This story first aired on 5/20/2015.

In 2008, History Colorado archaeologist Thomas Carr discovered an artifact in his boyhood home in North Carolina: a piece of grey and green plastic sticking out of the dirt. He knelt to inspect it and soon realized it was a part of a model plane -- one he'd built some three decades earlier.

As his eyes focused, he noticed several more pieces of plastic.  The archaeologist in him wanted to excavate. So he did just that, in an informal way, unearthing parts of a battleship, the U.S.S. Enterprise, a submarine, and other models that he'd built. In the process, he unearthed the memories and his childhood and new realizations about himself. 

Click above to hear the story, in Thomas Carr's own words.