I was reading that in Concord, New Hampshire they recently unearthed a time capsule that was buried fifty years ago.
Fifty years ago? Really?
Leading up to this momentous day there were a few news stories about the supposed anticipation that was building as people anxiously awaited the cracking open of the time capsule so they could all see what kinds of things possibly existed in 1965.
Once again. Really?
The news stories also explained that some of the people who were at the recent opening were the same people who put stuff into the time capsule in the first place and were now there, fifty years later, to see the stuff again. In fact one gentleman was dismayed to find out a transistor radio he had given for the time capsule wasn’t in there. Seems someone swiped it fifty years ago.
Someone involved with the event stated: “We found some wonderful artifacts that folks from the prior generation left for us to review and examine.”
Hello!!! Prior generation right here and waving my arms in the air. In fact there are tens of millions of us. We didn’t leave anything yet. We are still here and alive and kicking. Well, alive anyway.
“Hmm….this is a strange artifact.”
“Hey, that’s mine, I’ve been wondering what happened to that. Must have fallen out of my pocket when we were burying the darn capsule.”
Having been born in 1955, I don’t find any of this very exciting. I wasn’t there, but I can imagine that the only people who may have been excited about it were the people who were there when they buried the darn thing in the first place.
I would imagine that upon opening the “ancient” box, wide-eyed grammar school kids standing around waiting to see the mysteries of the past revealed to them, and exposing these items of history to them, a few of them may have said: “Hey, my grandma has one of them.” Or even “Hey, we have one of those in our basement. My mom tried to give it away at a yard sale but no one wanted it.”
The rest of them may have been too busy looking down at their iPhones to have noticed anything at all.
The unearthing of the time capsule had been in the local news for a few weeks leading up to the momentous event.
When all was said and done and the time capsule was finally opened, a local newspaper, the same newspaper that had been making a big deal about the opening of the capsule for weeks, explained in a story that: “Coins, photos, medals and newspapers are just some of the items that were tucked inside.”
A sentence like this can usually be rewritten in one word; “Boring.”
To me, the idea of a time capsule is to bury things that, when dug up so many years later, would be things that were never seen before by anyone who is witnessing the unearthing. Even the oldest person in town should be curious and possibly amazed at some of the things in the capsule. How excited can you get if you might have a coin in your pocket that is older than the one they just dug up?
There is one thing that the digging up of the time capsule did show us. We as a species have certainly become more impatient over the years. In the realm of time capsules, fifty years is truly a form of instant gratification. But that’s just me being a cranky old man, after all I am turning sixty this year.
Now the items in the time capsule will sit on display at the Concord library. People will be able to come and stare at these wonders of the past without having to go to a yard sale or search online on Craigslist.
The most encouraging part of the article though was that the time capsule will be put back into the ground with items suggested by people today so that “…the folks in 2065 will open it up to find out what was important to us today.”
Of course, most of those school kids who will suggest what to put in the time capsule will probably be there to see it when it is opened up in fifty years.
“Hey, where’s the iPhone I put in there? Someone must have stolen the darn thing?”
Of course, there will be some things that will never change.
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