Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Some Things I Can Still Do…by Robert M. Katzman

Some Things I Can Do

By Robert M. Katzman © Christmas Day, 2016 

Roast chopped raw onions, pregnant with water, in olive oil at a high temperature, enhanced with garlic, black pepper, basil and five Asian spices until the edges char and people in other parts of my house inhale the enticing aroma of crunchy consumable sizzle.

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Sometimes the Phoenix Burns………. Sometimes the Phoenix Returns…………by Robert M. Katzman

Sometimes the Phoenix Burns

Sometimes the Phoenix Returns

by Robert M. Katzman, October 3, 2016

(in classical mythology) a unique bird that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert, after this time burning itself on a funeral pyre and rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle.)

On a grey drizzly Rosh Hashanah morning, I was sitting on my squeaking old cedar swing in Racine, Wisconsin, where Jews seem to be an endangered species. Just sitting still, staring at this massive brick fireplace I built out of heavy reddish paving bricks during my long winter without Joyce. Her illness kept her away from our home for months. I wanted to build something permanent, something that would stay with me. I decided to build a fire.

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Late Child…by Robert M. Katzman

 

by Robert M. Katzman / Copyright July 31, 2016

 Forward

 Written under a hot July sun while sitting alone on a bench in Chicago’s Hyde Park landmark, The Point, a rocky stepped-stone park projecting into Lake Michigan. A long favorite place for swimmers, sunbathers and photographers located about two miles east of the world famous (and still standing) University of Chicago (1890-   ), and also about one mile east of the once slightly famous (and now non-existent) Bob’s Newsstand (1965-1985).

I was there waiting to meet an unknown number of much younger people who might possibly recognize a much older me as the guy who sold them lots of candy, and who might assume I still remember them as my customers when they were fourteen and went to Kenwood High School across the street from my first wooden and later brick newsstand, over thirty years ago. Both situations seemed unlikely and as a result encouraged me to finally write down the following poem I’d been carrying around in my head and heart for months.

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Rose Bliss, Country Charm and a Killer Baby Robin…by Robert M. Katzman

Copyright July 6, 2016

There is a fluidity and capriciousness to time and events.

There is no way to predict what will occur next based on what has happened before. Even a series of good events, one following another, doesn’t mean that kind of luck will continue, or the reverse, either. There is no pattern, no rationalization of balance to why things happen in a person’s life. Why do I write this?

Last September, during a street fair in Racine, Wisconsin, a smallish town of less than 80,000 located next to Lake Michigan, just north of Kenosha, 30 miles south of Milwaukee and about 27 miles north of the Illinois border, my wife Joy and I met a very nice local couple named Brad and Rose Bliss.

In this nine months later follow-up story to what happened in that story, just about every single significant thing changed. No, none of us is or was famous and no one would have read about any of us in some newspaper; but what happened then caused our paths to cross during that street fair, and subsequently made a friendship bloom between two new settlers in Racine and a long established couple.

(Read on …)

David’s Star…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Depression and Hope,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Rage!,Social Policy and Justice — Bob at 9:11 am on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Copyright June 20, 2016

 

Hanging on a thin necklace

Around my neck

It’s always there

A silver star

David’s Star

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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 …)

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