroom so she could get on stage and appear..to make money for them …and after her overdose in London Mickey appeared at the front door with his boy friend of the moment..which the London press loved capturing 
 
…Judy had a hard life….her father and mother were in vaudeville …he though  was a closeted gay man  that forced the Gumm family to move from town to town…due to his homosexuality …at times they had to live in their automobile… her mother left him for this reason…. 
 
due to her voice Louis B Mayer the head of  MGM put her under contract …which was when her name was changed from Frances Gumm to Judy Garland …. schooled her and from that environment  she eventually  got on pills in order to perform….she never could get off of them unfortunately
 
 
 
 
some of the  Judy trivia:
 
– her lovers included Frank Sinatra, James Mason, Tyrone Power…
– Mickey Deans had no money so she remained in a temporary  crypt for a year before her daughter Liza raised the money to have her properly buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, NY
– all of her 3 children – Liza, Lorna, and Joey (who was and never has been in the limelight) were delivered Caesarean  
– she quit and walked off the set of “Valley Of The Dolls’ in her sequined suit…which she continued to wear in her concerts…..
– always had crooked teeth, for which MGM fitted with removable caps to wear in her films
– her cousin three times removed was President Ulysses S Grant 
– a tornado set down in Kansas the day  of her death
– when asked who was her teacher at MGM…she said “Ma Barker”
 
 
 
 
One of the reasons I wanted to see the musical  besides the fact it has won many awards ..but not the Tony …which amazes me…is that my first lover Paul Millard…knew her very well…and when Paul and I met in 1969…we were down in Palm Springs….actually Desert Hot Springs…….staying at a resort called “Whispering Waters”…(which is long gone now)….and we had been out for dinner to come back and turn Johnny Carson on….a show that had been taped….that Judy was supposed to be  on….
 
Judy had asked Paul to marry her….in his flat in Manhattan…and when he said he just could not ..she smashed all the mirrors on his Beekman Place’s flat in a fit of fury…
 
 
 John Carlyle called…exactly at that moment….he lived on Norma Place in West Hollywood…he was an actor…lived in Paul’s wonderful building that we did also… (it  that had been Norma and  Constance Talmadge’s dressing rooms back in the silent film days of the 20″s…Paul had it reconverted to 4 units…..and the balcony he bought from MGM’s set …it was the balcony from the Atlanta house in “Gone With The Wind”)
 
…he said “Paul Judy is dead”….and just at THAT moment…the Carson show came on the TV and all you saw was Judy waviing and blowing kisses ..saying “I LOVE You!!”….and at that moment all the outdoor sprinklers went on…
 
 
 
 
Paul went out  sat on rock, got drenched as he  wept…..
 
 
and for all the money in the World…you could never give me the “Falling Leaves” Romantic moments I have had so far……
 
Sigh!!!……………………………………………….
 
 
 
Life is odd…as just yesterday as I was driving home from having lunch with one of my oldest and best friends ….Jim Reitzel…I mentioned if I had been more…what should I say evil…more money oriented..
Really .less of a  “Falling Leaves” Romantic…I would be a multi-multi-Millionaire by now..as Paul owned…in the 60’s….. 4 prime pieces of property in the “Norma Triangle  (the most expensive area)  of West Hollywood…and the properties backed up to each other between Keith and Lloyd….I NOW … could have had hair transplants, face lifts and been botoxed to death ……which scares me when I think of it….I would be a handsome corpse when I die and that is about it……
 
 
 
I never met Judy but did meet Judy’s First husband’s(David Rose)  first wife.. the comedian Martha Raye…years later…She was a close friend of my uncle’s lover Nicky Nichols who owned the Garden District where I worked at one point managing the office…but Maggie could really drink you under the table …. loved her poppers and would get up and dance in Nicky’s small  restaurant…which had no dance floor….but did have a juke box that Nicky would turn WAY UP…..
 
 
 
Judy was noticed at a birthday party that Clark Gable had ….by Louis B Meyer…after she sang “”You Made Me Love You”…..
 
Clark  died before I met his wonderful sister-in-law Elizabeth Nesser….with whom we had a wonderful antique and gift  shop “Elizabeth’s Staircase” for 8 years  …where Carol Mattheau, Lizzie Montgomery, Vikki Carrr, Linda Evans, Joan Collins, Suzanne Pleshette,  Jamie Lee Curtis and Nancy Reagan (nothing like name dropping)  were customers………in the Montgomery Properties on Sunset Blvd……I loved Liz so deeply…she was my TRUE soul mate…we could read each other’s mind and answer each other’s statements
 
 
Life Is Truly Unbelievably Fabulous!!!…you just have to fall in love with yourself and the people and experiences you are drawn to without hesitation….you might not end up with a lot in the bank…but I promise you …you will have a wonderful smile deep in your heart  that  will burn throughout your life
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