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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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Turmoil on the Home Front


Jackie has a cold. Millions of people catch cold so some would say that isn't big news. Around here, it is. When I'm sitting in front of a computer, everything is fine. When I try to do something the least bit physical, anemia kicks in and I'm next to useless.
That means, of course, that Jackie does just about everything. I clean the bathroom in the morning, dry the lunchtime dishes, sometimes take the trash down the hall to the chute. That's about it. So when Jackie feels bad, life comes to a halt. I believe Sophie the hamster would help out if she could, but in her little world nothing important has to be done outside the limits of her cage. Beyond that, she recognizes the sound of the refrigerator door opening because that often means she is going to get a treat, usually a piece of lettuce or carrot. In a time of emergency, Sophie just peers through the bars of her cage wondering why she isn't receiving the usual attention.
So the job of doing the routine things falls to me. I do my best, aware that the anemia means I wouldn't do well in a distance run but might be OK in a sprint. The problem is I don't really know what needs to be done. Aside from meals, of course. In times of crisis, people become much like hamsters in that they think first about food.
While Jackie sleeps on the couch, I'm making plans for picking up a take-out order at Arby's or Taco Bell. When Jackie wakes up, those plans will be shot down. We have food right here, she'll say, and probably insist on fixing something no matter how much I may protest. I believe that says a lot about the difference in outlook between men and women.
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Writing a piece about the 1946 Indianpolis 500 for tomorrow - the big race is Sunday - has left me thinking about that first spring and summer after World War II. I was back home from the war even though my 21st birthday wouldn't arrive until mid August.
I bought a 10-year-old Ford sedan for $300 and set out in search of excitement. For six weeks or so I lived at the Miller Hotel in Tipton, Indiana because I would be close to half a dozen midget auto race tracks and near the big speedway in Indianapolis.
It was a special spring, different than any other. The men were back home again, most of us naively believing there would be no more wars. A whole new world stretched out ahead of us, or so it seemed. Had someone said that in five years I'd be back in the Army I would have moved quickly away in the certain belief that a madman was talking. But nothing really changes, especially in the minds of men capable of starting wars.

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