I started and restarted this installment of “Quick Thoughts of Bacon.” It took an episode of “Girl Meets World” to finalize what I wanted to write about this week. With my youngest home from school due to illness, we were watching a bit of television. She wanted to watch that show, and honestly, it is a pretty great show. Too bad Disney cancelled it.
Time capsules. Who has ever placed something in a time capsule? There are professional time capsules buried in public places across the country. Many historians dismiss these types of time capsules as artificial snapshots of a sterile life. Historian William Jarvis says, “they are typically filled with useless junk, new and pristine in condition that tells little of the people of the time.”
Despite this, we continue to bury these things at nearly every opportunity. There have been some great ones left behind. The Detroit Century Box is one of those. Detroit Mayor, William C. Maybury, sealed it on December 31, 1900, set to open in 100 years. In it were letters and photos from prominent residents of the city describing life in 1900. It was opened in 2000 by Mayor Dennis Archer.
Those are the professional ones. How many of you have made your own time capsules with friends? I know I’ve done it a couple times. I think the first one was way back in the mid-1980s with Steve Stuckey. We buried something in that little section of the woods that jutted into their yard. Several year later, my friend Matt moved into that house and we went digging, looking for it. We never found it. As far as I know, it’s still buried out there.
We used to have a stone driveway at our house. I buried $2 in a Chiclets box in the driveway. It was so many steps from the corner of the garage. It was only in there for a week or so when my dad decided to have the driveway paved. I came home to find that the area where I had buried my money had been scraped and the excess stone hauled away in a dump truck. So much for that $2. It is kind of sad, though. I want my $2.
Sometimes, we make inadvertent time capsules. I had a lock box where I kept some of my “papers.” Being a teenager, they weren’t really all that important. I think there was a picture that our dog chewed on that I was trying to hide, and a commemorative set of coins from the 1980s. It was a present from my MeMe. It used a master combo lock. For a long time, I forgot the combination. Then I found it and was finally able to open the box.
There were things I had forgotten about, including a small journal with some writing I had done. I’m happy to say that I am much improved in that process. It was fun to see some of the stuff in that box that had been hidden for so long.
The same thing happens with my coat pockets. When I grab my winter coat for the first time in the fall, I often find a couple dollars, a lost pen, and occasionally drink chips. One time, I even found a crumpled $10 bill. That was a good find.
How many of you have done a time capsule, either a sanctioned one, or one with friends in the backyard? Have you ever been present for the opening of a time capsule?
Craig Bacon would love to see what people in the future think about the world we live in today.