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 New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.




My father, Toby, had about 15 pairs of shoes when he died.  I didn’t take any of his shoes, even though he and I wore the same size. He had a foot fungus, and my mother told me to pass.

My dad had wingtips, golf shoes and tennis shoes. I never saw him in sandals, work boots or hiking boots.  White shoes, definitely.

I’m more sensible about shoes — a habit picked up from my mom.  I like SAS shoes, which my mother told me about. She needed solid shoes when she got Parkinson’s disease.  “SAS” stands for San Antonio Shoes.

When my then-20-year-old, fashionable daughter studied abroad in Barcelona, she said I couldn’t visit her if I wore tennis shoes or a fanny pack.  My SAS shoes were an excellent substitute for tennis shoes in Europe.

I never did figure out a good way around the “no fanny pack” rule.

My dad wore Purcells abroad.  He didn’t let his children tell him what to wear.


My grandfather was hit by a May Co. truck in 1924. The doctors put a metal plate in his head.  After that, he just hung around the pool hall on Kinsman Road.

Years later, my great aunt told me, “If they had given out prize money for playing pool, like they do now, Louie would have been a millionaire.”

Louis “Louie” Soltzberg — my father’s dad.

My dad, Toby, didn’t play pool. He played ping pong. My dad wasn’t a pool hall–type guy.  My dad once entered a ping-pong tournament at Danny Vegh’s club and got creamed by a Hungarian.  After that, my father played only in our basement with friends.

My father was pretty good at several sports. For one thing, he was a fast runner. He took me to the Arena for the annual Knights of Columbus track meet. I looked for “Ohio State” and “Michigan” jerseys and came up with “Seton Hall,” “Holy Cross” and “Villanova.”  Were those real colleges?

My dad and I often played tennis together.  No pool.

My dad would hit balls with me after work.  He would say, “Racquet back. Hit it now.  Racquet back, hit it now.” He was a color man with no color.  He wore Bermuda shorts and Jack Purcells, and often no shirt.   That was appropriate attire for tennis in the 1960s, at least at the public courts in South Euclid, Ohio.

I didn’t appreciate the tennis instruction from my dad. I moped on the court. I should have hustled.

There were no other dads out there.

I should have hustled more.

Part I (above ) is also a Klezmer Guy movie, originally posted July 11, 2011.

Here’s a new Jack Stratton vid . . .

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