Present & Past

As the news gets sadder, I keep the cork in me, resisting the urge to fight back with words, reluctant to paint all the protesters, however low the percentage of the sincere may be, with the same brush. Although I believe the demonstrations are useless in addressing the real problem — the alarming rate at which blacks kill each other — they may serve a good purpose — a test lab for the current level of the coronavirus. If there’s no spike two weeks hence, it will be an indication that the bug has diminished considerably, which seems to be the case even now… According to an article at “From last Monday to Sunday night, there were 13 murders in the city, compared to five during the same week last year…” And in another Post article: “In Cary, NC, on Saturday, … white people knelt to wash the feet of black protest organizers in a ritual described by a woman with a megaphone as “repentance on behalf of Caucasian people.” Call me a racist, but this is as infuriating as it is pathetic… Although I usually enjoy when liberals eat one of their own, I find this headline very sad: “Minneapolis mayor booed out of protest after reportedly refusing to defund police.” A part of me hopes the element that is trying to abolish that police department succeeds. Talk about a test lab. Show us the way, know-it-alls…

RIP NFL All-Pro CB Ken Riley, 72. He spent his entire 15 year career, 1969-’83, with the Bengals, and had 65 interceptions, returning five for a TD, and recovered 18 fumbles. He was a candidate for a Rhodes Scholarship in 1977. A sixth round draft pick out of Florida A&M, where he played QB, he returned to his alma as head coach, 1986–1993, winning two conference titles, twice named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. In 2007 he was named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team, which selected the Top 33 players in the 100-year history of prep football in the state. Curiously, he is not in the NFL Hall of Fame.

A headline at Yahoo Sports observed that NFL teams that have been virtually unbeatable at home may not be dominant in stadiums empty of fans. Interesting, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Movies!, channel 5–2 on over the air antennas in NYC, did it again, showing back to back flicks I’d never seen in its ongoing Sunday Night Noir series. Marked Woman (1937) was directed by the prolific Irving Bacon — 130 credits at the helm — and stars screen legends Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. It was not their best work but a treat for film lovers. My chief interest was in one of the supporting players, Lola Lane, sister of the more successful Rosemary and Priscilla. She was rebellious, once dancing the Charleston as people were filing out of a church in her small Iowa hometown, getting kicked out of a music conservatory, marrying five times. She did Vaudeville and Broadway, and amassed 44 film credits, usually playing a tough cookie. Her real claim to fame borders on the unbelievable. She played female reporter Torchy Blane in Panama (1938)), which served as inspiration for Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane. Wow. She passed away at 75 in 1981. (Facts from IMDb) Here she is…

The second feature also starred Bogie, paired with the great Barbara Stanwyck, The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947), adapted from a play by Martin Vale, directed by Peter Godfrey, whose 48 credits are divided evenly between the big and small screen. I really enjoyed Alexis Smith’s turn as not a femme fatale but an amoral homewrecker, but was disappointed there wasn’t more background on Bogie’s character, although I must confess that I may have missed any while fighting to keep from nodding off, a real problem at 70 after ten PM. In researching the cast, a name jumped out — Ann Carter. I’ve given that name to a married Italian-American character in the novella on which I’m working. She was a child actress who whose 18 credits spanned 1941, when she was five, until 1952. Her career was derailed by polio, but she fought back, married and had three kids. It was said she had an uncanny resemblance to Veronica Lake. I think her talent was uncanny. She passed away at 77 in 2014. Here are pics of the ladies in question:

My thanks to the home attendant of the Braniac Brothers, who handed me a bag that contained four books as I was hanging out beside my car from noon to one on this picture perfect day. It seemed a few less people were wearing masks. I’d say the percentage was 75–25.

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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.

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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.