The year was 1965 or 66 and I had a class of third and fourth grade students. Our language arts lesson consisted of writing about our class. The students dictated a paragraph which I wrote on the board. They were to copy using cursive writing. I kept the workbook of a boy whose writing was exceptionally good. I have had that notebook for all these years.
I decided to shake loose the $24 to a people finding agency to see what I could find about these students who are now about 55-57 years old. I did not have much luck. Of the twenty students, “been verified” found about eight. Not too good. I think they tout about an 80-90% success rate. That, however, is not my point right now. They gave phone numbers for five. All of which have been disconnected. There were no educational or employment records for any. I found that I couldn’t tell much by that. I looked up my own record, and they had no education or employment records for me either! And the list of my relatives was far from correct. Many listed from a short time marriage of a granddaughter with many people listed as my relatives whose names I do not even recognize. I lived in a home we owned for seventeen years; it is not listed. We lived in a rented condo about six months while we were looking for another place to buy: it is listed. Go “figger”!
They had an address and phone for the boy/man whose book I kept (with the excellent handwriting). I tried the phone number. It reached a middle school in a city here in Oklahoma. I hope that means he is employed there. I am sure they will not give information. I found no trace of employment history for any. A few have court records, one DUI and about three had drug arrests—one serious case—I’ll call her Annie.
Our paragraph about Annie says, “Annie’s papers are very neat. She used to talk a lot but she is getting better now. Annie brings us books and records from the library.”
Annie’s court records indicate she has been arrested over sixty times, mostly drug related. Some quite serious, one was a robbery with violence. Annie has been in prison fourteen times. Knowing Annie’s home situation, I could easily have predicted that kind of life for Annie, BUT I’m still wondering what sparked that note we made about her bringing books and records from the library. That was not a common occurrence in our school. I wonder who took her to the library. In hindsight, I wish I had noted that behavior and maybe built a positive path for her to get out of the lifestyle she seemed doomed for.
If any of you have had experience with a good people finder agency, I would like to know who to try next. Next time I will try getting a record on myself first and see how close they are to right. I have hid nothing (except taking that stick of gum when I was three or four). If an agency can’t tell you all about me, they haven’t tried very hard!