Read and Buried

Making a mark in Denver history

You have three more days to become a part of history. Because after December 31, Denver's electronic time capsule project will be history.

Over the past thirteen months, Denverites have posted their memories of the city and made predictions for its future on the Celebrate 2000 E-Time Capsule portion of the city's Web site (denvergov.org). These electronic memories will be printed out and included in a three-dimensional time capsule that's slated for burial on New Year's Day.

(Where, exactly, it will be buried has not been announced; presumably, the city will be more careful than it was when it buried a time capsule somewhere near the then-spanking-new, now-doomed-to-be-defunct Currigan Hall back in 1969. Late last week, the city was still looking for that capsule, which was reported to contain such fascinating items as three-decades-old copies of the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News, a Bible, and a newspaper from the long-gone Colorado Women's College.)

Jay Vollmar

Details

Through December 31 at denvergov.org
 

In the meantime, you can add to the city's current collection or simply read what's already been posted. For example:

"One of my more interesting memories was Y2K, December 31, 1999. I was 'invited' to be in the command center at Denver Health to help monitor the millennium change. Because of riots after the last two successful Denver Super Bowls, city officials, rightfully, were very nervous. But fortunately, all our Y2K work was done and the police presence large, so I spent the night watching TV and surfing the Net. Yes, Denver was one of the more boring places for Y2K, but we were grateful for peace and quiet!"

Memories of the previous turn of the century inspired this entry: "My father was born in Creede, CO, in August of 1899. His father was born in Central City in 1863. They are two important figures in Colorado history to me because of their heritage here and their contributions to the community. My father lived to be 93 years old and shared many great stories of growing up in the mountains and in Denver. He saw the first airplane attempt to fly in Denver; the pilot was killed, and his father told him, 'Man was not meant to fly.' He shared this story with me as we watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon on our color TV in Denver."

Other residents offer fond memories of the downtown Woolworth's, the original Elitch's, concerts at Red Rocks, flowers at City Park, assorted Super Bowl celebrations and other historic moments, such as the day Amendment 2 was overturned. "It showed that Denverites would live in a community as a whole and not separated by sex, religion or any other nonsense," writes one correspondent.

One writer notes the changes along 16th Street since the days when her grandmother used to take her to lunch at the Denver Dry Tea Room: "I wore my little white gloves and ate the chicken a la king, which I thought millionaires would surely eat three times a day. We went ice-skating, too, and had hot cocoa outside. Now I enjoy taking my lunch wandering on the 16th Street Mall, enjoying the new culture that has taken residence there."

As for the future, here's fourteen-year-old Anthony's submission: "I've never been to Denver, but I have always been fascinated by its old-Western history. I've kept nagging my mom to go to Denver for the past three years."

Even though Anthony has never set foot in Denver, his predictions for the city in 2010 indicate that he's got its number: "Denver would probably have 100-story-tall buildings, cars that do that 23rd-century thing, and Denver would probably be the center of the world economy. But hey, Denver will always be Denver, that really nice Midwestern city, with its huge mountains and really nice people."

Happy new year.

 
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