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.



My clarinet teacher, Harry Golub, was nicknamed the Bald Eagle. Harry was hairless. Howard Zuckerman, a student, gave Mr. Golub the nickname. Mr. Golub taught out of a South Euclid storefront. His dad ran a kosher butcher shop next door. Harry Golub owned the building. One of his better moves.

Zuckerman, like many junior high clarinetists, dropped out of private lessons around bar mitzvah time. I hung in through eleventh grade. During my high school years, Mr. Golub asked me how the clarinet dropouts were doing. I gave him some updates — so-and-so got straight A’s, so-and-so was on the tennis team.

Mr. Golub was often cranky because, for one thing, he didn’t get along with the music department at the high school. They wouldn’t buy instruments and sheet music from him, he claimed. Mr. Golub said the high school was in cahoots with another music store, the one out in goy land — Lyndhurst.

I occasionally ran into Mr. Golub years later at Yiddishe Cup gigs, and he was still railing against the school system. He said, “Those mumzers! Those anti-semits!” He had a point. It was a city (yidn) versus country (gentile) thing. Those gentiles in Lyndhurst were probably taken aback by the several thousand post-War Jews who moved into their farmland, built bungalows, studied hard (my friends did), and ate smelly salami. Mr. Golub, himself, ate Hebrew National sandwiches (from his dad’s kosher meat market) while giving lessons.

Here’s a story I wrote for today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Peaceful enjoyment of the premises.”

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1 don friedman { 07.01.20 at 11:45 am }

Ya Bert…Harry was really a good man. A very nice person. He let me teach in one of his basement studios at the store. If he could have had a bigger store in Cedar Center he would have attracted many more people. But he would have had to pay rent. And I could have managed the drum business. Guitars and drum sets were flying off the shelves at the time. Also, I lived through all of the noise in the apartments I lived in. The last one, in Parma, had an elephant living above me. Thank goodness I got out of there about 6 weeks after she moved in. Never saw her but I’ll bet she was one of the tons of fun.

2 don friedman { 07.01.20 at 11:46 am }

Forgot to say great essay in PD!

3 Ken Goldberg { 07.01.20 at 1:09 pm }

From what you’ve written in the past I think of Harry as “Mr. Salami-in-a-Pocket.” Or was it something else? Would you know if his (second, I assume) wife is still living?

4 Bert Stratton { 07.01.20 at 5:03 pm }

To Ken Goldberg:
Harry Golub died in 2009. His wife, Irene, died in 2015. She was his first — and only — wife.

5 Kenneth Goldberg { 07.01.20 at 5:45 pm }

I recall now, he married late.

6 Dave Rowe { 07.01.20 at 8:24 pm }

Then there are those of us who never made it past flute-o-phones

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