Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

When Pope John-Paul Came to Chicago While I was Running the Newsstand at Randolph and Michigan…by Robert M. Katzman

About the Randolph and Michigan Newsstand:

Quote from the historic Downtown Chicago newsstand’s last owner, Rick Graff, in a May 25 1987 Chicago Tribune story by Jack Houston : “Graff said he bought the stand three years ago from Robert Katzman, known among street vendors as the ”King of Newsstands.”

After buying it from the second owner after Al Paccelli, I arrived on a Saturday night with a truck filled with pre-cut wood, a lot of tools, and cans of brown paint. Using a sledge hammer, I destroyed the stainless steel newsstand by pounding on the places where it was welded together. Made a tremendous amount of noise, but at no time did any cop come, by or drive by, and ask me what the hell was I doing with the 100-year old landmark?

No one asked me anything. In 1977 no one lived Downtown and the streets were essentially empty.

(Read on …)

When Ebony Magazine’s John H. Johnson Rejected Me, Gently…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Black/White relationships,Friendship & Compassion,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories — Bob at 4:13 am on Thursday, April 11, 2019

I met John H Johnson in 1976 when my Gulliver’s Periodicals began expanding the number of titles I carried to include mainstream magazines. When I requested a meeting with him—and I was absolutely nobody—he granted me one in his beautiful Michigan Ave building, in his office.

He graciously heard me out, told me he felt he owed loyalty to the Charles Levy Distributing Company the had first given him his chance to be seen on newsstands decades before. But nevertheless wished me luck in my battle with them on the streets of Chicago.

(Read on …)

Maybe Tomorrow I Can Go Outside…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Children,Depression and Hope,Friendship & Compassion,Liberation Fantasies,Marriage and Family — Bob at 8:44 am on Sunday, March 31, 2019

by Robert M. Katzman © March 31, 2019 

Baby, what’s wrong?
I wanna go out
I know, your coat is on and everything 
But the rain is so cold
So, want some hot cocoa?
No! I wanna go out…
What would you do…outside?
I’d run around
I‘d watch the ants
I‘d try at climb that big tree
One day, when I‘m bigger…
What else?

(Read on …)

Someone is Always Deciding What America is “Ready” For…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman ©March 21, 2019

A nice person I know, Jewish like me, posted a reflection that America may not be ready to elect a gay person to be president. 


The basic idea expressed was that South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s time was not “now” no matter how qualified he may be. I am not neutral and admire him, so I wrote this:


(I know others may not agree with me, but speaking up is why people came here in the first place. You are legally entitled NOT to agree with me in America or anyone else, but in a civilized way)

This country wasn’t “ready” for the revolution in 1776, either, and a third of the colonists were against it. Many fled to Canada. I know that long before that date, the Native Americans weren’t ready for the English.

(Read on …)

The Slow Unfolding of the Rose…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Friendship & Compassion,Love and Romance,Marriage and Family,subtle erotica — Bob at 5:46 am on Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Slowly Unfolding of the Rose

by Robert M. Katzman © February 11, 2019

( A romantic Valentine for anyone, any gender, any time–Inspired by Sue Ellen, a mystery) (Subsequently revised under the lash of Darleen)

When we meet I will hug you 

Kiss your cheek,

Help you with your bags

 Ask if you’re hungry

Invite you into my old car 

Which is a good old car

Make sure you put on your safety belt

Ask if you like doo-wop music 

(Read on …)

How a Lithuanian Jewish Kid, at 14 , joined “Da Chicagah Machine”…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Beloved Teachers,Cops,Friendship & Compassion,Gangsters,Uncategorized — Bob at 2:46 pm on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How a Lithuanian Jewish Kid, at 14, Joined “Da Chicagah Machine”

by Robert M. Katzman © January 13, 2019

Chicago is a museum of unassimilated words, accents and physical expressions. North Side Jewish accent, rich kids, was very different from the West Side, the immigrants and the South Side, home of the white collar, the working-class Jews. The Chosen People had different voices, even in the American Promised Land. 

Dees guys, dis stuff, dem bricks and dos cops came from the Germans who came here earlier. 

(Read on …)
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