Unearthed time capsule is a gift from the grave

PHOENIX (NBC/KPNX) — Construction crews break down walls and gut houses everyday across the country, but a time capsule was recently discovered at a Phoenix home.

And the efforts to track down the family who buried it way back in 1966 pay off.

Sometimes in life, we draw up blueprints, but fate has other plans.

“Wow, I think I’m just going to value things a little bit differently,” said contractor John Murray.

That lesson hit home recently for Murray.

You see, while knocking down walls of this 1950s North Phoenix four-bedroom, Murray discovered the contents of a partially opened time capsule.

“It was on the floor over there with a pile of insulation,” said Murray. “We’ve done hundreds of houses but never found anything like this.”

There was a photo and an open letter, written for a future generation.

“The date is Sept. 27, 1966 ….”

The message penned by a 33-year-old Betty Klug.

We did some digging and located Bruce Klug, Betty’s husband, now 79 years old and living in Scottsdale.

As Murray presented the contents of the time capsule to Bruce, it turns out he was unaware his wife left it behind in the house that he sold off in the 1980s. And the letter … written the day he turned 31.

The letter would become a delayed birthday gift to Bruce because 10 years after she deposited the time capsule in the walls of their home, Betty died in a car crash.

“I don’t know how I did it — went back to work within a week,” recalls Bruce. “We had the best marriage. Not once did we argue about anything.”

For a few moments on this afternoon, this letter would unearth old memories — each sentence prompting a precious recollection.

Time capsules provide observations about politics and culture, but Bruce says if there’s a message here, it is to value who you love.

Because as Bruce will tell you: Things don’t always go as you planned.

“I enjoyed it. Thanks,” said Bruce. “It’s been an awesome experience for sure.”

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