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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Friday, July 17, 2009

It isn't the 1930s - Part 1


I was reading something about the early years of the Great Depression and how all the people were lazy and looking for a handout. Funny how quickly everyone got that way, but that's what the writer said. So did the man in the White House, Herbert Hoover. If ever a man was out of touch with reality it was Herb. In his memoirs he wrote that in the early 1930s "many persons left their jobs for the more profitable one of selling apples."
Yeah, sure. Doctors and lawyers and businessmen decided the big money lay in standing on street corners peddling those apples for a nickel, provided any passerby had a nickel.
And how about the breadlines. All those loafers in their suits and neckties and fedoras or flat caps who had pounded the pavement all day looking for work that wasn't there and then had the gall to line up for a bowl of watery soup and a slice of bread. That might be enough nourishment so they could pound the pavements the next day looking for work that still wasn't there. Shameless, weren't they?
Those Okies and other folks who lost their farms and their homes and their jobs and tried to make it to California where they heard there was work picking fruit, just a bunch of freeloaders, right?
Then those teachers and cops and firemen who stayed on the job even though they were paid in scrip because there was no money, were they expecting the people who still had a few bucks to share it? Ingrates, every one of them.
And how about the shiftless kids? We hunted in packs, hoping to find enough dandelion greens so everyone had some to take home at the end of the day. If the old man had managed to come up with a quarter he could buy a quart of milk and a pound of hamburger so a hearty meal could be enjoyed by all.
On other days we hiked along the railroad tracks looking for bits of coal that had fallen from steam locomotives. Some firemen, when they saw us, would throw out a shovelful of coal to share. Sometimes they'd do that when passing through a town even if no one was there at the time. Somebody would find it, they knew that. But wasn't that a crime, stealing a few lumps of coal from the railroad barons?
Well, Mr. President, they didn't call those shantytowns made of cardboard and tar paper "Hoovervilles" because of the deep affection felt for you. Remember when you said if you were elected there would be a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage? So instead the car and the garage were repossessed, the chicken didn't show up and even if it had there wasn't a pot to put it in. Some wiseguys made a joke about that pot, about not having one to do something in. Just a worthless bunch weren't they? Yep, it was all their fault.

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