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September 05, 2013 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-09-05

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arts & entertainment >> the best of everything

Marvin's Marvel

For 30 years, his Mechanical Museum has thrilled both kids and adults.


sign in the window says, "This
place is highly recommended
by the owner" ... and also
by untold thousands of others ... Its
30th anniversary is celebrated as one of
America's amusement treasures ... listed
in the World Almanac among the 100 Most
Unusual Museums in the United States ...
plus numerous worldwide accolades it has
received during this time.
Mountains of words have subse-
quently extolled the amusement palace of
Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum
in its own building in back of Hunter's
Square, Orchard Lake Road and 14 Mile,
Farmington Hills.
Folks young and old enjoy the fun expe-
rience they get at the museum ... The
little girl holding a fistful of redemption
tickets she won for prizes at the pinball
games had her own reasoning ... She
asked owner Marvin Yagoda how many
she needed to buy the museum ... Marvin
asked her why she wanted to buy it and
the girl replied, "Then I could play all the
games I want and get a lot of prizes and
eat all the ice cream and hot dogs I want"
This pretty much sums up the collection
of many dreams by numerous youngsters
(and adults) who visit Marvin's Marvelous
Mechanical Museum.
Marvin Yagoda himself is also an inter-
esting collection of manhood ... Someone
who says he doesn't like pretty clothes

Marvin Yagoda

because they make him look
too good ... He would much
rather wear good-old colored
suspenders and comfy jeans
... Even in his other life as a
registered pharmacist owner
of Sam's Drugs on Fenkell,
The beginning of Marvin's
Marvelous Mechanical
Museum was strictly a hobby
for Marvin ... He enjoyed col-
lecting coin-operated machines
until they started taking up more room in
his home than the furniture.
Someone suggested that he share his
hobby with others ... Marvin laughed it
off, but being a natural-born showman
himself and lover of carnival ideals, liked
the carny thought of showmanship ... So
he started out small in the hallway of for-
mer Tally Hall with a mechanical chicken
that gave out eggs with a prize in the
The little beginning has evolved into a
phenomenal collection of interesting odd-
ball artifacts, dancing machines, posters,
wedding booths, excuse booths, driving
and boxing machines, sideshow wonders,
video games, etc., etc., etc.
Small wonder that so many young-
sters and parents want their bar and bat
mitzvah receptions at Marvin's Museum
with its untold amount of machines and
look-see enjoyment ... to say little of his
carnival appearance and showmanship
with a carny voice ... Marvin is a magician
as well ... and the kids just love his "presto
look!" fun.
That little chicken hatched from one
of its eggs turned out to eventually be a
world-recognized wonder that has enter-
tained much more than the people who
passed by or stopped at the little aisle
chicken display ... Marvin Yagoda and his
Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum
has put a huge emphasis on the word fun.

... by Dennis Green ... "Off the
beaten path for most who live
in the western suburbs, the
Hill Seafood & Chop House
on Kercheval in Grosse Pointe
Farms, was a new destination
for my wife, Sharon, and me.
"We were there recently and
began by splitting the fried
calamari appetizer, served hot
and crunchy, a wee bit spicy,
over a bed of hummus. It was
quite unique and tasty.
"For her main course, Sharon chose the
pan-seared scallops, served over white truf-
fle risotto, with crimini mushroom ragout
and shallot confit. 'Incredible!' she said.
"I went with my lifetime favorite,
lamb chops. At the Hill, they are called
Lamb Chops a la Grecque, prepared from
Colorado lamb with gold potatoes, petite
beans, pine nuts, chevre, olives and mint
pesto. The lamb chops were thick, juicy
and cooked to perfection, immediately
shooting up to the top of my personal-best
list and equal or better than any I have
enjoyed elsewhere.
"For dessert, Sharon had a Molten Lava
mini-cake, served warm with peppermint
stick ice cream, and more than enough for
both of us to share with great delight:'
smile of excellence rarely leaves the face
of Fawzy "Doc" Mekheel at Steven Lelli's
Inn on the Green, Farmington Hills, being
touted among the top servers in this area
... He is a graduate doctor of medical
school in Cairo, Egypt, but better known
here for his deftness and care deboning a
Dover sole or slicing a tender chateaubri-
and with surgical precision ... At Steven
Lelli's Inn, "Doc" is a shining jewel among
a well-stocked staff of highly experienced
server gems.
never forget the great food I used to have

at Darbys. Who made the fantastic Jewish
food, especially the terrific chicken soup
and the mushroom barley soup that were
the best ever?" ... Sally Remer
[Three years after Darbys opened, Sam
Boesky hired Beatrice Levitt, who was
lovingly called "Mama" for many years
... Mama Levitt made all the Jewish-style
foods and taught Executive Chef John
CORRECTION DEPT. ... In the col-
umn's recent Whitney restaurant review,
Pat Liebler was mentioned as owner
Arthur "Bud" Liebler's brother ... He is his
son ... Sorry, guys.
first Jewish president of the United States
is elected. He calls his mother, "Mama, I've
won the election; you've got to come to the
swearing-in ceremony"
"I don't know:' she says. "What would I
"Don't worry:' he says. "I'll send you a
"But I only eat kosher food; his mother
tells him.
"Mama, I am going to be the president. I
can get you kosher food:"
"But how will I get there?" she asks.
"I'll send a limo; just come, mama"
"OK, OK:' she says, "if it makes you
The great day comes and mama is
seated between the Supreme Court jus-
tices and the future cabinet members. She
nudges the gentleman on her right, "You
see that boy, the one with his hand on the
Bible? His brother is a doctor!"
CONGRATS ... To Monni Must on
her birthday ... To Rick Messinger on his
birthday ... To Irving Hordes on his birth-
day ... To Lillian Title on her 92nd birth-
day ... To Lonnie and Gail Zimmerman on
their 41st anniversary.

Danny's email address is



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