vic fortezza
3 min readSep 28, 2022

When I reached 40 or so, I began listening to Jazz masters. The ones I appreciated most did not seem to adhere to the textbook definition of the genre, “improvisational music.” I was astounded by the work of Duke Ellington, particularly the album Blues in Orbit, which does not seem in the least improvised, at least to my tin ear. Almost everyone was/is familiar with Louis Armstrong’s pop hit Hello Dolly, a song elevated by his infectious vocal style. It pales compared to his best work. I was fortunate to listen to Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy, which includes Beale Street Blues, on which Satch does a solo as good as any I’ve ever heard on any instrument. I think of it as containing all that is life. Recently, a Facebook friend to whom I’d hardly ever said a word at the Commodity Exchange, posted info I’d never heard about Pops. Born in New Orleans in 1901, his mom was 16. He bounced back and forth between her, his father and grandmother. At six he went to work for a Jewish family, helping the sons collect rags and bones and deliver coal. He credits the family with teaching him to “sing from the heart.” The father gave Armstrong an advance toward the purchase of a cornet from a pawn shop. Armstrong learned that prejudice is not just black-white. He wore a Star of David until the day he died in memory of the family that helped raise him, the Karnoffskys. I’d had no idea. Thanks, Monica. Facts from Wiki, photo from Google Images:

Now available, photo from GI:

Will Hurricane Ian be politicized? Bet on it.

For those keeping score at home, headline from “Philadelphia reaches 1,000 carjackings for first time ever.” The previous high was 847.

Excerpt from an FN article by Aubrie Spady, edited by yours truly: “Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., seeking re-election, announced she will eliminate the sales tax on all grocery purchases in South Dakota.” It’s her strategy to fight inflation. It may be self-serving, but it may also help the citizenry, especially those on the bottom of the economic ladder.

Another perfect day for curbside business. It looked like the return was going to be disappointing, then Wolf showed as I was packing up. He bought a dozen Agatha Christie novels translated into Russian and a bio in English for his Mrs., Sophie, The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown. My thanks, and also to the Frenchman, who purchased The Rise of the Greeks by Michael Grant and The Life of Greece by Will Durant; and to the two ladies who took home two hardcovers in Russian; and to Herbie and Alice, who each donated a thriller. I am blessed.

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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.