Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Bank

My father got a letter from a Piney Woods Arkansas man, extolling my dad’s homemade foot powder: “Mr. Lesbert: Do NOT stop making the powdor!  Do NOT stop!!”

My dad used to make the foot powder in the basement.  The company was Lesbert Drug Co., named after my sister, Leslie, and me.

My dad stopped making the stuff.  The Arkansas man was about his only customer.

Then my father starting buying buildings.  He was the Jewish Willy Loman.  (Like how klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras was referred to as the Jewish Benny Goodman.)

My best business moment: When I opened a checking account for Yiddishe Cup, my band.  My old man would have been proud; I had started a biz from scratch.

My banker was Ervin, a black man who knew all about Don Byron and klezmer.  Ervin was my banker for about a year.  Then he moved to another branch.  I tried to follow him.  Then he moved again.  Screw it.

Ervin printed my checks wrong.  They came out “Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Bank.”  Those were keepers.

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."