Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

I Seek the Praise of Ordinary Men…by Robert M. Katzman (originally posted 4/13/07)

I wrote this a decade ago to protest the War in Iraq. But now we have a screaming infant in the White House creating havoc because no one has the nerve to say no to him. America is bigger than him. This is no Democrat or Republican thing. This is about decency and how we treat our friends around the world. What have we become?
Men, Women, start saying NO!!!

I Seek The Praise Of Ordinary Men

by Robert M. Katzman © Friday, April 13 2007

I seek the praise
Of Ordinary Men
Whose lives I reveal
And then capture by pen

Men who slaughter cows
Who farm and cut trees
Men who suffer pain
In theirs backs, in their knees

Carpenters, Cops
Women who teach
People who protest
And march in the streets

My Fierce Grandma Celia Warman, Her 1963 Thousand-Dollar Bar Mitzvah Gift to Me…by Robert M. Katzman © April 13, 2018

 by Robert M. Katzman © April 13, 2018

On April 13, 1963, near the top of Pill Hill on the South Side of Chicago at a very large, very square synagogue named Rodfei Sholem or Chodesh on 91st and Jeffery Avenue, I was still 12 years old and it was my Bar Mitzvah. But that Temple was so packed with members, that it had to schedule two Bar Mitzvahs at one time.

Many of the Hebrew School teachers were high-strung Israelis, only 15 years after the new country was formed, and they screamed at me all the time. This Bar Mitzvah, this singularly longed for day represented parole for me from my resented ethnic prison. I was free. I was done.

It took me four more years, on my own running a newsstand in Hyde Park by then, to figure out I really did completely accept my Jewish identity at 17, in 1967 and my personal life long self-education began that year and continues today, half a century later at almost 68.

99% of everyone who was at my Bar Mitzvah party are dead now. It is a lonely time to recall any of it, but I do remember the crowds. Now no one left to call and say: Do you remember…?

(Read on …)

Miracle On 51st Street/A Chicago Newsstand Christmas Story…Book Review

Note to my readers: Stephanie Sweas, a significant and imaginative writer in the Chicago-area, recently reviewed my 5th book:

A Chicago Newsstand Christmas Story:Miracle on 51st Street  

by Robert M. Katzman                                            

which has never been reviewed before, is about a true Chicago incident which occurred on Christmas Eve, 1977, which relates a story which defies belief, involving eighteen Christians of all denominations–and one Jew.  It is only available from me at my store in Skokie, Il. and has been gradually selling for years. It is a story I will never read in public.  Here is Stephanie’s concise review:

On the way back from your museum/store in Skokie, after purchasing a copy of your book:

A Newstand Christmas Story/The Miracle on 51st Street,

I wanted a ‘setting’ to sit down and read it for the first time.  I chose the lovely, awakening-to-Spring, ‘Marjorie Weinberg’ rotunda garden (@NWU), wherein I imagine, even Shakespeare would have lazily reclined.  I wanted to set the mood.  I wasn’t disappointed– by venue, nor by story that unfurled before my eyes (and yes, they were glistening when I closed the cover).  So, this is my applaud:

by Stephanie Sweas

(Read on …)