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In Our Time....

October 11, 2012 - Steve Schulwitz
If you were asked to fill a time-capsule which wouldn't be opened for 100 years with items from today what would you include? What would you want to share with people a century from now? What would you want them to know? How would you want to be remembered? The people of Alpena have a chance to answer those questions thanks to a project initiated by PNC Bank in Alpena. The bank is retiring one of its vaults and instead of just closing the door and locking it, they are creating a time capsule which will be filled with items from today, which won't be seen again until 2112.

It really got me thinking as to what I would want included in the capsule and after some serious thought I would want to include as much information possible in terms of world events. I know the history books will cover some of the current events, such as the 2012 presidential election, the struggles in the Middle-East and the most recent recession, but history books can't come close in terms of descriptions of first hand accounts, which I would provide.

There are also other new stories which may be relevant a 100 years from now.

Maybe including data about the battle to keep Asian carp out of the great lakes will be relevant? Only God knows what the ecosystem of the lakes will look like a century from now and as much as I hate to admit it, it is hard to believe we will be able to keep the invasive fish out of the lakes until 2112. I want the future generation to know how the states bordering the great lakes rallied together for a call of action and how the government responded to the threat. People a hundred years from now may not have ever known a lake without the fish. This will help them to understand.

You could also include information about sports, entertainment and other facts. Some sports stories which come to mind is Miguel Cabrera's triple crown season, and the Jerry Sanduski scandal at Penn State.

Gas prices, popular trends, movies, music and books should also be included, as well as photos of today's cars and homes. I know I still enjoy looking at photos from years gone by and I'm sure people in the future will feel the same. That is if photographs as we currently know them still exist.

Including stamps and license plates sound like a good thing to include to me. I'm sure some happy collector would be thrilled to see something so common now, but an oddity on the year 2112.

So what am I going to donate you may ask?

I am going to put a copy of the Oct. 12, 2012 The Alpena News into the capsule, because it features a feature on why the bank chose to create it and to credit those involved. Plus I figured it would be a good way to share my place in Alpena's history.

I am also going to put some sports information and stats, as well as other trivia worthy facts. I'm donating my iPhone 3gs, which has a broken screen and already obsolete, but I'm sure someone may get a kick out of finding a random piece of technology that changed the way people communicated and shared information. I'm also going to include a disk of music created from local musicians. I'm confident a hundred years from now the technology to remove and examine the data will still exist. That might be taken things for granted, but I hope for my great, great, great grandchildren's sake they do.


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