vic fortezza
3 min readMar 10


RIP Robert Blake, 89. Born Mickey Gubitosi in Jersey, his career spanned 1939-’97. He began at five in Our Gang shorts and evolved into a serious, critically acclaimed actor. There are 163 titles under his name at IMDb, which doesn’t tell the full story, as he starred in 82 episodes alone of Baretta, for which he won an Emmy in 1975, and co-starred in 25 of The Richard Boone Show. As a child he appeared in great films such as Humoresque (1946), playing the young violinist portrayed by John Garfield, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), playing the kid who sells Bogie the winning lottery ticket. He reached his zenith playing Perry, one of the killers in the adaptation of Truman Capote’s masterwork, In Cold Blood (1967), and followed that playing the eponymous character, the indian on the run, in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969). Other notable movies: Pork Chop Hill (1959), Town Without Pity (1961), PT 109 (1963), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and his swan song, Lost Highway (1997). He also has four credits as a writer/creator of TV movies. Married three times, he was the father of three. In 2001 his second wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, mother of their infant daughter, was shot in the head while sitting in her car waiting for her husband outside of a restaurant. A year later Blake stood trial and was acquitted. He lost a civil suit brought by Bakley’s other children, costing him $30 million. Headline from “Robert Blake’s daughter didn’t want to know if he was guilty of murder before actor’s death.”

RIP NFL WR Otis Taylor, 80, who succumbed to the long-term effects of Parkinson’s. Born in Houston, he played collegiately Prairie View A&M, where he was a first-team Little All-American. He was chosen by the Chiefs in the fourth round of the AFL draft and spent his entire career, ‘65-’75, with the organization. He was a member of the Super Bowl IV champions. Other highlights: two-time AFL champion, 1969 AFL Championship MVP, 1971 UPI AFC Player of the Year, two-time First-team All-Pro, two-time Pro Bowl player, First-team All-AFL ’66, Second-team ’67, AFL All-Star ’66, AFL receiving touchdowns co-leader ’67, NFL receiving yards leader ‘71,
Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame. He had 410 receptions and 57 TDs. Surprisingly, he’s not in the Hall of Fame. He was a father of one. Well done, sir.

Scary news out of California, excerpt from an article by Megan Henney at “Financial regulators closed Silicon Valley Bank — the 16th largest in the country — on Friday afternoon after a run on the bank, marking the largest U.S. bank failure since the global financial crisis in 2008.” Let’s hope it’s not the start of a trend.

Not all the news is bad. Headline from FN: “Joe Rogan’s new cancel-proof comedy club cheered as free speech win.” May it prosper.

No sales at the floating book shop until the last half hour when they were so heavy I didn’t have a chance to write the titles down. Here’s what I remember: the first four seasons of the TV series The Shield, Ten Green Bottles: The True Story of One Family’s Journey from War-torn Austria to the Ghettos of Shanghai by Vivian Jeanette Kaplan, A Study of History, Vol. 1: Abridgement of Volumes I-VI by Arnold J.Toynbee; Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle by Dan Senor & Saul Singer. My thanks to the buyers, donors and swappers.

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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.