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, August 14, 2008

Neat to Casual to Sloppy to Dirty

That heading is the story of the way Americans dress. Until I was in my fifties, people made certain they were dressed neatly whenever they left home. Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s, few people would venture outside the house unless they were suitably attired.
Then in the 1980s someone decided we should all dress casually. Nurses should no longer wear white uniforms so it wasn't long before you couldn't be certain that members of a once highly-respected profession weren't part of the clean-up crew. Nuns were seen in skirts that barely reached their knees and the wave of casualness soon engulfed us all.
But from casual to sloppy is only one short step. Pride in appearance slowly vanished. It shouldn't surprise us that some people began to feel that if sloppy clothes were permissable, sloppy and dirty clothes should be too.
Yesterday we went to the VA clinic. Jackie wore slacks, a blouse and a jacket and felt overdressed. I wore slacks, a shirt open at the neck and a flat cap. I was overdressed, as out of place as a cat among the pigeons. These were all men and women who had served in the armed forces and were taught to be neat. That was a lesson soon forgotten.
Members of the VA staff were dressed nicely, but the same cannot be said for many of the employees of the HMO we use for Medicare. Our primary care doctor would have been arrested for vagancy during the Eisenhower adminstration.
Some people contend that looking like a slob means being comfortable. But those who dress like slobs and act like slobs will look in vain for respect from those who still feel pride in personal appearance means something.
Now that it has become OK to wear sloppy and even dirty clothing in public, where will it end? I don't know, but I sure know it should end.


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