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.



I attended my late mother’s cousin’s funeral. I didn’t know the cousin. There were about 80 Jews at the funeral home. I didn’t know any of the mourners, except the professional Jews — the rabbi and cantor. Buddy Kassoff, the cousin, had died. He got a nice eulogy. A daughter said he had no vices, never swore, was always cheerful, and never passed judgment on anybody. When I got home I told my wife about the eulogy, and she said, “You must not be related.”

Buddy had owned a car wash for fifty years. His father had been a musician, and I had once phoned Buddy, maybe 10 years ago, to get the inside musical scoop on his dad, but there wasn’t much scoop – no musical memorabilia, for instance. I don’t recall meeting Buddy in the past fifty years.

funeral crasher kassoff early 17

I should have gone to the shiva instead, where I would have had a proper conversation with someone. In any event, I don’t regret I went to the funeral. Like I tell my kids: go.

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1 David Korn { 07.26.17 at 9:41 am }

Lots of people regret not having gone to a funeral but no one ever regrets going to one. By going we contribute to that whole Jewish thing of making “for a blessed memory”. so keep on telling the kids to go.

2 don friedman { 07.26.17 at 11:41 am }

That was a great comment, Alice! I’m still laughing. However, I will say that Bert is a great guy to work for (in the band!), and speaking of funerals, I always liked the gigs that paid a kill fee!!

3 David Rowe { 07.26.17 at 11:50 am }

Goes to show that funerals can be more fun than some weddings.

4 Ken Goldberg { 07.26.17 at 1:23 pm }

Sometimes, if you know the bride or groom well, his or her wedding does seem like a funeral….

5 marc { 07.26.17 at 3:11 pm }

Its a big mitzvah (commandment) to bury the dead and console the mourners. Its a “mace” mitzvah. One you get no thanks for (from the dead). I went to 2 shivas last week and a funeral yesterday. One shiva was for a 103 year old lady who had been a radio personality in Providence, very bright to the end. Her shiva was like a cocktail party. Refreshments were served and there were few chairs in a lounge like setting. The other shiva was a 92 year old lady whose only child daughter flew in from Jerusalem. I had not seen this girl in perhaps 40 years.
I was the only visitor at times. She remembered my mother from 40 years ago so I brought my mother to the shiva. The funeral yesterday was an hours drive from my home. This was the father of a close friend. The funeral was in a gigantic combination JCC, senior living, rehab center, funeral place. When the car line formed to go to the cemetery there was monster grid lock for the JCC goers. Fun going through red lights in the procession. The next time I get a ticked for going through a red light my excuse will be ” I was in a funeral procession”.

6 Ken Goldberg { 08.02.17 at 2:38 pm }

I was just at a Gentile funeral and internment – all at Church of the Saviour. First a gathering with some old photos of the deceased on display, then the service in the sanctuary which included bagpipes, then internment of an urn with her ashes kept in the church’s Columbarium, and then a reception with refreshments.

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