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, October 20, 2009

Ever get more than you asked for?

I sometimes recall driving across France in the summer of 1985. As tends to happen in July, the windshield grew buggy after a couple of hours so I pulled up at what appeared to be an auto supply store in a small town. I was hoping to buy a bottle of window cleaner but the woman behind the counter had no idea what I was asking for. After several minutes of motioning as if I were cleaning a window, arm waving and talking the woman may have decided I was a nut and called the manager.
We went outside, I showed him the dirty windshield and did more motioning until his face lit up and he began nodding his head and giving me directions. In French, of course, accompanied by some pointing and waving of his own.
I got behind the wheel while he opened a garage door. He then went to the middle of the street and stopped traffic in both directions so I could back up and enter the garage. Inside a mechanic was working on a large Mercedes. The manager gave him instructions and he walked away somewhere, then returned with two buckets of water, one soapy, the other clear.
He then washed and rinsed the windshield. After that he stepped back, sighted along where he had worked, shook his head and started over. Following several cleanings, rinsings, dryings and sightings he was satisfied. Never, not even on a new car in a showroom, was a windshield so spotless.
A little embarrassed by having taken him away from his work on the Mercedes, I got out my wallet. The manager shook his head, said, "No, no," opened the garage door again, went to the middle of the street and blocked traffic so I could back out. As we drove away he stood watching and waving his hand.
After all these years I'm still embarrassed by it even though I know they do things differently in France. No halfway jobs there. 


Anonymous Chet Headley said...

Location: Munroe Falls, Ohio
Place: Phone Booth
Date: Late Summer 1958
Time: Dark-thirty

Stopped at an Ohio Bell pay phone at the southwest corner of Route 91 and Munroe Falls Avenue late one summer evening. Put my nickel in and tried to make a call. No connection so I hung up. Just my luck, my nickel didn’t come back. Tried tapping the receiver lever several times, still no luck. Hung it up, checked the coin return, which of course was still empty. Opened the phone-booth door and started to leave. Just then I heard a muffled chunking sound that seemed as though it came from the phone. Naturally that called for an immediate investigation.

Lifted the receiver, still no dial tone. Opened the coin return and what to my surprise did I see? It wasn’t Santa but it sure looked as though he had been there; the slot was packed with quarters. Naturally I cleaned them out and closed cover. Once again the same sound with the same result. Happened three times. That phone was acting like a wayward Vegas slot. In this instance it was living up to its name “Pay-phone.” Ended up with six-bucks, which wasn't a bad return for a nickel investment. Wasn’t the most honest money I ever made (couldn’t use the term ”earned” since it wasn’t) and it was more than I asked for.

Thanks for reminding me of this incident. Take care Dick,


9:23 PM  
Blogger STAG said...

Thanks Chet for the story.

12:56 AM  

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