Where's That Permanent Record?

Monday, July 17, 2017

As a student in the local public school system in the 1950-1960's,I remember very well hearing the phrase. "this will go on your permanent record, and will follow you for the rest of your life." Usually this phrase was intended as an open threat to some miscreant child for some real or imagined offense, but occasionally was also used to encourage the best effort on some very important standardized test. 

I frequently think about this and I have to wonder, "where is this record now"? I'm sure it still exists, after all, it's permanent. If it has followed me all these 67 years, what does it contain? Does it tell about the time that I, along with other White Oak outlaws, decided to climb up the roadside bluff across from the old school on our way home, or how I was sure I was going to die before I reached the top? Does it tell how I attended Chattanooga State twice, separated by a stint in the Army? Does it tell how my parents insisted I go to that school, and paid my fees in order to keep me from being drafted? Is there anything about how disappointed they must have been when I dropped out because I wanted to work?

I'm sure there is a file on my short-lived military career, Ft. Jackson and Vietnam.  I hope there is a chapter on the two times I went on R&R to Australia. I'd love to read that, I'm pretty sure I enjoyed myself.I won't need to read the chapter about the brothers I lost in the war or how they died. I relive that daily.

The 35 years as a driver for CARTA, lots of stuff there, probably. Don't remember much , but that's ok, they don't remember me either. The highlight of the file is the part that is really permanent, The beautiful blonde in the peach colored mini-dress that I first met in January of 1972, and though that dress is long gone,somehow she has stayed faithfully with me since. Three kids, five grands, two great-grands.

But back to my point, where is this permanent record? Surely the school system doesn't still have it. This is my 50th year since graduation. Who did they hand it off to? Is it in that huge man-made cavern in West Virginia that the NSA operates? Does some other unknown government acronym have it? The Scriptures speak of the Book of Life that will be opened on Judgment Day. Maybe the School Board was acting as agent ?
 
Whatever, it's been quite a ride. 

Don Hill
Signal Mountain, North of the Border, or maybe South Florida (what month is this?)


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