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.


 
 

MY DAD HAD A
GOOD SHORT GAME

“Anything within 10 feet of the cup, Toby sank,” said Hy Birnbaum, a friend of my late father.

I saw Hy at the drugstore, where he worked part-time as a pharmacist.  He was about 85 at the time. Hy said all his friends were dead.  (My dad, Toby, had been dead about 25 years.)

I ran into John Kelly, who worked with my dad 30-some years ago at the key company.  John said one of the “big bosses’” had slept overnight in the key-company office because he had marital problems. This big boss, Sid, had a slew of problems.  His kids were “real hippies,” said John. Sid was a loud-mouth, know-it-all, country-club Jew from Shaker Heights, I remember my dad saying. Toby liked to kvetch about Sid almost nightly at dinnertime.

My dad disliked most “big bosses.” Who didn’t. One “big boss” my dad tolerated, luckily, was the key company president, Manny Schor, who was a World Federalist, very intelligent and not a show off.

Manny came to my gigs occasionally in later years.  (Most of the big bosses at the key company were Jewish.  The company was owned by a Jew.) Manny said, “I can still picture your father sitting at his desk.”

So could I.

Why were these old guys still alive and my dad dead?  That’s what I  wanted to know. My dad’s long game wasn’t so great.

—-

Where are they now:
Toby Stratton  1917 – 1986
Sid  1921 – 2000
Manny Schor  1918 – 2009
John Kelly  1931 – 2011
Hy Birnbaum  1925 -

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