Saturday, December 22, 2018

Burying Time
The people are town tax collector Mary Hart Foyt, left, and town clerk Barbara Serfilippi. The date is Dec. 28, 1999. The place is not a cemetery, however, but the front lawn of the Ridgefield Community Center. 
The two are helping bury a time capsule in connection with Festival 2000, the town’s rather extensive celebration of the “new millennium,” and Scott Mullin was there to photograph the event for The Ridgefield Press.
The 124-page commemorative book for Festival 2000 says the capsule was “filled with mementos from our schools, organizations and individuals” and was designed to be exhumed in 50 years.
“And what will Ridgefield be like in 2050?” the book asks. “That’s easy. It will be a charming New England town with gorgeous, tree-lined streets, a bustling core of shops and a vibrant arts community.”
If you are wondering why the capsule looks like a burial vault, it’s because it IS a burial vault. Dan Jowdy of Kane Funeral Home, who donated the vault, explains: “It was a Wilbert ‘air tight, water proof’ burial vault that normally a casket would go into prior to burial.  Most often a vault is required to maintain the integrity of the grave site...Some are not air tight/water proof.  This one is cited by the manufacturer to be.  The only air in the space is the air that was in the box when sealed.”
 Thus, if anyone in 2050 remembers the 2000 time capsule — and where, exactly, it was buried, the contents are likely to be well preserved. However, the exhumers may have a tough time getting to the contents. According to Danny, “The vault is constructed with concrete, reinforced with steel rods and bands.  There is a fiberglass seamless box with in and base and one under the lid.  With the tongue and groove design, the company fills the groove with an epoxy before setting it on the base and then the tongue and groove with the epoxy creates or binds the top piece with the bottom piece.”
Sounds like a jackhammer will be needed.

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