Art & Artists

Check out the Grim Reaper-like ice formations that formed against an Ontario man’s light posts. Mother Nature is quite the artist:

Author Leah Weiss was born in North Carolina and raised in the foothills of Virginia. She worked many jobs before becoming the Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School, a post she held for 24 years. Her first novel, If the Creek Don’t Rise, was published in 2017. I am fortunate a copy came my way. Set in 1970, it is a riveting portrait of a poor Appalachian community in the mountains of North Carolina. I devoured it. Each chapter is a first person account of one of the residents. Several characters have more than one dedicated to her/him. They are richly drawn and pull no punches. The main story line concerns a pregnant teenager and the abusive young man she marries. Although it is grim, it is not devoid of hope. Although the majority of the narrative is in the dialect of the region, its 293 pages are not a tough read. I had trouble only with the use of “won’t” for “weren’t.” There are touches of feminism, but it’s not in your face. 2996 users at Amazon have rated …Creek…, forging to a consensus of 4.4 on a scale of five. It has sold more than 100,000 copies, and its ranking at Amazon, 18,000th+ out of at least 15 million titles, reveals it is still selling modestly. The book’s appeal is to those interested in the human condition, however trying. Weiss has written another novel and has had stories published in magazines. Here she is:

RIP Howard Hesseman, 81, whose Hollywood career spanned 1968–2018. He is best known for his take, drawing on personal experience behind the mic, as the hippie DJ Dr. Johnny Fever in 89 episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati, but he did much more. There are 154 titles under his name at IMDb. He was in 92 episodes alone of Head of the Class and made multiple appearances on many popular prime time shows. He was also in notable films: Billy Jack (1971), Shampoo (1975), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and About Schmidt (2002). He has five credits as a writer, including work on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and three as a director, sitting at the helm of an episode of WKPR and two of its ‘90’s reboot. He was a member of the improv group The Committee, 1965-’75, that included Penny Marshall and Rob Reiner. Well done, sir. Thank you.

Latest PC madness: The University of Nebraska has altered the cartoon image of its mascot, Herbie Husker. The okay sign is said to be used by white supremacists. It had to go:

The sky was a vivid blue today, the sunshine taking some of the sting out of the still frigid temperatures. I decided to chance driving despite the digging it might involve. It added only ten or so minutes each way. The laundry is sorted and dinner is ready, as the local food truck was open. Thanks, Mo. The sidewalk at the prime winter time spot for the floating book shop is almost completely clear of snow. Now it will be a matter of parking becoming available near it so I can haul some stuff there, otherwise the shop will remain on hiatus.

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.