The Trouble with Time Capsules [POLL]
The idea of the time capsule is enticing. When something of significance is happening, it's natural for people to reflect on the events leading up to it and to have a desire to share those sentiments with future generations.
The problem is...the people responsible for putting together those packages of items representative of those events tend to not be around when the time capsule is discovered, and that can put the discoverers of a time capsule in a bit of a quandary.
They are often left to try to figure out when the time capsule was intended to be opened, and even if it that date is determined, those left in charge of the time capsule still have to decide whether that wish should be honored. The reasons for opting to open it are varied and many with curiosity likely appearing at the top of the list.
I was around in 1986 when the time capsule was placed beneath the statue of William and Charles Mayo at the entrance to the Mayo Civic Center, but I have absolutely no recollection of it even though I probably wrote a news story about the event.
I know quite a bit of thought and discussion must have gone into what items should be placed in the time capsule to give future generations a glimpse of what it was like to live in Rochester during a time of exciting growth and the potential, but everyone seemed surprised when the statue was lifted and the time capsule was exposed.
Over the next few days or weeks, we will certainly hear from people who remember the time capsule or who have researched its origins, but I'm also quite certain that if the Mayo brothers statue had not been moved that time capsule would have remained forgotten past the date it was intended to be opened.
That's why I vote for opening it now. The parallels between today and 1986 are unmistakable. Rochester was going through a transformation in the mid-80's. The flood control project was being built, major downtown redevelopment projects were taking place, and the city was known as both a Boom Town and "The Best Place to Live in America."
Today, the Destination Medical Center plan is creating even more excitement. We are being told the city could grow by 50% in just a few decades and Rochester is appearing at, or near the top of countless "best" lists.
Maybe, after opening it and seeing the contents, the community should create a new time capsule that would have items from both time periods so coming generations could share in the excitement of promising future...or maybe not. What do you think? Should we open it up now, or wait?