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 Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



Ted Budzowski had two Stratoloungers in his living room. One for him and one for his wife. Also, Ted had a stuffed mongoose-and-cobra souvenir from Okinawa, and a tree-stump occasional table, which his son had made. The son lost $8,000 on tree stump tables, which never caught on big in Cleveland. The good news was the son also was a retired career soldier. (Note, I’m not knocking Stratoloungers. I have a La-Z-Boy.) My daughter says I shouldn’t discuss recliners, but I’m a fan of recliners.

Ted Budzowski, 1978, age 63.

Ted grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, near Cow Shit Hill (a real place). Ted and his kids made it out. Ted’s second son worked for the phone company.

Ted worked at Republic Steel. Ted and his wife, Sophie, managed a building for my family. When Ted retired to Texas in 1984 — to live near his soldier son — I hired a tougher hombre — a guy named Buck — who had grown up in a Tennessee orphanage. Buck didn’t like me and people like me (sons of bosses). Buck didn’t cotton to cleaning up after tradesmen and watering outdoor plants. Not part of his job. Buck often got “porky” with me. (That meant “argumentative.”)

Ted, on the other hand, had always treated me kindly. I had counted on Ted to tell me when my tire pressure was low, for instance. He had an eye for low tire pressure. (This was before cars had low- tire-pressure warning lights on the dash.) Ted knew cars; he said, “I might be a dumb Polack but I know when a nut on a steering column has been messed with.”

For his last 15 years, Ted’s Stratoloungers were in San Antonio, where he lived. He didn’t check back with me except for an annual holiday card. Meanwhile, Buck — who was working for me — raised prices on me unilaterally for odd jobs. He never asked what I thought a job was worth; he just charged me. Who was bossing whom?

I was young and had a hard time bossing old people. That eventually changed. One, I got old. I should  take a picture of me in my La-Z-Boy. Nah, Lucy, my daughter, wouldn’t approve. Just picture it. I look something like Ted in his photo.

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1 comment

1 Marc Adler { 11.08.23 at 2:17 pm }

A number of years ago when I was in Tel Aviv I remember seeing a sign on a store call ” Lazy American Lounge chairs”
As an American I was insulted, but it was funny. I went to a funeral for a friend today. He came to all my Klezphonic concerts. He was my first and only groupie. May his memory be a blessing.

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