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 RELIGION IS EX-JEWISH

I was a Jewish greaser in high school.  It was me, Neil Zuckerman and Tom Steiner — three Jewish greasers from a class of 650.  There were plenty greasers, just not many Jewish greasers.

Go Charles F. Brush Arcs!

During the winter we hung out at the pool hall.  In summer we went to the swimming pool three times a day.  We hung with the Catholic girls.

I live in Mentor now, with my motorcycle and dog, and don’t run into many Jews.  Fine.

Those Jewish kids were rude.  I wanted to be Italian. I got my first kiss from a dago, Elaine Monachino, by the pavilion in the park.   I worked hard for that kiss.

I wasn’t invited to any bar mitzvahs, and  I didn’t go to any Jewish spin-the-bottle parties.  I didn’t even go to temple, because  my parents didn’t belong.  Maybe if they had, I’d be more Jewish.

My religion now is basically Swedish cars.  I like Saabs and Volvos.  My first car was a ’64 Saab 96.  I was no fool!  But in my neighborhood I got no brownie points for working on cars.  If you weren’t pre-med, you were nobody.

I wish my high school had a hall of fame for Jewish greasers. I think there’s one for the Jewish A-holes — the kids who teased me and became lawyers and doctors.

I started fires in high school.  That’s worthy of note, isn’t it? Wastebasket fires. Ron Levine — a major asshole — teased me because I wore off-brand penny loafers in eighth grade.  Not Pedwins.   So I switched to pointy black “rack” shoes — Regals —  and kicked Levine’s ass, or tried to.  I kicked his hand and fractured his wrist.

Ricky Miller — #2 major asshole — teased me for wearing white socks.  How was I to know white socks went out of fashion the night before?  I didn’t have a personal stylist!

I like it here in Mentor.  Shalom and out.

If I ever see another Jew . . . Wait, no hate.

I’m in the ex-Jewish column.  I’m comfortable here, next to Aleutian.

File under fake profiles.  Fortify yourself; I think May will be fake profiles month.

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6 comments

1 Ted { 04.30.14 at 9:16 am }

Jews don’t spend their weekends lying under their cars or mowing the lawn.

2 Irwin Weinberger { 04.30.14 at 10:16 am }

Wow. What a character. Can’t say I ever met anyone quite like that. Where did you get the inspiration for this one?

3 Irwin Weinberger { 04.30.14 at 10:18 am }

In response to Ted: Sorry, but some of us do indeed mow our lawns. Forget about working on the car though.

4 Bert Stratton { 04.30.14 at 10:50 am }

To Irwin Weinberger:

Let’s just say it’s fiction, and leave it at that.

Oh, I’ll “confess.” I have deep personal knowledge of the mid- 20th-century South Euclid world, which was a pale copy of Euclid — where you grew up.

“A Jew Grows in Euclid.” That’s blog-worthy, Irwin. Can’t wait to read it.

5 Ken G. { 04.30.14 at 11:52 am }

This week’s column is so TOUGH you couldn’t cut it with a hacksaw….

6 marc { 05.01.14 at 4:59 pm }

My first car was a 1969 Saab v4.

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