Volume 9 , Number 10 , Winter 1988
Ive been noticing something interesting lately. Every time I visit the barber, the hair that falls on the sheet that he places around my neck and over my shoulders and chest has been getting increasingly white. At first I thought that it was hair left over from the previous customer. I got a little irritated with Chuck because he hadnt shaken the cloth more carefully. Then I decided that is was my hair, and that I was becoming more blond, perhaps because of the season (exposure to the sun, and all that).
I know the truth of course. It is my hair. It is white, not blond, and I am getting older. Time passes.
The concept of time is an invention of man. Time does not exist unless it can be measured, and man, trying to control and order things in his life, has used his powers of observation and his ability to reason in taming time. We measure time in many ways by seasons, by moons, and more recently, by years. The genealogist thinks in terms of generations, the historian by decades or centuries, and the archaeologist or geologist by millenia. And I have recently become distressed by the slowness of my computerits reaction time to my commands is several nanoseconds slower than the later models. Perhaps I should trade it in...?
Time, of course, is an item of great moment (pun intended) to all of us who are interested in preserving the heritage of our region. A committee of our Society, the Taney County Historical Committee, has chosen to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of Taney County by preserving a number of documents and artifacts in a "Time Capsule," for discovery by people in the 21st century (another measure of time), specifically the year 2037.
As President of the White River Valley Historical Society I wrote a brief letter to be included in the Time Capsule. Addressed to "Historians of the Future," I said, in part, "I extend to you who read this, and who examine the other contents of this vessel, the greetings of our Society. As an organization which believes that our lives today are enriched and improved by a knowledge of the past, we exhort you to maintain for others who follow you information which will preserve the rich tradition of our area the place and people that are the heart of the Ozarks."
One of my favorite writers on the subject of time was The Preacher, the author of the Book of Ecciesiastes. You know the passages to which I refer:
"For everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Amongthe many purposes listed by the Preacher is one particularly appropriate to the time capsule occasion: "A time to keep, and a time to cast away."
The time capsule project, like many others in which our Society is involved, is an enterprise of keeping, and an enterprise of which I am very proud. But the Preacher speaks of other times"A time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted." Seed that is planted germinates and multiplies and increases in value at harvest time. Just as surely will the seed that is planted today be of great worth to those who are fortunate enough to be present at its harvest.
Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this event come about.
This is the text of the remarks which I made at the Time Capsule ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 30, 1988.
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