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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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Limousine Ride to Niagra Falls


That's right, we traveled from Akron to Niagra Falls and back by limousine. This was not a honeymoon excursion or a hidden desire to shuffle off to Buffalo or even a trip to watch water go plunging over a cliff. Jackie and I didn't even see the falls or much of anything else.
I've done a lot of traveling in my time - by land, sea and air. I've done it on foot, by bicycle, automobile, Jeep, truck, bus, streetcar, train, airplane, boat and ship. Even a couple of short jaunts by limo. But never in my wildest fantasies did I envision a 475 mile round trip in a chauffeured limousine. People like me don't do things like that.
Need I say that someone else footed the bill? You'd better believe they did. In this case, "they" was a British TV production company making a documentary that will air on The History Channel sometime next year. A thoughtful person might well ask, "So what's that got to do with Ol' Stodg?" Well, this is a documentary on the Battle of Normandy during the months of July and August of 1944. That led them to me in a roundabout way because of the book "Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War."
After being invited we checked the schedules: plane, train and bus. None were of interest and we had no intention of driving. Sorry, I said, I can't make it. So that's when they decided to send a limousine.
The interview was interesting and lasted well over an hour. That probably figures out to about five minutes after the editing and cutting, although they did point out that I was the only one that had much to say beyond, "Man, it was rough." A guy with a memory that dates back to the events of 1929 and wrote about the war and all that stuff most of his life has a big advantage when somebody starts asking questions and wants specific answers.
As for the ride itself, you don't see much on an interstate highway. Oh sure, you see fields and trees and truck stops, things like that, but you don't see the main streets of small towns or anything truly memorable. Ashtabula or Erie or Dunkirk, New York are just names on signs.
We did pass through Buffalo, but even when you do go through major cities you just see their backside. I will say this: Buffalo has one of the ugliest backsides I've seen.
So that's about it. We left at 7:15 a.m. and were dropped off at the front door at 7:15 p.m. It was a comfortable ride and sure beat driving, but when I set foot in our living room I vowed never to leave home again. It just ain't fun no more.

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