2020 has been a truly historic year. Sure, history books will try to do it justice. But what memories would you choose to preserve for future generations? We asked Toledoans, “If Toledo made a time capsule to be opened in 50 years, what would you place inside?” Here’s what they said:

Haley Taylor, 28
Producer, WGTE
A letter to the finder of the time capsule as to what you hope the future looks like. It’s the personal touches that make it count.

Wade Kapszukiewicz, 47
Mayor of Toledo
A broken heart. After COVID-19, the economic collapse, police protests, the arrest of four members of City Council and the death of Officer Anthony Dia in the line of duty, nothing else comes close to representing the civic emotion of 2020.

Nicole Czerniawski, 45
Face mask. I chose this item because it is a symbol of protection, respect, love and care and something that each citizen has the power to live out during times of a pandemic.

Adam Levine, 33
Director, Toledo Museum of Art 
A TMA reopening t-shirt and a photograph of Bisa Butler’s ‘The Storm, the Whirlwind, and the Earthquake’. The t-shirt, with its playful graphic reminding visitors to keep social distance, speaks to the intrepid work of the Museum staff in reopening to the public against the backdrop of COVID-19.  The photograph of this extraordinary artwork, the first acquisition of my tenure, engages both to the current protests for racial equality around the country and to the long history of systemic racism that we must seek to overcome.

Michael DeSanto, 38
Executive Director, FilmToledo
A sample of the algae from Lake Erie. As an example of the environmental difficulties we faced in the Toledo/NW Ohio region at the time, a problem that will hopefully not exist in 50 years.

Michael Murray, 75
A printed copy of the Toledo Blade. A printed newspaper will soon be extinct. My first job at 12 years old was delivering newspapers.

Lee Ann Song, 26
An album of photos of parks, people, restaurants and other Toledo landmarks. I’ve always loved looking back through old photos and seeing how people and places change over time.

Randy Oostra, 65
President and CEO, ProMedica
A ProMedica op-ed article calling for the establishment of a National Commission to redesign America’s health care model. In 2020, COVID-19 further exposed the urgent need to address the health and social disparities that plague Toledo and communities all across our nation. The hope is that in 50 years, we will find it difficult to imagine a time when our country’s health care model did not address the social factors that significantly impact health outcomes.

Matthew Boyd, 57
A Toledo Mud Hens baseball hat.

Patsy Nitz, 68
A face mask and current COVID-19 statistics.

Dennis Bova, 68
Former Assistant News Editor, The Toledo Blade
A cell phone and a facial mask. It seems more business than usual is being done in 2020 by a cell phone, and the facial mask is a symbol not only of a way to stop the virus from spreading, but also as a political point of contention.

Ellen Dziubek, 25
Black Lives Matter poster. To remember how socially charged this moment in history has been!

Nick Corbin, 35
Nothing. Literally nothing. This has been likely the worst year I’ve ever experienced, so I have no desire whatsoever to remember anything about it.

Catherine Ferrer, 39
I would put a lapel pin or flag from FLOC the Farm Labor Organizing Coalition, especially if the pin was worn by or the flag is signed by Baldemar Velasquez. FLOC has been in Toledo and organizing farm workers for 50+ years and hopefully for 50+ more as it improves the lives of farm workers around the U.S. and Mexico and moves our world towards justice.

Ashley Teow, 25
Newer smartphone. I would make sure there are pictures and other memories to look back on. This would also let us see how much phone technology will change in 50 years time.

Ignazio Messina, 44
Director of Communications, City of Toledo
Today’s Toledo Blade. I was a newspaper reporter for 19 years. This was the obvious choice. 

Dave Cerelli, 26
An iPhone loaded with pictures of Toledo and its art, videos of the wonderful performers and musicians of the city and albums and songs of the studio creations that have come from Toledo. I would put everyone’s favorite apps on the phone (whether or not they’d work in 50 years) so everyone can say, “This used to be my favorite thing to play commuting to work!” It would serve two purposes. First, it would showcase everything Toledo, talent and life in 2020, in a small package. Second, it would be fun to see antiquated technology! (Hopefully a battery would last 50 years; we would need to include a charger for the next generation).

Gary Franks, 76
A copy of my book, Toledo’s Forest Cemetery. This cemetery holds the remains of the pioneers that are the foundation of the city, many of whom have been forgotten.

Anna DiAsio, 24
A letter. In 50 years, archaeologists could dig up any number of artifacts, but they would have to hypothesize what everything means. I would write a letter to the future. Explaining the current world situation and what life looks like, so that in 50 years when people are looking back to 2020, there can be a proper interpretation.


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