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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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Slobs Have Taken Over Our Country

I have a head cold and I'm mad about it. It's the first in years and I want to know why and how it happened. My nose isn't a leaky faucet, it's a faucet turned on full blast. Rudolph would turn green with envy if he could see this nose and my eyes are a pair of crimson marbles set in a slab of putty. The lining of my throat has been sandpapered, I use up a large box of tissues in ten minutes and I'm mad at the world for allowing this miserable affliction to invade my body.
I looked to Jackie and asked, "How could this happen to an innocent person like me?"
She laughed. She actually laughed and said, "You've never been innocent since the day you were born."
"I expected a little sympathy."
"That what you got - a little sympathy."
Well, that does it. So much for compassion when confronted with suffering of a magnitude that would astound medical science. And she was the one who gave me this cold.
So I'll suffer in silence. Except for moaning after every sneeze. And coughing and hacking whenever she's within hearing distance. And yelling at the hamsters for being able to peacefully sleep all day while nearby I'm stretched out in agony.
So what better time could there be for lashing out at the slobs that have taken over the country. It's the perfect follow-up to the blog on the way Americans act while abroad.
Have you visited a mall lately, or a doctor's office or anywhere else that people can be found? Just look at them! Unbelievable. Or look at the kids going to or from any public school. Flip-flops on their feet, pants drooping down to their - well, you've seen it for yourself. They spend their parents' hard-earned money for expensive jeans with ragged holes in the legs, wear wrinkled T-shirts emblazoned with words once heard only in Army barracks or on ships that had been at sea for months.
But they're just pathetic kids attempting to look like all other pathetic kids because originality is taboo, something to be avoided at all cost. It's the adults that are inexcusably offensive. Take shorts for example. No self-respecting adult over the age of twenty-five should be seen wearing them in public. Man or woman, they look ridiculous. Especially men wearing black socks with their shorts or women with legs resembling uncased sausages.
The word casual has come to mean sloppy. Casual for men is a sport or polo shirt with a pressed pair of slacks. It's much the same for women, but an attractive dress could be substituted. It does not include halter tops over bulging bellies.
If you think it has always been the way it is today, think again. Look at a photo from the era of my boyhood, the years of the Great Depression. Not one of those showing Okies on the road to California but a street scene or a shot of the crowd at a World Series or a football game. You'll find the women in neat dresses, the men in suits with a tie and usually a fedora on their head. Then think about it. That was a time of genuine hardship, a time when money was scarce and people watched every nickel and dime. But they had pride. Nothing could have forced them to appear in public dressed the way the majority of people dress today.
I have pictures of my sixth and eighth grade classes as just two of the photos serving as my screen saver. There were forty-four of us in the class, half of them living at the Children's Home. They were a tough bunch accustomed to hard times but by comparison with kids today they look like fashion plates, like models ready to walk out on a runway to display the latest in clothes for kids. Parents, or room mothers at the Children's Home, would never have allowed us to head for school dressed as kids do now. It was the same with high school boys and girls. Neatness and cleanliness, those were the hallmarks of personal pride.
Those qualities have been replaced by grunge. Personal pride - you must be kidding.
Why? That's what I would like to know. Even more than I'd like to know why I'm suffering with this miserable head cold.

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Anonymous Carol Zanetti said...

Hi Dick, Carol Zanetti here. I sent you an email the other day about writing tips and have not heard back. I hope all is well with you and you are feeling better. I look forward to hearing from you. Feel better! My email is

12:05 PM  

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