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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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Homosexuals in the US Army? Why Not?

I'm going to have to quit watching the TV news. Every day there's something that makes my blood pressure jump off the scale. Now it's General Peter Pace, the Army's head honcho, saying homosexuality is immoral and it would be wrong to allow gays to openly serve in the military.
I guess that means Canada, Britain, Israel, Germany and a host of other countries are dead wrong. But when I was in the Army during World War II I served with several men everyone knew were homosexuals. One of them was in my company during basic training and in the shower room there were always jokes about not dropping your soap. He joined in. It was fun, everybody enjoyed themselves, nobody gave a damn.
Then I knew a couple while in combat. They could shoot just as straight as anyone else. Guys you'd want with you when the shooting starts.
Why is it that so many Americans feel just the way this pinched-faced Pace does? Beats me because you don't find that attitude in most countries. Well, you did in Nazi Germany. The Nazis purged homosexuals at every opportunity. Some in this country would like to do the same. I'll never understand why unless those people have secret doubts about their own sexuality.
Back in WWII, blacks were treated the same way. Couldn't allow them in with white guys, couldn't let them serve in the infantry divisions. The Navy only let them serve as cooks and waiters for the officers aboard ships. Take a look at the infantry divisions and those ships today. And women - at the time of the First World War they weren't even allowed to vote. At least the country has shown improvment in those respects.
One evening in Marietta, Ohio Jackie and I stopped for a drink in what turned out to be a crowded gay bar. We were greeted like long lost friends. Far more warmly than we would have been in any other bar I can name.
Some people think gay men don't like women. What utter nonsense. During our years in Muncie our favorite hangout was a place with a restaurant on the lower level, a gay bar on the main floor, the one you entered from the street. The owners were gay. One was the host, the other the cook. The waiters were gay as were most of the bar's customers. Not all, though, and those who were not were shown the same respect they would have received anywhere in town.
Jackie was treated like a princess. I was going to say queen but thought better of it. The guys in the bar would have thought that was hilarious. They were as fine a group of men as you would find no matter where you went. Without reservation I would say we were among the kindest, most gentle and thoughtful men I have encountered anywhere. Or tough, if the need to be that way arose. One of those closest to us died after we moved to Akron. We drove 250 miles to attend his funeral. We wouldn't have done that for someone we felt was immoral.
Do you know what I think? I think the US Army needs a different man in charge.

visit: www.dickstodghill.com

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, you have to mention the name of the bar in Muncie. The long torn down bar and restaurant in the former Meadows Shopping Center was very pleasant.

The Mark in downtown Muncie, frankly, wasn't very nice gay or straight aside.

I lived in Muncie from 1983 to 1993. I probably read your column, but only after I was done with Wiley's in the other paper:)

p.s. It isn't my intention to sign in anonymously, but this site won't accept my Blogger or Google sign in information.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Dick Stodghill said...

I was referring to the Carriage House, not The Mark. I agree about it.
I also have trouble signing into some sites so anonymous is OK.
Dick

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the Carriage House in Meadows Shopping Center. Ontoria Corporation took over Meadows Center and chased everyone out. It hasn't helped the area at all. In fact I think it went from a vibrant retail area to dire blight.

Thanks for great posts on your Blog.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Dick Stodghill said...

All my old hangouts in Muncie are gone now - the Carriage House, the Flamingo, Robert Q's. The old VIP on Mulberry is still there but with a new name and it isn't quite the same. Even The Spot, that had the best food in town is gone. Too bad.

10:51 AM  

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