Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

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

Although this story plays out in one Christmastide years ago, echoing from Bob Katzman’s mind and heart–he has the knack for time-travelling back into a treasure-trove of hard-won life experience and ingeniously tapping a rich vein of memory, conveying it into the here-and-now in a ‘tribute-tory’ way–where it flows on, timeless and true Bob has squeezed a lot of juice out of this one.

So, the story takes place ‘at his place’– a street corner at 51st and Lake Park, in Hyde Park, in Chicago, one Christmas Eve, when he was then already, a 27-year-old veteran bossman of a long-running newstand.  Yet, struggling, as always…

And as hardened by the Chi-town din as any street-survivor could be, nevertheless what happens to Bob that Christmas Eve and Day, is enough to prove that any hard-edged city-dweller, hard-ass ‘tude, hard-scrabble life, can be rendered soft, surrendered, humbled, before the might of generous hearts.

Hearts in this case, encased in mere teenagers at the time– and one old man–not the makings of ‘a Dream Team’ by today’s standards.  One, supposedly the most egocentric age-group in human existence–and the other, the most curmudgeonly, respectively.  Why, teens uh’ll do in their own parents– what of a stranger?!  And a crotchety geeser– of what use is he anymore?

”Stuck” with such employees (or not?), with the prospect of delivering a mountain of newspapers on a super-bustling holiday (not to mention the promise of super ass-busting labor), what should anyone expect but freakin’ disaster-on-the-job?

Forget a silent night….

Yet, Bob, the Jewish boss of this rag-tag loose assembly,  receives quite a few stunning presents that Christmas Day in 1977. You too will be richly gifted in the reading of this tale….Keep kleenex handy.

And believe….

Publishing News! 

Bob Katzman’s two new true Chicago books are now for sale, from him!
Vol. One: A Savage Heart  and Vol. Two: Fighting Words

Gritty, violent, friendship, classic American entrepreneurship love, death, heartbreak and the real dirt about surviving in a completely corrupt major city under the Chicago Machine. More history and about one man’s life than a person may imagine.

Please visit my new website: https://www.dontgoquietlypress.com
If a person doesn’t want to use PayPaI, I also have a PO Box & I ship anywhere in America.

Send me a money order with your return and contact info.
I will get your books to you within ten days.
Here’s complete information on how to buy my books:

Vol 1: A Savage Heart and Vol. 2: Fighting Words
My books weigh almost 2 pounds each, with about 525 pages each and there are a total together of 79 stories and story/poems.

Robert M. Katzman
Don’t Go Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998                                                                                                                    (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $29.95 each, plus shipping

For: (1)$3.95; (2)$5.95; (3)$7.95; (4)$8.95 (5)$9.95;(6) $10.95

(7) $11.95; (8) $12.95; (9)$13.95 (10)$15.95 (15)$19.95

I am also for hire if anyone wants me to read my work and answer questions in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Schools should call me for quantity discounts for 30 or more books. Also: businesses, bookstores, private organizations or churches and so on.

My Fighting Words Publishing Co. four original books, published between 2004 and 2007 are now out-of-print. I still have some left and will periodically offer them for sale on my new website.

 Twitter handle: bob_katzman


Comment by Bill Skeens

March 23, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

Hi Bob:

I take great pride in being your first “Newsboy” hired at the famous original Bob’s Newsstand. When you needed more help, I was able to recruit more of my buddies from the neighborhood. Charlie, Todd, Calvin, Jock and Ross. All with goodguys with good work ethics and all successful today. I can’t help believing some of our success today started at that unique business at 51st and Lake Park. Thanks for all you taught us about the life of a business and the business of life.
Bill Skeens

Comment by Bruce Matteson

March 23, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

Stephanie is a top-notch writer, reviewer, and I happen to know, poet. This is some more excellent work!

Comment by J Steve Adler

March 23, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

I am glad to see more interest in your writings. You are still your best pitchman, even when reaching out to others. In addition, this really demonstrates the timeliness of you stories is unending.

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