Take one time capsule and call me in the morning (or next year)

May 29, 2020
By Dale Kovar

A former co-worker once mentioned that she and her husband have a tradition of every New Year’s Eve they write down some predictions for the coming year and seal them in an envelope. Then the next New Year’s Eve they review what they said, and do it again.

I doubt they saw this year’s pandemic situation coming.

Time capsules, marking a given point in history to be viewed later, are an interesting tool.

I’m reminded of when our local cities went through their centennials and buried time capsules for future generations to look back on how things were.

I highly favored the 25-year time capsule over the 100-year plan. At least in 25 years, there would be good likelihood that a number of people originally involved would still be around to reminisce.

In 100 years, no such luck. And besides, who’s going to be able to play a VHS tape anyway?

Our family did our own quirky time capsule once. I’m not sure how it started, but on our youngest son’s 16th birthday we decided to stash away a pack of Twinkies to be opened on his 35th birthday, just to see what shape they would be in.

I admit we partially cheated and took a look at them on his 21st birthday. They were already somewhat solidified, but we left them in the original wrapper, put away again until 2033.

That brings us back around to this year.

In March as the world changed before our eyes with the COVID-19 epidemic, we asked you readers to start saving some memories – a journal, photo collection, videos, etc. – that we could eventually publish in a special “We’re Back!” section. (Yes, I know a printed newspaper can’t run video but we do have a website.)

At the time, we thought it would be, at worst, a few weeks. Like waiting out a tornado in the basement or getting plowed out after a blizzard, it seemed like it would be a relatively short-term problem.

Now our summer events are either wiped out or crippled beyond recognition. The Class of 2020 graduates will be remembered for more than just a cool-numbered year. Athletes have lost eligibility for seasons that never took place.

And we’re praying that it’s only summer that we’ve lost, not more than that.

We do hold that hope, and so this is a reminder to please document your memories of this abnormal point in history – on paper, photos, video.

We still intend to celebrate one day, hopefully not that long away, with a special “We’re Back!” newspaper section that years and decades from now you can share with your descendants about this crazy time we all went through.

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