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 Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



My mother, Julia, never saved anything. When she moved to assisted living, the only thing she kept was her dining room set and some clay pots my dad had made.

My dad was an amateur potter in his retirement. He didn’t use a wheel; he pinched the clay with his thumbs.  His work wasn’t too good; I threw most of his stuff in the garbage. My mother watched and said, “How could you!”

“Mom,” I said, “I’m saving some of  it– some representative pieces!”

Address Your Mess.

Address Your Mess is a woman in Cleveland who, for a fee, de-clutters your house. My mother didn’t need her.

Maybe I need AYM.  I have report cards from elementary school in my attic.  My mother said I could be president someday, so I’m holding on to the report cards.

Is my mess more important than your mess?

I gave the Address Your Mess phone number to a high school friend whose parents moved out of their bungalow after 50-plus years. They had stuff.
address your mess

I read about an elderly woman in southeast Ohio who had 36 boxes of cereal, GAR medals and a wooden fife from the battle of Chickamauga.

I have UN stamps too, besides the report cards.

Here’s a vid, “Square Mile,” about real estate and board games:

Yiddishe Cup is at Fairmount Temple, Beachwood, Ohio, tonight (Wed.) and Park Synagogue, Cleveland Hts., tomorrow night. 


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1 Mark Schilling { 10.15.14 at 11:07 am }

My mom kept a lot, starting with every drawing I made in kindergarten. She also ditched a lot, thinking that she and my father would leave the house in Newark. It never happened.

Now I’ve got a couple suitcases of her stuff in Tokyo and can’t throw it away either. Genes, guilt or both? Sometimes it pays to be a pack rat, though: The U of M wants to donate my papers to their library. I can finally clean out the garage!

2 Bert Stratton { 10.15.14 at 11:43 am }

To Mark Schilling:

Michigan library wants your papers? Really? What’s that about?

Response from Mark Schilling, via email:

A U of M Japanese film/culture prof, Mark Nornes, approached me about the papers donation. He wants my film-related stuff, going back to the ‘80s. I was overjoyed, since a warehouse in Michigan is a better fate for it than a dumpster in Tokyo. Vanity is part of it, yes – the Mark Schilling Collection at the University of Michigan has a nice ring to it. Maybe I’ll get a mention in the alumni mag.

I’m interviewing Hayao Miyazaki, the animator, today. The Academy is giving him an honorary lifetime award, and Variety wants his take on it. I get fifteen minutes, face to face. I’ll bike over – his studio is about thirty minutes from here.

3 marc { 10.15.14 at 2:23 pm }

I was going through my elementary school papers my mother had saved. I had a color in the ditto sheet of a manger scene and one of a cross. This was a public school in the 50’s. I also had alot of old valentine day cards.
It was the custom to send one to each person in your class.

4 Ken G. { 10.15.14 at 7:52 pm }

I’d have so very much to say about my parents’ house….
I have as many report cards as possible, from Kindergarten on. Also some valentines when we exchanged them, also. However, one didn’t have to give valentines to everyone, so kids would compare the number they received. I got a bunch of these ’50s children’s valentines from my parents’ house and sold them to Marc Goodman, on Larchmere. I very frequently buy antique valentines myself. I think the best collection in the area must be Loganberry.

5 Ted { 10.16.14 at 2:07 pm }

One of your best cartoons yet.

6 Bert Stratton { 10.16.14 at 4:44 pm }

To Ted:


I get no respect for my cartoons/vids from your brother, so I appreciate your positive feedback. (Your brother thinks the stock animated characters are an abomination, for one thing.)

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