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

Just One Punch, But Mickey Remembered…by Robert M. Katzman

Acts of Friendship: Mickey Remembers

by Robert M. Katzman © May 18, 2018

 I had dinner with a friend in Chicago last night at the kind of a classic guy’s dark wood steakhouse restaurant my Dad and I would go to on a special occasion. Except this was the 18th anniversary of his death in 2000 and in his memory, I had a great dinner with my old friend. He lived far south of Chicago and I live in southern Wisconsin, so this was a good central meeting place.

We talked about many old times, good and bad and the price Time can exact on a person and their relationships. One of the rare things as a person travels through life is to still have a person you can talk to about something that happened 40 years ago or more. That begins to change year by year when a person hits 68, which is what I am now. As my Dad used to say: “The circle gets smaller.”

After a couple of hours it was time to head out to our respective homes because it was a hike to get back, but still, worth sharing company with each other. You get what you give.

(Read on …)

Facebook ain’t Your Buddy, it’s a Sly Pickpocket of Your Secrets!…by Robert M. Katzman

Facebook Ain’t Your Buddy, it’s a Sly Pickpocket of Your Secrets!

by Robert M. Katzman March 21, 2018

Having had a little time to think about this intellectual hurricane of fury about Facebook and betrayal in the quiet black fields of Wisconsin where nothing has sprouted yet, but the promise of innocent plants seeking the sun remains,

(Read on …)

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy Failing Algebra & the University of Chicago Lab High School (1966)…Part Two…by Robert M. Katzman

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy failing Algebra, and the

University of Chicago Lab High School in 1966.

by Robert M. Katzman © January 31, 2018 

Part Two

So Paul and I met twice a week for months in that small room in the library with two wooden chairs and a wooden table. I told him about how the newsstand was progressing and what I was learning, and the difficulties of learning to manage a one-armed, one-legged 69-year-old employee, born in 1896, who as it turned out was the original owner of where my newsstand was now, except his was there in 1916. This became sessions of stories about stories.

I had no identity as a writer, never considered that as any kind of career for myself and wasn’t writing down any of what I told Paul when we met, or his stories either. Like two pre-biblical Israelites carrying on a kind of oral tradition of expecting the next generations to preserve unwritten history. But we were both telling each other stories. I wasn’t expecting anything from him, but I was glad he seemed interested in this kid talking about whatever I was talking about. But when we were telling stories, we weren’t talking about algebra, so that was good.

(Read on …)

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy Failing Algebra & the University of Chicago Lab High School (1966…Part One…by Robert M. Katzman

Paul, Beautiful Sue, Wayne, the Paperboy Failing Algebra & the

University of Chicago Lab High School (1966)

by Robert M. Katzman © January 30, 2018   Part One 

Classic gritty Chicago tale about a high school math tutor and a student from very different worlds leading to a fifty-year warm friendship, which only death could end.

In September 1964, after failing a pre-freshman admittance required Algebra course during the summer at the University of Chicago Laboratory School High School, or U-High, in Hyde Park, I also subsequently failed my first year taking Freshman Algebra, too.

Somewhere among my less treasured memories is an old shoebox, and within it, besides my four different draft card classifications between 1968 and 1974, is a small rectangular piece of paper with the handwritten letter “F” placed squarely in the center of it. It meant I had to take the detested algebra class for yet a third time.

U-High’s very efficient system for helping students who seemed likely to embarrass and undermine the school’s gleaming reputation in the future assigned me a math tutor who would meet with me in the library in a private room every Tuesday and Thursday. The first week of my second year there as a sophomore in September 1966, I met Paul Moulton. I was sixteen, born in 1950, and he was forty-six, born in 1920.

(Read on …)

Pleading with Fate in Jerusalem (part 12)…by Robert M. Katzman

Pleading with Fate in Jerusalem

by Robert M Katzman © December 4, 2017

 

I tilted my head to the Western Wall

Trying to summon the words

Conjuring up Fate to listen to me

Surrendering to that which can’t be seen

But nevertheless

 Heard

 

Why do you keep doing this?

You keep taking so many away

No one left to call and say:

Do you remember this perilous time?

(Read on …)

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