When Carlynton class officers cracked open a 50-year old time capsule they found it was damaged by water.
By Jamie Wiggan
Two days before they were set to reveal the contents of a 50-year-old time capsule, Carlynton’s senior class officers learned they had been lost to water damage.
The planned unveiling ceremony forged ahead regardless, with a slate of speakers talking up 50 years of success and unity since Carlynton formed in 1971 through a merging of the former Crafton and Carnegie districts.
That unity quickly came via the source of their former rivalry: sports.
“We needed a bond that would bring us together,'' said Daniel Chamberlin of the 1971 graduating class. “…The glue that created this bond was the football team.”
“Our Cougars won the first game 45-16 over South Park [and] we knew we had something.”
Disappointed by the spoiled time capsule contents, the 2021 class officers drew on that Cougar spirit and found a way to salvage the event.
“History allows us to learn from our mistakes,” said Gina Ulizzi, senior class secretary.
Inserted into the exterior wall cavity when the high school building was erected in 1969, the metallic capsule took on water over the years and its contents could not be identified.
According to Senior Vice President Rodrigo Corral, the officers momentarily considered “faking it,” but ultimately landed on a better solution. They gave Chamberlin and fellow 1971 graduate Phyliss Timbario free rein to scour second-hand stores in search of items they felt would best capture their high school years in place of the damaged contents.
Included were, among other things, an analog film camera and a rotary telephone. Chamberlin and Timbario also reminisced on the ring of a hand-held school bell and the 1972 release of Michael Jackson’s debut album “Got To Be There” released by Motown.
“In 50 years, they’re going to open the contents of this capsule. I hope many members of the class of 2021 will be there,” said Timbario. The officers then filled a new capsule — carefully sealed this time — with items reflecting 2021 for a generation of future students to muse over 50 years down the line.
They included a Chrome laptop computer, car keys, a photo of the school board and a mask to mark the coronavirus pandemic.
The students reflected over the changes to society since the school was built and considered what the next 50 years may bring.
“Fifty years ago, computers weren’t even accessible,” said Natalie Lutziv, senior vice president. “…Now with a click of our thumbs, we can find anything we need.”