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.



Dick Feagler, the late Cleveland newspaper columnist, wrote about World War II, the Korean War and similar good-old-days topics. When he ran out of material, he made stuff up. He invented a fictitious West Side coffee shop where he and his buddies would hang out and reminisce. He didn’t tell his readers the coffee shop wasn’t real. The coffee shop’s non-existence was revealed on Feagler’s last day of work, in 2008, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer ombudsman.

Dick Feagler

I wrote the ombudsman: “Dick Feagler has been writing fiction all these years about characters in a made-up coffee shop on the far West Side? Hey, is there a real Heinen’s in Bay Village, or did Feagler make that up, too? I’m an East Sider. I need to know.”

The omsbudsman wrote back: “No matter what you think of the way he handled the boys in the coffee shop, Feagler has been the Mike Royko of Cleveland for longer than Royko was the Dick Feagler of Chicago, and we have been lucky to have him.”


Royko, in Chicago, telegraphed his made-up columns with character names like Slats Grobnik and Dr. I.M. Kookie. Feagler’s coffee-shop people were Jim, Frank, and Loraine — a waitress. Funny, those names weren’t funny. Feagler should have asked one of his made-up character, Mrs. Figment, to nickname the gang in the coffee shop.

This major criticism aside (about Feagler making stuff up), he was very readable, good at nostalgia, and amusing. I miss the man’s writing. He died in 2018 at 79.

I ran into an alter kocker former journalist the other day who started name-dropping PD writers like they were old car models. (DeSoto, Packard, Studebaker) . . . Mary Strassmyer, Karen Sandstrom, Dick Feagler, Doug Clarke.

Here’s my addendum: Tom Green, Alfred Lubrano and Jim Parker. These guys weren’t around long but they could write. Terry Pluto is my favorite these days.

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1 Ken Goldberg { 05.08.24 at 3:12 pm }

Sure there’s been a Heinen’s from time inmmemorial in Bay – on Dover Center Road, the closest Bay Village has to a downtown. Doesn’t Bay seem like a community that SHOULD be expected to have a Heinen’s?

2 Mark Schilling { 05.09.24 at 8:38 am }

Royko was a giant back in the day, but is now totally forgotten. One thing he wrote stuck with me though: Once you quit your column, no matter how many years you’ve been doing it, readers start to forget you after two weeks. That thought keeps me humble (as if I didn’t have dozens of other reasons for humility already).

3 James L { 05.09.24 at 7:09 pm }

Ask the Referee. Hal Lebovitz, Sports Columnist PD.

I don’t and didn’t read the sports section but I always read Hal Lebovitz.

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