What Hap­pened At The Com­mu­nity Cen­ter?

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY RIC McGINNIS

It may not be up there along­side the world’s great­est mys­ter­ies — things like the Da Vinci Code, the Ber­muda Tri­an­gle, or Who Framed Roger Rab­bit, but the un­veil­ing com­mit­tee is still won­der­ing — what hap­pened with the Time Cap­sule?

It was sup­posed to be safely en­sconced be­hind the com­mem­ora- tive plaque at the north­west cor­ner of the River­bank Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, placed there 50 years ago when the build­ing was ded­i­cated, in 1968.

When city crews ear­lier this month went to pre­pare for the open­ing of the con­tainer, so that the an­niver­sary event wouldn’t drag out while it was be­ing un­cov­ered, what they un­cov­ered in­stead was a mys­tery. They were able to go into the hid­den space from in­side the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. But when they opened up the wall, they were sur­prised to find the box be­hind the plaque there, with an open end, show­ing that noth­ing was in­side. No time cap­sule.

The find puts some­what of a damper on the fes­tiv­i­ties planned for this Satur­day, Aug. 17, the 50th an­niver­sary of the ded­i­ca­tion of the Cen­ter.

Orig­i­nally, the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, a part­ner­ship be­tween the City of River­bank and the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, planned a splashy re­cov­ery of the cap­sule, open­ing and dis- play­ing its con­tents. They ex­pected to show off what was placed in­side, demon­strat­ing what city res­i­dents and of­fi­cials thought was rep­re­sen­ta­tive of life in 1968.

The open­ing was sched­uled for 3:30 p.m. Satur­day, fol­lowed by a pub­lic dis­play of the con­tents in­side the Cen­ter. It was to be fol­lowed by a din­ner and danc­ing from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Last week, the com­mit­tee de­cided to put be­hind them the fault for the loss, de­cid­ing it could have hap­pened as long ago as in the first year, or as re­cently as last month. They chose to move ahead with the din­ner-dance, since it was in­tended as a fundraiser, to be split be­tween the city and the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, who would add their por­tion to the fund cre­ated to build an an­nex to the mu­seum in down­town. So the din­ing and danc­ing will go on as sched­uled, cel­e­brat­ing the 50 years of the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, with a toast to the next 50

hap­pen­ing some­time dur­ing the evening.

Re­mod­el­ing of the Cen­ter, with im­prove­ments, ad­just­ments and mod­i­fi­ca­tions planned, is to be­gin in Septem­ber. When it is time to reded­i­cate the up­graded build­ing, they hope to have gath­ered mem­o­ra­bilia and other items from the com­mu­nity, both present day

and from around 1968, to put in an­other time cap­sule.

To be opened in an­other 50 years.

It was learned at the com­mit­tee meet­ing that city staff has lo­cated the min­utes of the orig­i­nal com­mit­tee meet­ings back in the sum­mer of 1968. One page notes fi­nal plans for the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony, which in­cluded a din­ner and dance, with mu­sic by Los Gilgueros, a Mari­achi Band, and by the Hank De

Coito Band, to play mu­sic of the era.

An­other note in­di­cates some of the items to be put in the Cor­ner­stone Time Cap­sule: A copy of the project pro­posal, pic­tures of the var­i­ous stages of con­struc­tion, mes­sages from each coun­cil­man and the mayor, and copies of the Aug. 17, 1968 is­sues of the River­bank News, the River­bank In­de­pen­dent (a ri­val paper pub­lished at the time), and the Modesto Bee.

RIC MCGINNIS/THE NEWS

The com­mit­tee or­ga­niz­ing the 50-year cel­e­bra­tion of the ded­i­ca­tion of the River­bank Com­mu­nity Cen­ter meets to dis­cuss plans. They in­clude ad­just­ing the event’s sched­ule in light of the rev­e­la­tion that its time cap­sule, re­port­edly buried at the cor­ner­stone in 1968, was re­cently found to be miss­ing. Com­mit­tee mem­bers in­clude Allen Traw­ick, city coun­cil­man at the time of the orig­i­nal ded­i­ca­tion; His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety mem­bers Rich Holmer, Paulette Roberson, Mary Banda; So­ci­ety Pres­i­dent Kristin Platts; City Parks De­part­ment Direc­tor Sue Fitzpatrick and City Ad­min­is­tra­tive An­a­lyst Norma Tor­res-Man­riquez.

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