The Dais of the Speaker of the House now holds a gift for the people who will work in that chamber in 38 years.

Two years ago when carpet was replaced in the House of Representatives, one of the ornate wood panels on the right side of the Dais came loose. Beneath it was an oddly shaped space that the chamber’s staff judged made the perfect cubby hole for a time capsule, and that idea had been tossed around ever since.

Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss, Assistant Chief Clerk Joan Branson, Speaker Pro-Tem Shane Schoeller and Director of Information Systems Rich Beckwith examine the contents of the capsule before it is sealed. Picture courtesy Tim Bommel, House Communications.

Until today, when staff, several lawmakers and a few others gathered for an impromptu ceremony to fill and seal it.

Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss says, “We just decided that this was a good a year as any to do it, and so we’re hoping that the legislature of 2050 and the staff of 2050 can open the time capsule and learn a little about their past but also hopefully be inspired by the thoughts and the items that we’ve left for them.”

A variety of items filled the little hole, including letters from staff and lawmakers to those who will hold their offices in 38 years. Crumbliss told his future counterpart, “in short, to be in a situation that you surround yourself with good people, you trust the people to lead the state in a good direction, have humility and never forget to laugh.”

Assistant Chief Clerk Joan Branson said the moment of levity on the House Floor was appreciated.

“Members talking … members from both sides, staff people from both sides, bipartisan staff … it was nice … it was good to see the members excited about it.”

The capsule will be marked with a plaque indicating the presence of the stash so that it won’t be forgotten before 2050.

Among those who will be represented when the capsule is opened is at least one news organization. Hastily written on the back of this reporter’s business card is the current staff of Missourinet. We’ve been there for 38 years, what’s another 38 more?