Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



My wife, Alice, and I were bumped from a plane at the Phoenix airport. We got free tickets, a hotel room and food vouchers.  Our son Teddy — who wasn’t with us — thought it was the greatest deal of all time.

I didn’t.  I wasn’t young.  I was not looking forward to a free night at the Phoenix Embassy Suites.   I had stuff to do at home.

Stop.  Maybe you do not like airport-travel horror stories.

Restart.  Maybe you do . . .

The Embassy Suites van driver was from Cleveland and had wrestled at John Marshall High.  We talked about the Milkovich family, the 1960s Maple Heights wrestling dynasty.  The driver took Alice and me to the Heard, the American Indian museum.  Any place within five miles of the hotel was a free ride.

I jogged along a canal by the hotel.  I didn’t have any clean clothes (my suitcase was on the plane to Cleveland), so I jogged shirtless, with long pants and brown leather shoes.  The Mexican-Americans along the canal gave me the once-over.

"Oye, Curly!"

Alice and I arrived at the Phoenix airport the next morning at 7 a.m. and didn’t get on the early flight.  I was ready to kill.

We paced the airport for a couple more hours.  There was no fresh air.

We got on a mid-morning flight and had to connect via Houston.

That’s my  story.

Your airport travel story is no doubt worse.

Don’t tell me.
Irwin Weinberger, Jack Stratton and Bert Stratton are doing a klezmer show 2 p.m. Sun. (Nov. 20) at Shaker Heights Library, 16500 Van Aken Blvd.  Free.
And here’s an original Klezmer Guy video:

shareEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter


1 Ted { 11.16.11 at 10:41 am }

Milkovich may be more well-known for advancing First Amendment jurisprudence than for his wrestling exploits:

2 Bert { 11.16.11 at 11:13 am }

To Ted:

That Wikipedia link is not informative.

What did Milkovich do to gain legal notoriety? I can’t remember.

I just checked out some other links . . . A newspaper columnist said Milkovich lied on the witness stand, but Milkovich didn’t, or something like that?

3 Richard Grayson { 11.16.11 at 1:14 pm }

I know Milkovich only from the case, studied in every first-year Torts class in the line of cases on defamation starting with NY Times v. Sullivan. The facts are blurry in my mind, but it deals with whether opinion can be actionable; the Court, surprisingly, said it could, at least in this case. I think it’s wrongly decided.

I always thought, by the way, that the airlines only got volunteers to be bumped, that they would keep raising the compensation until finally someone agreed.

I am flying to Phoenix on Xmas Day, and even though I am spending the entire winter there (I can’t stand another one in NYC), I would need to be paid half a million dollars to be bumped one day.

4 Bert { 11.16.11 at 1:48 pm }

To Richard Grayson:

Alice and I were involuntarily bumped. The airlines couldn’t get enough passengers to disembark for cash. (Reason for the pleadings: the airline switched suddenly to a way-smaller plane.)

I later wrote the airlines and got a few extra bucks. Not anywhere near half-a-mil.

TMI . . . Here’s the letter, in part:

“My wife, Alice, and I got bumped from the flight. We paid $455 round-trip each, booked the flight two months in advance, showed up 1 ½ hours early, and confirmed 22 hours ahead of time. But we got bumped! And bumped hard!

“I’ve been a One Pass member for decades. I pay full fare. Why bump me and my wife?”

5 marc { 11.16.11 at 3:26 pm }

You pay full fare and you are Jewish? Amazing!

6 Kenny G { 11.17.11 at 1:35 pm }

You’d do better to hang out at the Phoenix coffee chain instead. Have you considered hiring the guy in the video here to tell the jokes at your gigs? He might get more laughs….

7 Seth { 11.17.11 at 5:18 pm }

One winter, when my Teddy [my Teddy, not yours] was about 7 yrs old, we were going to W. Palm Beach, but had booked into Ft. Lauderdale as it was considerably cheaper. Plane changed in Charlotte. They were overbooked and everyone wanted to get to the warmth of Florida quickly so there were few takers and the bidding got up to about $500 per ticket.

I tried to explain to Teddy what we would get if we took a later flight. Nope, he wanted to see grandpa now and wasn’t in the mood for any changes. Tears. I talked to the gate attendant and found that there was another flight going to W. Palm, which would arrive earlier than if we took the train up from Lauderdale….and the seats were in first class. That helped. We took it and traveled several more times on those vouchers.

About 10 yrs later, he and I were coming back from Thailand, a bumping opportunity came up and it included a jump to business class from coach. No tears, free beers, no problem.

8 Steve { 11.23.11 at 12:24 pm }

Kenny G: Bert doesn’t need coffee!
Other topic: Alice is a saint (Jewish equivalent)

Leave a Comment