Keys, Keys, and More Keys

Inhabiting a dark corner of the Northside attic stood a file cabinet with the tantalizing labels “Historical Records” and “Agency Publications.” Alas, it was locked! My supervisors have been joking with me over the past few weeks that they have lots of keys, most of which are unidentified, opening unknown drawers, cabinets, and doors. There are even play keys to nothing accidentally mixed in from the teachers, who give them to their students to play. Twice now I have uncovered mysterious sets of keys, adding them to my supervisors’ growing collection.

And now here I was at Northside, wondering how I might unlock these tempting drawers without spending hours trying one hundred unmarked keys. Maybe I could try my lock picking skills with a bobby pin? Or break the lock with a heavy binder? I did have my toolkit with me, so maybe a hammer would do the trick? And then I remembered the basket of keys I had seen in the front office. Scurrying downstairs, hoping to avoid the bobby pin option (knowing it wouldn’t end well), I looked more closely at the key basket and discovered that some of the keys were in labeled envelopes. And praises!, the tantalizing file cabinet also happened to be labeled with a number, with a corresponding envelope containing a key. Turns out it was the correct key!

And opening these two drawers I found . . . a few items. You would think if someone took the time to label the file drawer, it would be brimming with a trove of documents and photos, but alas, this was not the case. The drawer did contain a large photo album with pictures from the 1950s-2000s, so that is quite a find and served to dispel some of my disappointment at the lack of annual reports (of which pretty much all from Northside are missing).

Most importantly, by figuring out the key situation at Northside, I can now officially say that I have gathered (fingers crossed) all the historical materials from both Northside and Eastside. And I didn’t need to practice my lock picking skills (yet!) in the process.

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