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. So maybe he’s really Klezmer Landlord.

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 New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



The Intakes, a JCC boys’ club, should have met at the old Council Educational Alliance on Kinsman Road.  The Intakes was a throwback to a Depression-era settlement-house boys’ club.

The purpose of the Intakes was to keep teenage boys off the streets, which wasn’t too hard because we studied so hard we rarely went out.

The club president had a regular Saturday night excuse:  “I’ve got too much homework.  I can’t go out.”  On Saturday night?   One summer the club president landed a grant to write a report on the crystal structure of molecules.

The Intakes Club didn’t “intake” girls.  We were for the most part afraid of girls.  We played poker, miniature golf, bowled and held meetings.

Our advisor was a social worker from New York.  He often called us “schmucks,” which we found endearing.

We debated where to spend our money, which we earned by selling salamis and Passover macaroons.

Should we go to New York or Washington?

We went to both, on the Hound.  (Two different trips.)

In New York we went to the Statue of Liberty, saw Jeopardy! live and ate at Katz’s Deli.  I bought Existentialism Versus Marxism in a Village bookstore.  I haven’t finished it yet.

In Washington we met our congressman and pantsed an Intake back at the hotel.  We tried to post his pics on the ’net, but got an error message: Internet not invented yet.

Our congressman, Charles Vanik, had an administrative aide, Mark Talisman,  a small smart Jew who was just eight years older than us.  He seemed to know everything about the government.  He gave us a private meeting.  He was the puppet master for the entire suburban east side of Cleveland.

Talisman was an inspiration.  He made it out of the tough Harvard-Lee neighborhood to Harvard U.

We should have made Mark Talisman an honorary Intake.

We shouldn’t have taken those naked pictures.

Intakes, 1967

The Intakes, 1967, poker game

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1 Mark Schilling { 11.30.11 at 10:36 am }

I went to NY in 1967 with my church youth group; we were on our way to Puerto Rico to do grunt work for a church-supported hospital.

In the Pan Am terminal I saw my first mini-skirted woman. I never wanted to go back to Elyria. No pics, unfortunately.

2 David { 11.30.11 at 1:10 pm }

It’s lunch time as I read this, and the mention of Katz’s Deli makes my mouth water for one of their corned beef sandwiches. Best I’ve ever had. “Send a salami to your boy in the Army” is their great slogan, but it costs more to ship the damn thing than it does to buy it.

3 Garry K { 11.30.11 at 1:39 pm }

…And NYC and DC were never the same. Great posting, great pic!

4 Kenny G { 12.01.11 at 11:26 am }

Is that you on the far right, Bert? First I thought it was Ted. Looks like a typical group of ’60s-gang toughs.

So you already had a “Jeopardy” connection. Sounds suspicious….

5 Bert { 12.01.11 at 12:27 pm }

To Kenny G:

Yes, I’m on the far right in the photo.

6 Kenny G { 12.07.11 at 10:01 am }

If you want to look like Ted, color your hair and grow it longer and wear contacts. That will do it.

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