Digital Camera

Digital Camera

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!


About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. shoreacres says:

    You ought to be able to get better results than that yourself, Oneta. I know that people who are on Facebook have great luck, but I’ve tracked down several people just using the internet. Another great resource is You can start with newspapers from the area, and do internal searches for the names. Alumni associations often are good, too. Do internet searches using the individual’s name, then the + sign, and then another term, like a school or relative.

    Can you tell my investigative juices are flowing? It really is amazing what you can find out through the web — if you decide to give it a try yourself, and have questions, let me know. I subscribed to If I remember correctly, they charge $3.95 a month, or so. But they may have a month-long free trial. They did when I first gave them a try.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks, Linda. I should have thought of you the Research Guru. I checked out the The do have a week free trial, but then I would be billed for a year – all upfront. I might try their free week, however. It doesn’t seem like they would have phone numbers and addresses. I could find out in a week’s free trial. I tried a few on FB, These students were from a depressed area, transient, or locked into a poverty status. However, I do know via of another teacher that one graduated from some military academy, I think maybe Naval. His father was so proud of him and he let my teacher friend know. Actually, I felt pretty good about “beenverified” not showing more court records than they did. Maybe their lives have been marked by being law abiding citizens even if not known for their achievement. Curiosity got me so I looked myself up on google. I was there because of the blogging input. Nothing else seemed very noteworthy! I might have more notoriety if I would fill out my Facebook records as they keep hounding me to do. It is time for me to check about a new post from you. I’m behind in my reading, but I’ll check tonight and see what I might be missing.

  2. Dawn Marie says:

    I wish you much luck in your endeavors! I have no advice to offer in your search process but I do lift up prayers for your success. How blessed are these students to have someone who cares about them as you do! Hugs!

  3. How interesting! I’m in touch with most of my class mates from my first school years via Facebook, but the ones that aren’t on social media is harder to find. Best of luck!

  4. Pingback: Story Continuation Challenge Prompt 2 – Wandering Soul

  5. Licirose Lee says:

    I hope you get in contact with annie and give her some encouraging words. Maybe you can find the little boy , now man on facebook everyone is on it now a days .I have found old friends and reconnected myself! give it a try good luck!

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