Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

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 …)

Chicago Municipal Tyranny Explained: My Newsstand in 1965…by Robert M. Katzman

Chicago Municipal Tyranny Explained: My Newsstand in 1965 

by Robert M. Katzman ©  August 1, 2017

There was a situation I first encountered when I opened my wooden newsstand August 21,1965 in Hyde Park, 52 years ago: Permission to issue permits to open a newsstand were delegated by the City to the four major newspapers in order to receive a newsstand permit for a particular corner in Chicago. Period.  But the main two asses to kiss were the conservative Chicago Tribune and the Liberal Chicago Sun-Times.

However, there were really only two City newspaper corporations, because the Tribune owned the Chicago American and the Sun-Times owned the Chicago Daily News. Both had to approve of you. Whatever running around by me was necessary, I needed four recognizable signatures on a yellow postcard-sized piece of stiff paper if my teenaged dreams of self-employment were to be realized.

Each newspaper assigned a certain medieval person called a “Division Boss” to decide whether a person was sufficiently worthy to receive their blessings for whatever area was under their control.  Direct contact with the newspapers’ business administration office was impossible.

(Read on …)

Retired, Confused, I Sing Joy’s Song…by Robert M. Katzman

 

By Robert M. Katzman April 23, 2016

 

Retiring from owning a store

What is that?

Time now indivisible?

Never late and no closing early

No more seeking to please

No more checking the clock

No more damning bad days

Regimentation?

Disintegration

(Read on …)

Chicago is Littered With the Corpses of My Retail Life…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman © April 10, 2016

 

Like discarded trash from today’s opened toys

I see the ghostly echo of my career

Sprinkled across the Chicago like tarnished glitter

Tho’ they used to sparkle for me

Perhaps many people witness

The fast-forwarding of their lives

While still living them

Time relentlessly unfolding

Blank pages written by an unseen hand

 

Caldwell Grammar School, South Side of Chicago

1962-1964

When I was 12, I sold firecrackers

Purchased from a non-judgmental

And very silent source in

Chicago’s mysterious Chinatown

Ladyfingers to Cherry bombs

Roman Candles to Sky Rockets

To my less enterprising classmates

(Read on …)

A Chicago Jew in Racine, Wisconsin…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Humor,Jewish Themes,Liberation Fantasies,Life & Death,Philosophy,Retail Purgatory,Wisconsin stories — Bob at 8:30 pm on Sunday, July 12, 2015

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story: www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© July 11, 2015

 

Ain’t nobody like me, up here

Or just barely

I’m a Mediterranean oasis

Wherever I go

A hot-house flower among

All the dour Teutonic people

 

Young girl cashiers

Mostly blonde

See my silver Star of David

Dangling from my neck

Glinting in the harsh lights of

Small Wisconsin stores

“Ooooooh, how pretty!”

Some of them exclaim

When first noticing it

Bright against my olive skin

“What is it?” 

Some ask me

(Read on …)

A Public Essay about Small Stores…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Depression and Hope,Friendship & Compassion,Life & Death,My Own Personal Hell,Rage!,Retail Purgatory — Bob at 1:14 pm on Monday, October 27, 2014

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story: www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© October 27, 2014

Public Essay: Why support small Brick-and Mortar stores? Why bother? Some old man or woman selling a limited selection of whatever they sell or create. Walmart, Target, E-bay, Starbucks are infinitely more accessible, have mountains of things to sell and are coast to coast enterprises. You see one, you’ve seen them all.

 

Then why travel? Why visit little villages with unique pottery or cool coffee shops? Why go anywhere or meet anyone with the passion to create an imaginative, determined and one of a kind store? The odds of success are irrational. Some shopper can usually buy anything the small stores try to sell for so much less online. Brick-and Mortar shops?? Why not kill ’em all and just stay home in bed punching buttons and have stuff brought right to your door? That’s the life we all want, isn’t it?

(Read on …)

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