My family made a time capsule over a decade ago and, while I’m pretty sure we opened it, I have no memory of anything coming out of it that was particularly exciting. There were photos and toys and stuff that aged in a box as we aged in real life. It wasn’t disappointing but it didn’t quite barrel me over with memories.
Time capsules seem like a lost art, forgotten on our fast forwarding through time. Now, with Timehop and Facebook’s required time machining, there may never be a reason to make a time capsule ever again. But have you met Rodney Wheller? He might change your mind.
Thanks to Paleofuture’s highlighting, Wheller is a 93 year old man who has been having a tough go of things. His wife recently died and he broke both his hips and he’s generally alone in his old age. When a local middle school was being demolished, a time capsule from the thirties without any connection to the past was unearthed and people went searching for anyone connected to it.
“It felt kind of good just hearing those names again,” he explained of his encountering the photo of his old class. You can see in his squints and smiles that this photo—this little, trivial thing from a time capsule—meant so much to him. It’s the sort of heartwarming boost that can keep you literally alive in tough times. “I feel very lucky,” he said. “I had a bad last year.”
Watch the video below and well up with him. And maybe consider making a time capsule? I definitely want to revisit the practice.