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, January 10, 2009

The Military is OK, but some of those in it . . .

I once encountered a sergeant named Sargent so he was Sergeant Sargent. Had his last name been Major he might have been Sergeant Major Major. If his first name had been Major, and some people do have that name, he could have been Private Major Sargent.
My reporter friend Floyd Creech and I used to spend a lot of time together. Our desks were only a few feet apart, we often ate lunch together and at times we worked together on an assignment. Floyd was a retired Navy fighter pilot and the only man I have known who survived a mid-air collision over the Pacific.
I have written several times about Floyd and his buddy without a first or middle name, just the initials R.B. In the military, those in his position had to put (only) after their initial. Harry S Truman (no period after the S) would have been Harry S (only) Truman.
I don't recall R.B.'s last name so let's say it was Jones. He signed his name properly with a couple of onlys added in parenthesis. Some clerk messed up, as clerks often do both in and out of the military, so when he was ready to sign the payroll and be handed his money he discovered he was listed as Ronly Bonly Jones.
Signing his name that way would likely have meant being stuck with it for his entire military career. Not signing it meant he wouldn't be paid. He decided being broke was better than forever being known as Ronly Bonly. However, once having told others about the error I'm sure he was often called that unless he was with an unusual group of men.
Floyd Creech had a raging temper that often was unleashed on those around him. One day after I had showed him a next-day story revealing a crooked act by an office holder he rolled his chair over close to my desk and warned me about not caving in and changing the story if pressured. Before I could say I had no intention of doing that, my phone rang. I said something like, "Sure, I'll be glad to. I'll make the change."
When I hung up, Floyd called me every derogatory name known to man. I just smiled until he finally ran out of steam, then said, "That was Warren Collier. He's not feeling well and asked if I could cover the Bearcats' football game up in Marion tonight. I told him I'd change the assignment sheet."
Floyd said, Oh," and rolled his chair back to his desk.


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