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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Monday, January 22, 2007

"The Old School Yell" Finally Made It

I always figured "The Old School Yell" would eventually see the light of day. It did last Friday morning when it showed up on Amazon Shorts, but it took a while. To be exact, 27 years before an editor was intelligent enough to appreciate its merits. The problem was it didn't fit into any niche so while other editors claimed to like it, none could use it.
That reminds me of a night in the 1980s when we were having dinner with Percy Spurlark Parker and his wife Shirley. Percy's mysteries are as good as those of any writer in the field so I always hesitate in saying he is the best black mystery writer I know. He doesn't need any qualifier in front of his name.
Anyway, Shirley said he had been grumbling because no one would buy a story he felt was as good as any he had written. "Every writer I know," she said, "has a story collecting dust in a desk drawer that he thinks is the best he has ever written."
The words were scarcely out of her mouth before "The Old School Yell" leaped to mind.
So time passed by until a couple of months ago I blew the dust off its folder, updated the beginning and now it's available for the world to buy for a mere 49 cents. I hope a few people do so that I can find out if anyone else likes it. The story is based on an actual yell high school boys, but not the cheerleaders, would give at football games in Cuyahoga Falls back in 1936. The rest of the story, aside from a few other factual events, came from what passes for my mind.
Friday was a busy day. "The Old School Yell" in the morning, that show on The History Channel in the evening, and in between an e-mail from the editor of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine saying she was buying the latest story in the Jack Eddy series. It isn't as long as some of the others so the check will be for only $730. I'm not complaining because they pay by the word and that's $730 more than I had when I woke up in the morning.
But I digress. The subject was "The Old School Yell." It's about a couple of offbeat characters, although the narrator would not see himself that way. However, any man who spends every afternoon at the same table in a tavern reading books, playing solitaire and working jigsaw puzzles qualifies as offbeat. The fellow he befriends after he wandered in one day to get out of the rain definitely qualifies. They share some happy times together until the night when . . . wait a minute, if you want to know the ending you'll have to dig into your pocket and spend a whopping 49 cents. After all this is a business, not a charity bazaar, you know. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Robert Meacham said...

Dick. I expect to dig deep, even past the wad of thread binding my pockets and purchase Old School Yell. After all, if I can not support a fellow pA author- who can I support. Expect a brillant review of your short. Bye the bye, I have a short published with an other on the way
best- Robert

10:52 PM  

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