Archive for Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Greensburg rubble yields time capsule

June 19, 2007


— School officials here are trying to figure out what to do with a small time capsule found earlier this month as workers were demolishing the town's high school, severely damaged in the May 4 tornado that destroyed most of the town.

The copper box sealed with lead was hidden in one of Greensburg High School's cornerstones in 1937 to commemorate the construction of a new auditorium.

School district Superintendent Darin Headrick said the box could be opened as part of the town's Fourth of July celebration or during a town hall meeting on July 9.

Headrick said discovering what's inside the time capsule could provide a needed boost for residents as they try to rebuild the town, more than 90 percent of which was destroyed by the tornado that killed 10 people.

But Headrick also said he didn't want to get people's hopes up.

"It could be really cool. It could be, 'Oh, wow - that's all that's in there?' he said. "I don't want to be promoting this like we just found the Holy Grail."

Greg Henshall, a photographer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, spotted the time capsule while documenting the removal of an engraved cornerstone at the high school.

Kenny Cesmat, 16, reached in between the bricks and was the first to touch the box in 70 years. "It's pretty heavy, so it could be anything in there - maybe a load of cash or some pretty important documents," he said.

Cesmat, like most Greensburg residents, lost his house in the tornado. His parents have since gone back to work and he said he'll likely spend the summer helping with reconstruction work.

"You go day to day with nothing to do," he said, "and these little things brighten your day."


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