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 has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



My dad had a cosmetics franchise similar to Mary Kay. It was Ovation of California. My mother went to Los Angeles to learn more about it, and when she returned, she dumped a box of cosmetics onto the dining room table. My sister got the cosmetics, and I got a shoehorn from the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel.

My sister held up her diary. “Look what your darling son did to my diary while you were gone,” she said. I had cut the lock off her diary. Big deal.

diary kay

“I apologized,” I said.   (I was researching petting — as Ann Landers called making out. I was 13, my sister was 16. I thought she had some info.)

My mother said, “So you tore open your sister’s diary?”

“I’m sorry.” I bought my sister a new diary.

One more crime: my father put a bottle of Ovation cleansing cream in the bathroom and made me use it. I was supposed to rub the cleanser on my forehead with a cotton ball. “This is no gimmick,” he said. “Men use it.”  My dad tried to turn me into a metrosexual! The franchise went under in a year.

Yiddishe Cup plays 6:30 pm Sun. (July 12) in Granville, Ohio (near Columbus).  More info here.

band of 7

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1 Alice Stratton { 07.08.15 at 9:58 am }

If I were Terry Gross, who always asks the question you want to know the answer to: did you find any information on petting in your sister’s diary?

2 Ken Goldberg { 07.08.15 at 10:45 am }

On a family vacation in Toronto in 1968 I secretly walked what seemed like miles up Bathurst Street to get to a place advertised in a magazine as offering some kind of shoe lifts that were supposed to make one 2″(at least) taller. I bought them – sort of foamy things; they made maybe a half-inch difference. I wore them a while but they were hurting my arches so that was that.

I sincerely hope you got what you wanted out of that diary. I was regularly reading Ann Landers at 13, too. The day of my very first official date, a Valentine’s day-connected Sweetheart Dance (I still have the program, from 1964), I read up on dating in a book or two at the Brighton (NY) public library. I think it was Ann Landers who said: try to ask the person about him- or herself. Don’t just talk about yourself. I still find it disconcerting when one keeps saying “I this, I that….” Take heed!

3 Bert Stratton { 07.08.15 at 12:14 pm }

To Alice Stratton:

No good info from the diary.

4 Dave Rowe { 07.09.15 at 6:20 am }

Makes you wonder what sort of salacious stuff was contained in said diary.

5 Ted { 07.11.15 at 11:49 pm }

This entry was a little too prurient for my tastes. Please scale back in the future.

6 Mark Schilling { 07.12.15 at 7:31 am }

For years I rubbed Phisohex into my forehead and other acne-d areas daily while banning chocolate and peanuts and greasy foods in general from my diet. Improvement, negligible; trauma, permanent.

7 Darrell Hungerford { 06.03.19 at 8:52 pm }

My father also was involved with Ovation Cosmetics in the early 60’s. He was a “Distributor”; which meant he probably paid RETAIL and needed to double the price in order to create his “chain of fools”; I dunno; there were lots of those deals popping up in SoCal in those days. They generally found their source of concept in Salt Lake City.

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