Hillsville’s 50-year time capsule was eased into its Main Street vault Saturday afternoon. Unlike energetic science fiction time machines, its journey into the future, like its predecessor, is propelled largely by patiently waiting as years pass. Unspoken was a combination of anticipation and uncertainty on what exactly the future will hold for the 25-pound vessel which contained more than 100 local items.
Local Attorney Tom Jackson served as emcee. He told participants at the ceremony the new capsule was made from a length of PVC pipe which was sealed in with special sealant threaded into the stoppers to ward off moisture. Jackson currently owns the building where the former Carroll Drug was located – now A Shining Star Salon & Spa – and the time capsule that came with it.
“It’s (also) going to be caulked on the top. A new plaque will sit on top of the old one so that when they take it out they will be able to see the history of what’s gone on, which is really neat,” said Jackson. “This has been quite an adventure for us. I want to thank Mayor (Gregory) Crowder, Town Council, (Police) Chief Wesley Yonce for all the cooperation so we would be able to do this around the Cruise-In and make it work. When we pulled the other one out of the ground there was a lot of moisture in the contents. It was metal with soldering around the top and 50 years of water had gotten down in it.”
Jackson praised the work of Shelby Inscore Puckett and Delilah Brady to restore the water-soaked items from the earlier capsule. He said the two “spent hours and hours up in my conference room ironing some of the papers to dry them.” He also praised Mava Vass for collecting items from local businesses for the new capsule. He thanked School Board Vice Chair and the Board for getting items from kids in the community and the school system to put in the new capsule.
“They preserved about 90 percent of what was in there. There was very little we totally lost. I have to say Jody Early’s family went up there with us that night. We didn’t know what to do. It was all stuck together,” recalled Jackson. “One of Jody and Susan’s sons said you were supposed to separate the items. We did that. It turned out it was the right thing to do. It was a lucky thing we had the right people there to decide.”
He said one thing which impressed him was in 50 years two things which hadn’t changed were how important family is and how citizens still care deeply about family and the new capsule includes a lot about family as well.
“We also have our faith in our community that means a lot to us. Economics of our community is constantly changing. I said in The Carroll News interview in some ways 50 years ago was easier for local people because they had all the manufacturing plants around here. There was a lot of them around here and they are gone now. We’ve had to make other arrangements with what we do to support our families and make things work as a community,” Jackson said. “The elected officials have had to work hard to adapt to the new local economy – the challenges of living where we live and not having the IBM factory next door to us.”
Jackson said he felt both of these points stands for the perseverance of the community and regardless, citizens have hung in there as a community and still are able to make things work long term.
“The thing I love about this community is we still care about each other and have time to take food to someone who’s lost a loved one. We are not disconnected from each other like in other parts of this state and other parts of the country. I hope we don’t lose that in 50 years. I think that’s critical to the community,” Jackson said.
He thanked Bill Gallimore and his work on bringing the first capsule out and to the construction of the new capsule. He praised DLB for making the pipe available and McMillian Welding for the substances which will make the vault moisture proof and Thomas Automation for the new plaque which covers the vault. He praised the work of The Carroll News on sharing stories on the capsule’s contents and keeping citizens informed on what was going on.
“I hope newspapers will continue to be important. I wrote a little thing to put in there,” Jackson said. “I’m not sure a law practice will be important in 50 years. It may all be done by what they call Artificial Intelligence. I don’t know about you all but it’s hard for me to imagine what 50 years will be like. We’re so uncertain in these times. I don’t know where we are headed. I’m sure based on what came out of the last one and what went into this one….we’re going to be okay. The nice thing is if we messed up any of the things we put in here, we’re going to be dead and gone. It’s one of the few times in my life I can say I have no liability whatsoever!”
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave