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, March 07, 2009

Kids - What Can Be Done About Them?


In an exchange of emails today with fellow mystery short story writer Leigh Lundin I mentioned something the high school kids at Muncie Central did back in the 1940s. When they made up book titles supposedly written by prominent figures in town it was not a project sanctioned by the school.
I recall a few of those titles. There was The Yellow Stream by I.P. Freely and The Open Kimona by Seymour Haires. If they heard about this, I don't suppose I.P. or Seymour were amused.
Then there was my favorite. The imagined author was judge of the Circuit Court and a member of the city's leading family, the Balls. In an unseemly and irreverant display of levity the kids came up with The Cat's Revenge by Claude Ball. Clearly a display of contempt of court.
When they weren't engaged in such immoral activity the kids sometimes went jitterbugging. This nasty style of dancing often saw the male toss his partner high in the air so that everyone in the hall saw her underpants. Assuming she was wearing any. So upset were they by this that some school officials cancelled scheduled dances.
This sort of behavior was shocking to parents, most of whom had grown up during the Roaring Twenties. Their own parents had been outraged when girls quit wearing ankle-length dresses and soon were not even wearing knee-length dresses. Along with these flimsy outfits, they rolled their stockings down and knotted them just above or below the knees. As if that weren't enough, many of them scorned the wearing of anything beneath the flimsy dresses. Then when their boyfriend would help them climb up on the back fender of a car in order to enter the rumble seat they sometimes would say, "You didn't see anything, did you?"
Her companion could honestly answer, "No." He hadn't seen anything, he had seen everything.
And the way they danced! The Black Bottom, the Charleston. Shocking.
In the 1950s a popular song asked this about kids: "Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?" But time marches on. Parents and school officials today are stunned to learn what kids are texting and posting online. The type of dancing favored by kids, rather mild by past standards, is leading some school officials to cancel scheduled dances. Where have we heard that before?
It just seems hopeless, doesn't it?



1 Comments:

Blogger Robert Lopresti said...

When I worked at a public library I got a call from an adolescent girl who wanted to know if we had the book Yellow River by I.P. Daily. Ho ho.

As for kids being worse than their parents, that has been going on for thousands of years;

"Parents once taught their children to talk; today children teach their parents to be quiet." -Talmud

8:48 PM  

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