vic fortezza
2 min readNov 28, 2023

Men’s FIS Cross-Country World Cup skiing competition, Finland. Photo by Federico Modica/NordicFocus/Getty Images/

Here’s some trivia from an article by Allie Griffin at, in my own words. In 1893 North Carolina pharmacist Caleb Bradham created a soft drink to aid digestion. He sold Brad’s Drink at his drug store. He renamed it Pepsi Cola, its roots from the word dyspepsia (indigestion) and its key ingredient kola nuts. As someone who loves Cherry Pepsi, thank you, Sir.

Cue the trumpets. The Merriam-Webster Word of the Year is “authentic,” chosen, according to an article by Nick Koutsobinas at, because the “rise in cheap goods amidst mass inflation, the pervasive rise of AI, and the monotonous tedium of censorship and an anesthetized media have left many Americans yearning to connect to something…” Good choice. This would be mine, although it’s an acronym, not a word: “WTF?” I say it to myself several times a day while scanning news sites. It seems crazier than ever out there.

Reality is a bear, headline from “Connecticut governor withdraws EV mandate in major blow to environmentalists.” I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this. So far, alternatives are not proving authentic.

Let’s restore some sanity and authenticity with a montage of Italian actresses: Top, left to right: Claudia, Sophia, Gina, Monica, Silvana. Bottom: Stefania, Virna, Ornela, Anna, Mariangela. Baciami.

No choice but to sit in the car on this cold, blustery day. My thanks to Sam, who donated two highly marketable books on Streisand, and to my Constant Benefactress, who bought Barbra: The Way She Is by Christopher Andersen; and to the mother and daughter who purchased two more books in Russian; and to Angelo, who grossly overcompensated me to settle his tab. I have no idea why the likes of me is so blessed. I hope the floating book shop is authentic.

My Amazon Author page:


Read Vic’s Stories, free:



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.