Face Shtunk

I don’t need Facebook.  I’m always running into high school “ghosts” anyhow.

A councilman — who had been in my high school physics class — introduced my band, Yiddishe Cup, at a suburban summer concert. I hadn’t seen him in years. He had talked a lot in physics class. I told the audience that.

At a gig in Rockford, Ill., a kid who used to do odd things in my bathroom (junior high) showed up. He’s a banker.

In Dallas, the star of my junior high’s football team stopped by for the show. He doesn’t know much about klezmer. He is one of eight children, the oldest son of a Polish-American milkman. Sealtest brand.. I used to tutor my friend in math just for the fun of it. I concocted tests and flunked him! Years later he wound up getting into medical school. Hah. (I didn’t. I want to be a doctor now, Mom.  Honest.)

When Yiddishe Cup played in New York City, some high school buddies — the ones who used to sing “We’re Outta Here (Midwest)” — showed up at the gig. Back in the dayl these guys had worn buttons, mail-ordered from a Greenwich Village button shop: I’m a Plainclothes Hippie and Unbutton. These guys went east about a minute after graduation. I saw them again!

Face Shtunk.

About the Author
Bert Stratton is a musician and landlord in Cleveland, Ohio. He is an occasional contributor to the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer and City Journal. Byliner chose his essay "The Landlord's Tale" as one of the best magazine articles of 2012. He blogs at "Klezmer Guy: Real Music & Real Estate."