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.



How come documentaries about California musicians — Hal Blaine, the Sherman brothers — have poolside shots, but no outdoor ping-pong shots? The musicians are sunbathing poolside. Are they embarrassed to show their ping-pong moves? (The Kids Are All Right, a comedy-drama set in California, had an outdoor ping-pong table. No musicians, though.)

My father, Toby, had an old friend in Los Angeles, Irv Drooyan, who taught high school, wrote math textbooks and played outdoor ping-pong. Toby kept in touch with Irv and another Kinsman Road old-timer — Sol of San Diego. In the 1950 and 1960s, California was just an extension of Cleveland. My dad’s friends switched their first names to sound more American. Irv was Red. Sol was Al. Toby was Ted.

My introduction to outdoor ping-pong was on Red Drooyan’s patio in Woodland Hills, California, in 1962. Unforgettable because A) it was outdoors, and B) I didn’t know my dad had any friends. In Cleveland my father hung out exclusively with my mom’s friends and their husbands.

I’ve got to get back. To 1962? Cleveland? California?

To the ping-pong table. Your serve.

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1 Seth B. Marks { 12.30.20 at 10:19 am }

My dad, Sol, was always called SK at his office. K for his middle name, Klein. His brother, Bill, was WK and when his son, Dan, came into the business too, was DK. When I was there for a couple of years after law school, I was Seth.

2 Ken Goldberg { 12.30.20 at 11:02 am }

There’s really not much to it. Just get someone to write a documentary film about you or your band that the public will be attracted to, hire a producer and all the actors and support staff, and be sure to include some ping-pong scenes.

3 Bill Jones { 12.30.20 at 11:15 am }

Ping pong in the US is dead and buried. The top players (male and female)for years have been Asian in general and Chinese in particularly. Jews may do “Chinese” food but they don’t do Chinese games (oops Mahjong) You could be famous if you resurrected the original game British soldiers played in India with books on end, 2 deep, across the middle, and a book used to hit the golf ball back and forth over the books in the middle. Now that would make you famous. I don’t know that Alice would want to have golf balls bouncing off the walls inside so it would have to be an outside game. Perfect for country clubs with all the golf balls they have on hand

4 Steve Kohn { 12.30.20 at 8:07 pm }

“Ping pong in the US is dead and buried.” Not sure about that. Lot of players at San Antonio’s senior centers played regularly before the centers closed for Covid. We might enjoy “Ping Pong”

5 daverowe { 01.14.21 at 11:31 am }

Check out George Benson’s take on “California Dreaming” – good beat, you can surf to it.

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