I believe I know who two of the three unposted Oral History Project interviews were with

Whether interview #3 was with Carl Knox’s former secretary remains to be seen

Lately, I’ve been preparing my arguments for the upcoming mediation meeting concerning my complaint with the Ohio Court of Claims, which, as of this writing, is in three weeks. But first, please accept my apology for that last sentence, which may be the dullest lede in the history of this blog—nay, in the history of all ledes. What can I say? Investigative research can be a tad dull at times.

To refresh your memories, my complaint has to do with the public records request I’d submitted to Miami University’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) seeking the three unposted recordings that are referenced in the second-to-last line of the 2008 Oral History Project progress report. Furthermore, if one or more of those recordings no longer exists, I’m seeking the signed documents requesting their destruction, as required by the OGC’s records retention protocol.

I’m not seeking these items just to be difficult. I’m trying to determine if one of those three recordings might have been an interview with Carl Knox’s former secretary. And why do I need to employ all the rights that are bestowed upon me by Ohio Revised Code 149.43, Ohio’s Public Records Law, to make that determination? Because no one from the university would answer that question when I asked them. If they’d answered that simple yes-or-no question—”Is one of the three unposted recordings with Carl Knox’s former secretary?”—then I would have reported their answer to you and likely moved on. Oh, OK, if the answer had been yes, then I suppose I wouldn’t have moved on very far. It’s likely that I would have invested more time and energy into finding the recording. But they didn’t answer the question, and here we all are.

In their response to my records request, Miami’s OGC told me that they’d asked several representatives of the Oral History Project which three unposted recordings were referenced in the 2008 progress report, and “none of the individuals remember anything about those recordings.”

I find their response, um, unconvincing, which is why I filed my complaint with the Ohio Court of Claims.

As I write this post, I’m trying very hard to behave myself and to watch what I say. Someone on the opposing side may be reading this, and I don’t want to give anything away before the big day. 

What I can say is this: as I’ve been reviewing everything that’s happened over the past 18 months in my efforts to locate the interview with Carl Knox’s former secretary, I’ve been flagging various, um, occurrences, if you will, that stand out as being particularly, uhh, if it pleases the court…telling. I’ve found other supportive evidence to bring before the court as well. I look forward to the mediation, and I plan to wear the grayest, most serious-minded two-piece dress in my closet just to show everyone that I mean business. Is said dress one of my favorite pieces of work attire that I’ve held onto for more than 20 years because it evokes a certain 1940s sort of vibe and makes me feel like Barbara Stanwyck whenever I put it on? I plead nolo contendere, your honor.

So why am I even here, interrupting your day and dancing around subjects of which I probably should not speak? Well, in my research, I stumbled on some pertinent information that refutes a hypothesis that I’ve advanced on this blog site, and whenever that happens, I feel I should let you know about it asap. It’s who I am. It’s what I do.

In my April 18, 2022, post, I’d written about an interview that had been mentioned in a May 2007 Oral History Project report, and that interview had never been posted online. I hypothesized that the interview, which had taken place in the spring semester of 2007 in Oxford, Ohio, might have been with Carl Knox’s secretary. 

Today, I need to let you know that I don’t think that that particular interview was with Carl Knox’s secretary after all. But you guys? We’re just fact-finding here, and, in my opinion, all facts are good facts. The information I’m about to convey is equally useful in helping us get to the answer we’re all seeking. Here’s the information that I wish to share: I think I’ve now determined two out of the three unposted interviews, and, in concurrence with the late, great singer Meat Loaf, that ain’t bad. The only interview for which I can’t find any record (other than the one-page summary that got this whole thing started) is the one with Carl Knox’s former secretary. 

What changed? As I was conducting my review of the events of the past year and a half, I landed upon a document that I’d received from Miami’s OGC from a separate public records request concerning the Oral History Project. Truth be told, I’d forgotten I had it. The document has to do with a completed list of interviews and story circles that had been conducted, and, although it isn’t dated, it appears to have been written in the spring of 2007. Here’s the document.

Click on image to see the entire document

I’ve highlighted the two interviews that haven’t been posted online. The first was conducted on June 17, 2006, and the second was conducted on February 14, 2007. Although you can read the names of the interviewees on the document, I’m not going to say them out loud on this site—we don’t need to feed the search engines any more than they’re already being fed, and the individuals are only peripherally related to our question. Also, the two recordings still ostensibly exist and can be found in University Archives on the third floor of King Library. The first is included with the Oral History Project recordings, and the second can be found in box 7 of assorted audio and video tapes.

What’s bothering me most about the 6/17/06 and 2/14/07 interviews is that when I was trying to find out if one of the three unposted recordings was an interview with Carl Knox’s secretary, I’d brought up the names of those very same two people with representatives of the university. I’d asked them, point blank, if the above two interviews were part of the three unposted recordings. And even though the two people were interviewed as part of the Oral History Project, and even though their recordings are unmistakably not posted on the bicentennial web page, it didn’t seem to help jostle anyone’s memories.

I’ve said enough. I’ll let you know how things go.

12 thoughts on “I believe I know who two of the three unposted Oral History Project interviews were with

  1. I guess the good news is the people you’re dealing with at the University aren’t accomplished liars, conmen, or have any imagination? 🤷‍♀️ Because I feel like anyone who doesn’t want to raisers flags knows to keep it simple and usually with enough truth to be believable. Even something like “our work-study student accidentally deleted/recorded over the file” is more plausible than the Sergeant Schultz act.

    In other news, I just finished a very interesting, but disturbing, book, you and others on this blog might be interested in: Flight 149 by Stephen Davis. Definitely trigger warnings with rape and torture, but it’s about the intelligence community and Sadaam’s invasion of Kuwait, and geopolitics. Mainly it focuses on ordinary people getting caught in powerful people’s bad decisions. It can also be subtitled:

    More Reasons to Hate Margaret Thatcher

    More Reasons all US Presidents are War Criminals (or Why ex-CIA Directors Make Bad Leaders)

    Why Giving Psychopaths Chemical Weapons and Heavy Artillery is Stupid

    1. Although it’s tough to argue with someone who says they forget something, I believe I have evidence that supports an alternative view. Alas, that’s all I can say for now.

      Thanks for the book suggestion. I’m still reading the other one you’d suggested, A Murder in Music City. Super interesting, and I can definitely relate with the author and his journey…

      1. I think my biggest problem is that everyone seems to have forgotten everything, which doesn’t seen plausible without the Men in Black clicker thing.

        Glad you’re enjoying the book!

  2. Would it be out of line to contact the all interviewers you can identify in the appropriate time frame and ask them point blank if they interviewed the secretary? I mean, the fact they did interviews for Miami is public knowledge, and I can’t imagine some non-disclosure employment regulation.

    1. So…here’s where I need to be cautious because the conversations were conducted “on background.” I’ve contacted as many of the interviewers as I could find and asked them that question. The ones who answered told me that they didn’t interview Carl Knox’s secretary. One person didn’t answer the question even though I tried reaching them 3 different ways.

  3. Okay never mind! I’m a bit more awake and reading your post more thoroughly. Looks like I found a big fat nothingburger of which you were probably very well aware. I did search for AD in that list just in case and none of them seemed to fit. Please delete the previous comment/link as you deem fit! It did perk me up a bit today to think I was doing something really exciting for a second haha!

    1. It was an awesome comment and I really appreciate your sending the link! 🙏😊 Thank you! This post hasn’t generated much interest (maybe because of the lede 😆) so it’s always nice to hear your comments.

  4. Omgggg the interwebs ate my eloquent post. So, I just woke up and was lazing on fb in the bed. When I saw the new post I had to get to the computer so I could look at it more closely. I am seeing both of the interviewees listed here http://staff.lib.muohio.edu/~presnejl/oralweb/interviews.html

    I saw it while searching for LTA out of curiosity. There were only three google hits for her name. This dinky website, one of your posts, and (I think) a commencement program or something. I know you are extremely thorough and I just got out of bed but just wanted to make sure that you’ve seen this one. You were totally onto her and knew this interview was likely out there. Could there be something else on this list that you are looking for? If it’s something super juicy, probably not but worth passing along.

    I reiterate that I am usually perimenopausally quite dumb and, like I said, just woke up from my morning nap so could be sharing something that you have already posted. One more thing – when this all gets wrapped up and we’re celebrating would you pretty please wear that amazing dress?? I want to seeeee!

    1. Lol, no worries, and thank you for the link! I’m pretty sure that all of the interviews/story circles listed on the website correspond to those that we know about, but I’ll definitely look it over again. Regarding the 2-14-07 interview: even though I’d known about it for a while (though I’d totally forgotten the date), that one had stumped me because it’s of someone who was a faculty member, and the recording isn’t stored with the rest of the Oral History Project collection at University Archives. It was only recently that I’d discovered that they’re storing it in box 7 of a more generic collection of assorted audio and video tapes.

      As for the dress–it is ~22 years old and I still love it. I bought it in Austin, TX at an outlet shop. It was made by Harold’s, which no longer exists. I’m not permitted to record the mediation, but maybe I’ll post a pic. 🤪

    2. And they interviewed 12 people who were ostensibly Campus Owls? Does that number sound right Jen?

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