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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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

There are smiles that . . .

I scared myself again this morning and it started me thinking about smiles. Remember the old song Smiles? "There are smiles that make us happy, there are smiles . . ."
Nowhere in that song is there a line about smiles that scare the hell out of people. My smile, for example. I'm not sure when it got that way because I never did much of it even in my younger days.
The late James Whitmore had a wonderful smile that improved as he grew older. Remember those Miracle Gro commercials? Another actor, Richard Widmark, had a decent smile but for some reason it was a little menacing. Humphrey Bogart's could be that way or it could be warm. Well, maybe a little warm. OK, warm only if you knew he was pleased about something.
Jackie has a truly heart-warming smile. Other people I know have nice, pleasant smiles. Then there's my smile. When I smiled after finishing shaving today I leaped back from the mirror. It happens every time because a gargoyle is leering back.
Little children stare at me whenever we go out. I have learned not to smile at them. If I do, some go running and hide behind their mother's skirt. Others just stand there in shocked horror. But why? What caused this? Was it because I seldom wore a genuine smile when younger? Are my facial muscles unable to move the way James Whitmore's moved? Could it be that this is a reflection of the real me?
I don't have an answer. I just know that when something is pleasing or strikes me funny the safest thing is to never change expression. That way mothers don't glare at me for frightening their kid and adults don't come up with an excuse for leaving the room.
I have noticed one thing: I kind of like it this way.


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