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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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Something to wonder about

I received a contract today from Dell Magazines for a story called Deathtown. It will run in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine sometime after my 83rd birthday.
Receiving a contract is nothing new. There have been many of them over the years, but this one got me to thinking. Why, at my age, am I still writing stories that sell to major markets? It should never have happened because all my life I have done everything the medics and all the experts say you shouldn't do and none of the things you should do.
So why me when most of my old friends are dead? The majority of people my age are either under the dirt or rotting away in a nursing home, those places some folks call God's Waiting Room. I don't know the answer. I have often said and even written that dying too soon has never worried me but living too long scares the hell out of me.
I'm a confirmed fatalist. For most of my life I have believed that when the one with your name on it comes along there is nowhere you can hide. That dates back to a sunny summer afternoon in 1944 when Joe Meideros and I were sitting on the edge of the slit trench we had dug. Joe was sitting at one end, I was on a side and our heads were less than two feet apart. A stray shell hit in the field behind us and a large fragment passed between us with a whirring sound. It left a tiny scratch above Joe's upper lip, something that could have been a paper cut or the result of a razor slipping a little. One touch of his hand and the red streak no longer was visible.
That piece of shrapnel was wider than the space between our heads. It passed us at an angle. Neither Joe nor I had celebrated a 20th birthday, yet we were veterans of infantry combat, a pair of survivors at a time when men were dying all around us. We were in a relatively safe place so there wasn't a single precautionary move we could have taken. More than anything else, the episode convinced me that no amount of experience, no amount of caution, can save you when the one with your name on it comes along. Religious beliefs, or lack of them, play no role in it.
Joe died a couple of years ago. I'm still going. The Big Sleep doesn't scare me. Living too long does.


Blogger STAG said...

So much for the old saying...there are no athiests in the foxholes.

I would be interested in your thoughts on this article.

11:28 PM  

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