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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Monday, April 20, 2009

Jack the Tripper

On the off chance that someone might be interested in reading the latest Jack Eddy story, Jack the Tripper can be found in the June issue of the magazine pictured at left.
It is a story featuring two not-very-nice men. One is a bully of the worst sort, the other is an unscrupulous con man.
A boyhood escapade of the con man is based on a true story involving a close relative of my grandfather, J.T. Lynch. In his own way, J.T. was a bit of a bully. As he was an insurance salesman, probably somewhat of a con man as well.
Whatever, when his relative was a boy of 12 he wanted to wear his good suit to a circus that had come to town. Not only was this an unusual request, it was outrageous. Or so believed his parents.
As might be expected, the request was denied. The angry boy said, "If I can't wear my good suit, you'll never see me again."
No one took this seriously. Who would? But the lad was true to his word, they never saw him again. They searched, but to no avail.
For the next sixty or so years, family members kept hoping he would show up. Not because they missed him. Most had never even seen the kid. The vain hope was based on only one thing, that over the years he had become a fabulously wealthy man. Naturally he would be eager to share his riches with the family he had deserted. There would be enough, of course, to share with all the cousins, aunts, uncles and their numerous descendants.
As more than a hundred years have gone by since his trip to the circus in old clothes, I have all but given up hope of this happening.
Anyway, that played a very small role in Jack the Tripper. You might say I just threw it in to show this guy was an unusual character. From the way he behaves in the story there is little reason to believe he was the sort of man willing to share his ill-gotten gains with anyone, least of all his relatives. You might say that making him a dirty rat was a display of my contempt for the real man and his refusal to come back with his pockets loaded.


Blogger Robert Lopresti said...

It was a fun story, Dick. And I enjoyed the boy who ran away from (to?) the circus. "What, and give up show biz?"

9:34 AM  

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