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.



Do everything right —  and if you’re lucky — you could make it to 94. (I’m not talking 100. That’s freak show.) Take Bob Gries, a prominent Clevelander who died last month at 94. He exercised two hours a day, according to his obit. I suppose one could subtract two-hours-per-day from his lifespan and conclude Gries “lived” a lot fewer than 94 years. Depends what you think of exercise. Bob Gries enjoyed exercise — a lot.

Here’s a funny bit from his obit:“[Bob] wrote a book called Aging with Attitude, which highlighted some of his 100+ adventures and the importance of a daily workout regimen. After reading this book, people told him they were inspired while others said they had to take a nap!” Gries was an endurance runner (100-mile races). He climbed mountains in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Gries was “Our Crowd,” old Jewish money (Cleveland chapter). He was a descendant of the first Jewish settler in Cleveland, a merchant who arrived from Germany in 1837. Gries’ grandfather was the rabbi at The Temple in the early 20th century. The Gries family — through Bob’s mother — owned the May Co. chain in Ohio. The Grieses also owned a minority share of the Cleveland Browns. I could go on.

Bob Gries

I will. Bob Gries’ father went to Yale in the 1920s. Bob went in the 1940s. In the Cleveland Jewish News obit, one of Gries’ sons said Bob served on so many some boards in Cleveland because Bob’s pop had not been welcomed on many boards because he was Jewish. Sound about right for back then.

In the early 1990s, I saw Gries — all farpitzed in a white linen suit — welcome approximately 2,000 proste yidn at a Yiddish concert at Cain Park, Cleveland Heights. Bob was repping the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. He was suave bolo and fit.

The last time I saw Gries was about three years ago on Public Square. He, along with a health aide, were checking out a fringe festival. The man got around.

Dead at 94. That’s good mileage, right? Lessons? He exercised a lot, had health aides, a lot of money and a big family, and he was very involved in the community. Genetics was probably a factor too.I haven’t considered that.

. . . Just did. I considered it — genetics. I just googled Gries’ parents. They died at 65. Dad in 1966 and Mom in 1968. Climb a mountain in Antarctica. You’ll outlive your parents.

Yiddishe Cup plays a free concert 2-3 pm Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Beachwood Community Center, 25225 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood, Ohio.


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1 Mark Schilling { 11.22.23 at 9:46 am }

The sex thing is also a biggie. My two surviving Greatest Generation relatives, an aunt in Atlanta and a second cousin in Texas, are both women and both 99. The cousin is still getting out with her grandkids for the occasional cocktail, as far as I can tell from Facebook. And typo alert: It’s 1940, not 1040, unless he was really ‘old Jewish money.’

2 Ken Goldberg { 11.22.23 at 11:45 am }

But didn’t Gries sell all his shares in the Browns when they planned to or actually moved to Baltimore? It was announced as sort of an ethical thing, like “doing the right thing,” yet I didn’t see it mentioned in his primary obituaries (not that I had read them thoroughly).

3 Bert Stratton { 11.22.23 at 1:21 pm }

To Kenny G: Bob Gries sold his 43% share of the Browns when Art Modell moved the team. I read this in one of Gries’ obits.

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