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.


 
 

THE BOXER

I used to box. I listened to Johansson-Patterson fights on the radio. I boxed at the Ukrainian Club, AAU and Junior Golden Gloves. My parents were all for it. Weird: everybody was into tennis and golf and bowling, and I boxed. My father encouraged boxing. In my dad’s day, Jewish fighters sometimes hit the top: Jackie Davis, Benny Leonard. Locally, Harry Levine was a good light heavyweight. Levine fought with his face out front. If he got hit, his head would shake like a bobblehead. He kept hitting though.

My last fight was in 1972. Very old school: the Italian versus the Jew. Johnny Montello had been a cook in ‘Nam. He was punchy and foggy-headed. Maybe he boxed too much in the Pacific. Johnny got into my face verbally, Ali-style, saying: “You’re always talking about Jewish shit.” Johnny pointed at the Star of David on my trunks.

I said, “You should know one thing about me, Montello. Being Jewish is who I am. Everything I do is a part of that.” I had just graduated college. I used to box in Waterman Gym at Michigan — with myself mostly. Existential stuff.

Everybody came to the Montello fight. My friends looked like Hair extras. Montello’s friends were like from Grease. Montello broke my nose and gave me a concussion, and I was done. I got a real job right after that.

I miss the ring. I play tennis now, and contrary to what Agassi says, tennis is not boxing. I still dream about boxing: Babe Triscaro, Jimmy Bivins, Tony Mulia, Herbie Becker. Unfortunately the Senior Olympics is not happening this year.

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6 comments

1 David Korn { 05.13.20 at 9:19 am }

Alice has a real mean left hook, so if you want to spar, you know where to go.

2 Kenneth Goldberg { 05.13.20 at 9:40 am }

There’s always the option to listen to the Simon & Garfunkel version. That might suffice at our age….

3 Mark Schilling { 05.13.20 at 10:08 am }

I remember seeing you prep for a brief altercation with a certain person. You were out for blood. Around the same time I swung at another certain person when he made a remark I took objection to. Several people had to step in to break it up. We were both a little nuts, I think.

4 don friedman { 05.13.20 at 11:11 am }

I was a boxer. Then Amazon fired me. (rim shot). But seriously….I really was a boxer and had trouble sleeping…my doctor told me to start counting sheep. But every time I got to nine I stood up! Okay, I’ll quit.

5 Dave Rowe { 05.16.20 at 3:59 pm }

When I was a kid I delivered the Plain Dealer.From what I understand those jobs are vanishing fast.

6 Dave Rowe { 06.15.20 at 8:49 am }

Bobo Brazil, one of the greats but some that followed – Moose Cholok, Johnny Powers,, Haystacks Calhoun – deserve mention also.

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