Reinhardt Family History
Memories of Eggs and Chickens
Stories from Neil Reinhardt
Dick was an average American boy. Before he started to school he had his share of bumps and bruises as he played around the 120 acre dairy and hog farm where he spent the first 15 years of his life. When he was small, he soon learned right from wrong by a tap on his backside. He was not on the honor roll as he went through school, nor were his parents ever called by the teachers because of poor school work.
When he was a junior in high school, he found a job in a bowling alley helping out on weekends. By the time he was a senior, he had saved enough to buy an older model car with the aid of his dad. Now he was almost independent. He could go places where the kids his age gathered.
He loved to play baseball. He left early one evening for practice for a big game later in the week. I suspect there was more than ball practice because he did not get home 'til after 11 pm. As I hurried to my pickup truck to drive to work the next morning, I noticed a stop sign standing behind his car. Needless to say I was very disturbed. Dick said he had no idea where the sign came from. He said he was with the boys after ball practice, but had come home early because of school the next day.
Since we lived on a side road with very little traffic, Em had heard a car with a loud muffler about 1:30 in the morning. It was very easy to figure how the sign got there. The right thing to do was to notify the authorities of the stop sign in our yard before a serious accident happened.
The incident was almost forgotten until Dick received a letter that he was to appear in court on a charge of damage to property. It was very hard for him to show the letter to me. He asked what he was to do. When informed he was to appear in court as it stated, or face a contempt of court charge, he did not appear very happy.
Several days later he told me that 10 of his friends had received the same notice. The had all agreed to plead guilty. When I talked to a lawyer he advised that Dick plead "not guilty" as he was busy that day. I had not told Dick that I talked to a lawyer.
The big surprise came when the boys names were called and when asked how they pleaded, they all answered "guilty" except Dick. While the judge was lecturing the boys that pleaded guilty, the lawyer came into the court room. He advised Dick to change his plea to guilty, as they were all juveniles. Since they all had pleaded guilty to the charge, the judge told the boys to go out into the hall and discuss how much the fine should be and how it was going to be paid. When they returned they told him $25 a piece, and he said "You said it. I was thinking $10 each, so you will have to pay $25."
I think all the boys learned a lesson that day. I have never heard of any of them in trouble. Dick is now 40 years old. His kids are going through the same times he did, but with a much greater challenge.