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.


 
 

SMALL TOUGH JEWS

The small tough Jews at my high school were wrestlers, except for Reed Klein the gymnast. The school had no gymnastics team. Reed was a one-man team. He went on to the Ohio State gymnastics team. The other small tough Jews were Harry Kramer and Steve Gold. They wrestled in low weight classes, like 93 pounds and 103 pounds.

My wife dated a wrestler in high school. My younger son wrestled in middle school. Jack was small and, at most, semi-tough. The matches were primal — two or three minutes of animal behavior in a stinky windowless wrestling room. The matches were scary and scarring. And I was just watching.

I never wrestled, except in gym. I didn’t like singlets or other guys’ armpits. I didn’t like headlocks either, unless Bobo Brazil was giving one to Lord Layton and it was 1960.

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6 comments

1 Kenneth Goldberg { 06.10.20 at 9:24 am }

We (with grandfather, father, brother, cousins) used to go to the “real” wrestling at the War Memorial in Rochester and watched it on tv. There were the ones the audience was supposed to root for and the ones everyone was supposed to hate. I recall a few of the guys. Occasionally it was women or midgets or someone extremely heavy, like Fat Farmer Humphrey. My father and grandfather used to say how fake and rigged it was, but that was always difficult for me to believe. We used to have it in gym, too, and I recall I had a counselor at the JCC’s Seneca Lake (overnight) Camp in the Finger Lakes who wanted us to do it (or was it boxing?).

2 Bill Katz { 06.10.20 at 11:16 am }

Though not a wrestler, or a gangster (or even a small guy), I always think of my dad when I hear about tough jews. Bob was a light-weight Pacific boxing champ durning the war and along with unofficiated bouts with louts who called him by an ethnic slur, left the service with having his nose broken multiple times. Wanting to go fight in Palestine in ’48, my mom told him she wouldn’t be waiting for him if he did. So, one fight he did back down from.

3 marc adler { 06.10.20 at 3:21 pm }

I took a CPA review course at a hotel which was part of the Boston Garden. One day I was in the lobby and Too Tall Jones was there. He was a former NFL star who switched to wrestling. I talked to him. He was nice friendly guy but very tall.

4 Kenneth Goldberg { 06.10.20 at 8:15 pm }

My other grandfather used to box at the forerunner of Rochester’s JY (eventually JCC) in his very young years – early 1900s. Something about Jews and boxing. They didn’t have all the fitness centers, jogging shoes, or computer games which gave them some time….

5 Mark Schilling { 06.11.20 at 3:01 am }

I used to watch Bobo Brazil and Lord Layton. I’m still watching pro wrestling as a matter of fact. Ray is a fan and we go to the big shows in Tokyo. But none are scheduled now — and for the foreseeable future. A ‘socially distanced’ sport wrestling isn’t.

6 Ken Goldberg { 06.17.20 at 9:51 am }

My grandfather was short, too….

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