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.



Shul Guys is a Jewish motorcycle club in Cleveland.  What kind of name is Shul Guys?  A wussy, disgraceful name.

There is a Jewish club called Hillel’s Angels.  Better.

My friend Ralph Solonitz  is the leader of the Vilde Chayas (Wild Animals).  I think it’s just him.


The mayor of Beachwood, a Jew, belongs to a motorcycle club that hangs out at the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop.  Some of the guys in the mayor’s club ride trikes. That’s not motorcycling, that’s day care.

Bertha Solonitz, 2012

Ralph has long hair, a leather jacket and black boots. He’s a 100% kosher hog (and this blog’s illustrator).

Ralph’s mother, Bertha, is a big fan of Yiddishe Cup.  She follows the band around, or vice versa.  I  said hi to her at a Holocaust survivors’ luncheon, and she said, “You know who I am!”

“Yes, your son is a great artist!” I said.  Maybe that’s why she follows the band around.

Mrs. Solonitz is from Lithuania.  Ralph’s father, Julian, was from Lithuania, as well.  Ralph’s father grew up in Vilna, now in Lithuania, though for a long time in Poland.  Mr. Solonitz fought in the Polish army (part of the Soviet army) during World War II.

Julian Solonitz, 1946

Maybe Ralph rides his motorcycle and wears the leather gear because he hasn’t liberated anybody lately, like his dad did.  Ralph’s father was with the army unit that liberated Majdanek concentration camp.

Maybe Ralph has freed somebody and not told me.  Ralph should take his motorcycle out to Vrooman Road and liberate the Slovenians in Lake County.

The Cleveland Jewish News periodically runs stories about Jewish motorcycle clubs. It’s an easy story to write.  Just name-drop: Shalom n’ Chrome from South Carolina, the HawkChais from Iowa.  Harley, Son of David  is a Canadian documentary that used two tracks from a Yiddishe Cup recording.

Consider joining the Vilde Chayas.  Ralph needs company.  And you get this jacket:

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1 Ken G. { 05.29.13 at 10:11 am }

It’s V’ROOOO’-man ROAD!!!…. (That’s what I always call out when we drive under it.)

2 Irwin Weinberger { 05.30.13 at 2:08 am }

Nice, thoughtful article about an amazing man and good friend of mine. The world needs more people like Ralph.

3 Jeff Moss { 05.30.13 at 11:12 am }

Ralph is a true mensch. I am proud to call him my friend!

4 Garry Kanter { 06.16.13 at 7:02 pm }

Sorry to be late to the love-in.

Ralph should be mayor!

5 ralphy { 06.17.13 at 12:54 am }

Cloning myself soon.

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