Contractor Finds Letters Hidden Inside 1950s Home

John And The Letters

John couldn’t take his mind off those letters. Who was the writer? Those letters captured the political environment of that time in a few words. They also threw in everyday facts that were quite delightful.

Why were they buried in that house? He couldn’t figure it out on his own, so he decided to ask for help.

Contractor Job

man talking about discovery

KPNX

It was like any other day for John Murray. He was a contractor and loved his job. He and his crew were looking forward to getting the job done on their new project.

They had to tear down the walls of a 1950s home on North Phoenix, Arizona. But it was far more than a simple home, as it had a treasure waiting to be discovered.

Packet

reconstruction-mayers

As they are gutting out the floor, the crew members stumble upon a thin packet. Perplexed, they decide to call John Murray to take a look.

“It was on the floor over there with a pile of insulation. We’ve done hundreds of houses but never found anything like this,” he confessed to KPNX 12 News.

With dozens of eyes glued to him, he opened the packet carefully.

Old Letters

KPNX

He soon realizes that the packet is a bundle of papers folded together. The first paper showed signs of wear. It was light-brown with moth-eaten edges. His curiosity piqued when he noticed that the paper wasn’t blank. It was a letter, and the ink was intact.

He unfolded the second paper. Same thing. A worn out letter with a different message. Before he could read any of them, two pictures caught his attention.

Pictures From Another Time

bruce betty family

KPNX

John looked at the first picture. A family of four, plus a dog, were staring back at him. The older man and woman were smiling. “Those must be the parents,” guessed the contractor.

A young woman and a young man—hugging a dog, were also in the picture. He delicately put that photograph aside and picked the second picture.

The Family

contractor finding old photos

KPNX

The second picture was the most damaged piece in the collection. Despite the deterioration of the photograph, the contractor could still discern the faces in the photograph: a young woman and two kids.

John asked his crew, “Who are these people? And why are their pictures and letter buried here?” When no one could answer him, he turned to the letters to find an answer.

The Vietnam War And The Beatles

letter vietnmam war

KPNX

John frantically picked the first letter and read the big bold blue letters. Every word felt like a punch:

The Vietnam War is still going on. Boys have long hair resulting from the Beatles craze.

Another part of the letter continued:

Lyndon Johnson is president. We are hopeful that the Republicans will be in office when this time capsule is recovered. 

Barry Goldwater (Republican candidate for president) lives on top of the hill with the big T.V. antenna. (N.W. bedroom view.)

He now has an idea of the circumstances the family was living in during that time. But who wrote those letters exactly? He opened the second letter hoping to find answers.

Time Capsule

KPMX

This one actually helped him pin the exact moment the letters were written:

This time capsule is being buried on September 27, 1966. We have just moved into this house on September 21, 1966.”

Unfortunately, the contractor was left with even more questions than when he started. Perplexed but very excited, he swore to get to the end of it.

The Mysterious Writer

time capsule with all pictures and letters

KPNX

John was restless. This mystery was keeping him on his toes.

He tried to form a mental picture of the writer—or writers. They were old enough to understand the political unrest of that time. They may also be the parents on the pictures since they commented on their boys’ hair trend. Whoever it was, it was also a kind soul, as one of the letters could read:

We are sure truth and love will prevail.

No matter how much the contractor tried to make sense of that time capsule, he couldn’t. He had to find someone to help him.

Calling For Help

house construction

He couldn’t contain his excitement. He did look for help, but not in the right place. This time, he would go big.

Who had the means and the resources to go on a full-fledged search? A news channel! His first choice was to call KPNX, the NBC-affiliated television station serving Phoenix, Arizona. He contacts them in a frenzy and waits for their answer, hopeful.

KPNX

KPNX

His hunch was right. The NBC-affiliated station agreed to help him look for the owners of the time capsule. They will also run the story. John was thrilled.

Later on, their investigation paid off. The previous owner of that house was a man named Bruce Klug. He was 79 years old and was living in Scottsdale, very close to where the time capsule was hidden.

Was he the man in the picture? John and the TV crew headed to the address. They had to find out.

The Man

bruce talking about wife

KPNX

After parking in front of the nursing home, the TV crew follows John. He takes quick steps towards an elderly man waiting for him. He greets him. The man seems perplexed and curious to see these strangers at his door.

John smiles widely to reassure him. Both sat on the front porch. John started talking.

Bruce Klug

man showing old letters and pictures

KPNX

John introduces himself. He explains the reason for his visit in a few words. The man confirms his identity, stunned: he was indeed Bruce Klug.

The contractor then brings out the letters and pictures. Upon seeing them on the table, Bruce’s face freezes. He takes a quick look at the letters and turns to the pictures. That was his family.

“How did they end up in John’s hands?” his eyes seemed to ask.

Betty Klug

KPNX

Bruce ruffled through the letters. That is his wife’s writing. Her name was Betty. She was the love of his life.

His eyes started to water as they went through every line. He never saw these letters before. The pictures were a gift from the past. He recognized Betty’s adorable face. What an angel. With eyes shaking, he took a walk down memory lane.

Memories

man and discovery

KPNX

Betty was his late wife. His better half.

“We had the best marriage. Not once did we argue about anything,” shared Bruce.

Unfortunately, this happiness was cut short. Betty died tragically in a car accident. Soon after, Klug sold the house and moved away. Bruce was devastated.

“I don’t know how I did it,” he said of going on after her death. “Went back to work within a week.”

She was 33 years old when she wrote those letters. Bruce provided some insight that may help figure out why she did it.

A Love Letter From The Grave

man holding letter

KPNX

Betty had buried that time capsule on her husband’s birthday. It may have been a present for her husband. The time capsule may also have been destined to their kids, for when they would be all grown up.

All Bruce knew is that Beth didn’t have the chance to share her brilliant idea with her husband. What he didn’t know is that his story would move thousands of people to the core.

Emotions

bruce happy hugging the letter

KPNX

The widower was feeling a wave of emotion coming after him. However, he wouldn’t have traded this bittersweet moment for anything else in life.

“I enjoyed it, thanks,” he confessed. And he wasn’t the only one. KPNX’s story was a hit. The viewers’ hearts were flooded with emotions too. They turned to the internet to share their feelings.

Making National News

KPNX

All those who saw Bruce’s interview were moved to tears. Everybody was inspired by this beautiful love story and by the couple. People also expressed how thankful they were for all the blessings we have today, including living in a safe political climate.

Others wanted to bring back the time capsule trend, like these students.

Bringing The Trend Back

kindergarten burying time capsule

The Daily Tribune News/Randy Parker

A kindergarten class from Cartersville, Georgia, are bringing time capsules back into the game.

They buried one in their school’s backyard, to be retrieved after 25 years, on May 9th, 2044. It contained some of their favorite toys that are “a reflection of their personalities” to put in the stainless-steel, anti-corrosive, waterproof time capsule. It could last up to 200 years under most conditions.

What do you think of it?

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