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“See You Later Savages”

I am smitten by the story that ran in Gizmodo (as well as other places) about the time capsule message from Gregory Lee Youngman who wrote:

I am dead. I go to Montgomery School. That is the olden school name. I was born 1900. You auto now I dead. My favorite subject is spooking the police. I play the guitar. In case you don’t know what it is, it is board with strings on then. I am 10 years old. See you later savages.

Of course, this message wouldn’t be nearly as amusing if the writer was actually dead, but a quick Google search for Gregory L Youngman yields a person who is very much alive and living in Anchorage, AK. He’s 58, which also fits since the author of the note was born in 1958. It seems like it would be a little too coincidental to have two Gregory L Youngman’s who are 58, right?

So working on the assumption that Gregory Lee Youngman is not actually dead, I love this because I was such a serious kid.  I would have never used my one time capsule contribution to write anything like this.  I would have been too scared, thinking that by writing it, it would come true.  That I would be dead by the time the capsule was opened and there would be no one left on earth who knew about guitars.

But, moreover, I would have worried that this would be the way people remembered me; that they wouldn’t get that it was a joke in the moment but think it was who I was as a whole.  So I would have played it safe and maybe a little bit boring.

I wonder if Greg Youngman is still like that 10-year-old version of himself, or if he looks back at it and wonders what he was thinking.


1 Charlotte { 10.30.16 at 7:51 am }

This is so interesting. I am very superstitious like that, too, think if I write (or say) something it will come true. And I wouldn’t want to leave people wondering if it was a joke. Maybe THAT is the true joke…to leave people wondering. Getting the last laugh from the great beyond.
I did leave a time capsule the year I graduated highschool. We hid it up in the rafters on the top floor, of which we shouldn’t have had access to (I was the mastermind behind that). We all put items that represented who we were at the time in a box and placed with it a written note about what we left and why. I remember what I put in the box, but don’t remember exactly what I wrote. I would love to see it again, but we actually left it for other students years down the road to find.

2 Cristy { 10.30.16 at 10:58 am }

I was too much of a good kid to write something like this.

But now I’m wondering if anyone has contacted Mr Youngman to ask him about this note. And what he was like as a 10 yr old

3 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.30.16 at 3:14 pm }

Hmmm….I’m going to revisit my 10 yo self and see if I can figure out what she’d do. Like Cristy, I think I was too straight-laced to write something like Gregory did then, but give me a few years and my inner savage would influence.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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