— The centennial of Oklahoma statehood was feted by the ceremonious raising of a rolling time capsule in Tulsa: a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere, buried 50 years ago under the city courthouse lawn in a crypt. The bad news: As workers began to unearth the plastic-wrapped two-door hardtop, they discovered the crypt is partly filled with water and the Plymouth was damaged.
Organizers of the annual Tulsarama! festival reportedly were seen crying over the unexpected setback, according to the www.NewsOK.com Web site, a 58-year-old Tulsan Steve Walter, who had watched the car buried as an 8-year-old, took a more philosophical approach: "Fifty years ago I was younger and a little healthier, also. Now, I'm a rust bucket too."
Items buried with the Belvedere include "the contents of a woman's purse" of 1957, consisting of bobby pins, cigarettes, an unpaid parking ticket — and a bottle of tranquilizers — which were packed away inside the Belvedere's glove compartment. Ten gallons of gasoline and 5 quarts of motor oil were also buried in the crypt in case automobiles were no longer using those fuel sources by 2007.
The year 2007 must have looked very far off to the Tulsa city forefathers of 50 years ago.
Back in 1957, citizens were asked to guess what the population of Tulsa would be in 2007. The entries were sealed inside the vault. Assuming they have not been ruined by the water, the closest guess will be identified at the car's unveiling and the entrant, or his or her heirs, will be given the '57 Plymouth as the reward.
The car's public unveiling, took place far from the watery crypt inside the Tulsa Convention Center.