Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Last Filmed Interview about My Life and Old Magazine Store by Brad Meyer & Sofia Kerpan

Final filmed interview of my strange life and my last Magazine Memories just before it closed in April 2016, so I could care for my wife Joyce, who was in hospice. To me, what they created is an incredibly touching end of career perspective by other people. Only nine minutes long, made by Brad Meyer & Sophia Kerpan.

(Read on …)

David’s Star…by Robert M. Katzman

Copyright June 20, 2016 * Rewritten August 28, 2020

Hanging on a thin necklace

Around my neck

It’s always there

A silver star

David’s Star

(Read on …)

Chicago is Littered With The Corpses of My Retail Life…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman © April 10, 2016 

Like discarded trash from yesterday’s opened toys

I see the ghostly echo of my career

Sprinkled across the Chicago like tarnished glitter

Tho’ they used to sparkle for me

Perhaps many people witness

The fast-forwarding of their lives

While still living them

Time relentlessly unfolding

Blank pages written by an unseen hand

Caldwell Grammar School, South Side of Chicago


When I was 12, I sold firecrackers

Purchased from a non-judgmental

And very silent source in

Chicago’s mysterious Chinatown

Ladyfingers to Cherry bombs

Roman Candles to Sky Rockets

To my less enterprising classmates

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Farewell My Dead Sergeant: Sayonara / Shalom / Goodbye…by Robert M. Katzman

By Robert M. Katzman © September 12, 2015  

(Revised: Memorial Day May 31, 2021)


My Father fought the Japanese

Born before the Navahos were citizens

Born before women could vote

Before Hirohito, Yamamoto and Tojo

Before Meir, Dayan and Herzl

Before Eisenhower, Patton and FDR

Were names on anyone’s lips


Packed into trains of troop ships

Crossing the Pacific Ocean

To avenge Pearl Harbor treachery

To kill people he didn’t know

Bombed sending messages by telegraph

He died with steel shrapnel

Still in his body

Half a century later

(Read on …)

DePaul Documentary:Magazine Museum & Bob on Youtube

Filed under: Robert Katzman's Bio — Bob at 5:09 am on Saturday, March 31, 2012

The DePaul film school sent a group of filmmakers to make a documentary of my store. They stayed five hours. Today,they posted a 14-minute segment on YouTube.

It seems they originally intended to tell a story about an endangered and exotic collectible store, but along the way they instead decided to focus on the eccentric old guy running the place…I guess. But it vividly shows
off the inventory and the front of the store, as well.

It is remarkably poignant, reminiscent of a silent movie in its style and left me in tears. I have no way to know how others may perceive it. Maybe if enough people see it and respond, I’ll succeed in my quiet spot on Oakton Street.

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story

Robert M Katzman

Updated twelve years later in December 2019. I was 57 when I started writing this blog. Now I’m 69, have a grey beard, and five grandchildren. However, I still like the picture below from when I was 55, taken by my gorgeous wife, Joyce. On May 14th, 2017, I lost Joyce to cancer after 42 years. No matter what people have told me, there’s no getting over a love like hers.

Curious people, why bother with one more blog?

Who am I to ask a stranger to spend time with me and think about what I have to say?

Well, I’m not ordinary, and I’m not famous, either. A person self-employed at twelve, who left his very violent home at fourteen, and subsequently opened a newsstand at fifteen (in partnership with the esteemed co-writer of this blog), in 1965, began a kosher delicatessen at nineteen, then bought more newsstands until he opened a literary bookstore, at 25, in the politically and socially liberal Hyde Park neighborhood of the University of Chicago—is not a regular guy. I guess.

(Read on …)