Today was “tax-payin’ day” and it was a gloomy-looking morning, made even gloomier by writing out a check for the Winter taxes.
Anticipating a long line at City Hall, I set out earlier than usual, and it was darker than I like it to be. The street lights were still twinkling as I walked along Fort Street. It was a short walk by my standards – just two miles round trip.
I arrived as they opened and was the first one there. And no one was behind me. Hmmmm. I could have slept in a little longer I guess. I was done and on my way in two minutes.
I didn’t want to head right home and it was too late to walk to the Park, so I dilly-dallied along Southfield Road. Instead of cutting through the neighborhoods, I meandered by the Lincoln Park Historical Museum. This is just a long and fancy name for an old building that used to be the main post office. Inside are artifacts about our City and they have an official curator. Every so often the marquis touts an upcoming ice cream social designed to showcase the museum’s latest historical acquisitions.
In front of the building is a huge, antique-looking, bronze bell from Goodell School. Now, I’ve passed that old bell hundreds of times when I’ve been in the car but never gave it more than a glance. Today I perused it, read the inscription and learned that this sizeable bell was hoisted up and is hanging from a bell tower comprised of reclaimed bricks from all the razed Lincoln Park schools.
I was working at the diner on Summer break from college when Goodell School was torn down to build an A&P grocery store. We were just a block away from the demolition site. People came into the diner crying and carrying bricks they had salvaged from the demolition, and bragging about desks and old blackboards they had rescued that were out in their vehicles. I don’t know if I could have gotten that sentimental over the dusty dregs of school days gone by, but maybe I missed something. I leaned across the counter to see into their cars or looked at their recovered bricks and agreed how lucky they were to find these artifacts.
What caught my eye today was this sign pictured above. It commemorates a time capsule buried within the Goodell Bell Tower. Tonight I Googled around trying to find out more about the time capsule. I never remember reading about it in the local paper. Evidently items were gathered and deposited October 17, 1999 and sealed the first day of the New Millennium. It is slated to be opened in the year 3000. Well, I guess I won’t know what the contents of the time capsule will be and the Historical Society didn’t divulge them either. Kind of leaves me hangin’ a bit – I’m sure I won’t be around to hear about it personally.
On the way home I pondered about what was going on 15 years ago right about now.
We were a world filled with the horror stories of the impending Y2K event and what could or would happen to our computers, clocks and some of our appliances. We were told the power might not come on when the clock struck twelve on January 1st. Power grids would go down like dominos, gas pumps would go offline and computers would malfunction bigtime
At the law firm where I worked, the fear of how Y2K might wreak havoc with our computer system caused the Firm to upgrade to Windows – we had been using a Unix-based system with dummy terminals before that. So, just before the new decade arrived, we all received brand-new Windows PCs. It was the first time most of us had seen or used a mouse or even looked at the internet. Unbelievable isn’t it? I know I held off buying my own first computer until after Y2K had arrived.
I remember watching the news as the New Millennium dawned around the world and the U.S. learned the arrival was perfect in those countries. There was a collective sigh of relief that we were seemingly all unscathed despite all the doomsayers’ dire predictions.
I think we’ve had a few more doomsday stories to contend with since then … but we’re all still here and present and accounted for.
And what were you doing as you awaited the highly-dreaded and greatly anticipated Y2K event?