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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Friday, March 02, 2007

So He's a Mormon - So What?

This isn't a very nice story so I probably should be ashamed to tell it. It goes back fifty years, though, so why not?
My first wife was a Mormon. She and all the others in her church denied this but they read the Book of Mormon and did everything else the Mormons did so in my book they were Mormons. The official name of the church was a real mouthful: The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, or something like that.
They had all kinds of rules that nobody paid any attention to such as not being allowed to drink anything hot or anything cold which certainly limited the options of a man with a thirst. The fact was I broke about every rule in their book.
So one day I overheard a couple of whispered phone conversations and learned that on Sunday I was to be left alone in the house so that Brother Hammond and Brother Mitchell and Brother Somebody Else could come by and convert me. That was fine with me but it called for a few preparations on my part.
On the way home from work on Saturday night I bought a six-pack of Hudepohl beer and a small packet of White Owl cigars - panatellas with a candela wrapper. On Sunday morning I neglected to shave. After being left alone in the house I put on the dirty work clothes I had taken off the night before. Then I stood looking out the window. Sure enough, a car pulled up out front and Brother Hammond and Brother Mitchell and Brother Somebody Else got out. I lit up a White Owl, hurried to the kitchen and popped the top on a can of Hudepohl.
I was a gracious host. Offered everybody a cigar. Offered everybody a can of beer. Let them know I was a downhome sort of guy by uttering a few words not normally heard in church.
They left after three minutes.
When they were gone I realized I should feel guilty. I didn't. Half a century later I know darn well I should feel guilty. I don't.
So the moral of the story is this fellow Mitt Romney is running for president and people say he can't win because he's a Mormon. Now I can't stand the sight of him with his perfect haircut and a face that makes it clear he wouldn't say shucks if he had a mouthful. I wouldn't vote for him if he was running against Attila the Hun. But what has his being a Mormon got to do with anything? Isn't this a land of religious freedom? Apparently not. That's too bad.
I know I shouldn't, but every time I see Romney on the tube I wonder what he'd say if I offered him a White Owl and a can of Hudepohl. Now that is important, at least in my book.

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