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, February 20, 2008

Hey there in Washington, we are spending!

Those folks on Wall Street and in the nation's capital are fretting because the rest of us aren't buying enough stuff. We aren't spending, they complain, nor are we saving, so where is all the money going? If they traveled out here to the hinterlands a little more often they might know the answer.
We are spending. The problem is we're spending more money on the things we have been buying right along. That can't be, say the economists, because inflation is under control. They know that because the head man at the Federal Reserve keeps saying, "Inflation is under control, except for -" Fill in the rest with everything most people buy on a regular basis.
Whenever I hear one of those announcements I think the man really is saying, "Inflation is under control except for all the things a guy out in Ohio named Dick Stodghill believes he has to have to make life worth living." You could remove my name from that sentence and add just about anyone else's.
We don't use much gasoline but a few weeks ago the gauge dipped just below the halfway mark so we filled the tank. The cost was $33.81 for a just over half a tankful in a 12-year-old Toyota Camry, not a gas guzzling SUV. I don't know how people who have to do a lot of driving are managing to make out. One way, of course, is cutting back on other purchases.
I sometimes think back fondly to the days when I would drive into a gas station and tell the attendant, "A dollar's worth of regular." For that he would pump the gas, clean the windshield, check the oil and coolant and do just about anything else I'd ask. That dollar bought four gallons, sometimes a little more, and I'd be set for a while.
A lot of Americans are learning that it doesn't pay to make a habit of spending more money than they earn. It seems so easy to hand one of those pretty credit cards to a clerk and walk out with some luxury in hand. No payments until July, they like to say, but July comes around and the credit cards come due. That can lead to staying awake worrying or going somewhere for a payday advance. Doing so adds just one more high interest payment to make.
You hear talk of the stressful way people live today. Rarely does anyone mention that much of the stress is self-induced. Is possessing the latest electronic gadget really worth it? More and more Americans are finding the answer is no.


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