Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

14th & Main…by Robert M. Katzman

14th & Main

by Robert M. Katzman

© August 7, 2017

 

It still glitters in my imagination

Gives me a suspended moment

Whenever

I slow down to stare at it

It is the absence of anything

The quiet vista that represented

Better times for the

New couple in town

14th & Main

(Read on …)

An Army of One: Caring for Joy’s Garden…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Existential Pets,Friendship & Compassion,Life & Death,Love and Romance,Trees,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 8:50 am on Sunday, July 30, 2017

Published July 30, 2017, © by Robert M. Katzman

Sometimes, in the cool night air I walk barefoot in the dark on the geometric red and white stone paths to inspect Joy’s Garden for evil invaders. All manner of uninvited plants seek to join the selected ones. They are unaware that a different bipeded specie’s resistance to them is constant and that pulled weeds, once sun-dried, become kindling for our hungry backyard brick fireplace.

There are five blossoming brooding Burning Bushes on the east and west sides of the little garden, to contribute to my defenses. Soon to be a fiery glowing red, Moses would be proud. But also, he wouldn’t wonder why there were ten of them. Subtly, but meaningfully to me, they send two messages. I let them speak for themselves.

(Read on …)

The Brave Danes of Gilleleja…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Friendship & Compassion,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,Love and Romance,Marriage and Family — Bob at 10:59 am on Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Copyright June 20, 2017 by Robert M. Katzman

(written at the very cool Bluebird Guesthouse in Portland, Oregon)

Although history evaporates as first the witnesses to an event or a period of situations occur, grow old, die and then their children die, to some people history matters very much. Current national events in politics in the United States are not only riveting now for the cartoon-like of behavior of some of the players, but will be the pages that people rabidly turn to read about in the future, long after most every significant person has died.

But only for so long.

President John F. Kennedy is in the news right now because his 100th birthday has just passed on May 29th, 2017. He was elected in November 1960 when I was ten and died by assassination when I was thirteen on November 22, 1963.

Today I’m sixty-seven and while the second incident remains vivid to me, the first one does not. The youngest person to be able to vote for JFK, as he was affectionately referred to in 1960, would have had to be twenty-one and born in 1939.

(Read on …)

An unknown June 11th Bonnie Chelin and Joyce Katzman story…by Robert M. Katzman

By Robert M. Katzman, Copyright June 11, 2017:

This is a kind of a melancholy story, honestly, but not what you might be thinking.

What follows is a true but and unknown Bonnie/Joyce story, in which the villain, I truly regret…was me.

My beautiful older sister, Bonnie Sue, who, as she endlessly instructed me,was 2 years, 6 months and 8 days older than me, and who died today in 2010 at 62. Since she was born in the same year as Israel, when Bonnie turned 13, so did Israel-a unique country/human Bar Mitzvah–whose government issued a large special framed document to any boy or girl who requested it. Bonnie’s hung on the wall above her bed. It was in Hebrew, in full color and to those of us who understood the historical sequence of events, deeply movie. Even I at eleven years understood that.

Their lives shall not be forgotten while I still breathe. Their names kept alive. Bonnie and Joyce mattered to many people.

(Read on …)

Katherine Evans (1964)…by Robert M. Katzman

 

This is not a story about sex, or passion, or violence, or triumph and vindication.

It’s not a story about bravery, or adversity—well, maybe adversity, but not like

being trapped on Mount Everest in a howling blizzard.

 

It’s just a little story about a sweet moment, frozen in the amber of my memory.

A fleeting act of kindness and self-discovery, in 1964.

 

Katherine Evans was a classmate of mine in grammar school for a number of

years, beginning, maybe, in second grade until eighth grade and graduation.

We weren’t friends. I didn’t know her. I didn’t know her family or anything

about her.

(Read on …)

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 …)

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