Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Bookstore Stories (2) Entrepreneurs are born that way, even after two grim November 17ths…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,My Own Personal Hell,Retail Purgatory — Bob at 12:45 pm on Saturday, November 17, 2018
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November 17th? Here is my definition of being an Entrepreneur: On Nov 17, 1985, seven weeks after my first attempt to go into the back-issue magazine business-then common in the United States, now three decades later, almost extinct–two months after Bob’s Newsstand in Hyde Park closed after 20 years, the space I rented on Lasalle & Kinzie Streets in Downtown Chicago went up in flames, leading to 2 years of unemployment. Thousands of ancient periodicals collected by me over the decades going back to the Thirties, gone forever.

(Read on …)

Remembering Sgt. Israel Katzman on Veteran’s Day, November 2018…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: American Soldier and the Filipina Singer,Friendship & Compassion,Jewish Themes,Life & Death — Bob at 1:47 pm on Monday, November 12, 2018
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Bill Skeens just reminded me, what about my Dad? The kid who was the son of two Jewish immigrants and was named Israel? The kid whose teachers told him when he was about to graduate grammar school that it was his last chance to Americanize his name on his degree, from Israel to Irving so he would “fit in” better to American society. We all know how well that idea turned out. Imagine some teacher saying that to a kid today? “Irving” remained “Izzy” to his friends, tho’.
 
Israel, nearly 30 years old, joined the US Army on St Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1942, along with 12 other Jewish guys from the old neighborhood. His younger brother Milt was already in the army as an MP, and his tour was ending when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Israel became a sergeant with the Signal Corps teaching other men how to send vital messages from the battlefields with a telegraph key. He worked under General Douglas MacArthur, whom he met only once and felt was a “pompous ass”.

(Read on …)

Bookstore Stories (1) On Turning Away Hate…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Friendship & Compassion,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Jewish Themes,Rage!,Retail Purgatory — Bob at 10:10 am on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bookstore Stories (1) On Turning Away Hate

by Robert M. Katzman © November 7, 2018

(This possible series of story ideas was suggested to me by my wonderful Daughter-in-Law, Nicole)

 In 1991, I owned a small foreign-language world-travel bookstore on the north side of Chicago in the Lakeview area, near Clark and Belmont streets. It was the center of Chicago’s gay/lesbian community, and was also and still is known as Boy’s Town. The store’s name was Le Grand Tour, and before that, Europa.

(Read on …)

My 68th Halloween. Trick, or Treat?…by Robert M. Katzman

My 68th Halloween. Trick or Treat?

by Robert M. Katzman © October 31, 2018

 

Well, of course, Trick

What did you expect?

The Trick for me is, this far gone

Is to remember what the Treats were

As your life unfolded

(Read on …)

Sirens of Regret…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Liberation Fantasies,Life & Death,Love and Romance — Bob at 7:21 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sirens of Regret

By Robert M. Katzman © June 26, 2014

 

I can hear it far away

Weaving in and out

Sirens

Firetruck?

Better get outa the way

Wasn’t I painting something?

Mrs. Phillips, your boy has talent

You can tell that at seven?

(Read on …)

Atonement…Judaism Distilled…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Philosophy — Bob at 3:03 pm on Monday, September 17, 2018

Atonement: Judaism Distilled

by Robert M. Katzman © October 1, 2012

 

(Certainly speaking only for myself)

 

Choosing to be in a small town in Central Illinois, over praying for forgiveness for my sins in a Chicago Synagogue on Yom Kippur–the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, is no simple decision

God… may be watching. Possibly…not approving. The risk could be fatal.  But then, who knows?

When a person belongs to a group of people whose tiny numbers–less than 2/10ths of 1% of Earth’s entire population of seven billion or so, why worry about God noticing you no matter what you do?

(Read on …)

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