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, February 07, 2009

A Joyous Time of Life


Just about the time life seems to be pretty good, nature always rears its ugly head. They say nature abhors a vacuum and that, you will find when you reach your eighties, is true. If that vacuum concerns feeling good, meaning all your aches, pains and ailments have subsided, sometime between lunch and supper you can be sure nature will fill the void.
A few days ago, for example, I was feeling tip-top and had been that way for three or four hours. Forgotten was my semi-annual kidney infection. So nature did its dirty work and now . . . well, you get the idea.
They call my time of life the "Golden Years" and you can bet the guy who coined that phrase was about thirty years of age. Those who get this far soon discover the gold is really brass and it has turned your body green, something brass tends to do.
Not that life is always perfect even for callow youths. I was a contented kid only a month shy of a fourth birthday when the above picture was snapped on the Detroit Ferry. By the time the big boat reached Put-In-Bay, one of Lake Erie's many deadly storms had brewed.
In a downpour of rain my mother dragged me along a pier where small boats manned by professional crews were berthed. One captain after another told her that going out in such weather to complete our journey to Catawba Island would be tantamount to committing suicide. Finally, by questioning his manhood and just who his mother might have been, she found a captain willing to take the risk. A short time later a crewman whose face had turned a sickly green opened the door of the small cabin where we were seated and said, "Hold onto the kid, lady, we're going down." Fortunately he was wrong.
After a few days at my grandparents cabin on Catawba Island, which really isn't an island at all, my grandfather was outraged to learn I had never set foot inside a church since the day I was baptized. A devout Catholic, he decided to remedy that situation. We never made it. An auto accident caused by dear old granddad put me in a Toledo hospital for thirty days with a fractured skull, a concussion and a scalp hanging from my head by a small patch of skin. That finished me with church.
So if nothing else this proves that life at any age is seldom a piece of cake. It's true what they say, life is hard and then you die.

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