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, March 06, 2007

A Hundred Blogs and Counting

This is blog number one hundred since I cranked out the first one 11 months ago. That's a pretty fair number and yet it is small compared to the 250 columns along with a number of other newspaper stories as well as short mysteries I used to write every year.
Those hundred blogs were not my total output of words. of course. During those months I also had three books and two short stories published. Five other short stories were written and accepted and will soon be in print. Not bad for an 81-year-old guy.
It may have nothing to do with blogging but I'm glad I'm 81. I'd hate to be any younger the way things are today in this country and the rest of the world. The past was better, at least in my opinion, but the only part of it I miss were the years working for newspapers before computers came along.
It was great fun. Every day was different, every day was exciting, every day was noisy. Yes, those old-time newsrooms were smoke-filled, hectic, frantic and alive with the sounds of clattering typewriters, telephones ringing, reporters and editors shouting back and forth, bells ringing on wire service machines, containers filled with finished stories shooting up tubes to the composing room and in the distance the clickety-clack of linotype machines and the humming of the presses.
Walk into a newsroom now and it's like entering a library back when libraries were quiet. Reporters sit in cubicles working on silent computers, the linotypes are gone, even the presses are missing at some newspapers. And reporters don't call back and forth to ask a question or answer one, city editors no longer shout for a reporter or several of them to make it snappy and file their copy, no one even yells for a copy boy to pick up a story or bring another cup of coffee. And no one dares light a cigarette, of course. I recall a day when City Editor Jack Richman had one in each hand and another burning in his butt-filled ashtray. He was furious when he realized he didn't have a hand free to blue-pencil someone's copy.
Another reporter, Roy Bigger, and I sometimes had lunch with the owner of a downtown jewelry store. He'd always say he couldn't comprehend what it must be like to work the way we did - start every morning with nothing, work all day and then end up again with nothing.
But we had a newspaper in hand and having played a role in getting its pages filled was great fun.
Writing blogs isn't quite the same, but nothing is or ever was quite the same as that way of life. So it's gone forever now and that's just the way it goes.
A hundred of my old blogs on the wall, a hundred of my old blogs, if one of those blogs should happen to fall, ninty-nine of my old blogs on the wall, ninety-nine of my old blogs . . . oh, the hell with it.



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