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 remember my mother’s apple sauce. Always lumpy.

I remember the 45 CTS bus to the Mayfield Road JCC.

I remember the shofar player missing every single note on Rosh Hashanah. He needed a trumpet mouthpiece.

I remember U.N. stamp souvenir sheets.

I remember the H-bomb.

I remember Pedwin loafers.

Ron Yarian (Brush chem teaacher) and Bert 7-21-19 Cleveland

Bert Stratton and Ron Yarian (R), 2019 photo

I remember CBA (Chemical Bond Approach) Chemistry. I remember the teacher, Mr. Yarian. I saw him last year. He’s 84 and doing well.

I remember Charlene Cohen, the homecoming queen runner-up. I didn’t know her, by the way.

I remember the Cream-O-Freeze. You do, too. You don’t forget your childhood ice cream hangout. (My daughter’s favorite place was Draeger’s at Van Aken.)

I remember my mother writing: “Bert was absent from school yesterday due to religious observances.”

I remember How to Play Better Tennis by Bill Tilden.


These days there are Facebook groups specializing in South Euclid nostalgia. One site listed our dads’ occupations: plumber, insurance man, tailor, aerospace engineer, cop. One contributor to the list, Sal, said he was a barber and his dad and grandfather had been barbers, and his son was a barber. One guy wrote, “[We had] a family business on 89th and Hough until about a year or so after the riots. After that and an injury he sustained to the head from a robbery, he never was the same.” A woman wrote, “My father rented a building on 88th and Buckeye for his tools and supplies for his plumbing business.” I don’t remember.

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1 Kenneth Goldberg { 07.29.20 at 10:18 am }

That Buckeye contribution wasn’t very interesting, Bert. Not one bit. It shouldn’t have been even on the site, and if it was it certainly wasn’t worth someone’s repeating it…. Cheesh! In contrast, the Growing Up in Cleveland Heights Facebook page is THRILLING!

On a more cheerful note, did people really make applesauce from scratch? Maybe your mother needed a good blender, which you should have given her for her birthday or Mother’s Day instead of complaining about it. Anyway, lumpy tastes better, typically. Anyways, it became trendy to include the apple skin around the late ’60s in the early granola/yogurt era. Was your mother into that?

2 Mark Schilling { 07.29.20 at 10:20 am }

Your HS Chem teacher is 84 and you’re 70? How does that work?

3 Bert Stratton { 07.29.20 at 10:29 am }

To Mark Schilling:

My chem teacher was about 31 when I had him. btw, I just found out my physics teacher may still be breathing. If true, he’s about 91. Alfred Eich — what a name for a physics teacher. Also an excellent teacher.

4 Kenneth Goldberg { 07.29.20 at 11:33 am }

My 7th and 8th grade English teacher is still around and works with an education-related business. Facebook Friend. It looks like my violin and orchestra teacher from grades 4-6 is still around, too. I’d like to think so. I just read the actress who played the mother on the 1959-1963 “Dennis the Menace” tv show, Gloria Henry, is still around at 97.

5 Jeff Marks { 08.01.20 at 2:10 pm }

I don’t remember Part 1. When did you post that?

6 Bert Stratton { 08.05.20 at 8:31 am }
7 Ellen Freilich { 10.10.21 at 1:26 pm }

Bert, I enjoy your occasional pieces in the NYT. I hadn’t realized that you were a Brush High graduate, at least that’s what I surmise from your reference to your chemistry teacher. Class of ? My Class of 1971 just had its 50th reunion. Interesting that one of my favorite teachers – who then went by the name of Barbara Kresge – married Ron Yarian in 1986, according to her 2015 obituary.

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