Of­fi­cials Learn City’s Time Cap­sule Miss­ing

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY RIC McGINNIS

With plans rolling full speed ahead and ticket sales pick­ing up mo­men­tum, un­earthing the River­bank time cap­sule this month may have a small hitch in the pro­gram.

The City of River­bank and the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety are team­ing up to recre­ate the fes­tiv­i­ties that were held when con­struc­tion of the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter was com­pleted and the cor­ner­stone put down in Au­gust 1968.

The plaque placed over it in­di­cated it should be un­earthed on Aug. 17, 2018, some 50 years af­ter it was ded­i­cated.

The com­mit­tee or­ga­niz­ing the up­com­ing event, made up

of so­ci­ety mem­bers and city em­ploy­ees, met last week to con­tinue plan­ning for the event.

But there was a bit of bad news from the city por­tion of the com­mit­tee.

Ac­cord­ing to Rich Holmer, His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety trea­surer and its fundrais­ing chair, city staff re­vealed at the meet­ing that there had been a hic­cup in the plan.

“The city told us that they had gone ahead and opened the cor­ner­stone in prepa­ra­tion for the event,” pos­si­bly to see what was there so it wouldn’t be such a sur­prise, he said. But they told him they couldn’t find any sign of the time cap­sule, he told So­ci­ety mem­bers last week.

In think­ing back over his ten­ure as City Man­ager, Holmer noted that many of the peo­ple who were em­ployed by the city over the years in the Pub­lic Works Depart­ment were no longer around to ask. That depart­ment most likely would have been in charge of open­ing it up dur­ing some main­te­nance work.

Many have re­tired, some have moved away, and one of the 30-year veter­ans has passed away.

While the search for in­for­ma­tion goes on, Holmer said, the date of the event is just a few days away.

The com­mit­tee re­port­edly ex­pects to con­tinue work­ing on its event, with the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety mem­bers talk­ing about plac­ing a new time cap­sule there, to be opened in another 50 years.

Also, they are look­ing for items cur­rently at the mu­seum from 1968 to place in the new cap­sule, to go along with present day ar­ti­facts, Holmer said.

One item that quickly comes to mind, he noted, was a Nixon-Agnew pres­i­den­tial cam­paign but­ton from ‘68.

“We’ll have to look around to see what else we have avail­able,” Holmer said.

Plans have shifted to in­clude dis­play­ing the ar­ti­facts that will be buried as op­posed to view­ing those un­earthed, he added, with the items to be on dis­play be­fore the din­ner.

And for­mer City Coun­cil­man Allen Traw­ick, that last re­main­ing mem­ber who helped ded­i­cate the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter in 1968, has been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate.

Though dis­ap­pointed that the orig­i­nal time cap­sule is miss­ing, Holmer said he hopes the event can still be a big fundraiser for the pro­posed an­nex ex­pan­sion to be built next to the mu­seum. The city and the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety plan to split the pro­ceeds from the catered event.

So, with the event a lit­tle more than a week away, ticket sales are con­tin­u­ing. They’re avail­able at City Hall, at the mu­seum dur­ing open hours, and from sev­eral busi­nesses in the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing the Farm­ers In­sur­ance on Santa Fe Street, next to the Plaza del Rio Park.

Sev­eral busi­nesses and civic or­ga­ni­za­tions have pur­chased com­plete ta­bles for eight din­ers to be a part of the event.

From 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., a din­ner and danc­ing will be hosted at the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal cel­e­bra­tion when the now-miss­ing time cap­sule was first buried.

RIC MCGINNIS/THE NEWS

This plaque is on the north­west cor­ner of the River­bank Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, and was put in place in Au­gust 1968. A time cap­sule was said to have been buried in the wall, un­der the plaque. The City and the River­bank His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety had planned to...

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