By Freedom Newspapers
The passage of time was evident in several ways Friday at a ceremony to open a time capsule buried 50 years ago by Clovis leaders.
First, not surprisingly, no one present at that long-ago burial event was there, only a few of their kinfolk.
Second, the unearthing occurred on the 100th anniversary of the day the first plat of Clovis was filed.
Next was the dank odor that permeated the air of the main Clovis Fire Department station on the southwest corner of Fourth and Mitchell. The container had been buried near the southwest corner on June 8, 1957, when the building served as City Hall. The sour smell grew to nose-wrinkling strength immediately after the contents, all made of paper, were slid gently from their badly rusted metal cylinder.
Last was the simplicity of the stored contents, unknown until their rotted cardboard outer wrapping was peeled away. The items included copies of the Clovis News-Journal from June 5 and 7 of 1957, and a Clovis 50th Anniversary Booklet, known as the city’s “Golden Anniversary.” Also inside: minutes from a City Commission meeting, budget information that shows Clovis’ 1956 assessed value was $16.3 million, a city payroll list, a half dozen silica gel drying packets that hadn’t lasted during the capsule’s five decades underground, and a ragged and indecipherable piece of paper.
The wet documents were hard to read. Everything will need to dry fully before being displayed later this centennial year at Clovis-Carver Public Library, said 100th Anniversary Committee Chairman Raymond Mondragon.
Such an exhibit will be invaluable. The citizens and neighbors of Clovis can learn about their forebears and the events they participated in that shaped this community. Those documents are tools we each can use to define our tomorrows and set the quality standards for Clovis’ second 100 years.
Now that we know what was important to our predecessors to share with us, our next challenge is to determine what we put in the next time capsule. Your suggestions are needed.
Send the suggestions to: Next Time Capsule, 100th Anniversary Committee, City Hall, 321 N. Connelly St. Or send them to: Publisher, Clovis News Journal, 521 Pile St. We will forward them to the committee. E-mails also are welcome.
So far, suggestions include a 100th anniversary coin and lapel pin, several photographs, coins from Cannon Air Force Base’s old and new missions — the 27th Fighter Wing and 16th Special Operations Wing — a copy of the 100th anniversary history book and DVD to be released during Pioneer Days in June (along with a laptop computer to play the DVD), a dry copy of the newspaper, copies of the agenda and proclamation and speeches for Friday’s ceremony, a cell phone and even a bottle of bourbon.
A date to bury the new time capsule is not set, but October has been mentioned. And the size of the next time capsule is certain to be flat and larger, just looking at items mentioned so far.
Plus its location, a dry wall inside the library, means a fireproof time capsule should minimize odors.
As Mayor David Lansford said Friday, “What we are today, I believe, is a reflection of what we were then. … Our challenge is to remain a community we are all proud to call home.”
Tell us what item suggests that to you.