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 is an occasional contributor to the New York Times, the Times of Israel, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and City Journal. He won two Hopwood Awards.


 
 

CANDYLAND

Snickers used to be my bar.

It’s everybody’s bar.  It’s the number one seller in the America.

The pic above is John Lokar, the candyman, 1981.  He owned L&M Candy on East 185th Street.  He had everything, including baseball cards and tobacco.

I also had a taste for Nestle Triple Deckers.  Long gone.

My wife had a nostalgic longing for Valomilks.  She recently bought one at a specialty store and didn’t like it. Too sweet.

My dad was a Planter’s Peanut guy, and he also liked Mr. Goodbar.  I used to buy a Mr. Goodbar before I visited his grave.

Kit Kat: not bad.  Kit Kats were from Canada when they were good.

Canada, that’s a great candy-centric vacation.

Chunky . . .

I miss Chunky.  No, I miss the idea of Chunky.  I miss Arnold Stang (who did Chunky commercials).

My grandmother Anna  Soltzberg had a candy store at 15102 Kinsman Road, Cleveland, from 1927 to 1937:

I studied this photo with a magnifying glass.  Here’s the inventory:

Mr. Goodbar, Ivory soap, Sensen breath mints, Boston Wafer, halvah, Ringo, Lux and Lifebuoy soaps, Coca-Cola, peanut bars, chocolate-covered cherries, Maxwell House coffee . . .

Uneeda biscuits, Dentyne, Lifesavers, Tootsie Rolls, Oh Henry, and cigars: White Owl, Dutch Master, Websters, Cinco, Murad, John Ruskin and Charles the Great Pure Havana.

Candy was a low-cost entry point for immigrants.  John Lokar — the man with the gigantic Snickers  — was a Slovenian-American candy wholesaler.  I bought new baseball cards from him in 1981.  Didn’t make any money on it.

When did Snickers come out?

1930.  Frank Mars named the bar after his horse. (Googled.)

Here’s an ad from the December 1980 Candy Marketer.  Lokar gave it to me:

Jaw Breakers.  I haven’t had one of those since the Center-Mayfield stopped their 25-cent Saturday matinees.

Reese . . .

Who was Reese?


For relatives only: candy-store photo . . .   Anna Soltzberg, apron; her husband, Louis Soltzberg, behind counter; her sister-in-law Lil Seiger, behind counter; and two unidentified women.

Anybody have strong feelings about MilkyWay? I doubt it.

13 comments

1 Jessica { 01.09.13 at 11:10 am }

My favorite candy bar was Three Musketeers. I remember once staying home from school with a sore throat and my Mom giving me a Three Musketeers bar. It was like heaven. It was called Three Musketeers because it was enough for three people. Then it was “big enough for a pal and you”. Today they sell mini-versions for trick and treaters.

Query: Why have candy bars gotten smaller while sodas are super super-sized?

2 Mark Schilling { 01.09.13 at 11:10 am }

This is shameless nostalgia bait — but I’ll bite. I used to have a thing for Reese Peanut Butter Cups; I’d eat the peanut butter center first, saving the round chocolate top for last.

I’d do something similar with Payday bars — eat all the nuts first, then dig into that caramel center.

I also liked to rattle the Good’n’Plenty box and then, when it was empty, use it for a whistle.

A ten-year-old’s idea of degenerate pleasure.

3 marc { 01.09.13 at 1:10 pm }

Good news. Turkish Taffy is back. I bought a banana and strawberry at a museum store in Baltimore.

The rights were bought by a couple of Jewish guys. It was originally a Jewish company.

4 Ken Goldberg { 01.10.13 at 12:37 pm }

I can relate. When I was very young I think my favorite bars were Hershey’s or Nestle’s straight milk chocolate, Milky Way, Snickers.

My mother considered certain ones not kosher.

Necco Skybars were good, too. They had them in a machine in our JCC’s lobby.

Most candy bars were one kind – maybe two; that was about it with a few exceptions. Now there might be a dozen variations, like everything else.

Movie theaters went with nonpareils, or the equivalent.

By the time I was in college I’d feel a “streussel loaf” (pastry) would be appropriate before taking a German test, for example.

Eventually at NOACA I’d make sure to eat a Payday at Performance Evaluation time.

Caramel Creams were a good link with the old Richmond Mall, which used to have a machine under the central escalators.

Of course I always associated halvah and those dark chocolate/jelly candy bars with a Jewish store or restaurant. Halvah was a big family thing, too – on my father’s side.

5 Bert Stratton { 01.10.13 at 2:33 pm }

To Ken Goldberg:

Did you really eat a Payday on performance evaluation day? Or are you joking? Need to know.

6 Garry Kanter { 01.13.13 at 10:19 pm }

Those with a sweet tooth, nostalgia, and a few $ can find lots to enjoy at Big Fun on Coventry.

7 Ken Goldberg { 01.16.13 at 4:20 pm }

Yes, if one was available, which it usually was within a day or so.

Now they’ve got the chocolate Paydays, but they’re not really better.

8 Ken Goldberg { 01.16.13 at 4:27 pm }

I also recall certain candy bars at different times…. I went to one of the free, all-English operas they used to have at our Highland Bowl in Rochester (they were marvelous when the weather was good and many of the participants were Eastman students), and she pulled out an unfamiliar “Bun.” I’ve loved those ever since but don’t see them much.

Baby Ruth is another of the best candy bars. Those newfangled maple (is that what it is?) Milky Ways (or is it Snickers) are fabulous.

I associate candy corn with Halloween, but my mother never used to let us have them as they had, at that time, gelatin, which my mother didn’t consider kosher. My grandmother used to sympathize and offer them to us anyway. She wasn’t that strict and it’s open to interpretation between the Orthodox and Conservative movements. Ditto marshmallows and related candies or cookies.

When I was very young I had very bad reactions to coconut, but I learned it went away when once my brother and I had to stay at a cousin’s house during a funeral and this great uncle pulled out coconut candy bars (don’t recall the name now). I thought that was so nice he selected these and offered them and started eating it – no reaction then or ever again…. Is there one “Cocoanut?”

9 Ken Goldberg { 01.16.13 at 4:28 pm }

Forgot to say it was the main high school girlfriend who offered a “Bun.” I thought the name was pretty special – just plain “Bun.”

After seeing the Willie Wonka film I looked all over for one of his candy bars. Not that easy to find…. (not that great, either).

10 Garry Kanter { 01.17.13 at 4:22 am }

“Zagnut” is a coconut candy bar.

11 Garry Kanter { 01.17.13 at 4:24 am }

Excuse me, Mr. Goldberg…

Do you mean to tell me there are operas that are *not* “all-English”?

Lemme guess, they started under President Obama, right?

12 KenG { 01.17.13 at 3:03 pm }

I started during the Truman administration, actually.

13 David Korn { 01.23.13 at 11:00 am }

Re: Candyland.

Milky Way Midnight: Best. Candybar. Ever. It used to have another name before this one. I can’t remember it.

I remember very little, but I do have candybar memories that have lasted. I was on my way to attend court in a small town in southern Ohio, about 1980 or ’81. I was listening to the news on the radio, and as I was crossing railroad tracks I heard that the inventor of the Heath Bar had died. (Could he have died in a car accident, hit by a train while crossing railroad tracks, like happened to NC Wyeth? Is that why this is stuck in my memory?) I got to my destination, went to a drugstore, got a Heath Bar.

Now, some 30+ years later, I am married to a woman whose favorite candy is English toffee. I can remember to buy it for her so long as I drive over railroad tracks. The bumps jog my memory.

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