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, December 26, 2006

The Old Drug Peddler From Long, Long Ago

For six months back in 1967 I earned a living pushing drugs. It was perfectly legal but a few years later selling the same stuff would have landed me in prison.
I had decided I should be making more money so I took a job with a pharmaceutical company out of Sellersville, Pa. They had a complete line of drugs but the hot item was a diet pill called Obestat.
There was a week of training at the plant and that's when I first began wondering about my decision. During one session the instructor praised a product they sold to nursing homes. Kept even the most unruly of the residents tranquil all day, he said. Sure, I thought, by doping them up, by knocking them out. Hardly my idea of a noble undertaking.
When I started out making the rounds of doctor's offices I often found anywhere from a dozen to fifty women waiting for their regular supply of Obestat. Some of them looked like it wasn't shedding many pounds from their bodies. But they were happy. Boy, were they ever happy.
The main ingredient in Obestat at that time, the only one that really mattered, was methamphetamine. La-de-da, who cares about keeping house, fixing supper, taking care of the kids? Life was just one big round of fun and laughter. Keep that Obestat coming, Doc.
It didn't take long for me to have enough of it.
Three years later after a couple of other newspaper jobs I found myself working as a reporter for the Muncie Evening Press. One of my early assignments was covering a criminal case in Circuit Court. The defendant was charged with selling - you guessed it, Obestat. The people in charge of such things had finally realized just what methamphetamine really was and what it did.
You can still buy Obestat, but it isn't the same product. No more methamphetamine, no more fun and games.
It was all a bit ironic, of course, sitting there in a courtroom taking notes. A few years earlier I had been peddling the stuff and now I was writing about some poor slob headed for prison for doing the same thing. What a difference a day makes - or a few hundred of them.



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