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, October 21, 2007

Morton's of Chicago, a Big Guy Picking On a Little Guy


Well, it's finished. Almost finished, at least. I'm speaking of the four month writing project that made me recall why I prefer doing short stories. It kept me from blogging so Jackie has been giving me subtle reminders like leaving newspaper clippings where I'm bound to see them. It's her way of saying it's time to blog so after just pushing them out of the way a few times I actually read one. It happened to be about Morton's Pub and Grub in Muncie.
It seems that one of those generic-style chain steakhouses with a generic-style name, Morton's of Chicago, doesn't think Ty Morton is entitled to use his own name on his business.
Everyone who opens his eyes once in a while knows that chain steakhouses are a dime a dozen. Within a mile of home we have Longhorn, Outback and Ponderosa, perhaps more if I really thought about it. I've never heard of Morton's of Chicago and as they have a mere 60 outlets I doubt if the folks at Outback and Ponderosa are shivering in their shoes.
So anyway, being a good Irishman Ty Morton replied, "Pog mo thoin." That's Gaelic for kiss a certain part of my anatomy.
If this goes to court I'd love to be on the jury. I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same way.
This is not the first time I've run across nonsense like this. Back in the 1950s I was working at a small radio and TV repair shop called Radio Shack. Some outfit in Boston that none of us had heard of at the time told the owner, Walt Dickerson, to knock it off because that was their name and it was properly trademarked, copyrighted and all that kind of stuff. So Walt changed the name to Walt's Radio Shack. End of story.
Later in that decade I worked for Pinkerton's National Detective Agency's branch in Cleveland, one of 33 the legendary firm had throughout the country. Some guy whose last name was Pinkerton opened a detective agency of his own and when the dust settled there wasn't a thing the genuine Pinkerton's could do about it because that was the man's lifelong name.
So maybe the law has changed since then because common sense has all but vanished during the past half century. Whatever, I say up with Morton's Pub and Grub and just keep driving past Morton's of Chicago until you come to a local steakhouse because one like that will beat a chain every time.
Reminds me of Bob's Hamburg that has been doing business in Akron since 1931. It's a dinky, unprepossessing place off the beaten path but it has the best burgers you'll find anywhere So McDonald's opened up directly across the street. Figuring, no doubt, that Bob's Hamburg would soon fade away into history like Ptomaine Tommie's, the Spotless Spot and some other great local eateries. Well, Bob's is still there and is still serving real hamburgers. McDonald's? It's now a day care center for kids. Obviously people in Akron have good taste. While munching a luscious burger at Bob's you kind of feel like looking across the street and saying, "Pog mo thoin."

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