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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Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Day Ol' CBS Stole My Innertube

My dad, Ol' CBS, had an aversion to water. Not the kind found in a bathtub but the big stuff like Lake Erie. This came to mind because the vacation season is in full swing. Way back in 1935 it was decided that the Stodghills would take one for the first time since I had arrived on the scene a decade earlier and spoiled the fun.
We set out for Vermilion on Ohio's north coast on an August morning when the air was raw and damp. That was a prelude of things to come because most of the week was downright frigid. People in the other furnished cottages were burning furniture in their fireplaces but my mother drew the line at that. If Ol' CBS had had his way we would have set fire to the whole cottage.
Then about Thursday or Friday it warmed up enough to walk down to the lake and jump in. I was well prepared with a fat, oversized innertube. That was back when tires had innertubes and every boy worthy of the name had at least two. One was for the off chance that he might get to go swimming some day and the other was for cutting up to build slingshots and other things necessary to make life worth living.
So I was floating around on my innertube a little offshore when Ol' CBS showed up. He demanded the innertube for himself and over my violent protests took it away from me, him having the advantage of being a lot bigger than me.
He climbed aboard and for a few minutes was drifting along happily, but then he somehow managed to tip over and disappeared from sight. He surfaced quickly, arms and legs thrashing in the air, and started calling for help. The lifeguard ran into the water and began struggling with Ol' CBS, who seemed determined to take the lifeguard down with him.
This went on for what seemed a lengthy period but at last the lifeguard got Ol' CBS to his feet. I say to his feet because the water where he had been floating only came up to his knees.
This was somewhat embarrassing for him, of course, so he hurried off back to the cottage.
I got on the innertube again but soon became aware that the lifeguard was keeping a close eye on me. Maybe he thought it ran in the family.
In later years I sometimes reminded Ol' CBS about the day he stole my innertube. He vigorously protested my version of the event, claiming I had willingly offered it to him and that he was in twenty feet of water and going down for the third time when the lifeguard arrived.


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