I was engaged in the Paria River Canyon on a hike with my wife 25 years ago. We recreated the concept of digging up Dom from the cult classic movie Fandango to commemorate the event. When we returned to the hike entrance, we celebrated the occasion by opening a uniquely shaped bottle of spirits from Spain and marking the moment. We then wrote notes to each other, buried the bottle, and vowed to return in twenty-five years.
Since then, we have raised three amazing kids, had careers, and lost loved ones. Time goes by so fast. During that time, I was also introduced to what used to be a widespread tradition in new buildings: the time capsule. You can find the story of a time capsule gone wrong here. 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Buried for 50 Years (roadkillcustoms.com). We have put time capsules in only a fraction of our buildings, but when we do, they create a unique, almost sacred moment in our facilities. Most of the time, capsules contain something demonstrating the latest technology, news of the week, popular toys, signs of the times; factory and handmade masks), a Black Lives Matter flag, or Cards against Humanity. Time Capsules don’t have to be nearly as elaborate as sealing an underground capsule; if the items are placed inside the building, a simple metal box would do. Take inspiration from Loveland High Plains School. Loveland’s High Plains School installs time capsule in new addition – Loveland Reporter-Herald (reporterherald.com).
When creating a time capsule, there are a couple of things to consider:
1. Engage the staff and community, but don’t take everything offered. Set a limit so people recognize their submission may not be entered.
2. Keep it small. Cars and tombstones are great, but jump drives, magazines, and games are better.
3. Keep it local; national news is important, but things happening in the vicinity are more exciting to future viewers.
4. Create a plaque. We have all found artifacts in walls, be it beer bottles or cigarette packages, to identify the location.
5. Don’t place items that are already antiques. Items should be from the year the capsule is created.
My wife and I returned to the Paria Canyon and, with the help of Google Earth, were able to roughly determine the location of the spot where we celebrated. With a hand-drawn map/elevation of the ridgeline, we narrowed our search to the tree on the hill. The soil in the canyon is very sandy, and to our shock, after about ten minutes of rummaging, we heard the shovel hit something. To our amazement, the bottle revealed itself in pristine condition. This now sits on our shelf, notes still crammed inside. Those will be opened and read when we depart the earth on our next journey.
Paul Wember, President