By Bert Stratton

My son Ted parked his car at the Brookpark RTA lot and flew to Las Vegas. The RTA lot was cheaper than the airport lot.

My son didn’t come back.  He thought he was going for a vacation, but he got a job in Las Vegas and stayed there.

My son’s 2007 Ford Focus sat in the Brookpark lot for two months, until my wife, Alice, and I loaded our car with jumper cables and a generator-pump and drove to the RTA lot, which is next to Ford Engine Plant #1 and a couple strip bars.

I said to Alice, “Ted’s car is technically in Brook Park, not Cleveland. That’s good. If the car has been towed or stolen, we can deal with Brook Park red tape better than Cleveland red tape.”

The car wasn’t towed or stolen. It was there. The doors were unlocked. The tires were low. There was a bottle of bourbon in the backseat.

I drove Ted’s car to the Lusty Wrench in Cleveland Heights the next day.  Sam, the mechanic, said, “The car is basically in good shape with 89,000 miles.  The battery will not make it, and as you know the side-view mirror is taped on.   The tape is not a bad solution.  The rear tires are round, black and hold air, but they’re not very good.”

The car was serviceable.  It worked.

I want to know, is Greater Cleveland really this safe and accommodating? I need more data.  Please leave your car for two months at a Rapid stop and tell me what happens.

[Illustration by Ralph Solonitz]



Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy. He knows about the band biz and — check this out — the real estate biz too. So maybe he’s really Klez Landlord. You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. His blog Klezmer Guy (http://YiddisheCup.com/blog) has a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets. Klezmer Guy was a reporter for Sun Newspapers. He has written for Rolling Stone, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the New York Times. He won two Hopwood Awards.

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