I found an old faculty ID from Central High School stuffed between some outdated credit cards in a zipper pouch in the back of the desk drawer. I hadn’t been looking for it, but it completed the set of five.
No one ever asked for my ID when I quit a job or graduated, so I kept them. I even have a laminated one from University of Southern Mississippi, circa 1966. The headshots are pretty funny – a timeline of hairstyles, makeup trends, collar styles, ear ring fads, weight gains and losses and gains. All just from IDs.
I had to dig to find them, but I needed them to confirm dates for my book. Often the other things I found during the hunt sparked more memories than the IDs, name tags or drivers licenses. Of all the memoir advice I had read, nothing said “find your high school charm bracelet.” The jewelry chest was a gold mine (gold-plated, that is) filled with lots of memories (and dust). The things I used to verify information (listed below) also jolted my memory bank.
Why I’ve kept all those IDs I don’t know. It’s like those yearbook T-shirts. It’s hard to throw away memories, especially those small enough to stuff into a drawer or squeeze into a small zipper wallet.
- Journals from writing classes
- Photos, negatives, camera cards
- Published articles
- Travel journals
- Computer files, old floppy discs, CDs
- Yearbooks, as far back as elementary school
- Jewelry, club pins and campaign buttons
- Work & school IDs, business cards, nametags
- Real estate contracts, appraisals, closing papers, leases
- Automobile titles or insurance papers
- Saved letters & cards from students, friends, colleagues, family
- Old club, church and school newsletters
- Cookbooks and recipes
- VCR tapes (sometimes the labels are better than the tape )