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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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Longevity - what's it worth?


A man named Don Buetiner has traveled the world seeking out places where people live the longest. He has written a book about it and although I haven't read it, the advice seems to be the usual stuff about eating, exercising and so forth.
This poses a question: Does quantity take precedent over quality? My answer is no. That comes despite the fact that through no effort on my part I am in the middle years of being an octogenarian. I could cite a few dozen reasons why I feel that way but they are summed up in the final three sentences of Jack London's Creed: "The proper function of man is to live. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
Jack London died a relatively young man, but he indeed lived. His writing serves as a testament to that.
There was another writer, my late friend Ross Spencer, who felt the same way. After a heart attack the doctors told him what he must do. He listened, then said, "I'd rather live one day my way than ten years your way."
He lived eighteen with a cigar in his mouth and a drink in his hand. Like Jack London, Spence will be remembered for the beautiful writing he left for the world to enjoy.
Buetiner has selected Albert Lea, Minnesota as the town where he will attempt to have everyone live as he says with the goal of longevity. But is that what life should be about? Is living each day with the aim of adding more days to your lifespan that important? Or was Jack London right? Was Ross Spencer right?
I'll go along with Jack and Spence. One good day is better than ten average years, at least in my opinion. I've broken every rule along the way and still have a pipe in my mouth most waking hours, take a drink whenever the desire hits me and get most of my exercise by walking from my desk to the dining room for lunch. Using my time is far more important than prolonging my time. That's the way it always has been and continues to be. Most of my friends who believed otherwise now spend their days in a cemetery.



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