Imagine what'd it be like if you found a piece of history.
That was the case at last week, as workers from Plaza Construction, along with Gilbane and NUMC’s staff, discovered a time capsule inside one of the beams they were repairing in preparation for the unveiling of the brand new emergency room that's scheduled to open in May.
"When we removed the cornerstone, there was a copper box behind it that was filled with some stuff," Bill McGrath, the project executive from Plaza Construction, said. "It was filled with pictures, concert tickets, a beer can, some liquor and a few other things."
All of McGrath's 80 workers were buzzing with excitement when they found out that the time capsule had been discovered.
"It was really exciting," McGrath said. "Everyone really thought it was really interesting."
While the workers and most of the staff at NUMC were surprised by the finding, one x-ray technician was not. Dean Dusharme, who had worked at NUMC for over 20 years, was told by a friend of his that a time capsule was buried somewhere in NUMC.
"Carmine was a little kid when his dad told him he put it there," Dusharme said. "Once they found the time capsule, I knew that was it."
Carmine Filloramo was very excited when he received the initial call from Dusharme about the capsule's discovery.
"I found out when Dean called me," Filloramo said. "I remember my father taking pictures and putting it in the time capsule. Today I went down there after work and it was pretty wild to see the old stuff. One of the pictures was of my father and my mother when they were first married."
Carmine's mother Esther remembers quite vividly the day her husband Thomas came home looking for items to be put into the capsule.
"He was like a big kid when he put that in there," she said. "He raffled though the pictures and he left. The fact that it's been discovered is just exhilarating."
Thomas was a bricklayer and worked on the construction team that did work for the hospital, and while doing repairs, he and his co-workers put things into the capsule with the hope that it would be found by a future generation.
NUMC officials have decided to add a few things of their own to the capsule, and it will be reinstalled back into the beam until someone finds it again in the future.
"Finding a time capsule from the early 1970’s, while the 19-story Nassau University Medical Center was being constructed, is exciting and gives us an opportunity to connect with the past as we look at photos of the construction crew involved in building the hospital and various items inserted by that crew," said Shelley Lotenberg, director of public affairs at NUMC. "We will now add several items representative of the year 2011 and insert the time capsule back in the column."
Esther said her husband believed that it would be a long time before the capsule was eventually discovered.
"He didn't know if it would ever be opened," Esther said. "He thought maybe in a hundred years. That way, people could learn about how it used to be."