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.


 
 

ROBERT BLY’S WORST NIGHTMARE

Poet Robert Bly’s worst nightmare was visiting his family in Minnesota and attending hockey games. Maybe not as bad as Vietnam, but up there pain-wise, he said.

Bly’s anti-Midwest rap was a big hit in Ann Arbor in the 1970s. Bly’s main message: your parents are middle-class stiffs; your real family is elsewhere. Join the counterculture. Bly was a 44-year-old Harvard man in a serape. He had a lot of chutzpah dispensing life advice wearing that shmate.

Bly died at 94 in Minnesota last month. He lived in Minnesota most of his life and was the state’s first poet laureate, so he was putting us on when he said don’t go home.

I liked going home. Whenever I came home from college, I received the treatment due the future Dr. Stratton. I only had to do the occasional minor chore, like emptying the dishwasher or dusting. Some of my college buddies didn’t go home. They were scared of becoming middle-class, even for a single weekend.

During college vacations I sometimes hung around with my grade-school neighborhood pals. My friend John was installing tanning booths. My friend Chuck owned shares in a racehorse. Chuck worked as a mutuel clerk at the day-time Thoroughbred track and at the trotters’ track at night. When Chuck wasn’t working, he was firing his .357 magnum at beer cans in the woods in Geauga County.

I learned something about guns. Not a lot, but enough to swiss-cheese any intruder with a 12-gauge shotgun. Bly knew about guns, too, and Midwestern culture. But it wasn’t his thing. Or maybe it was.

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1 comment

1 Mark Schilling { 12.22.21 at 9:16 am }

I went with you to see Bly read. He was a big guy with a big voice who made a big impression. The serape was part of it: Not many middle-aged poets back then dressed like Clint Eastwood in “The Man With No Name.” I didn’t need him to persuade me small-town Ohio wasn’t where it was at. I wanted the bright lights and the big city – the same old story.

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