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.



At a nursing home gig, a resident told me she knew my late Aunt Bernice.

Another resident remembered me from my junior high days. Her daughter had played first-chair clarinet, to my second chair, in junior high band.

A third resident said he was the former dentist of Yiddishe Cup’s drummer.  “What’s your drummer’s name again?” the dentist asked. [Don Friedman! The great Donny Friedman!]

I said, “I’ll give you the drummer’s name, but first I’m going to be clairvoyant!” I guessed the dentist’s name, his approximate age (90), and what he had done that morning — three hours prior to the gig.

I got everything right, but the dentist wasn’t impressed. He wanted the drummer’s name.

Yid Yak

I guessed everything right about the dentist because 1. I had seen the dentist playing tennis at a nearby racquet club that morning.  A 90-year-old guy playing tennis is hard to forget.  2. I knew his approximate age because he used to play tennis with my dad.  3.  I knew his name because I had dated his daughter in high school.

The daughter and I had gone to see Cool Hand Luke at the Vogue,  then out for shakes at Manner’s Big Boy, Van Aken.  It was a fix-up by our parents.  It was my one-and- only date in high school.

I asked the dentist, “What’s Barbara doing?”  The daughter.

“She’s a piano teacher in Boston,” he said.

I just Googled her.  She teaches classical and jazz.   She used to be a radio DJ.

Did I make a major mistake not asking her out for a second date?

shareEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter


1 Linda Jaffe { 01.22.14 at 9:08 am }

At Manner’s Big Boy at Van Aken, you could get french-fried mushrooms, a very sophisticated dish to order on a date in Cleveland.

In Boston, even in winter, you go out for ice cream.

2 Mark Schilling { 01.22.14 at 11:20 am }

Major mistake? It depends on her opinion of “Cool Hand Luke,” doesn’t it?

3 Ken G. { 01.22.14 at 9:23 pm }

I’m ahead of you. I have my main high school girlfriend as a Facebook Friend, and among my Facebook Friends are several “old flames.” However, they have one thing in common: they tend to be the type who sign up for Facebook but don’t do much with it.

4 Pierce G. { 01.22.14 at 10:01 pm }

Great story!

My first date was with a future teacher, so I know where she is now, she’s still teaching, but near retirement, I’d assume.

I was only thirteen years old and this teacher drove to my house and picked me up. The first place we went was to the movie theater where we got to see a PG-13 movie. I kind of wanted to see an R movie, but I didn’t think it would be appropriate to ask.

We went to a roller-skating rink that used to be in town and did that for about two hours. The teacher slipped and fell, I looked into her eyes and extended my hand to pick her up. I’ll never forget that moment.

The last thing that we did was go to Baskin-Robbins for ice cream, the teacher had double chocolate.

That was my first date…with a teacher.

I was thirteen years old, my date was fourteen.

Her mother was my History teacher.

Leave a Comment