Ridge Writers, library to host teen essay workshop for time capsule

Ridge Writers, in partnership with the Ridgecrest Branch of the Kern County Library, will host a Time Capsule Essay workshop for residents aged 12-17 on Saturday afternoon, July 27, and Tuesday evening, July 30.

The resulting essays will become part of the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert time capsule to be buried in conjunction with the Ridgecrest’s 50th anniversary celebration this fall.

Participants may attend either of the two identical sessions, but must sign up at the library in advance. Refreshments will be served, and the workshops will run from 3-5 p.m. on July 27 and 6:30-8 p.m. on July 30.

Each session will begin with a brief demonstration and discussion of carbon paper, a typewriter brush, a phonograph record, an Edison cylinder and other state-of-the-art items in their day that have since become obsolete or nearly so.

The teen essayists will then write about life in Ridgecrest today for a 2063 audience, paying special attention to describing things they have and do now and how they use them, for example “texting.”

Anyone who does not complete an essay during the first session may finish at home but must submit the completed version no later than Sept. 1. Each teen who contributes an essay will receive a certificate confirming participation in the time capsule.

Any younger resident who wants a role in the time capsule is invited to make a 3- by 5-inch index card, with a photo of something in Ridgecrest that the youngster don’t want to go away and a description on the back of what the item is, where it is and how it is used.

The words may be typed and pasted on the card but may not exceed the dimensions of the card and should include the name and age of the young author. Completed cards should be handed in to the library no later than Sept. 1.

“Kids really should get involved,” said Ridge Writers president Gary Hareland. “They’ll be around when the time capsule is opened on Nov. 1, 2063, and they’ll bring their children to the ceremony. Think how much more it will mean to them if their observations and memories are inside.

“By the way,” Hareland added, “the essays will go into the capsule in three forms: print, on a CD and on a thumb drive. Call it our challenge to 2063.

“Will they be able to read a thumb drive or CD a half-century from now? Maybe. Maybe not. But paper will last.”

There is no charge for participating in the workshops or index card project. For further information, call the Ridgecrest Branch Library, 760-384-5870.

Story First Published: 2013-07-17