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 03, 2009

Never Stop Trying


It always is a wise move to begin a new year on a positive note. It is well to remember that the pot of gold goes to the person who is persistent, who perseveres. That is why early in our school days we were taught that "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
As we matured, we heard another school of thought on the subject. It contended, and still does contend, that "If at first you don't succeed, the hell with it."
Few among us let such a cynical way of looking at life deter us from our chosen path. Despite roadblocks and land mines I have kept trying, always trying. Jackie will attest to this because many times I have heard her say, "Dick is a very trying person."
This sort of determination can at times be a bit discouraging. Take dealing with squirrels, for example. Years of my life have been devoted to trying to outsmart them. I have devised complicated plans, have even taken hammer and nail in hand to construct devices that no squirrel could possibly get around. At times it has become aggravating in the extreme when after great effort a squirrel will stare at me with that look on its face that says, "You poor pathetic creature, is that the best you can do?"
There have, however, been moments of great triumph. There was the day I watched as a squirrel fell out of a tree. It was an old pine tree with numerous dead branches at its lower levels. It was somewhat like watching the ball in a pinball machine bounce off one obstacle after another as he hit each of those dead branches on the way down. When he reached the ground I shouted, "You call yourself a squirrel, yet you fall out of a tree!"
He gave me that haughty look that comes easily to the face of any squirrel, then jumped on the tree trunk and began climbing. He kept trying, and that was the lesson to be learned: never give up, always keep trying.
Remember that squirrel as you embark upon the route ahead in this new year. I do. Almost daily I think of him and all his cousins as I keep trying to find the one sure way to prove my superiority. Never surrender, never stop trying.

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