Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Feb. 28, 2000

Grandpa and the time capsule

By Alvin (Bill) Patrick, Minneapolis

My name is Alvin William (Bill) Patrick and I am the grandson of Alvin (Jake) Dristy Patrick, who was the custodian for the Howard Lake High School for many years.

As a youth, although I lived in Minneapolis, I spent most of my weekends, holidays and summers with my grandparents, Alvin and Abigail Patrick, and my constant playmate, Jerome E. Rasmussen.

I believe I spent as much time in the buildings of the old school as any of the students.

Among other things that I learned with Grandpa, was how to strip and varnish, what seemed to be an endless series of floors in a never ending number of rooms, with uncountable desks held firmly to the floor with unyielding screws.

Revarnish-ing the gym took an eternity. I was also the chief member of the coal gang for the coal furnaces in the basement.

Rasmussen (Howard Lake Class of '48) who now resides in Waverly, and myself, were always welcome to use the undersides of the woodworking benches in the woodworking and cream-testing room, in the basement of the old school house, as ships of our own liking to sail the make believe seas to many a far away port.

My grandfather would frown on us being pirates, but we would manage to hi-jack a Spanish galleon or two.

He would send us to Jungclaus's general store (straight south across the highway from the old hardware store) for a dime's worth of Spanish peanuts, that were scooped out of a large open barrel, which we then turned into wormy salt pork and

Water, which we got from the faucet beside the hand-driven centrifuge that was used to check milk for butterfat, had to suffice for grog.

At any rate, when I was about 4 years old, one morning at the schoolhouse, my grandfather handed me a shovel and said we had to go dig a hole for a "time capsule."

Not being much of an authority on time capsules at the time, I was unsure as to what adventure we were off to.

However, my grandfather had never let me down nor asked me to do anything I could not do, so I shouldered the shovel and we headed for the northwest corner, outside of the gym.

On that corner, he helped me dig a hole and if my memory serves me correctly, we placed a silver appearing tube in the ground and covered it up.

As we were leaving, as was his custom in times of such import, he lit up his pipe and said to me, "I won't be here when they dig this up, but in the year 2000, you be sure and come and see what is inside. I snuck a picture of you in there".

At the time, maybe 1935 or 1936, neither the meaning that Grandad would not be there, nor what the year 2000 could possibly be, was in my sphere of knowledge.

I do remember wondering if Grandad was going to move to the school in Cokato where my other grandparents lived, since he wasn't going to be around when that silver tube was opened. I could not fathom that Grandad would not always be around.

So, I would very much wish to be present when that capsule is opened.

I don't want to miss the event, as I am as positive as can be, that this was one of the few times my grandpa was in error.

Grandpa will be there, waiting and looking for me to arrive, leaning on a shovel with his pipe in his hand.


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