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, November 02, 2009

Do you know what it means to suffer?

It was one of those rare times when you couldn't ask for a single thing that would make life better. The brutal fighting in and around the town of Mortain was over and that meant the Battle of Normandy was over. More war lay ahead but at the moment all that mattered was the warm sunlight falling on a grassy hillside and the quiet that seemed so tangible you could reach out and touch it, store a little of it away in your pockets.
Then a chaplain came walking by, a hellfire and brimstone preacher who saw us as a captive audience. He stopped and looked us over with disgust.
"You're soft," he cried in a high-pitched voice laced with the hills and hollows of Appalachia. "You don't know what it means to suffer. You don't know what it means to be really hungry. Well I know and I'm going to tell you."
No one had informed him that some of the men sitting by themselves off to the left were from the 30th Infantry Division. For a week they had been surrounded on a hillside with nothing to eat but some unripe apples and hard potatoes they had dug from the ground.
So he told them and the rest of us who'd been eating high on the hog what it was like to be really hungry.
"After breakfast one morning I went for a walk in the woods and got lost. It was ten-thirty at night before I got back. All that time I didn't have a thing to eat. That's what it means to be hungry. That's what it means to suffer."
One by one the men from the 30th got up and walked away. One by one the rest of us did the same.
Well, it was nice while it lasted.


Anonymous Chet Headley said...

Dick, 02 Nov 09

Glad to see you’re back in action. Hope your health continues to improve each day.

Take care,


5:34 PM  
Blogger STAG said...

Good story....

10:23 AM  

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