“All the ancient histories, as one of our wits say, are just fables that have been agreed upon.”
Yesterday Lt. Citrus called me into his office and waved his hand at a pile of binders. It was the media files archives of our department, newspaper clippings mostly, and it went back to 1960.
“We don’t need these anymore,” he said. “Can you get rid of them and save the binders?”
I stretched out my hands dumbly and let him plop a stack in my hands and then tottered back to my desk where I opened them up.
The Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the first female officer to graduate from the state’s police academy…the earliest documented complaints about parking (an as yet unresolved problem!) when we had a fraction of the student number we do now…a completely unique perspective on the history of the campus was sitting on my desk and I was supposed to just shred it?! Clearly they forgot I majored in history!
I begged off my other chores and began putting things in order. I’ve spent the last day and a half scanning articles and photos that document the history of the department (beginning back when we had an ex-LA cop fish a bunch of wallets out of the campus pond and search for the owners, all the way to the 40+ full time, state-certified officers we have now along with nearly 200 student employees). And come across some real gems!
Throw this stuff away. Pfft! I’m already in contact with the university archivist.