CDC digs up piece of the past

COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. -- "Hello to children of the future!"

Those were the words that greeted the staff of the Columbus AFB Child Development Center Sept. 13 when a link to the past was discovered.

The 11-year-old time capsule was found while a crew was preparing to bury cables in front of the CDC.

"I was just sitting there, when one of the workers walked in with the old mayonnaise jar in his hands and asked if I knew what it was," said Martha Mann, CDC director. "I told him 'actually I do know what that is.'"

Mrs. Mann was one of the trainers at the CDC in April 1996 when the link to the past was originally tucked away under a newly planted tree outside the CDC main entrance.

A time capsule is a container used to store for posterity a selection of objects thought to be representative of life at a particular time, according to the International Time Capsule Society based in Atlanta, Ga.

"The Corp of Engineers took the capsule back to their office that day to inspect it and brought it back to us the very next day," she said. "Inside of the capsule was a hand-typed note from the children, a small toy pig, finger paintings and quotes from the children."

"This is one of three time capsules the CDC children have buried on base," she said. "There is another one located at the CDC and one in Freedom Park."

"We never really set a date to dig the capsules back up," she said. "The workers just happen to stumble upon this one."

"I remember when we buried that capsule," said Trina Womack, a child care provider at the CDC. "I remember a lot of the kids whose names were in that capsule."

"It seems like that was so long ago," said Mrs. Womack, who still works in the same room, teaching the same age group of children.

"I can't believe those kids are anywhere between 13 and 16 years old now," said Mrs. Mann.

"What I would like to do is have the contents of the capsule mounted and framed to hang in the front lobby," she said.

The discovery has also sparked an interest in tucking away pieces of current history.
"Once we get final word on our accreditation status we would like to bury another capsule," she said.

For more information on building time capsules and famous time capsules visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_capsule.