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, May 21, 2007

Some Leftover Thoughts

After writing yesterday's blog I had a few leftover thoughts. The truth is I often have leftover thoughts, but at my age that's OK. Sometimes it seems that all the thoughts I have are leftovers from a better day. Occasionally from a worse day.
So back to the Great Depression. For the adults those were worse days. Kids didn't know anything different so the days and years weren't too bad. Pretty good, actually.
One aftereffect was my mother's refusal to ever again buy anything on credit. She was leery about even taking out a mortgage when they bought a house in 1940. When you hear about some of the astronomical credit card debt rolled up by people in the 21st century that's not a bad idea. Having grown up at a time when "going in debt" was thought of as just one step below committing murder, Jackie and I avoid it like the plague.
My dad might have gone wild on buying stuff on credit had my mother allowed it. However, he did become excessively proud of every possession he acquired. To be certain that everyone knew he had made a comeback after bottoming out he put his initials on everything he owned, even applying tiny metal plates reading "CBS" on both front doors of his cars. I still have a Zippo lighter on my desk engraved "CBS." As a result when I write something about my dad I quite naturally refer to him as Ol' CBS.
Like a few million other men, he found himself out of work early in 1930. My mother's job as nurse at Detroit's Fox Theatre lasted until late summer that year. Shortly after that I started kindergarten in a grim old building that looked like something built by Count Dracula on a visit to the United States. That lasted only a short time and then we were off on our nomadic existence that took us from town to town in Michigan.
In retrospect I have often wondered about the choice of places where Ol' CBS decided to look for a job. No business was hit harder than the automotive industry during the early days of the Depression. Things didn't ger much better as the years rolled by. One company after another folded up and the country lost some great names in the business, names like Stutz, Marmon, Duesenberg, Auburn - the list goes on and on. So where did Ol' CBS go in search of that elusive job? Automotive manufacturing cities.
How bad was the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash? Consider this: Billy Durant was the founder of General Motors. Later he began manufacturing Durant automobiles in Muncie. He ended up - think about this - as a fry cook in a bowling alley.
Yes it was bad. Damn bad. Could it happen again? Anything can happen again.


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