By Kevin Kelley
Mike Green, the city’s now-retired traffic engineer, first got the idea for a time capsule in 1980 when he was painting the ceiling in the community room in the basement of City Hall.
While replacing ceiling tiles, he decided to put an envelope up there with some items of the day.
“When I retired in 2011, I went to the section where I thought it was and couldn’t find it,” Green said. “So I figured someone got rid of it.”
About a year later, a former city colleague called him to tell him that his envelope had in fact survived.
Monday evening a formal time capsule, actually a fire safety box, was formally dedicated in the lobby of City Hall beneath the front staircase. Now under the control of the Fairview Park Historical Society, the capsule will be opened in 50 years. A plaque will mark the capsule’s location so it is not forgotten over time.
Former Mayor Karl Kubb joined current Mayor Eileen Patton and about a dozen city officials and residents for the dedication.
Calling his Fairview Park time capsule project “A Time That Lives Forever,” Green expressed the hope that future generations will keep the project going every 50 years.
In addition to city-related memorabilia, the capsule contains everyday items from the past 50 years, some of which already qualify as historical relics. Among them, are a 45 rpm single record of the Beatles hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” a Kodak Instamatic X-15 film camera with a cube flash bulb and a 1950s-era federal government publication on protection from radiation fallout from a nuclear attack.
Green said the time capsule was a fun project to take on.
“It’s somewhat sad, though, that I won’t be here to see it open, but I’ll be here in spirit,” Green said.