Monday, August 10, 2009

Time Capsule - Breckenridge Colorado

The Summit Daily News reports on a 100-year time capsule which has been unearthed and is being prepared for re-burial.

Hundreds of spectators gathered Saturday morning at the cornerstone of Summit County Courthouse for a historic Masonic ceremony and presentation of a 100-year-old time capsule's contents.

The little copper box — which had been cracked open in advance — has preserved coins, samples of bonds, maps, a book of poems and copies of local newspapers from 1909 in mint condition.

Locals and visitors of all ages watched from the courthouse lawn as a series of bag-pipers and Masons adorned with jewels and white aprons walked up Lincoln Avenue to the courthouse cornerstone.

What is it with these Masons? Why are they always around the time capsules?

Charles Johnson, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Colorado, led the same ceremony presented at the site in 1909 — as well as at cornerstone ceremonies for the Colorado State Capitol and the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

There it is. What I've suspected all along. The Masons have discovered the secret of immortality. The statement clearly says Charles Johnson was present at the 1909 ceremony, inference being that he personally will oversee the 2109 festivities as well.

Breckenridge Mayor John Warner spoke of the town in 2109, when the new time capsule will presumably be opened. “I think our forests are going to be beautiful in 100 years,” he said, alluding to the post-mountain pine-beetle generation of vegetation. He said he foresees a more “sustainable and diverse community” with more workforce housing and childcare. Transit will be further developed, and communities will be more “walkable.”

They're putting the usual items in the copper box, including several DVDs. It makes you think about the rate with which technology is improving. Is it really faster these days? In 1909, I suppose they had 78-RPM records made out of thick hard plastic. That was probably the state of the art audio technology for decades before it was replaced by a similar product. As it turns out, our cassette tapes or DVDs have had a similar longevity before being replaced by similar products. So maybe in 100 years, the future folks of Breckenridge Colorado will have to recruit the services of an antique dealer or an expert in audio and video equipment in order to view today's DVDs.

What do you think? Is the mayor of Breckenridge too optimistic? How do you see the America of 2109? Will cities like Breckenridge in the Rocky Mountains escape the unstoppable degradation of larger urban centers?

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