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 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

shareEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter


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.

Leave a Comment