Monday, December 15, 2014

Digging the past

I see that up in Massachusetts, they are unearthing a time capsule made of cowhide and, so they say, buried at the State House under the "Golden Dome."  Word is, the time capsule dates back to the days of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere and the Raiders, and it was first opened in 1855 to celebrate the birth of Bill Belichick, who always wears a hoodie from that same year. The time capsule is believed to contain old coins that date between 1652 and 1855, an engraved silver Paul Revere plate, newspapers, a Commonwealth seal and a title page from the Massachusetts Colony Records.

As I was writing this, the excavation continues, and the first things that fell out were some old coins, so the hope is that, at least, some folding money will be in there as well, so that the town of Boston can go all out and have a wingding to celebrate.  I can't wait to find out what-else is in there.

Time capsules and buried things from the past fascinate me, and I remember a guy at work who had done some drywall work at Johns Hopkins Hospital here in Baltimore.  Prying open an old wall to be removed, he found a small area where, apparently, a workman in 1908 had his lunch and then plastered in a wall, leaving behind a paper sack and some wax paper that must have held a sandwich or something, a Coke bottle and a 1908 edition of the Baltimore SUN.

I wish I had gotten a chance to see that newspaper to see how hard the Jumble (That Scrambled Word Game) was in those days. Or, if he had found the August 2, 1908 edition of the SUN, he would have read about the new practice of the Baltimore Police. Every morning, all the detectives assembled in a large room, put on face masks, and everyone who had been arrested in the previous 24 hours was trotted in before them so the gumshoes could get a look at them, and see what they were up against in the battle against crime.

I suppose this made a lot of sense in 1908.

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