Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

“I’m Fourteen. I Need a Job”…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Friendship & Compassion,Gritty Katzman Chicago Stories,My Own Personal Hell,Old Fart Wisdom — Bob at 6:28 pm on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

By Robert M. Katzman © July 18, 2018

 Summertime. Got a kid sorta looking for a job? Maybe they’ll actually look for one or maybe they’ll not bother.  But what if it were not a choice? Maybe this story will inspire them. Or you:

“I’m Fourteen. I Need a Job”

On June 8th, 1964, I escaped an insane home on the South Side of Chicago where beatings with thick leather belts, belt buckles, rubber hoses and clenched fists were an everyday event. I left running with only the clothes on my back, in freezing rain, two weeks before graduating eighth grade at Caldwell School. Met up at some point with my father who took me to live with him in a one-room studio with a small kitchen and bathroom in Hyde Park, across the street from the Museum of Science and Industry. I was going to need the industry part. He wasn’t working.

(Read on …)

A “Chocolate Phosphate”, or what my Mother told me in the Fifties…by Robert M. Katzman

When I was very young on the South Side of Chicago, my Mother, a daughter of immigrants from the Jewish Pale area of Eastern Europe where Jews were forced to live by the Czar, was addicted to this drink called a “chocolate phosphate”.

She ordered this delicacy in Jewish restaurants which was essentially ice cubes, chocolate syrup and carbonated seltzer water. The basic point, she explained to me, was to make her “greptz” or belch after a heavy meal.

Decades later when I began going to New York City in 1980 for book conventions, I naturally assumed this common Chicago beverage would be available anywhere in a city with the largest Jewish population in America. But no one heard of it, didn’t know what I was asking for and quickly conveyed the impatience and rudeness that NYC was also famous for.  (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 …)

An American Jew’s Bold New Plan for a Sane, Peaceful and Prosperous State of Palestine (part 9)…by Robert M. Katzman

An American Jew’s Bold New Plan for a Sane, 

Peaceful and Prosperous State of Palestine

(part 9)

© by Robert M. Katzman

Man, I ain’t no dreamer—R. Katzman

Published May 18th, 2007 in honor of my father, Israel, on the seventh anniversary of his death, at age 87. I chose to not update the statistics because they aren’t the point of this article. This is about ideas. About change.

First, some background: My family came to America between 1902 and 1916 from Eastern Europe, where some of my immediate ancestors were murdered during the World War One years and the rest by Hitler later. They were non-combatants. I grew up with grim tales of unending, irrational persecution and in sync with my left-of-center politics beginning in the later Sixties, I wouldn’t wish that kind of terror and life on anyone.

(Read on …)

Traveling Alone, Traveling Together (part 8)…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Friendship & Compassion,Israel,Life & Death,Love and Romance,My Own Personal Hell,Old Fart Wisdom,Travel — Bob at 5:52 am on Saturday, November 11, 2017

Note to my readers:

© November 5, 2011,

First written almost exactly six years ago, this was a nostalgic and philosophic reflection about not just traveling, but in Israel in May 2000 with Rick Munden immediately after my father Israel died, and I planted trees for him in Jerusalem. Bet they’re big trees, and shady now. We saw a lot. I probably drove Rick crazy.

This time, I am back in Israel, alone, because of the death of Joyce, wandering aimlessly around the country, wondering what to do. I keep wanting to call her, talk to her, about what amazing place I just saw.   Though I never planned it, ironically, now my title now includes both of them. I hope you connect with it.

 

I have been many places

Traveling alone

Traveling together

Sometimes both

Together’s better

(Read on …)

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