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, June 22, 2007

Guess I Was Wrong - Men Should Smell

I posted the blog about the smell of a good man on a writer's message board and was amazed by the number of responses. The majority of people, especially women, seem to believe a man should be all perfumed up. One lady likes the smell of a man just after he has showered with Irish Spring soap. I was pleased by that because it's made by Lever Brothers, the company that prevented the Stodghills from starving to death at the depths of the Great Depression.
My dad, Ol' CBS, was a super salesman, which was why they hired him back after he had quit a few years earlier because he felt the grass was greener at Scott Paper Company. He always felt the grass was greener somewhere else.
Anyway, long before Irish Spring came along the company sold another deodorant soap, Lifebuoy. Or tried to sell it because many grocers and druggists were turned off by its medicinal smell. Ol' CBS found that to be a challenge and devised a plan that worked four times out of five. This was back in the days of the corner grocery store, the kind where the grocer or a clerk would wait on customers and fetch whatever items they asked for, then tally up the bill on the side of a brown paper bag, the one in which he'd then pack the groceries.
So Ol' CBS would wait until there were no customers in the store and then lay a box of Lifebuoy down on the counter. More often than not the grocer would slap it off onto the floor. "I have to put food there and that stuff stinks!"
Ol' CBS would pick it up, brush it off and then hold it up as if he were displaying the crown jewels while solemnly saying, "If you don't use it, you'll stink."
Other salesmen were selling Lifebuoy by the case, he was selling it by the carload. That means enough to fill up a railroad box car with cases of Lifebuoy.
The big brass at Lever Brothers investigated the reason for this and came up with an advertising campaign based on B.O. - body odor. The deep voice of an announcer saying, "Bee - Ohh." soon was familiar to every radio listener.
Twenty or so years later the delicate noses of Americans found the great fragrance of Lifebuoy a little too much to handle so it came to smell like any other soap. Not so the British and numerous other Europeans. They went on liking it as much as ever.
The original Lifebuoy is still made in Ceylon for distribution across the pond. Americans with decent noses can buy it by mail from the Vermont Country Store. That's where we get it. Ol' CBS would be proud.
On his second stint with Lever Brothers he was first sent to Milwaukee and then Eau Claire, Mansfield and finally Akron. When they wanted him to go to Cleveland he quit again and began selling Trojans. After that came Gillette, Old Forester and Early Times whiskey, Kaiser automobiles and finally phonograph records, his great love in life, in his own store. I don't believe that even once in all those years did he ever take a shower with Lifebuoy.


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