Man receives letter from time capsule hidden by his deceased wife

In 2014, builder John Murray and his team were renovating a home in North Phoenix, Arizona, something they'd done many times before over the years. But this time was going to be different. There was a very unexpected treasure awaiting them in the walls of this 1950s ranch house.

As the workers were removing old insulation, a bundle of papers fell towards them out of one wall. The men looked more closely at the pages and photographs and realized it was a time capsule from the 1960s!

Sometimes people bury, hide — or as in this case, wall in — letters, notes, or pictures intending for them to be dug out at some later date. It's a kind of message to the future, to their future self or perhaps their loved ones, and a chance later to hear from themselves out of the distant past. 

“We’ve done hundreds of houses, but never found anything like this,” explained John. The capsule was created in 1966 by Betty Klug. At the time she was 33 years old and she never told anyone about it, not even her husband Bruce.

In fact, the capsule was intended to be a gift for Bruce: she hid it on his birthday, September 27, in the year 1966 with the idea of someday — decades later — bringing it out for him. Her handwritten letter is addressed to him.


But Betty died tragically in 1976 in a car accident. Bruce sold the house in the 1980s and left North Phoenix, and so the time capsule stayed hidden all those years, seemingly lost forever. Until the home renovation crew happened upon it.

After giving it some thought, John and his team decided that they needed to try to find the rightful owner of this very personal letter and accompanying photographs. They did a lot of tedious research and then at last they tracked down Bruce Klug, now nearly 80 years old and living not too far away in Scottsdale, Arizona. John made an appointment to meet him in person.

Bruce could simply not believe what John placed on the table in front of him when they sat down at a cafe together. His hands shook as he opened the envelope. A greeting from the past and a piece of history.

"The Vietnam War is still going on," he read in Betty's familiar handwriting. "Racial situation very serious. Boys have long hair resulting from the Beatle craze."

“We had the best marriage,” recalled Bruce in an interview. “Not once did we argue about anything.” He was incredibly grateful to John for going to all the trouble to find him and bring him this extraordinary gift from the past.

It can teach us all a lesson about appreciating the ones we love now while we have them. And cherishing the gestures of love that we receive, whether they're from far gone days like this or from right now. 

It's so sad and yet beautiful too. Since we can't always count on the message getting there 50 years later, we should make sure to express our love to those we care about — today!


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