Thursday, March 15, 2012

Do Not Open Until 15 Mar 2112

At West in New England, Bill West has issued The Genealogist's Time Capsule Challenge.

My first thought is how would I insure that anything I set aside now would be kept by the family and yet remain unopened for 100 years. I'm not sure I have a good answer. I could certainly leave instructions in my Will but there would be nothing to stop someone down the line from deciding to get rid of old junk or conversely deciding that there is no reason to wait until 2112 to open it. Perhaps the best way would be to entrust my time capsule to a bank or law firm with sufficient funds for them to maintain its safety and see that my final wishes are followed. I'd make a big deal over it, perhaps have a family ceremony so that the youngest members of the family would remember and pass the story down with promises of riches for family members not yet born. At the ceremony the the box will have already been partiality filled by me and those contents covered and hidden from view. I would ask my grandchildren to each add one item with a note they'd written about it. The final items added to the box would be six silver dollars, one for each grandchild. Not a fortune today but one hundred years from now, who knows?

The first item I would add would be my tell-all auto-biography, a great read for the family historian of the future!

Next will be family photos. I will have to chose carefully or the box will be too large. All will be labeled, however to keep it interesting some of the labels will be just a year and a place, others just initials and a few labeled mere Aunt and Uncle.

Technology changes so incredibly fast but I 'm certain that my descendants could find a way to read a flash drive or DVD one hundred years from now. But to make life easier on them I will include a new laptop. I will include all of the family history research I have done, digital images of old family photos and all of the photos that I culled earlier on a flash drive which will be downloaded just as they are now on my computer, a jumbled mess. I will also backup the files I feel are most important to DVDs.

I will also include items that I think of as family treasure but which don't seem to hold much interest for others.

  • I think my grandmothers pink ball gown will be too bulky to include but I will add her gavel and a photo of her in the gown. Also my grandfather's IOOF ribbon/pin.
  • One of my father's 35mm cameras along with photos of his old box camera and enlarging equipment.
  • A crystal owl and a crystal apple and a note detailing why they were important to me.
  • A pair of gardening gloves.
  • As long as I have provided a means to watch DVDs I will include some of our favorite movies with notes tucked into the cases telling why they are favorites. I know my grandchildren have little patience for old movies so I wonder what my great-great-grandchildren will think of Star Wars, A Walk in the Clouds and Avatar? 
  • My grandfather's Bible and Book of Psalms.
  • Something that I cross stitched. Perhaps the blue bird Christmas wreath that I made for my father years ago.
  • My "Love Boat" pin. No explanation, they'll have to find the photo of me wearing it to learn it's significance.
  • Baby shoes. Will they figure out who they belonged too?
  • Old report cards.
  • The wooden pyramid puzzle made by my father.
  • Grandma Lottie's watch, the one on a chain. Perhaps a descendant will have the initials L. S.
I have a yellow plastic tote that has held craft items for many years and it would be just the right size to hold all of the items listed. Not so small as to be easily lost, yet not so large as to be in the way. It could easy sit on a storage self until the time came to open it.


Barbara Poole said...

Some of the items are so the crystal apple and gardening gloves, I had to smile. Enjoyable reading Apple.

Carol said...

I like your list, and I like that yellow tote idea!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Thanks ladies!