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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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Was Life Better in 1953?


An e-mail comparing life in 1953 with life today was humorous at first reading. But then it got me to thinking about the changes that have taken place, some good, some bad.
At the top of my list of improvements is the scaling back of the atrocious racial discrimination that existed in the south in 1953. I wrote about it a while back in a blog telling of a bus ride in Georgia.
Civil rights laws have made life a whole lot better for those who were victimized. Many have taken advantage of the increased opportunities but, sad to say, many have not. Barack Obama is correct in contending that young blacks who regard success in school as bad, as being too "white," need a major change in attitude. How to bring that about is a daunting challenge.
Abortion was illegal in 1953 but any girl or woman who wanted one had no trouble making the arrangements. Many died, of course, because the back-alley "clinics" were usually operated by unskilled people working in unsanitary surroundings. That's another positive for today.
How about things that were better back then? There's no shortage of them. Parents were still parenting, grandparents were either mentoring or staying out of the way. Teachers (and parents) were disciplining kids who got out of line rather than popping pills in their mouths. All of this was very good for the kids. Unfortunately, parents were beginning to take an active part in activities that previously had been the sole domain of kids.
If a couple of boys got into a fistfight no one called the cops. Anyone who used a knife in a fight was forever ostricized by his peers and the thought of using a gun never entered anyone's mind.
Oh, let's forget the comparison. It boils down to this: In the 21st century common sense has been replaced by causes and agendas. In the name of political correctness people poke their noses into everything someone else does. They tell kids not to use drugs but from an early age they have had many of them on Ritalin and similar drugs that alter their personalities. In the past a paddle was a lot more effective and didn't cause the damage that drugs inflict on kids.
Live and let live was the general attitude in 1953. Today it is live according to the dictates of political correctness or pay the consequences.
To sum it up, this is a helluva time to be a kid. In many respects it isn't much better for adults.

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