On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 1968, someone stood in my bathroom and experienced very much what I’m experiencing now, struggling with cracks in the turn-of-the-century plaster on the walls and cursing the room’s 1930s-era electrical wiring. That person also must have sweated over square foot after square foot of wall-lining, baby-puke-green tile — though for entirely different reasons from my own.
While I can only imagine exactly what he or she was thinking (“This tile I’m installing is horrible! Why the hell did we pick this color?!”), I know that date with some certainty. That’s because he — or she, or they — left behind in the wall a sort of journalistic time capsule.
When embedding a ceramic, in-wall toilet paper dispenser into the old plaster, this mystery home-improver stuffed the space inside the wall with crumpled pages from the Nov. 5, 1968 edition of the now-defunct Bethlehem Globe-Times. (About a decade later, the paper was bought out by the Easton Express of neighboring Easton, PA; the Bethlehem paper’s name lives on in that of the Easton-based Express-Times.)
While digging through the wall to install my own electrical wiring, I fished out as much of the yellowed, brittle newspaper as I could. I present it here without further comment; click on any of the images to see larger versions:
Bonus videos from the bathroom project, posted on YouTube over the last month and a half: