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A Personal Time Capsule

We each have a personal history. A lot of mine has been tossed, over the years, into this trunk (or footlocker). In 1963, it was brand new and brought my teen-age belongings to Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since then, it has bounced around in basements and closets. I opened it today, and found my own time capsule.

I'll explain the pictures, if you would like to go back in time with me and help me decide what to keep and what to throw away. The trunk looks a little battered, more than 50 years later.

My dad wrote my address on the trunk, at Freshman Hall, Coe College. 1963. It is poignant to see his handwriting, since he died in 1979.

This is my diplomatic passport. I was 12 years old in 1957 and we were off to Liverpool, England, for my Dad's first Foreign Service assignment. I was excited. Yep, I will keep this. Notice that at one time it was forbidden for US citizens to travel to quite a few countries. Later, many of those restrictions were “voided.”

Yeah....these can go to the shredder. Tax returns from the 60s and 70s....about ten years of them in envelopes like these.

April 1968 We lived in Lawton, Oklahoma. A terrible time.

July 1968. Could it get any worse? I remember the despair I felt, and the fear for the future.

August 1968. This was a terrible year. It seemed like one piece of bad news after another.

In 1975, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series. We lived in Cincinnati then and it was a joyful time.

That team included Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, and Tony Perez.

What do you think? Should I keep this?

1986. A great sorrow. I was inspired to go back to substitute teaching, by Christa McAuliffe.

This Rand McNally guide shows the Twin Towers as they were before 9/11. I am keeping this.

What do you think? Should I keep this from 2020?

As I look through my time capsule, I see many people who have come and gone. Some left the world a better place and we miss them greatly. It amazes me to see how long I have lived, and yet it has been short. I hope I have left the world better in some small way. I also see we have had a lot of suffering, but somehow we keep going. Does it seem to you that some things never change?

Do you have a time capsule at your house?

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