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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Saturday, January 20, 2007

About that History Channel Program

Well, I'm glad that's over. I mean the program on The History Channel, the one about the breakout from the Normandy hedgerow country. Right at the start Jackie said, "I knew it was you even before your picture came on. I could tell by the voice."
"What? I said. "That old guy that sounded like he was gargling at the bottom of a well?"
"Nonsense! I don't look like that. I don't talk like that."
As usual, though, she was right. I had to admit it after I showed up a second time. However, I still contend I don't sound that way. They must have used one of those voice-overs with somebody else doing the talking.
No, Jackie insists, it sounded exactly like me.
Well that's a kick in the butt. Water flowing over rocks - that's what I sound like? From now on my lips are sealed.
So aside from that, what did I think of the show? They did as good a job as possible, I guess, in trying to compress three months of brutal fighting into 40 minutes. I was a little surprised when they didn't even mention the capture of Cherbourg, the first deep-water port to fall. I felt too much time was devoted to the failed attempt by British troops to take a hill. The show was made by a British production company, though, so it probably was justified.
I wasn't pleased to see Patton strutting around. It was the 1st Army's 7th Corps that made the breakout. Patton arrived later and just walked out. But he did know how to grab the headlines and pose in front of a camera.
All that's just nitpicking and doesn't matter. The only thing I really objected to was some old guy talking about German prisoners. It didn't ring true and I certainly never was around prisoners that said anything even close to what he claimed they did.
Another old guy wearing a red shirt was just the opposite. It was obvious to someone who was there that he knew what he was talking about.
The one surprise came when they showed a dramatized version of a German hitting me in the head with an entrenching tool. I said shovel, but I guess it amounts to the same thing.
A former German soldier mentioned our far greater supply of men, ammunition and equipment. During the fighting our division commander put it this way: "The Germans are staying in there just by the guts of their soldiers. We outnumber them ten to one in infantry, fifty to one in artillery, and by an indefinite number in the air."
Fair is fair so it is good they included that comment by the old German soldier. The people responsible deserve credit for not producing another of the many "weren't we great" shows.
They managed to maintain balance and that's the way it should be. So in my opinion they did a good job for the amount of time they had to work with and I'd give them an "A."
I even admit that really was me and not some imposter, but that voice like the sound of shaking gravel in a pan of water . . . come on, guys, tell me that couldn't have been Ol' Stodg.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great comments, Dick - I like your writing style. And yes, you do sound like you did on TV, at least over the phone you sound that way.

9:54 AM  

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