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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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Keeping them safe and secure - is it possible?

Whatever happened to kids? You remember them, those short people with runny noses and dirt behind their ears. They make a lot of noise and usually smell bad because they've been out running the streets all day getting into stuff and doing things they've been told not to do.
But wait, I'm thinking of the time when I was a rug rat myself back in another century and a different world. Kids aren't the same today. I'm sure of this because I drove down one street and up another this July morning. Before arriving home again I had traveled six miles and covered half the town. How many kids did I see along the way? Nary a one.
I know, the Mothers Against Everything That's Fun say you can't let the little darlings out of your sight for even a minute because there are bad people waiting to grab them. Of course there are, and more of them than when I was a growing boy doing everything possible to make a nuisance of myself. Back then there were about 120 million people in this country and now it's around 300 million. Some of the extra 180 million aren't very nice.
Still, there has always been that kind around. In the old days parents said, "Never take candy from a stranger" and things like that. If you think kids were perfectly safe back in that other world, visit a library and read old newspapers on microfilm. You may come away surprised.
The point is, there always has and always will be a certain amount of danger in life. It shouldn't be allowed to rule your world. Kids should be taught about those dangers, then turned loose. Keep them on too tight a leash and they become more vulnerable when they do have to venture beyond the sight of a parent.
For some time now, parents have even involved themselves in youth games and sports. They drive the kid to and from such activities. When are kids allowed to just be kids?
I know, kids today would rather watch TV, fiddle around with a computer (predators are lurking there, too) and send text messages on a cell phone than get out on their own with others their age. Then one day Dad turns to Mom and says, "Do you think Junior is putting on a little weight?"


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