0:00

ROMOND: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former State Representative and State Senator Walter S. "Stu" Reichert.

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: Mr. Reichert represented Jefferson County in the Forty-Sixth District as a state representative for the 1964 term, and then the Thirty-Fourth District as a senator from 1966 to 1974. The interview was conducted Jan Romond for the University of Kentucky Library, Kentucky Legislative Oral History Project on January 11, 2006, in the home of Mr. Reichert in Louisville, Kentucky, at 10:15 AM. This morning, I'm talking with Mr. Reichert. Mr. Reichert, could you tell 1:00me where and when you were born?

REICHERT: I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 8, 1929.

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: Did you grow up where you were born?

REICHERT: Yes, um-hm.

ROMOND: You did?

REICHERT: Right, um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And who were your parents?

REICHERT: My parents were Soulder F. Reichert Sr., and, uh, Alice, uh, L. Reichert.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Her maiden name was Bushman.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What was their background and their work?

REICHERT: Well, my dad was, uh, tool engineer. He was with American Standard for about twenty years. And then he, uh, ended up being chief tool designer for American Air Filter and International Harvester.

ROMOND: Oh.

REICHERT: My mother was, was a housewife; she worked in the home.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Did you have brothers and sisters?

2:00

REICHERT: I had one sister and one brother; both are deceased.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, my sister, she was the oldest, and my brother was the next oldest, and I was the youngest.

ROMOND: The youngest.

REICHERT: Right. Um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Do you remember your grandparents?

REICHERT: Oh yes. Well, I remember my, my grand-, my mother's, uh, parents, uh, more than my father. My father's, uh, father died, my grandfather, he died when I was a baby.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, my grand-, my father's mother died when I was about, about ten years old.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And my mother's, uh, two parents, uh, we lived only about, uh, four doors from, from them. So, I was at my grandmother's and grandfather's home about as much as I was mine.

ROMOND: Yes.

REICHERT: And, uh, so.

ROMOND: You grew up with them.

REICHERT: I grew up with them, right, um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And what did they do?

REICHERT: Well, my grandfather was, uh, he was superintendent of the old 3:00Louisville Tannery. You know, where the, uh, Louisville Stoneware is?

ROMOND: Uh, yes.

REICHERT: Uh, well, what were they have the, uh, the warehouse was the old Louisville Tannery.

ROMOND: Huh.

REICHERT: And he was superintendent at the, at the old Louisville Tannery. And, of course, my grandmother, she was a housewife and they, they had eleven children. So, she was pretty busy.

ROMOND: She was. (laughs)

REICHERT: Oh, yeah. (laughs)

ROMOND: So, you had a lot of aunts and uncles--

REICHERT: --well, I had--

ROMOND: --in your growing-up life?

REICHERT: Right. My, my, my mother had seven brothers and, uh, and three sisters. Um-hm.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: And those, those people in those days, they, they congregated around their parents' house, you know. Almost every--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --every weekend, most of them would come see their parents.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And that way, why, you know, I, I knew all my uncles and aunts pretty well.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: One aunt, though, she lived in Chicago, Illinois. And she'd come down and, and spend a maybe a couple weeks here. And, uh, that 4:00was kinda the highlight of the summer when Aunt Margaret came to town, and, and, and Uncle Fred, that was kind of the highlight. You know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: We all looked forward to.

ROMOND: You didn't get to see them very often.

REICHERT: No, once a year. They, they'd be here once a year.

ROMOND: And you had a lot of cousins in your life, too, probably.

REICHERT: Yeah, quite a few, uh, uh, the, my mother's family, they, none of them really had a whole lot of children. My mother had three. And, and, uh, uh, a couple of aunts had, had children. And most of the, most of the, uh, uh, boys in the family didn't have hardly any children, except maybe one or two.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And that was, that was it. So. And there's, there's not many of us left. All of my uncles and my aunts are, they're, and their, their wives and husbands, they're gone. And, but there are some cousins left, a few cousins left, so.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh.

5:00

ROMOND: Did those aunts and uncles, your extended family, cousins, have most of them settled around Louisville?

REICHERT: I guess most of them lived here. Um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Yeah, uh, uh, my mother's brothers and sisters, they, except the one in Chicago--

ROMOND: --yes--

REICHERT: --uh, they, they all live here, um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And how far back do your Kentucky roots go in your family?

REICHERT: Well, uh, my, uh, my mother's grandmother came over here from, from Germany.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Now, my, my dad's family, they were, they were born here.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But, uh, his, his grandfather, which would be my great- grandfather, uh, he, he came from Germany. And, uh, he was a, he was, my dad always said he was a professional soldier, and, and, uh, he was, 6:00uh, colonel general in the Prussian Army. And he came to the United States. But, uh, really don't have much background on them. Don't know really know what happened to them.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: But, uh, I know my grandfather, my dad's father, was born here in 1860. So, we go back that far.

ROMOND: In Louisville?

REICHERT: In Louisville, um-hm, he was born in Louisville, right.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: What are your memories of the place where you grew up? What was it like?

REICHERT: Well, I grew up in, uh, what they called Germantown. And, uh, I remember the people that lived there, they were like most Germans, you know, cleanliness was a big thing with them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They, they, and, uh, they did certain things at certain days of the week. The women, they washed on a, on a, on a Monday; they'd iron on a Tuesday; they baked on a Saturday; they cleaned the house on Thursdays and Fridays; and on the, on a Saturday, it was the job of the 7:00men that they cleaned the streets. They, they took--

ROMOND: --in front of your house--

REICHERT: --in front of the house, they cleaned the streets, the gutters, and the whole bit. Yeah. And, uh, the old, um, the old, the old German way was, you know, they, the kids had to do something. I know, like I said, we lived close to my grandparents.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And my grandfather, he was a, he was, he was a strict German. He was no-nonsense German. And, uh, you know how we treat our grandkids now; we give them everything. Well, he was just the opposite. He, he came over to his place, well, we were small. ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: We had these things, like, in the summertime, whitewash the fences. The, uh, flower beds, my brother and I, uh, the peach trees, and, and so on. Paint the bricks. And the whole works. And--

8:00

ROMOND: --he put you to work.

REICHERT: He put me to work. And, and it wasn't any, they didn't give you anything. Like I always tell the story about my grandfather one time, my brother and I worked all day on Saturday, doing all the whitewashing and the whole bit, the stone fences, and, and, and all, and painted the bricks and all. And so I ask him that evening, I said, "Grandpa, how about giving me twelve cents, so I can go out to Shelby Picture Show?" You know what his reply was? Said, "Tell you what you do." He said, "Go out there," he said, "You walk in backwards, they'll think you're coming out, you'll get in free." (both laugh) He didn't give me anything. He didn't give me anything. (laughs)

ROMOND: Oh my gosh. Um, what kinds of things did you do as a child that you can remember?

REICHERT: Well, we, we, uh--

ROMOND: --what was play like?

REICHERT: Well, we played, and, and, uh, of course, we played baseball, and football, and so on. And, and, uh, we had playing in the, in the 9:00alleys.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: There was Chester Alley behind us. And we, we played baseball back there and played ball and, and, uh, football. And when we, we had enough together, we'd go over to Shelby Park. And play over at Shelby Park, was within walking distance. And, uh, and then, of course, another big thing in those days was, was, particularly with boys, was, was shooting marbles.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, we'd get out on the street, and, and a lot of this places up there between the sidewalk and the, and the street curb was a, was a grassy area or a bare area. We'd get out there and play marbles.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And kids would come from all over, all areas, you know, to, to shoot marbles with you. And, of course, they, they'd take, take your marbles, you know, they'd win, win, well, they'd, they'd take what marbles you won--

ROMOND: --you'd play for marbles.

REICHERT: That's right. You played for marbles.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And that was, that was a, that was a big thing.

ROMOND: Huh. Were there a lot of children in that, in your neighborhood?

10:00

REICHERT: It was, um-hm, yeah. And there were, there were, uh, kind of sectioned off. The, you had the older ones and(??), and the middle, and the small ones.

ROMOND: Yes.

REICHERT: And the small ones had to stay among themselves, and the others, everybody stayed among themselves, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, of course, in, in those days, uh, uh, people were pretty terri-, territorial. You know, uh, if say I went from Germantown up to Paristown--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --which is up around Shore(??) Avenue here.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

REICHERT: Fellows up there didn't like it.

ROMOND: You were an outsider.

REICHERT: Oh, yeah, you're an outsider. Uh, black people lived down, which they still call, Smoketown.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They weren't, they, they were kinda outlawed for coming across Shelby Street.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They, they just didn't want there. Now, if they were, like, my brother and I, we had, uh, a couple of young, uh, fellows our age that are black people, lived down on St. Catherine Street.

11:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Now, we played with them. Now, they could come up to Germantown with us, nobody bother them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They couldn't come up by themselves.

ROMOND: Oh.

REICHERT: Now, we, we go down, and, and played with them at their house on Shelby Street.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I mean, on St. Catherine Street. But, uh, and their mother treated us just like we were one of them, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: We ate lunch with them. They come up to our place; my mother treated them the same way.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But people just couldn't travel, you know, on their own. They, they were--

ROMOND: --they were blind.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: Within your own neighborhood or community, was there a sense of people being connected, was there within the neighborhood, a sense of community? Did people look out for each other and for each other's kids?

REICHERT: Oh, yeah. Well, see, I can remember the, the Depression times.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I was small, but I can remember it. And, and people helped 12:00each other. You know, so-and-so needed, needed help, uh, you know, the churches would help but their neighbors would help.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, they, uh, ones that had a little money, some of them would help pay their rent.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Or they, they, if one of them was sick, they'd go over maybe cut their grass. Things of that nature, see. Help them paint the house. Where their work needed to be done, they'd, they'd help them. People had a, a pretty sense of, you know, they, they all knew each other.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, and they, and particularly in the summertime, you know, it wasn't no air conditioning, people would sit out late at night in there, in their front yards, and they'd talked, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They'd talked among themselves. They pretty well knew each other. And, uh, they, they did, they, they, they pretty well, you know, had, had that going. And, uh, there's another thing that you, you won't see. It's like I said, my dad was superintendent of American 13:00Standard. And I can remember, uh, a fellow by the name of Herb Gepbert(??) was plant manager. And he called my dad on Sunday night, he said, "So-and-so's out Freddie Ziggler(??)'s place, he's getting too much to drink."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Now, see, in those days if a man missed work, he didn't get paid.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And he called my dad, they'd go out there and they'd take him home.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: Now, can you just imagine today, somebody going into a tavern and say, "Hey, fellow, your family needs you to work tomorrow. We're gonna take you home."

ROMOND: Right.

REICHERT: Oh, you'd be law suited to death, you know. But that's what they did. And not only that, it, see, there wasn't any health insurance.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: If somebody got sick, American Standard, particularly in my dad's department, Dad took up a collection for them. He didn't have somebody else do it; he said he take it up himself because they'd give to him.

ROMOND: Oh.

14:00

REICHERT: Being the boss.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: He did it. And that's the way they helped people.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: Cause a hospital stay then most of the time averaged about three hundred dollars.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: And they could collect three hundred, of course, people only making fifteen-, twenty dollars a week--

ROMOND: --right--

REICHERT: --three hundred dollars is quite a bit of money.

ROMOND: A lot of money.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: But that's the things that they did. You just don't, don't see that today.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: Something that we've lost.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: Do you remember people speaking German in your neighborhood--

REICHERT: --oh, yeah--

ROMOND: --when you were young?

REICHERT: In fact, my grandmother had, uh, had two Polly Parrots. And that's what they spoke; they spoke German.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And the kids would, the boys would try to slip out when they had work to do, and, and, uh, one of the parrots sit up on a perch, see, and they, the boys sneak down, and inside house, see, so nobody see them. The parrots see them, say, "There goes ---------(??). (Romond laughs) There goes the boys, see. There goes the boys. (Romond laughs)

ROMOND: Caught by a parrot. (laughs)

REICHERT: Right. (both laugh) Yeah, yeah. Well, my grand-, uh, great- 15:00grandmother, I, I don't remember her. Grandmother(??), my mother's grandmother, she, she spoke German. But by the time I came along, most of that was gone.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Most of that was, uh, was gone. I remember some of them but, uh, it, uh, people who spoke in German, but not too much.

ROMOND: My mom's family is, are German people from Cincinnati.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: And she talks about people speaking in German until the war came along, and then you(??) just didn't.

REICHERT: Yeah, we had a lot of street names in, in ------------(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --in Cincinnati(??), and the war came along and they changed the names of them.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: Because of that. Um-hm. I can remember then(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I had a cousin that lived in Cincinnati. He talked about it. And, you know, what(??) happened during the war, but, uh, you had a 16:00lot of that(??) in World War I, and some of it during World War II.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Where did you go to school?

REICHERT: I went to, uh, well, I went to elementary school at Isaac Shelby. And, uh, ----------(??) school, and then I went to, uh, Eastern Union High on Broadway.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, I went to Manual.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And I, then I was at U of L for a while.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. Do you have any memories about school? About what it was like in your grade school? Um, teacher, activities?

REICHERT: Well, I am one of the few, ---------(??) my wife is always kidding me, I am one of the few people who flunked kindergarten, cause I went to--

ROMOND: --did you--

REICHERT: --kindergarten for two years.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, the reason for that was my, my brother, who was about twenty months older than me, they sent him to kindergarten, and the 17:00teacher told my mother, "He cries all the time." Well, my mother said, "He misses his brother." Their(??) solution was to send me. I was four years old in August. (laughs) And so, I started school in September when I was four years old.

ROMOND: That's really young.

REICHERT: Of course, the next year, well, my brother had to go to the first grade.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: But he was all right then. But I was stuck; I had to go another year to kindergarten. So, I went two years to kindergarten.

ROMOND: I bet you were top of your class.

REICHERT: (both laugh) Well, I don't know about that(??). (laughs) But I can, I can remember that pretty vividly(??). And, and, uh, uh, Isaac Shelby is still there.

ROMOND: Is it?

REICHERT: Um-hm. Oh, I can remember the first ------------(??)------- ---, it seems like my mother went there, and my, my aunts, and some of my uncles, they all went to, to Isaac Shelby. My dad went, went to Manual. And William, my brother, and I did. In fact, there's such 18:00a rivalry between Male and Manual in those days, that, that, uh, my, my dad, he, he, you know, you, you, you either Manual-people or Male. There was very few of them in the family that went to Male. In fact, the ones that went to Male, my dad didn't want to have much to do with them. (Romond laughs) We all liked them, but.

ROMOND: That's pretty serious for taking sides.

REICHERT: Yeah, it was. (laughs) Yeah, it was. Yeah, and, of course, we, a lot of the boys, we, we kinda ran together. We, we end up going to, uh, going to same schools, you know, high schools. It, it wasn't like it is now, they pretty well have districts to go, but you go anywhere you want.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But we had friends that, uh, some went to down to Male, some went to St. X.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Because that's all we had then, the three major high schools then was Male, Manual, and St. X.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And for the boys anyway.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: All boys' school. But, uh, you kinda, you know, went to, went 19:00to the same schools.

ROMOND: What subjects did you care the most about?

REICHERT: I always enjoyed history, you know.

ROMOND: Did you?

REICHERT: Yeah. Um-hm. Yeah, it's still all right. Pretty much on things like the Civil War and that was always, even when I was kid, Civil War fascinated me.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: To get people to do what they did, you know. Regardless of how you felt certain way, the other, to actually get the people to, so dedicated to the cause that they would just almost stand there and let somebody kill them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: -----------(??)-----------

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, that always fascinated me. And the people in there, in the, and the people in there, because it's like, people, like John Bell Hood(??) from here in Kentucky. You know, there's a man that lost an arm in Gettysburg; he lost his leg in Chickamauga; they had 20:00to tie him in the saddle. You know, and there he was at the end of, practically at the end of the Civil War, and he's in charge of the southern army. -----------(??)----------- You know, oddly enough with it, after the war, he finally gets married.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: And in ten years, he has eleven children.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: He's that -----------(??). And made a lot of money out of, fighting -----------(??) in New Orleans. Then he changed(??) business. Yellow fever hits and wipes out the cotton exchange. He gets ------ -----(??) and then he contacts yellow fever. His wife does and so does his daughter, all of three of die within five days. So, those things are, you know, just fascinating to me.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: The other ten kids were adopted by families from five different states.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know they was scattered out, his family was.

ROMOND: The resilience(??) of that man(??).

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So.

ROMOND: So, history is what you really liked.

21:00

REICHERT: Yeah, I kinda liked the math, too.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: Is there any that you just did not like?

REICHERT: Well, some of the things I had to, I had to take, uh, well, some of them I really didn't dis-, you know, I didn't dislike anything.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: -----------(??)---------- well, we had did take so much chemistry, and so much biology, and physics, and -----------(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --but I never did, uh, dislike any of it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So much -----------(??)--

ROMOND: --sounds like you enjoyed learning.

REICHERT: Yeah, I, I, I still loved read. I, I loved to read a lot. But it just kinda a lost art in these days(??), for a lot of people, you learned so much. My dad was an avid reader, too. He, he was up every night, one or two o'clock in the morning, reading.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And he had a, and he was kind of person, fortunate enough, 22:00where he had a mind like a trap. Once he read something, he'd come back a few years later, and talk to him about it, he'd -----------(??).

ROMOND: Yes.

REICHERT: You know, he, he, he'd talk to, he'd talk to you about that book. He always did say you don't' want to get in, you never did want to get into a discussion about Chinese -----------(??), because my dad something about them. (Romond laughs) You know. (laughs)

ROMOND: Do you remember any of your teachers, along-, anywhere along the way in your education, do any of them stand out--

REICHERT: --yeah--

ROMOND: --in your life?

REICHERT: I can remember my kindergarten teacher real well. You know, I sure can(??), in fact, I can still visualize her. She's, I really, really liked her. And, uh--

ROMOND: --you had her for both years?

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, some of my high school teachers, there was a fellow there, his name was, he taught history, and name was, uh, in fact, he ended up being one of the assistant superintendents of schools here.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: By the name of(??) Bob Sanders(??). I thought he was a great 23:00teacher. He, he could teach them really good. -----------(??) and the whole bit, he, he'd get into things about, uh, the westward expansion, and so on, he'd put on these cowboy things(??) himself, you know, these gunfights and all that, in the classroom. He, he, he was a real good, that teacher, I thought.

ROMOND: Made it come alive.

REICHERT: Yeah, he did.

ROMOND: For the students.

REICHERT: Yeah, he put a lot into it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Put a lot into teaching.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Good man.

ROMOND: Were your family connected to a church?

REICHERT: Yeah, yeah, they, uh, they went to, uh, in those days it was, uh, Evangelical Reform church.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Offspring of the Lutheran church.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Cause I'm, I'm Catholic now. I was, my wife's, uh, Catholic. And so I, I, I belong to the Catholic church now.

ROMOND: Um-hm. That was after you got married?

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Um-hm. How do you think, um, in your family and your parents, 24:00I'm thinking especially your grandparents and your teachers, what kinds of values do you think that you got from them that you took with you into the rest of your life, or into politics, in particular?

REICHERT: Well, uh, I was, I was -----------(??) my main thing I got from them(??) was, uh, you know, dedication, you know, try to do the job as best you can. And I carried that over into work when I, I went to work for DuPont and that. Um, dedication to job, that means being there--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --you know, and, uh, doing the best you can. And I think that's, I think that's one of the things that, that, uh, the family 25:00kinda(??) teaches you.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: But, uh, there's, there's, there's a lot of things that, that -----------(??) me, I guess(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: People that, and they were honest people too. You know, they, they, uh, you know, they, they believed in, that, um, to do something, then do it right.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Be honest about most(??) things.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Sounds like you learned to be a hard worker too.

REICHERT: Well, sometimes you, you know, you get in the mood for a hard work -----------(??)---------. You know, I, when I worked, uh, you know, we'd have real, real bad days, uh, go to work about eighteen miles from here to DuPont. And, uh, you know, when the weather got real bad, you know, it's automatic, you, you left a lot earlier, you know.

26:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I was of the opinion, you know, if, uh, if somebody gives you a job, they expect you to be there to do it.

ROMOND: Yes. Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: We, I know think, uh, I went about seventeen, eighteen years without missing a day at work, until I had the darn heart attack and that threw me back. In fact, I worked, uh, a week after I had the thing, didn't realize what I had.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But, uh.

ROMOND: Seventeen or eighteen years without a missed day.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: That's amazing. Yeah.

REICHERT: Well, you're lucky, too, you know.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: Of course, uh, uh, sometimes you didn't feel, feel that way all the, but you go ahead--

ROMOND: -- -----------(??)--

REICHERT: --and go to work anyway.

ROMOND: Yeah. Well, did you do any other activities in high school, outside of school, or when you were in college?

27:00

REICHERT: Well, of course, we played, you know, played, uh, football, and, and baseball and track, and things like that, you know, school activities there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Played a lot of basketball. Uh, I was used to play, uh, well, baseball, too, see, like, like semi-pro baseball.

ROMOND: Really?

REICHERT: Yeah. We, my brother and I both, we, we played for, uh, we used to have an amateur league around here. And, uh, we called it semi-pro, because these people usually paid(??) ten dollars to play, to play a baseball game on a Sunday. (Romond laughs) And we played down at Shawnee Park.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Baseball, and, uh, they play, like, one fellow, he was a, I'd seen him every one in a while; he was a real good baseball, second baseman. And he's Baptist.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And we were playing for, uh, Blue Castle Tavern. And they'd 28:00got him to play for them, but he wouldn't wear, wear that tavern on that, on his uniform. (Romond laughs) In fact, he was such a good ballplayer, the next year they changed the name; they just call them Castle.

ROMOND: Castle, um-hm.

REICHERT: So, the next year he played.

ROMOND: That was your sponsor.

REICHERT: Yeah, the sponsor of it, yeah. They, uh, they was a, uh, a tavern up on, uh, Oak Street. The one on Oak.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Then we played later on for a Club Beeker(??), up on Bardstown Road. Uh, they got, uh, it's Uptown(??) Cafe in there now; it's a restaurant.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know -----------(??) Restaurant. Well, they called it Club Beeker(??), because it's on Beeker Avenue. Bardstown Road and Beeker Avenue. And we played baseball with them, but they, they pay you five, yeah, they pay ten dollars, a ball game(??).

ROMOND: How long did you play baseball?

REICHERT: We played there about three years. They had pretty good 29:00ballplayers in there. Some(??) guys that played, uh, American Association(??), which was AA ball.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, they got a little older, they found they couldn't play with that anymore, and they'd come down and play in a league like that -----------(??) around here.

ROMOND: Um-hm. For a while, you went to, uh, University of Louisville?

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I went out there about two(??) and a half years. Well, I was, uh, I was pre-med. I was trying to be, get into medical school at the time.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And it kinda got me -----------(??). In those days, about the only way you could get in, you almost had to have somebody in your family that's a doctor or a somewhere along the line of, to get you in.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: Now, I had a brother-in-law that was a dentist. I could got into dental school without any problems.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I just up and went to work for DuPont.

30:00

ROMOND: Um-hm. What did you do at DuPont?

REICHERT: Well, I worked as a, as a lab -----------(??) technician in -----------(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Ended up working on things like -----------(??), thermometers(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --of that nature.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And where along the line did you get into politics and how did you get into politics?

REICHERT: Well, my mother was always real active in it.

ROMOND: Was she?

REICHERT: Yeah, in fact, she had me out when I was about thirteen years old, and that's, in those days, uh, in the summertime(??), they had a poll or a precinct. And, uh, uh, a ----------(??) go to house-to- house, and you'd found out who lived there, if they were registered to vote, things of that nature, or if they'd moved.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, she was always worked with Republicans, and, and the Democrats, they'd go, they'd go together.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: -----------(??) they found out if these people had moved or anything--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --and agree on who's moved or who's dead and all these kinds 31:00of thing, they'd send(??) their purged list(??), and that's the way we keep these voter rolls clean(??).

ROMOND: And how often did you have to do that?

REICHERT: They'd do that every year.

ROMOND: Every year.

REICHERT: Every summer, they'd do it usually in August. But she'd get me to go, go help her. And, uh, then, uh, later on after I got older and I was married and well, left, went into in the service, and came out, and, and we were married, well, then I started working around the polls. And then in nineteen sixty-, the early part of 1963, see, Bill Cowger got elected mayor here in Louisville.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In 1961.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, see, the state of Kentucky didn't redistrict every ten years like the constitution said. Jefferson County was way underrepresented in the, in the, underrepresented in the General Assembly.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: So, Bill Cowger, he sued the government and the state of 32:00Kentucky and forced redistricting. Well, when we did, we picked up a lot of House seats.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In 1963, uh, the, uh, the people in the Forty(??) asked me if I'd be interested in running for the House of Representatives that year(??).

ROMOND: How did you know them?

REICHERT: Well, see, see, uh, ----------(??) I belonged to the Young Republican--

ROMOND: --I see--

REICHERT: -- ----------(??)----------. And the fellow worked with, he was, he got elected to the House of Representatives in 1961.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So, uh--

ROMOND: --after your redistricting?

REICHERT: Well, this was before the redistricting.

ROMOND: Before, um-hm.

REICHERT: Then when we redistricted, in the new(??) House district, the one I lived in--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --out here in Okolona area, and it was heavily Democratic, almost four to one. They'd asked me if I'd be interested in running. So, it's a tough district to run in.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: Well, I, I said, "Yeah, I'll run." So, I got into it. And, uh, I enjoyed it. And so, uh, well, the fellow I ran against he was, 33:00uh, uh, a business agent for the Teamster local.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: Got all the money, all the help he needed. Well, I was working every day and I was out every night. And I worked all, all weekend. And he told me once, he said, ----------(??) registration is heavily against, almost four to one--

ROMOND: --hm--

REICHERT: --and, uh, he said, "Well, doesn't make any(??) sense for you run it." I said, "Well, let's have an election anyway." So, anyway I worked hard, out of thirty-four precincts, I lost two, one of them by one vote. And, uh, so, I was, the Republicans had trouble with, with, with the black vote, as you probably well know. So, I'm, I guess, one of the Republicans that ever carried ----------(??), the black section.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I was down there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I went in there and those people just like anyone else, they had their problems.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: Had their local(??) problems, you know, I spent time with 34:00them. You know, I did real well. And in fact, when I ran the Senate I did real well down there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, but, uh--

ROMOND: --you won your, you won your first election that you ran for?

REICHERT: Yeah, for the House(??), that was the first election then. That was the first time that, uh, the Forty-Sixth District was, this area out here was really represented(??) in Frankfort.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They had representatives, but like they had two for the whole county, you know.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: You had Oz Johnson and, uh, and they had one time, Marlow Cook and White, from the East End, about Bardstown Road on over, and from Bardstown Road all over the--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --river(??) you had one.

ROMOND: So, not, not nearly enough for how many people.

REICHERT: Oh, no, no.

ROMOND: They were represented.

REICHERT: They were, they were, they were underrepresented.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So, when, uh, when the courts did that, well, then they, they had to do re-, they had to redistrict the whole county. And, of 35:00course, during the, uh, the next, next election, well, in '65, there was a new Senate district.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, I ran for the Senate then and got elected to the Senate.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In '65.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And on, where, where in this, um, the part of your life did you get married?

REICHERT: Well, I was in the, in the Air Force in 1952.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Came down to Florida and we got married. And, uh, it was during the Korean War.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, got married and we lived down in Orlando. That's where(??) I was with the Orlando Air Force Base. I've told everybody, we, ----------(??)---------- I can remember it when ----------(??)---- ------ for less than ten dollars an acre. There was nothing over there but -----------(??)----------- rattlesnakes -----------(??) where we lived in -----------(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, Orlando was a little a town about thirty thousand 36:00people.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Nice town(??). But that's all that was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, that's, that's the reason we, we lived down for about a year.

ROMOND: And that's where you met?

REICHERT: No, we met here. Uh--

ROMOND: --really--

REICHERT: --we, we were going together on -----------(??). We left here--

ROMOND: --wait, so you're both from(??) Louisville.

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Yeah, like, we meet at the Shelby, Shelby Parks's swimming pool.

ROMOND: Is that right?

REICHERT: Yeah, um-hm. And, uh, so we got married in '52. And, uh, we came back here.

ROMOND: That was before you went to the service(??)?

REICHERT: I was in the service--

ROMOND: --you were in the--

REICHERT: --um-hm--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --I went in, uh, the first part of '51. And we got married in February of '52.

ROMOND: And is the service what brought you to Florida?

REICHERT: Yeah--

ROMOND: --you went into the service and that's why you moved--

REICHERT: --yeah -----------(??)--

ROMOND: --down there.

37:00

REICHERT: -----------(??) down there. Um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: And then after you got out--

REICHERT: --I came back, see, I was working at DuPont.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I was there in the Air Force Reserve.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I got called up in the Korean thing(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And I was working at DuPont then, and then when I got out, I went back to work at DuPont.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So, I was, you know, so I ended being there thirty-five years.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. So, you were working at DuPont when you ran for office--

REICHERT: --right--

ROMOND: --and the whole time that you were in the General Assembly--

REICHERT: --right--

ROMOND: --you were working at DuPont--

REICHERT: --I was working at DuPont, um-hm.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: So, you enjoyed that campaigning that first time.

REICHERT: Oh, yeah, yeah, I enjoyed it. It was a, it was a lot of time. Hard work, but a lot of fun.

ROMOND: And you were working fulltime and you had a family.

REICHERT: Right, um-hm. Yeah, I was kinda -----------(??) holding office like that, it's kinda hard on the family. It's, uh, I mean, 38:00my wife Carolyn, she told me one time, said, my daughter, when she was small, she said, "Doesn't, doesn't Daddy ever stay home?"

ROMOND: Oh! (laughs)

REICHERT: You know(??)

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: You got kids, you know, it's kinda, people holding office--

ROMOND: --missed you(??)--

REICHERT: --now a lot of people don't think about that, but, but, uh, these people, they make a sacrifice when they, when they hold office, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: There, there is, there is a lot demand on their time. They spend a lot of time away from their family now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: A lot of people just don't realize how much.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They do.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And that part of it is hard.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: You have to give up that time.

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Okay. What were the needs of the people in your district that you represented when you first ran for office? As the state representative, what did you see as the needs of your district that you 39:00brought with you?

REICHERT: Well, one thing, they, uh, at that time, like, Louisville Water Company, by statue, they could only, uh, deliver water from the Louisville Water Company to the city limits. The people out in the county, they had a, they got water, but they had to form their own little districts and buy water from the city of Louisville--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --and then the -----------(??) people out in the county paid like a 125 percent of the, of the cost, say, someone in Louisville, they had to pay 25 percent more for their water than people in the city of Louisville.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: The same way with, uh, uh, the sewer.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: The Metropolitan Sewer District could only, uh, expand to the, the city limits.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, that's one of the things that I did when I was in the House, I handled, uh, these bills that gave the Louisville Water Company the right to expand out in the county, the same way with the 40:00Metropolitan Sewer District. You would have thought that that would've been done, you know, uh, you know, years before that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Particularly in the water, though, you had, between water districts; you had permission to go out here in the county.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They would've liked(??) to keep it that way.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: See, thought they had a little control.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: And they didn't want to give that up. Some of them fought it, particularly the water companies.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And the sewer thing wasn't so bad, because, uh, you had, you had two--see, that's the why you have so many small cities in Jefferson County.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In order to get certain services, they had to be in the cities(??); that's the way the water(??) was. And that's why they formed. And that way they could build their own sewer district--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --have their own sewer district and put on their water district and the whole bit.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That's why you have eighty some odd cities in the, in 41:00Jefferson County today. And, and that's why, because--

ROMOND: --it started out being about water.

REICHERT: Right, and water, and sewer--

ROMOND: --and other, um-hm, and other services.

REICHERT: And, and, uh, after World War II, when you had, had the expansion in Jefferson County, like most places, well, the law didn't keep up with the expansion. And I think one of the reasons why is because the people out in the county just wasn't represented in the, in the General Assembly.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Most of the representation was inside the city of Louisville.

ROMOND: Yes.

REICHERT: As I said, at that time, you only had two House members for all of Jefferson County.

ROMOND: Yes. So, people out in the county were just didn't have anybody to give them a voice.

REICHERT: Right, and, and, of course, the, the people that, that, the people inside the city of Louisville, they wanted to still have that control, see.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And they didn't want to turn lose of it. And that's what happened when you--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --you only have two, two voices out here and you got, uh, uh, 42:00ten in, inside, well, the ten's gonna--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --is going to be most persuasive.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And that's, that's what happened.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, and, of course, uh, the, when the, when the county started, when they got their proper representation, you got the redistricting in 1963, then the little, little things could be addressed.

ROMOND: Um-hm. So, that was the biggest need that you brought with you to the General Assembly--

REICHERT: --that was one of them(??)--

ROMOND: --from your district, um-hm. And what came of it?

REICHERT: Well, now, of course, you know, you, you got one of the, uh, the water districts, you know, from Louisville Water Company, the people out here immediately they got a 25 percent reduction in their water bill.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And that, uh, uh, all these people right out, out in here, this, these people were on septic tanks for years and years. Now, they're all on sewer.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That's -----------(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --going on all over Jefferson County now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

43:00

REICHERT: So, it's taken years and years to do that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But the water company thing, of course, what they done immediately was took over these smaller water districts. See, the lines were already here. But you still have certain places in, in Jefferson County until not too long ago--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --didn't have water.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: This place right off here you could, where over ----------- (??) Dexter lived, back in there, one side of the road would have water, and the other side wouldn't.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: Now, it's, it's all, all been--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --eventually it's all been taken care of.

ROMOND: Um-hm. But that's when it started being addressed.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: After you started in the--

REICHERT: --right, um-hm--

ROMOND: --the legislature.

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Now, what happened that you decided to run for Senate, because you started out in the House?

REICHERT: Well, like I say, it, the Senate district was nearly two(??), we reapportion in 1965, it was a new Senate district. And, uh, we 44:00did it in the House. We had a lot of good candidates to run for the Senate, you know, over a Forty-Six House District was a good portion of the, of that Senate District.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, you know, I, I ran for the Senate. Didn't have any, didn't have much trouble winning it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But that was the easy part. It was a new district.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: I mean, uh--

ROMOND: --you'd rather be in the Senate than the House.

REICHERT: Yeah, yeah. I decided, you know, well, one thing you don't have to run every four years instead of two.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And then the less people, well, it meant that you could, you know, the less people to deal with. And, and, uh, it's easier to round up the votes if ------------(??)--(laughs)--instead of a hundred people, you're, you're dealing with, you know, well, you're dealing with ninety-nine over there in the House, and there's, uh, thirty-seven 45:00to deal with in the Senate.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And it's easier to--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --do something. And, of course, uh, the other side of the coin too is it's easier to deal with something in the Senate than it was in the House too.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: ------------(??) that's, uh, a big, uh, to me, that's a big a job as anybody could do in, in the legislature is what you keep from passing.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: You know. Or even, uh, you can repeal something over -------- ----(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --that's the hardest thing up there to do is repeal.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: It's the hardest thing. I always said, "You need a session where that's all you did was repeal laws. We got too many of them that need to come off the books." But, uh, that's another thing when I first to the House of Representatives, a little old, it didn't amount to anything, I didn't think, but it was big with some people. But somewhere along the line somebody had passed a, what they call a post 46:00------------(??) on elections.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And what it was in order to purge people from the voting rolls, to find out if they lived at that address--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --the county clerk then did what the board of elections does now; they sent out a postcard to you, your address. Now, if, if you didn't live there, uh, that wasn't the address, that postcard was supposed to go back to the post office. And then the county clerk got an absence, they, they purged you. Said you didn't live there. Well, what happened ------------(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --you got, those house numbers they weren't, say, 5900, somewhere in ------------(??)--

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: We were talking about the postal purgation, is that what it's 47:00called?

REICHERT: Postcard purgation, yeah.

ROMOND: Okay.

REICHERT: Yeah, yeah, what, what they do, they, they sent this postcard out, they came back, and, uh, the county clerk would purge you off the voting roll. Well, somebody, say, like ----------(??) Road over here, those people had box numbers.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, on the voters, on the voter's list, well, when we send it out, on the voter's list, uh, the postcard came out of their box numbers--

ROMOND: --right--

REICHERT: --they essentially got the house numbers. Well, it went back.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: ------------(??) people about thirty dollars(??). There was literally hundreds of them, people who got purged off the voter's list because of that.

ROMOND: And they didn't even know.

REICHERT: They didn't know. ------------(??) of course, I've been living there thirty years. Vote here every time.

ROMOND: Right.

REICHERT: Well, of course, they didn't end up(??) voting because they had 48:00so much ------------(??), you know, the, uh, county clerk's office, and then they verify that that was them, you know, that they lived there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And they voted, but it was a mess(??).

ROMOND: Sure(??).

REICHERT: So, I introduced a bill just to repeal it. Get rid of it. The hardest thing I remember trying to do. Got it done the House floor. But they had about, uh, a forty-five minute battle over that thing. One thing that, uh, other legislators, they didn't know what you were doing.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You repeal something, you might tell them(??), you know, but they're all sitting there, thinking, You're not telling me everything about this--

ROMOND: --I see.

REICHERT: And that's, that's, uh, that's part of the problem. So, they don't have the, instead of looking up ahead of time to find out what the repeal it is, and what it does, they won't do that, they expect whoever's name is on the bill explain it, to tell them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Then, they're sitting there all the time, thinking, Well, he's not telling everything about it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But got it passed and got rid of it, but it was a little, 49:00little thing, but it was, it was a hard thing to do.

ROMOND: How much work for something that was so(??) obvious.

REICHERT: Yeah, that's right. But if they, they were involved in it, they, they would know. But it, it really, they, they didn't. They're a little leery of what you're trying to do.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Like a lot of bills in the legislature, you know, there, they can have a pretty, uh, a pretty good size bill and there's two or three sentences in it--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --everybody wants to, it'll really tear everything up, you know.

ROMOND: That's right.

REICHERT: So, you got to watch it, watch them.

ROMOND: Yeah, you have to be careful in your reading of them.

REICHERT: Well, that's when I was asking ------------(??)------------ just passed, because a lot of it is just logged jam right at the end of the session. And they'll sit there, you know, all, all day, the last few days--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --passing bills, and most of them, uh, these people really don't, really don't read them and understand, you know, what--

ROMOND: --um-hm. Um-hm. When it comes to the vote.

50:00

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: And people feel pressure to figure it out(??).

REICHERT: Yeah, and well, I mean, well, they'll, they'll vote for them, it sounds good, and they'll vote for it, but a lot of things that are in it might be good, but a lot of things are bad too.

ROMOND: Like you said, they may not, might may not actually understand.

REICHERT: Right. Yeah, I learned, uh, kinda the hard way when I went to the House. I, I was up there on the, uh, constitutional amendment(??) and elections--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --committee. And, uh, anyway, they used to vote then, here from, like, uh, six in the morning to five in the afternoon. A lot of the working people, said(??), well, they couldn't get there, you know by five o'clock. So, we had several bills in the, that committee. And, uh, so, we settled on six to six, which we got now(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, we got dragging through, uh, changes in statues, and we 51:00had the, uh, one of the assistant attorney generals there, he was the expert on election law.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And I ------------(??), I said, "Well, here, we have two statues on election; one that deals with primary elections, the other one deals with general elections. Now if we change the hour of the general election, don't we have to change in the primary election?" He said, "Oh, no, it's been ------------(??)------------ to change both of them." Well, we voted it out that way, change the general election law. Well, the governor signed it, signed it in June(??). Uh, May or June(??), it took effect in June. Well, the first election comes up, it's general election, it's fine(??). ------------(??) It rolls around till May. Primary election. Of course, the, you know, you got to be six to five to vote -------------(??)------------, they vote to change 52:00the primary election law. I thought, and the Courier-Journal jumped all over the legislature, saying we didn't do our job right and the whole bit. Well, really you didn't. But from that time on, I don't care if the guy's an expert or not, I'm gonna ------------(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --you know, that's one thing I did--

ROMOND: --um-hm, um-hm--

REICHERT: --took a lot ------------(??)--(Romond laughs). From then on, well, there's no expert's gonna tell me what I ------------(??)--

ROMOND: --you were gonna be your own expert.

REICHERT: That's right.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: That was one(??) I kinda learned the hard way.

ROMOND: How did you think, uh, the issues in your district changed over the years? Um, what you were bringing to the legislature to represent your people?

REICHERT: Well, I think the issues that changed, like, you know, have a lot; I think a lot more social issues that's up there now than it was when I was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, uh, people that were, that, uh, every once and 53:00while, we ------------(??) up on the abortion issue, which to me, you know, the legislature can't do much, anything(??) about, uh. And, uh, well, uh, get into a thing like daylight, and all that, you know, we really didn't deal with things like that, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: It just wasn't that big of an issue. It's more now, uh, particularly here in Jefferson County, there's, uh, county, uh, the district I represented, there's more, more things that, that would actually affect you as a, as a homeowner--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --than those things. You know, it's kinda, uh, gone away from that some.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh--

ROMOND: --you mentioned water as a real basic--

REICHERT: --right--

ROMOND: --at the beginning, issue--

REICHERT: --um-hm--

ROMOND: --for your district.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: What other kinds of issues when you were in office?

REICHERT: Well, there's one that still with us is, is, uh, seems like 54:00roads.

ROMOND: Roads.

REICHERT: Yeah, that's one of the big one, education.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That's a big thing. ------------(??) well, it still is.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, when I was there, they appropriated about 80, 80 percent of the state budget, uh, money went to education. It still is somewhere in that neighborhood, you know. It's still a big thing. As it should be.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, one of the biggest things in the state, state could be. And you take the, uh, education, roads, things, a few things like that, you're talking about ------------(??), somewhere ------------(??) every, every tax dollar.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That just goes into those things.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, uh, Preston Highway at that time, it wasn't, uh, four lanes; it was two lanes.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Most of it. Uh, since then, uh, we ------------(??) there's been a lot of road improvements. Uh, uh, a Poplarville(??) Road, Shepardsville Road, they've been improved.

55:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I remember going to a meeting at Thomas Jefferson High School, one time, and, uh, they were over widening Poplarville Road(??), Shepardsville Road. And if you were there, listening to the transportation people at that time, you would thought, this was on a Friday night, you'd thought that Monday, them bulldozers(??) were gonna be out there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Twenty-two years later, they worked on them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, that's, that's good, they finally got to it. But that's, that's all ------------(??)--

ROMOND: --took a while.

REICHERT: All, all over, all of the issue. The issue of those people all those years.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: ------------(??) Valley Road was another one. That was a big road issue, uh, at that time. They've finally taken care of it. It takes years.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And it takes somebody persistent in doing it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What were the education issues when you were office that were being grappled with in your district as well as the state?

56:00

REICHERT: Well, educational issues, uh, well, right after I, I left the legislature, it wasn't, it wasn't a big issue when I was there. It seems like, uh, uh, the busing thing came along--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --before I still had, uh, the consolidation of, of the districts, the merger of, of the school districts. I always opposed them(??), uh, the merger of the districts at, at that time, because, uh, I, I really couldn't see the, the benefit of merging the two districts.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, I always thought that, uh, the Jefferson County school district, you had, you know, Louisville school district at one time, and Jefferson County school district, and, of course, you had a third one there Anchorage.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, I always felt like that the merger of the two 57:00systems, uh, like, taking two messes and making one huge mess out of it. (Romond laughs) Because really the, in both of those districts, they, they, there was a lot of work that needed to be done in each one of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And it, and certain things that just, I didn't feel that they were, they were, they were doing. Uh, then they finally, after I was there, they did the merge the district. And, and the, but then when, when the state board of education got around to it, the Louisville school district wasn't broke like they pretended they, they were.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They had a surplus.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They wanted to merge. And, of course, the reason for it was, uh, uh, the county school district ---------(??)---------, and then the worst part of it is, is, which I felt is gonna be a detrimental thing is, is the forced busing.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: I could see that coming, in fact, I made a statement on 58:00the Senate floor, "You merge these school districts, busing's right behind." The Courier-Journal just tore me up in a editorial something fierce, but straw man, you know, a bit(??). Well, that's exactly what happened.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Because the courts before that had ruled that you couldn't bus across district lines.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And right now in Jefferson County, see, you got two districts; you got the, uh, uh, the Jefferson County school district, which is Louisville and Jefferson County, but Anchorage is still there. See, it didn't merge. And you can't bus in and out of Anchorage.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: See, it's illegal.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: See, you can't bus and why? Because the courts have already ruled you can't, you can bus all you want within a district. But you can't across district lines.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: The courts had already ruled on that. And that, of course, that's, here they come(??) right behind it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Norb Blume introduced a bill, and, and after I left, which 59:00the Blume Bill says in the event, in the event of, uh, a one school district can't function, the other one has, uh, Jefferson County school district would have to take it over.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: And see, what they did, they, they declared bankruptcy, and state board of education was doing its job at that time, they looked into it, and they found out that the Louisville school district wasn't broke. They didn't have any basis(??) for saying they were going out of business. So, they had a six hundred thousand dollars surplus. And, uh--

ROMOND: --hm--

REICHERT: --but that was, that was the premise(??) for merging schools.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They were ---------(??), they're done now, but now if you're talking, you know, the busing thing, all they're(??) still doing is certain ---------(??) really hadn't, hadn't improved, you know, hadn't done that well. See, that was, that was, that was an issue that came after I, I left. But the, uh, merger thing was there all the time. I--

60:00

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --personally killed a couple of those merger bills over in the Senate. I'd bottle them up in committees, so they wouldn't--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --wouldn't get out. They'd pass them in the House, but you couldn't pass them out of the Senate.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: And that was, that was the reason for it. Because I was, I could see the down the road that, uh, they were gonna have some problems. And they did. It, it was, it just, it just tore people up. And in fact, what it did around here, I think it set race relations way back.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: At that particular time.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: It, it kinda, over time it kinda healed those things, but that particular time, it was bad. Okolona was like a war zone down here. People doing things that you never would have dreamed they'd be.

ROMOND: So, the consequence that reached locally was the opposite of what it was supposed to provide, which was equity of education.

REICHERT: Yeah, they had, they had one plan they called an umbrella 61:00plan. And, uh, they had a hundred member, ---------(??) committee they called it, that come up to this thing. And, and, uh, I didn't know what was in it. So, they had a big meeting up there in the Senate caucus, uh, room, with, uh, I(??) was in the Senate. And there was, they presented this thing, a big bill about so big. And one of the reporters asked me, "So, well, what do you think about the umbrella plan?" I said, "I don't know. I hadn't had time to read it. Here it is, you know." (Romond laughs) I said, "Let me read this thing." And the more I read of it, the more I didn't like.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: And what it was, is the umbrella plan was, you had, they were gonna have nine school districts. And they were all gonna be --------- (??). And the worrying of it was, we all would have to run from city to county line, all the way to the West End of Louisville.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Which ---------(??)--------- you know, to get them integrated. That be all right. But then the thing that, that, uh, concerned me 62:00the most was, the umbrella plan was you had another school board of peers to control the money. Well, whoever controls the money controls the system.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: See, and I, I was against that, after all, if you want to have a school district, have nine of them, have nine of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But let them have their own; let them control their own money.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, they insisted(??), "No, that's not the way to go." Well, I didn't write it, so I didn't. Well, while they were down there talking about it in the House, I was rounding my votes up over in the Senate, see. (Romond laughs) I was ---------(??)--

ROMOND: --getting ready for it--

REICHERT: -- ---------(??)--(Romond laughs)-- ---------(??). Well, I got, I got it killed, too. Couldn't get out, they couldn't get it out of committee ---------(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm.

REICHERT: But, uh, anyway, that was, that was, that was a big thing, uh, as far as schools' concerned. Uh, but I think, overall, the educational system is, you know, taking a jump up around here.

63:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They have. They, they have quite a these dedicated people in there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: School systems now. Like, I got a daughter; she's teaching(??) in the Newbury Middle School. She's been in there for quite a while. She's a math teacher.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. You sponsored several bills for, about education, and for teachers.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In your time in the legislature.

ROMOND: Yeah.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Yeah, I think, I had(??) several of them in.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: ---------(??) it's been long ago, I really can't(??) recall few many(??) of them anymore. But it, they, they're there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, one of the things that I was in the Senate(??), uh, we don't get much credit for it over here, it, it's(??) Falls Interstate, uh, Falls Park, uh, over the Ohio.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: See, I introduced that bill, uh, we wanted an interstate park, because the fossil beds in the Ohio River on the Kentucky side. The 64:00access to it from the Indiana side. So, someone(??) from Indiana, uh, Senator Plaskett(??) from, uh, Indiana, myself, some other --------- (??) people, uh, we wanted to establish a park, and makes a pretty big thing, a interstate park. Well, I introduced a bill, got it passed. Here, got, got, set up the commission. And, of course, there'd to be(??) passed in Indiana. Senator Plaskett got it passed over there. Well, we set the commission up, and I was first chairman of it. And Louie Nunn was governor then. I went to him. We had to have a comprehen-, you know, you deal with the federal government, you have to have a comprehensive plan.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, that was gonna cost four hundred thousand dollars. Well, I went to the governor, and he pledged two hundred thousand 65:00dollars, half of it.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

REICHERT: But never did get the Indiana bunch to do it.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: Kept dragging their feet. Of course, we, we got Army Corps of Engineers involved it. And, of course, a lot of people don't realize, awful lot of the Ohio River that ground beneath the river is owned by the people.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And some of that, you just can't hardly find out who owns it because they've died. And, and don't know where the heirs are, and everything else. It, it, it's gonna take a good while to figure that out. You know, to, to get the property, you got to know who owns it. Well, but Indiana kept dragging their feet. Later on, well, Julian Carroll was in, uh, he was governor. Well, he, he just, he appointed his people in there, and, and, uh, the thing just kinda dropped down, 66:00and then got a resolution out of Congress to make it a wildlife refuge or something. And the first thing you know, Indiana has made(??) a state park out of it. See, that's the deal they're angling for is the parkway up there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I had a lot of sneaky suspicion while they was dragging their feet, I told one of the Indiana fellows, it was Don ---------(??), from over in Jeffersonville, told him, Walton, ---------(??)--------- uh, Walton, uh, Dick ---------(??), there, uh, I said, "You guys are there dragging their feet." I said, "Somebody in that natural resources over there," I said, "They want to do something on their own." Well, they did. They--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --it's all right(??); they made it(??) a state park. But it didn't, didn't turn out to be what I really wanted.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: We wanted to run that thing all the way down almost to New Albany(??), make a big thing out of it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: Maybe we were a little too ambitious, I don't know. But they ended up making a state park. It's got a nice facility over there. At least, they did something with it. But we wanted it--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

67:00

REICHERT: --do it that way, because, like I say, the fossil beds are in practically all over Kentucky.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

REICHERT: Which the river is.

ROMOND: Sure.

REICHERT: And, uh, we have the interpretative center over there, and, and, uh, it was nice, I've been over there. But nobody from Kentucky is even mentioned over there hardly, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In the thing, and if it wouldn't be for us, it wouldn't, they, they probably would've never put anything there, I guess.

ROMOND: Right. So, you got the park, there is a park.

REICHERT: Yeah, there's a park--

ROMOND: --but not, it's not a collaborative.

REICHERT: No, that's an Indiana state park, ---------(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: It belongs to Indiana.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But we wanted an interstate, Kentucky, same way with --------- (??), you know, state park, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: West Virginia and Kentucky. But, uh. [telephone rings]

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: So, that was one experience that you had about the--

REICHERT: --yeah, that was--

ROMOND: --a bill that you introduced--

68:00

REICHERT: --yeah--

ROMOND: --that turned out different than you hoped.

REICHERT: Right, um-hm, yeah. Well, ---------(??)--

ROMOND: --but really you got the whole thing going.

REICHERT: Yeah, that's right. I say, not only me, but there's a fellows, like, uh, Ernie Ellison(??) over there. He's, he's, uh, uh, taught dental school(??). He, he made a lot of positive(??) on the thing. And he, he put on a pretty good campaign. We never, there wasn't a single vote against that thing in the House or the Senate in Frankfort. We got it passed. But, uh, so I'd say it's, we have something over there now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: It, it preserved the area(??), which, what we set out to do, and that's, that's fine.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: It didn't turn out exactly the way we wanted it.

ROMOND: What were your experiences of, how did your experiences actually being in the legislature compare to how you imagined it was going to be 69:00when you first thought you'd run for office?

REICHERT: Well, when you first run, you, you just got one thing on your mind, that, ---------(??)--------- you in office, you know. And, and, and while you're running, you, you find out what the problems are. And then, of course, once you find what the problems are, you, you've got to start thinking, Well, how do we solve these things?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, of course, if you're fortunate enough to get elected, you go up to Frankfort, it's kind of a, well, it's kinda awesome thing(??) to you. Of course, I did have a little experience, I was gone to sessions that, you know, uh, when I was, I decided to run, uh, they had a, I think a, it might've been a special session. Anyway, I went up with one of the fellow that was in the General Assembly a couple of times. Kind of got a little feel for it. But still, it's, it's a, once you realize, you're, you're elected, you say, "Oh my goodness, what am I going to do," ---------(??)--(Romond laughs) But it's, I tell 70:00you, you catch on quick, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: It's, it's, uh, it's an experience, type of experience that, that, uh, on the job training doesn't last very long.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You, you catch on pretty(??), pretty quick.

ROMOND: Jump right in the deep end.

REICHERT: And most, most people up there, they'll help you. Uh, it doesn't make a difference what party, once you, once, you have partisan issues, don't get me wrong. It's--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --there's plenty of time for partisanship. But most of the time those people on, on both sides of the aisle, they'll, they'll help you any way they can. They always--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --they always were with me, and got along with them real well.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In fact, there's one fellow that in the House all that time, Jim Bruce, uh, down in Hopkinsville, says he's retiring. He went in there when I did in 1964.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: So he's, he's retiring. Been there all that time.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: So, he was one of the fellows that, that, you know, real 71:00helpful, too.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: Won't steer you wrong. They won't deliberately do it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: Like I say, they'll, there's partisan politics floating around, but, uh, a lot of things now, they, they'll treat you right.

ROMOND: Um-hm. When you think back about the committees that you were on, um, was there any that stands out in your memory about your committee work?

REICHERT: Well, I've served on, uh, I've served, like, say, on that constitutional and elections committee--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --in the, in the House and the Senate. I pretty well enjoyed that. We, we didn't get into, get into any big, big issues at that particular time. Um, I, I was chairman of the health and welfare committee. Uh, up to until time, there're only been three Republicans chairman of any committee, uh, since the turn of the century.

72:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, I was, I was one of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So, uh, and I don't know if you remember Georgia Davis Powers, state senator, black lady. She wrote a book about her and Doc Martin Luther King and all that. She mentioned my name in her book. Cause, uh, I was chairman of the health and welfare committee and they named her vice chairman.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: How well we got along, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Very, very intelligent lady really.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I like her. And she, uh, she's a Democrat, I was a Republican, so we got along fine, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, so, those issues(??), yeah, I enjoyed it. I, I was chairman of the health and welfare, uh, interim committee between sessions.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, one of the things that, uh, when I was chairman of the, it's called the mental health, uh, medical school coordinating(??) 73:00committee. We had the, the head of U of L and U.K. medical school, uh, heads of them were on it. I was chairman of it. And, uh, we had some other people on the committee. And one of the things that we did, we had that old, uh, Frankfort hospital. It was--

ROMOND: --it was--

REICHERT: --an eyesore. It was--

ROMOND: --a mental hospital--

REICHERT: --mental--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: -- ---------(??) children. Well, we built the Oakwood thing. Oakwood had its problems down there. But we had one thing we didn't do, we ended up bringing that facility down to Oakwood. Yeah. And I think it was a great improvement from what they had up at the, uh, up at Frankfort.

ROMOND: Did that come out in the building of the Oakwood facility? Did that come out of the bringing together people from the University of Louisville and--

REICHERT: --right(??)--

74:00

ROMOND: --and Kentucky?

REICHERT: Yeah, actually came out, mostly out of, out of that committee.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Of course, you had a, a few other people involved, you know, you got appropriations and all that--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --you got to go through those people. And, of course, the governor's office, they've got to behind it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Well, that's the first thing you got to do is to get the governor's office behind it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, so we, we got that done. I, I think that was, that was one thing I was kinda proud of.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And was the facility built with state funds?

REICHERT: --um-hm, state funds, state funds--

ROMOND: --you were looking at support for--

REICHERT: --right--

ROMOND: --mental health care--

REICHERT: --right--

ROMOND: --in the state, okay.

REICHERT: See, Kentucky, at that time, we, another thing that, uh, I liked that we did, we brought Kentucky, at that time was about forty- fourth in the nation in the mental health, and we was all the way up to the number three.

ROMOND: Really?

REICHERT: Yeah. Now it's slide back some, but we had pretty good 75:00emphasis(??) on, at that, that specific time.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: A lot of, lot of people were helped on that, ---------(??)---- ----- one-man show. But a lot of people were helped on it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. In your tenure with, uh, health and welfare committee, was mental health during that time one of the big issues--

REICHERT: --it was a big issue. It was a big issue. The governor at that time, Louie Nunn that was one of the big things with him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: He, uh, he, he was pretty much into it. It was Louie Nunn, I was good friends with him, I guess, that's why he put me as chairman of that, that committee.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Felt like that, you know, I might help get some things done. And well, we did. You have to have the governor's backing on these things.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You go out there, ---------(??)--------- behind it. I don't care who that governor is, he's, got to have them.

ROMOND: That was an important issue to him.

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Um-hm. Yeah.

ROMOND: What were the other health issues, statewide health issues?

76:00

REICHERT: Well, you, uh, I tell you what, we mostly concentrated that, that period of time on mental health--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --but, uh, uh, children's needs was another thing, too.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, some of the ways that they, they got involved with, uh, uh, that ---------(??)--------- things of that nature, you know. Uh, one of the big issues was the, the, we followed those(??) pretty well--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --and a lot of emphasis put on that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Uh, I didn't get involved with it, but some of the legislatures were. Uh, legislators were. They, uh, spent, uh, quite a bit of time with, uh, the children's health issues.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Was tobacco and health, uh, an issue--

REICHERT: --no--

ROMOND: --at that time or not?

REICHERT: It was really wasn't.

ROMOND: Not yet.

REICHERT: No, it wasn't. It hadn't(??)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --come into play at that time.

ROMOND: What about mining? And health issues?

77:00

REICHERT: A lot of the, uh, the mining thing was, uh, people who serviced(??) mines.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Strip mine, now, that was a big thing. I was kinda involved with that. I was on the, the natural resource committee. And, and, uh, we, we got involved with strip mine thing. In fact, uh--(laughs)- -it's kinda funny, interesting happened in the Senate. Dick Chin and I, he was a senator from here in Jefferson County, and myself, uh, we were all on that committee. And we was, they decided, well, we better go up to Pennsylvania to see they reclaim and strip mine up there. So, we got, see, we were involved in that reclamation and strip mining.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: See, you had a lot of ---------(??), uh, land.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: These strip miners would come in, they would strip it off, 78:00and they'd leave it. And, of course, when you get that, you get a lot of, uh, acid runoff. And just devastates the countryside. You know, causes mudslides and everything.

ROMOND: So, there was no laws at that time--

REICHERT: --they had them but--

ROMOND: --about--

REICHERT: --they wasn't, wasn't strict enough.

ROMOND: Oh.

REICHERT: And so, we went up there to see a bunch of those people and actually see the, the reclamation. Well, we took a, we took a flight out here. And oh, early in the morning, it must've been three or four o'clock. Uh, it down at Bowman Field. Caught an old rickety plane. Went up, picked up a couple of reporters, something(??) down in Frankfort. See, I thought we was gonna change planes. Well, I was, I was--

ROMOND: --you were hoping--

REICHERT: --I thought we was gonna be lucky if we make it to Frankfort in the plane. (Romond laughs) Uh, I think the first thing they had to do was bolt or something in the, in the landing gear. Well, anyway, we got up there, and no, that's the plane we're flying to Pittsburgh. (Romond laughs) We, we got to Pittsburgh, cold as it could be. Well, 79:00we're up there all day. Go down to the strip mines and, and the reclamation areas.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Went all around. Finally, got on the plane late that afternoon, later that afternoon, came on back. This was on Monday.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: The legislature was going into session at four o'clock, the Senate was. So, we had to get back to Louisville and go back to Frankfort. So, it was getting late, we were gonna be up there, you know, too late for the session anyway. Dick Chin said, "We going up to Frankfort to make this session." I said, "Dick," I said, "they're not gonna do anything." I said, "All they're gonna do is give a reading of the bills," which ---------(??) were gonna do. I said, "They'll be out of there in fifteen minutes." I said, "No, we might as well go home. Get a decent night sleep and go up tomorrow." Well, we went on home. Pick up the newspaper the next morning, here's a big article 80:00in there. Harry Lee Waterfield was lieutenant governor then. Well, Jiggs Buckman, from down here in Shepardsville, he was majority floor leader. He wanted to give a reading for the public accommodations bill. This was a big thing. He couldn't get a quorum in the Senate. See, to get ---------(??), there wasn't enough senators there. They had the state police running all over Frankfort looking for Dick Chin and I. (both laugh) Yeah, yeah. Jiggs Buckman said it, Dick Chin and, uh, and I were in collusion with Harry Lee Waterfield to scuttle the public accommodations bill. Jiggs Buckman was floor leader, said that. Well, the next morning, Carolyn, we had something going on that day, so my wife went up there with me. And first person we ran into getting 81:00on the elevator was Lieutenant Governor Harry Lee Waterfield. I said, "Governor, you see this morning's paper." "I saw it." (both laugh) I said, "I didn't know we had a, had some kind of ---------(??) going on"--

ROMOND: --had collusion! (laughs)

REICHERT: He said, he said, "I'll have something to say about it today." (Romond laughs) Oh, he did. Poor old Jiggs, he, he sit in front of me in the Senate, and he was standing there, and Harry Lee Waterfield, he just chewed him out something fierce. Poor Jiggs couldn't say anything, his neck was just as red as fire. (laughs) It was funny. Here we was on the scuttle a bill, here we were just, up there, went all the way to Pennsylvania on a plane I didn't think could hardly get off the ground. (Romond laughs) Thought we was risking our lives to do it. Here we were in a big plot(??)--

ROMOND: --you're in a big plot--

REICHERT: --to scuttle a bill. (laughs) Which was going to pass anyway.

82:00

ROMOND: Instead you were up in the clouds, holding on your breath--

REICHERT: --yeah--

ROMOND: --hoping you would get home. Oh gosh.

REICHERT: It's funny. Pick up the paper and read you was in a big plot. (both laugh)

ROMOND: Well, you're--

REICHERT: --as far as the reclamation thing, of course, they eventually passed the, passed the bill that, and, uh, they got a, a lot of work done up there in, in eastern Kentucky.

ROMOND: So, the laws are better.

REICHERT: Yeah.

ROMOND: ---------(??)--------- what they're doing to it now is getting around the, uh, down in western Kentucky, there's a lot of it--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --big shovels going, you know, big shovels down there. You ever seen one of those shovels?

ROMOND: Um-hm. I have.

REICHERT: It's something else. You get down there, you ought to ------- --(??) they hold.

ROMOND: I know. Um-hm. Were there any surprises when you got to the legislature? Things that you didn't expect to be that way about how it, 83:00how the General Assembly worked, or about the people that you met along the way?

REICHERT: Well, surprises that I, really nothing really surprised me, because I was pretty much into, into the process a little bit. I, um, I was, I was, uh, I guess, if anything surprised me, how, uh, easy it was for the administration to control legislation.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know, ---------(??) anything, uh, you know they had the committee on committees, where they referred the bill, I think it, uh, at first I really wasn't prepared for that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That, you know, any, you could have, if you filed a perfectly good bill, and somebody on that rules committee didn't like it, just one person, they shoved it over in, in that committee, you know, that, 84:00uh, what they call a graveyard committee; you wasn't gonna get it out.

ROMOND: So, it didn't even go to another committee?

REICHERT: Well, it, it went to a committee that they knew--well, say, you had something, uh, pertaining to finance.

ROMOND: Right.

REICHERT: Instead of going to the budget committee, or something like that, they might put it over here in the, in, in a committee with a bunch of lawyers on it, say, the judiciary committee, that's gonna kill it. See, ain't nobody gonna bring that thing up.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They call it the graveyard; they call it the graveyard committee.

ROMOND: Oh.

REICHERT: They put it there, they know it's gonna die. And they did that a lot.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That's how they controlled the legislation.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: If there's something they, you had that they didn't like, that's what they did with it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That was, that was kinda surprising at first. After a while, you get used to it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So, the governor had a lot of control over how things turned out--

ROMOND: --I know he does(??). I know he doesn't(??), I don't think the governors have as much as control today as they had then.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: They had, they had an awful lot of control in those days. 85:00Today, I don't think they have near as control as, uh, the leg-, the legislature was trying to get more independent when I was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: You know. But, uh, still you had such a, a one-party system here that they couldn't do it. Now, the legislature, particularly being split like it is--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --oh, it's, it's gonna be more independent.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: The governor's gonna have a harder time getting things done, you know. Well, just like the budget. See, they're dealing with(??) the budget now, it's taking forever. Now, when I was there, they bring a budget up. And say, it, it'd go to the House, and the House would pass it, it, then go over to the Senate. And they would, uh, they'd call recess, and they would refer to the rules committee, uh, committee on committees, and they'd have a little recess, recess, and refer to it, to the, uh, uh, budget committee, and they, they'd recess for five 86:00minutes, and report it out.

ROMOND: -- ---------(??)--

REICHERT: -- ---------(??)--

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: In five days, you had a budget passed. You know. Didn't even have time to read ten pages of it, you know, the budget was passed.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: That's the way they operated then. Now they don't do that.

ROMOND: Yeah.

REICHERT: Everybody's got their input in it. And, and, uh, I think they kinda overdo it now. But, uh, oh, then, I mean, the budget, that's, they, they introduce the budget fairly early in the session, it be over with in no time.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: Because you still have log jam, now they hold everything up until that budget's passed, uh, you know, they deal with the budget. And most of the time, they don't deal with it. Uh, I think they operate for a long time, you know, without a budget.

ROMOND: Um-hm. You served under three governors.

REICHERT: Right.

ROMOND: Breathitt and Nunn and Ford.

REICHERT: Um-hm.

ROMOND: And what are your memories about each of them and your thoughts 87:00about them? What was it like to work with each of them?

REICHERT: Well, I tell you, Ned Breathitt was one of the finest men you ever want to meet.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: In fact, uh, I told him one time, I said, "Governor," I said-- see, he had a problem, particularly with his own party. Uh.

ROMOND: Hm.

REICHERT: I told him, I said, "The trouble with you, Governor," said, "You're too nice a guy." In order to be governor of this state, you got to have a mean streak in you. And Ned Breathitt, he was a fine man. Oh, I liked him. Uh, now, Louie Nunn, Louie, and I were good friends. And, now, Louie had a little mean streak in him. Now, he, he'd get something done, you know, he wanted it, he wanted his way.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, he could bear down pretty well. Of course, Wendell, Wendell Ford, and I, we served in the State Senate together.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, of course, he was presiding officer, the lieutenant governor under Louie. And, uh, he was presiding officer in the Senate when I was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

88:00

REICHERT: That's when, uh, lieutenant governor presided over the Senate.

ROMOND: Right.

REICHERT: And, uh, and of course, I've known Wendell for a long time, you know. Consider him a friend.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Of course, I served when Ron Mazzoli was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, he was a friend of mine too. And several of them(??), and, uh, but Wendell was a nice fellow.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I liked him.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: They're all good men.

ROMOND: Do you think that there, that the issues that were brought to the General Assembly from across the state of Kentucky were very different from each other, depending on where, like, eastern Kentucky, western Kentucky, central--

REICHERT: --oh yeah, yeah. Yeah, they, they, when I was there, you had a certain amount of animosity towards Jefferson County. Uh, and that thing(??), but the issue, uh, there, there were ---------(??) regional. 89:00You know, Fayette County, you know, uh, uh, Fayette County, uh, merged ---------(??)--------- when I was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I mean, they didn't do it at the, at the ballot box, or anything like they did here; they did it in the legislature. It was an easier time, easier way to do it. Uh, but Fayette County voted in, uh, wasn't loaded down with small cities--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --like they have here. You have a problem here with the small cities. And Fayette County and Lexington merged when I was in the legislature. Uh, you always have a regional thing--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --uh, one with western Kentucky and, and, uh, central part. But now you got, uh, I think it's slowly become more, uh, of course, for a lot of these(??) people, the problems are the same(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: I think the, the road structure(??) had, had a lot to do with 90:00it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Bringing, you know, it, it used to be a fellow, he lives down in, uh, the ---------(??) part of the ---------(??), he went to the General Assembly; he stayed there all week, because he couldn't get back home.

ROMOND: That's right.

REICHERT: Now, they, they can travel, up towards eastern Kentucky, and, and, and get back and, you know, maybe in a day or so.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But, uh, then, they have to come, way down in southeastern Kentucky, they stayed, I bet a lot of still do, they don't, they don't want to travel, but they could.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Now, you know, from here, I've got a son works in Frank-, he's an attorney up in Frankfort. And, uh, he drives up there every day. He goes up every day. But, uh, the, the problem, I think the, there're, the problems we have are getting to be their problems now too.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: So.

ROMOND: Do think on issue, the problems around education have connected 91:00the different parts of the state to work over that because everybody cares about it, or do you think it's been, um, even more divisive because of local education problems?

REICHERT: Well, I think it's, it might(??), I don't think it's any more divisive; there's always been a strong competition for, you know, for a dollar(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: The money going to the universities and that. Uh, well, uh, see, when I first went to the legislature, the University of Louisville wasn't a part of the state system.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And, uh, that's one thing that happened when I was there, too, University of Louisville became a part of the state system, a lot of the other, uh, area, you know, uh, are a part of the state system now. And, uh, that way, it, it, they got a lot in common.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: Where the -----------(??) gonna be, the competition for, for 92:00state dollar, for higher education--

ROMOND: --hm--

REICHERT: --well, you got, you got competition in higher education, and, you know, and secondary education--

ROMOND: --sure--

REICHERT: --and all that, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: And you still got, you still got it. That will always go on.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: There's no way you're gonna stop that. But, uh, a lot of their educational problems, uh, are getting to be the same(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

REICHERT: I think. More and more.

ROMOND: I have noticed over time that education in general is better.

REICHERT: Oh, I think, oh yeah. I think, I think it's better. And maybe not, uh, as well as should it be. But I think, uh--

ROMOND: --and the Kentucky Educational Reform Act has, has tried to--

REICHERT: --well, yeah, I, I got mixed feelings on that, on, on the reform act. But, but it's in effect(??) and evidently it supposed to 93:00be doing a fairly decent job or else somebody would be doing something about it, you know, before now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

REICHERT: But, uh, uh, I think the education part of, well, I, I can look at my, my grandkids--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

REICHERT: --what they're studying and see--

ROMOND: --um-hm, um-hm--

REICHERT: --uh, a lot of kids tell you same thing that, you know, things that most, most kids will tell you now, we want to read, uh, --------- (??) in, on that, that grade level than when we were going to school.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What are your concerns about the, about KERA?

REICHERT: Well, uh, I, I, I guess, uh, mainly the funding(??) part of it. I think that's what most people are concerned about. And, uh, I think that maybe that has to be addressed. Uh--

[End of interview.]

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