The Man

October 22, 2008
By Riley Rinehart, Dell Rapids, SD

If there was one person that I could talk to that isn’t alive today, it would be my grandpa, Howard. The reason is because I never met him and I always think about what he would’ve been like. He died when my dad was 17, which was more than 25 years ago. I was told that during his life he was a very polite and strong-minded man. He owned a trucking company in South Dakota. It was called Rinehart Trucking. He had a great family and life going, and I wish that I could’ve experienced it for myself.
My dad told me that he had to carry a pistol around with him when he went places to do business. This was because there were a lot of thieves and he had to carry a lot of money with him on his trips. The company was going really well. He also owned tons of land that he farmed and hunted. When the company got going, he bought five brand new semi-trucks. What he didn’t know was that the company was going to go bad. He could’ve gotten out of the company a very wealthy man, but he didn’t. A little after that, he died of a heart attack. The company went completely bad and he had put money from the farm into it. So, my grandma lost all the land and her husband. I think that my grandpa would have been just like my dad is now. I could imagine him getting mad quite a bit, but he settles down and is a really nice guy. I feel bad for my grandma since she has lived by herself for so long. She is the nicest person that I know, and I can’t even imagine how much happier she would be if my grandpa was still here. My grandma has accepted his death and I know that when she dies, she’ll see him again. Most of my cousins live pretty close to her, but I wish that I did so I could see her more. Visiting her is one of my favorite things to do. I have been told that she was the popular girl in high school, but with older people that is just hard to see. She gets really worried about a lot of things, but I still like her.

I wonder what everything would be like with my grandpa here. All the get-togethers would feel way different with his presence. My grandma and him might have lived in a different place. They might have still had the farm and the land. I think that my grandpa would’ve been one of those big, funny guys. My dad told me that he was an extremely strict but a good dad to him. That is exactly what my dad is like. I would like to have been able to go hunting and fishing with him. And when my grandma comes to my games and events, I know he would’ve been there. I don’t know very much about my grandpa and never got to meet him once, but I do know that my grandpa would’ve been a fantastic grandpa.

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