vic fortezza
2 min readMay 28

RIP actor/singer Ed Ames, 95. Born Edmund Urick in Massachusetts to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, he was one of nine children. Along with brothers Vic, Gene and Joe, they formed the popular Ames Brothers singing group. From 1947-’63 they released a ton of singles and albums. Nine of the singles cracked the top ten, three hit #1. The only one I remember is Rag Mop, which Jackie Gleason and Art Carney sang during a sketch of The Lost Honeymooners. As a solo artist, Ames had two top 20 hits, My Cup Runneth Over hitting #8 in ’65 and Who Will Answer? 19 in ’67. Including compilations, there are 26 albums listed on his Wiki page. There are 21 titles under his name at IMDb, all in TV. He did 72 episodes alone of Daniel Boone, playing the indian Mingo. He appeared in the beloved off-Broadway show The Fantasticks, and in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Crucible on the The Great White Way. Married twice, he was a father of three. Here’s a clip of his famous appearance on The Tonight Show, one of the great moments in television history, capped by Johnny Carson’s classic, inspired adlib:

Think you’re smart? Headline from “Whiz kid Calif. boy, 12, graduates from college — with 5 degrees after starting at 9 years old.” Also on the education front: “12 sets of twins, one set of triplets graduate from Illinois high school.”

From NYP: “‘Are you kidding?’ Lululemon fires 2 workers who confronted masked robbers as company frowns calling police for help.” As a rapper once said: “Let evvvvrybody know.” Let’s see how long it stays in business now that criminals have been given a heads up.

Interesting development, from NYP: “Cuban immigrants join Moscow’s fighting forces in Ukraine after Putin signs bill granting citizenship.” Diehard reds, I guess.

From NYP: “Killer whales may be attacking boats to avenge injured matriarch: scientists.” Or maybe not. Lately I’ve been ignoring articles whose headlines include may, might or could.

Another gorgeous day to do business curbside. My thanks to the gentleman who took home six hardcovers in Russian, and to the one who bought DVDs of Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) and American Beauty (1999); and to the one who selected Enter the Dragon (1973); and to the one who purchased Present and Past by yours truly.

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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.