Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

This and That

Remember Ben Bernie? If you do, you've been around the block a few times. He was a band leader in the 1930s and a popular entertainer. I saw him on the stage of the Palace Theater in Akron in 1938 or thereabouts. Bernie was best known for saying "Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah!" He also said, "Thissa and thatta about dissa and datta," or something like that. So thanks to Ben, that's what this is all about today.

* At long last it's all over on American Idol. I won't say anything about the winner except this: The fact that he won again proves that the only taste most Americans have is in their mouths. Well, one more thing: People will be watching and listening to Katherine McPhee long after they have forgotten the name of Taylor Hicks. Apparently a lot of viewers were upset because another guy eliminated a couple of weeks ago didn't win. Not me. He was a shouter, and it amazes me that these days so many people confuse shouting with singing. And that any kind of noise is music. An old friend, the late Ross Spencer, said there is sound and there is music and too many people mistakenly believe that sound is music. So today there are too many shouters and too much sound, not enough singers and too little music.

* Well, they're at it again, blaming all the troubles of the country on us. By us I mean old guys. We just don't die soon enough to suit them so we're going to bankrupt the USA. So what would they say if all the Social Security and Medicare money suddenly ceased to flow into the economy? I don't know what they'd say but I know what they'd call it: a depression. Very likely as bad or worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. We managed to survive that, we made it through World War II and another one in Korea. Our generation brought the young folks the television and computers they think they couldn't live without. So would those complainers like to return to the days when the younger members of a family were responsible for housing, feeding, clothing and providing medical care for their elders? Do they think they would come out ahead financially that way? If they answer yes to those two questions I think they soon would realize they had made a terrible mistake. So to all the complainers I say this: "Nuts to you! Grow up mentally because you too will soon be old physically."

* I checked the forecast this morning and the men and women who are supposed to know what they're talking about predict it will be 90 degrees in Indianapolis Sunday. I don't believe the drivers in the Indy 500 will appreciate 90 degrees even though this will be the 90th running of the race. I saw the race in 1946 and 1947 and just about everything has changed since then. Now the cars all look alike except for the paint jobs. That's bad. Now the drivers wear what look like space suits. That's good, especially if there's a fire. When I was in the infield during those long ago races a lot of the drivers wore T-shirts and slacks. Those T-shirts would creep up and form a roll around the driver's chest as the race went on. Other drivers wore dress shirts and all of them had crash helmets of varying styles. You could recognize the drivers, not just the cars, because they sat right out in the open. The cars weren't equipped with radios so the pit crews wuld write messages on chalk boards and hold them up if they wanted to communicate. It was one helluva dangerous way to earn a living, much more so than it is today. The 1946 winner, George Robson, was killed in a race three months later. In 1947 the car of a driver named Shorty Cantlon wouldn't start so he was a couple of laps behind when it finally did. He was trying to make up ground, lost control going into the first turn and hit the wall head on. The steering post went through his chest. Yes, it's a lot safer today. And better, I suppose, but a lot of the earlier romance of racing is missing. Posted by Picasa

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