Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Setting Back Chicago Clocks, Selling Newspapers at 4 am, Unromantically Once-Upon-A-Time…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Life & Death,Love and Romance,My Own Personal Hell,Retail Purgatory — Bob at 6:55 am on Sunday, March 11, 2018

Setting back Clocks, Selling Newspapers at 4 am, Unromantically Once-Upon-A-Time

by Robert M. Katzman © March 11, 2018

Eyes fluttering open in a silent room half-lit by sunlight squeezing past opaque shades, I remember what day it is, and though no one else can hear it, I sigh. Once upon a time, now like some white-haired Revolutionary War veteran fifty years later, I am thinking that maybe there’s no one left anymore to remember the complications of this twice-a-year Chicago South Side moment.

I woke up with all of my conflicted emotions mechanically assembled as I remembered the day, and I stopped moving, because I didn’t have to get up if I didn’t feel like it, my momentary protest against my past. My ancient past…

Running a wooden newsstand on a Sunday morning with thousands of newspapers to assemble and sell, slightly warmed by capricious kerosene heaters belching black wispy smoke along with their heat, a small army of children and adults arrive in the dark in Hyde Park, wordlessly take up their tasks. Little conversation, multiple cups of black and tan coffee steaming in a range of hand held ceramic cups from home, long before coffee was something bought on every third corner in America.

Once, people made their own coffee. Really.

(Read on …)

The Great Vladimir Horowitz, a Clueless Paperboy and the Generous Drunk…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Humor,Jewish Themes,Love and Romance — Bob at 3:44 pm on Sunday, February 18, 2018

Vladimir Horowitz and the Generous Drunk

(Originally published by Robert M. Katzman © February 22, 2008)


Just how common a name is “Bob”?

When Leslie Towne Hope, born in England in 1903, first came to America, became a citizen, decided to enter show business and wanted to be considered by his new countrymen as a “regular guy,” naturally he rechristened himself as: Bob

Years ago, I used to make fun of my own very common first name, also Bob:

“I…am Bob!!”

“Thou shalt have No Other Bobs…before me!”

Well, despite the Biblical sound of my little self-deprecating joke, once upon a time there were two other older Bobs who were very much “before” me. This is their story, and it also involves a world famous concert pianist, even though he didn’t have the good fortune to also be named Bob.

(Read on …)

Love from The Abyss…by Robert M. Katzman, February 14, 1988

Love from the Abyss

by Robert M. Katzman © February 14, 1988

Written for my love, my wife, in 1988, after ten years of marriage and after nearly three years of my unemployment, when deeply depressed I learned what happens to a guy who received twenty years of great publicity running a once famous Bob’s Newsstand, and then found out nobody would hire someone like me. They said, like a line of robots: “Well, you’ll leave as soon as you can to start over.”

One month later, I was hired to manage Europa Bookstore at 3229 N. Clark Street, in BoysTown, Chicago

Discovered among her papers last night, I wanted to give Joy a Valentine, and this is what I wrote for her thirty years ago, today. We were both 37. It rhymes, but so what? No other person has ever seen it.     We, our love, and the marriage survived:


Our balances are red

Your mood sometimes blue

After ten years of marriage

My Valentine to you


Never mind Valentine was Catholic

And I a wandering Jew

Today’s meant to be a ‘Day of the Heart

To give praise, or sometimes to rue’ (Read on …)

The 1967 Big Snow and My Unexpected Love Affair, at 16…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Bonnie stories,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,Love and Romance — Bob at 7:39 pm on Sunday, January 14, 2018

The 1967 Big Snow and My Unexpected Love Affair, at 16 by Robert M. Katzman

Fifty years ago on January 27, 1967, the Big Snow buried Chicago and I was trapped at my older sister Bonnie’s house because she had a college party and invited me, reluctantly. I was 16 and useless around girls. Shy and clueless. I was so square that I brought some poetry I wrote with me to read in case anyone wanted to hear it. Girls my age weren’t interested at all.

(Read on …)

Relationships Defined: A Reflection Closer to Reality…by Robert M. Katzman

Relationships Defined: A Reflection Closer to Reality

by Robert M. Katzman © New Year’s Eve, 2017


1) Friend: One of one, or one of many, a preferred person to call, go places with, share experiences, be with when sad or drunk, to defend or be defended by when threatened by words or worse and who when you ask for help, absolutely, positively, shows up.

(Read on …)

Traveling Alone, Traveling Together (part 8)…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Friendship & Compassion,Israel,Life & Death,Love and Romance,My Own Personal Hell,Old Fart Wisdom,Travel — Bob at 5:52 am on Saturday, November 11, 2017

Note to my readers:

© November 5, 2011,

First written almost exactly six years ago, this was a nostalgic and philosophic reflection about not just traveling, but in Israel in May 2000 with Rick Munden immediately after my father Israel died, and I planted trees for him in Jerusalem. Bet they’re big trees, and shady now. We saw a lot. I probably drove Rick crazy.

This time, I am back in Israel, alone, because of the death of Joyce, wandering aimlessly around the country, wondering what to do. I keep wanting to call her, talk to her, about what amazing place I just saw.   Though I never planned it, ironically, now my title now includes both of them. I hope you connect with it.


I have been many places

Traveling alone

Traveling together

Sometimes both

Together’s better

(Read on …)

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