Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

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 …)

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 …)

Teaching Jericho about Fire on Thanksgiving Day…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Children,Depression and Hope,Life & Death,Marriage and Family,Old Fart Wisdom,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 9:55 pm on Thursday, November 23, 2017

Teaching Jericho About Fire on Thanksgiving Day

by Robert M. Katzman © Thanksgiving Day, 2017


We’re walking on the beach collecting wood

 Thanksgiving Day

Pieces of our family are gathering

First time without Grandma in his short life

And my long one

Her shadow follows us

He’s six and doing his best

I’m sixty-seven and want him to know

To know about wood and fire and so much more

I think about Time and that it’s flowing too quickly

(Read on …)

Bob in Israel:A Crusader Castle & The Tunisian Synagogue (part 2)…by Robert M. Katzman

Bob in Israel: Crusader Castles and Caraway Seeds (part 2)

By Robert m. Katzman © October 27, 2017

 I thought the problem was Caraway seeds. I mean finding them in the Promised Land because since I’m cooking eggs in my obscure rented space far from English-speaking people in order to spend as little as possible on food, salt and pepper just didn’t cut it this morning. I decided to find a real, or at least larger grocery store where a range of spices might be available.

About Caraway seeds, in case this sounds odd to you or in case everything I write about seems odd to you, when I was a child on the South Side of Chicago there was a Jewish place on 71st Street and Jeffery Avenue, near Woolworths and I think north of the train. I was five then, in 1955, and I couldn’t drive yet, so my memories of where things were at that time might be influenced from my being three feet tall.

(Read on …)

Driving in the Dark: Lost in Israel (part 1)…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Bewilderment,Humor,Jewish Themes,Life & Death,Marriage and Family,My Own Personal Hell,Travel — Bob at 2:38 am on Thursday, October 26, 2017

Robert M. Katzman © October 26, 2017

My plan to skillfully and thoughtfully distribute my wife Joy’s ashes where it would mean the most to both of us was going well. Our tall handsome blonde, brown-eyed son David made all the arrangements and connections on the Internet and eased my way, accept for the last one. What was I expecting?

Landing in Tel Aviv, Israel at 4:30 PM and leaving on the morning of Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy awaking at 6 am, and flying east at noon on El Al, it was the last leg of my trip where Joy’s ashes will be sent into the wind from the top of Masada. Never heard of it? It’s usually incorrectly referred to as the Jewish Alamo, but since it happened 2,000 years earlier, the Alamo should really be called the American Masada. Just my opinion. Two Jews died in the Alamo with the other 180 men, not that it makes them any more special. (Read on …)

Thick Juicy Steak and My Flat Tire…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Cops,Friendship & Compassion,Marriage and Family,Retail Purgatory,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 9:00 am on Friday, August 25, 2017

by Robert M. Katzman © August 25, 2017

 The problem with deciding to never write fiction is that I have to always be aware of when a really good story comes along. Well, here’s one and it involves my old car, two decent tire changers, a generous and pretty tavern operator and this wonderful little Kenosha, Wisconsin restaurant run by two gentle Mexican immigrants who deserve some real success. I want to help them. So read this unexpected chain of events which happened to me–one after the other–in a single intersection at 3200 60th Street on a warm clear day on Wednesday, August 21, 2017.  You may be very surprised.

Early that morning I dropped off my youngest daughter, Sarah Hannah, at the Metra Station at 5400 Sheridan Road because she was going to Downtown Chicago to be interviewed for her first possible intern position while she was a student at Columbia College. Smart, pretty, filled with ambition and almost 21, she was very hopeful.

(Read on …)

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