Volume Two of Bob Katzman’s autobiography contains more stories from his life of extremes. There’s the Chicago Mob coming to his rescue when the city threatened to destroy his newsstand, the swarms of Catholics seeking newspaper souvenirs of Pope Pope John Paul II’s visit, one-man tour of Chicago’s Playboy Mansion following Bob’s letter to Hugh Hefner, the advice he received from writer Saul Bellow, and a rich drunk’s gift of tickets to see pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
Katzman tells of being seduced by a beautiful customer. He details his six-year “Magazine War” against America’s largest distribution company that broke the nationwide barrier against open sales of gay magazines. He writes about his attempt to defend his sister from a predator in her Chicago school, his 5,000 mile tour of America in the summer of 1969 and with a European hippie friend, and his 42-year love affair with his Norwegian wife Joyce, whose ashes he ultimately scattered from the ancient fortress of Masada in Israel.
Bob chronicles his battles with cancer, and his thirty-nine operations from age one to age 67.
These are stories full of distinctive characters — a sympathetic cop, an eccentric druggist, an obnoxious anti-Semite, and a compassionate principal. There are lawyers, fire chiefs, a night nurse, and the former detainee of a Japanese American internment camp.
This is not a book about triumph and riches. It is about refusing to stay down when knocked down, relentlessly determined to have the best life, the best love, the best friends he could have, no matter what. This book is about the courage of an average man caught up in stunning circumstances. You will be inspired.