Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Am I My Sister’s Keeper?…by Robert M. Katzman (written in 2004)


Am I My Sister’s Keeper? 

by Robert M. Katzman Copyright 2004

(First, this note. I am my Father’s son. But he was the son of Eastern European immigrants, people who fled from Jewish genocide in the Russian Czar’s Pale. They were terrified defenseless people.  Their son Israel (1912-2000), however, grew up in the dangerous West Side of Chicago’s gangs in the Thirties who fought with the Polish and Irish gangs to hold their turf. Then he spent three and a half years in the Pacific fighting the Japanese with General MacArthur, getting wounded but determined to stay in the fight. He was NOT a terrified Jew. An American who was very different than his parents, and who transferred that sense of justice and defiance to me in his many stories over my younger years. In many ways, I became an extension of him, of what he believed. Of what his sense of justice was. I never dreamed that connection would lead to this story. Welcome to my very strange world, reader.  Believe it.)

 

In the winter of ’79 I received an unusual call from my father, Israel, who was living at that time in Sherman Oaks, California. My home was just south of Chicago.

My Dad was very distressed, I could hear it in his voice, because my older sister, Bonnie, had called him, in tears, he said because some foreign creep was stalking her at the school where she was a teacher. She was five months pregnant at the time with her first child, and the unnerving situation, my father told me, was only adding to her distress.

(Read on …)

Cop Julie and The Lost Jewish Cemetery…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Humor,Jewish Themes,Love and Romance,Poetry & Prose,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 10:49 pm on Friday, January 20, 2017

So, new guy in a new town

I joined a poet’s group

Nice woman there figures out

That Passover

is possibly my holiday

Clever woman

 

Then she leans over to me

And whispers:

 

“There’s this tiny Jewish cemetery

In a little town near here

And their steel entrance sign

With its big Jewish star

Collapsed on the ground

In the mud

Makes me feel bad

It’s not right

Maybe you can fix it”

 

I backed up from her whisper

A righteous Christian

If ever there was one

Does she think I somehow

Have…magic powers

Able to lift steel girders

With a wink and a prayer??

(Read on …)

Bribing a Chicago Judge with a Sawbuck…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Humor,Jewish Themes,My Own Personal Hell,Politics — Bob at 6:37 am on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bribing a Chicago Judge with a Sawbuck

By Robert M. Katzman

Copyright © January 2, 2014

 

In the spring of 1965, in Hyde Park, an area seven miles south of Chicago’s central Downtown area and home of the University of Chicago and jazz, my father, Irving, felt it was time to explain corruption in the Chicago Machine and teach me the basics.

 

I was fifteen, and if you can imagine the setting, we’re in our small apartment sitting on either side of the scarred kitchen table. I was listening and playing with the salt and pepper shakers at the same time. He may as well have been explaining etiquette customs on Mars to me. I had no clue about what he was going to say.

(Read on …)

The Curious Cops of Wales…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Depression and Hope,Friendship & Compassion,Jewish Themes,My Own Personal Hell — Bob at 10:26 am on Thursday, September 4, 2014

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story: www.differentslants.com/?p=355

Originally published on © October, 2008 I was a very obscure writer. Now only slightly obscure, and hopeful

(#1 of 4 chapters, all here this time. 21 rich pages or 15,775 words. Don’t be shy. Take a chance on me)

Bendith Duw ar Bobl Cymru a`u plismyn gwaraidd!!!
(God bless the Welsh People and their civilized policemen!!!)

My original motivation to travel to Britain for the first and only time, in 2001, was to investigate Notting Hill.

Notting Hill was long famous, even before the warm-hearted film of the same name with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, for its incredibly congested, unbroken mass of bargain-seeking and perspiring humanity crushed within its mile long length, as the best flea market in Europe.

While I did find beautiful ceramics, overflowing tables of eccentric flotsam and jetsam, and the original 1964 Beatles periodicals I was actually seeking, as well as a priced-to-sell full suit of medieval English armor for mounted combat or jousting, the memory I find that lingers longest are my three unplanned days in Wales.

The distance from London to Cardiff, the capitol of Wales, was slightly less than driving from Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin. Interesting places are much closer together in Great Britain than in the States. The approximate size of the former homeland of the world wide British Empire is about the same size as Illinois and Indiana, together.

Britannia…small, but mighty!
(Read on …)

Bill Reynolds: July 11, 1896…by Robert M. Katzman

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story:  http://www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© August 3, 2013

When Bill was born, Grover Cleveland was president of the United States.  Horses walked the streets of New York City and Chicago.  Victoria was on Britain’s throne and seven million Jews lived across Europe, my family among them.

The Spanish-American War was two years away.  World War One?  Eighteen years in the future.  About 65 million people lived in America.  Civil War veterans, tens of thousands of them, marched in military memorial parades. Penicillin was decades away and women couldn’t vote until 1920, nor Native Americans until 1924.  Great Britain was the most powerful nation on earth, or at least they thought so.

Truman was my first president, April 30, 1950.  Hitler was dead five years exactly. My horses were only in the movies.  No Interstate Highways yet–but soon, after Eisenhower was elected.  Israel was a new country, and Europe was emptied of Jews.  But all four of my grandparents were living in the USA.  My relatives who couldn’t get here in time, evaporated with the rest of them.  Great Britain?  Now, an insignificant and irrelevant island, a little larger than the State of Illinois, sitting quietly about twenty miles off the coast of France.

(Read on …)

A Way To End Terror in America’s Schools…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Children,Cops,Depression and Hope,Friendship & Compassion,Life & Death,Politics,Rage! — Bob at 9:27 am on Saturday, December 15, 2012

My name is Robert M. Katzman and I am a Chicago writer. Like everyone, I too was horrified by Friday’s school killings and that gave birth to a possible solution to the terror.  Not idealistic, but with practical multiple benefits.  Nothing means more to me than protecting our children from terror.  This is it:

Create a domestic service to protect every elementary, middle and high school. Call it the National School Guardian Force, NSGF, or whatever name people agree on.  That’s not important.  Hire only unemployed, honorably discharged, physically-fit veterans between 20-40 years old to cover two different entrances to all schools. Pay them a decent wage or salary. This will solve several problems all at once.

It will add a very good primary layer of protection to all schools. It will remove a very large number of vets from unemployment. They are already covered by veteran’s benefits medically and educationally. They already know how to handle weapons and hand-to-hand combat, or many of them will. But they aren’t paying any taxes if they are out of work.

(Read on …)

Next Page »