News Briefs & Hollywood Fun

vic fortezza
3 min readJun 17, 2022

Headline from “Stone (fruit) cold Ukrainian farmers poison Russian troops with cherries: mayor.” Cue the Runaways: “Cherry bomb! Cherry bomb!” … Also on the warfront, headline from “Ukraine Slowly Regaining Territory in South.” May it continue.

PC theater of the absurd, snippet from an NYP editorial about an NPR statement: “People who menstruate are saying it’s hard to find tampons on store shelves across the U.S…” Those people…

NYP headline: “Biden’s begging oil companies to produce while wanting to bankrupt them.”

From NYP: “Elite NYC private schools are teaching kids that American society must be destroyed.” Anyone surprised? Destroyed and replaced by what?

Headline from “Tech CEO slams woke corporate culture, offers ‘triggered’ employees severance.” Kudos, sir.

Unsurprising headline, FN: “Thieves stole thousands in fuel from gas station and resold at discount, cops say.”

Shocking numbers from an FN article by Rep. Burgess Owens, Rep. Byron Donalds & Jack Brewer: “…85% of children and teens with behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes, and over 70% of all adolescent patients in drug and alcohol treatment centers originate from homes without fathers.”

Last night Movies!, channel 5–2 on OTA in NYC, ran a fun film noir I’d never seen, Backlash (1947), which features two lovely actresses with whom I was completely unfamiliar: Jean Rogers, 55 credits, all on the big screen, and Louise Currie, 44, who worked both in film and television, and had a bit part in Citizen Kane (1941), always on the lists of America’s finest films. Rogers passed at 74 in 1991, and Currie at 100 in 2013. Also in the cast, Robert Shayne, Inspector Henderson on The Adventures of Superman, playing a shady lawyer. The real surprise is a man who plays one of the detectives, a happy go lucky womanizer, Richard Benedict, birth name Joseph Sciurba, nickname Pepe, born in Palermo, Sicily. Not only did he log 135 credits as an actor, mostly in TV, he also directed a ton of popular prime time shows and a few minor feature films, and wrote four scripts. He was in three episodes of …Superman, one of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, mentioning just my favorites, and he directed two of Combat!, one of The Fugitive and three of Mission: Impossible. Awesome, goombah. Tragically, he was taken by a heart attack at 64 in 1984. He was a dad of three. Here he is:

And Rogers:

And Currie:

A nice breeze and occasional cloud cover took a lot of the sting out of the heat at today’s session of the floating book shop. My thanks to the woman who bought nine cookbooks and one on wine; and to the gentleman who purchased seven kids DVDs for his grandson; and to the woman who chose a kids book in Russian; and to the man who selected a CD in that language.

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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.