LEMOORE — Tables were set up in Lemoore Elementary School’s cafeteria Friday lined with items dating back to 1967. The items were inside a time capsule that Lemoore Elementary students buried 50 years ago, which was finally unearthed last week.
Lemoore Elementary School Principal Amy Garcia said the time capsule was put into the foundation of the library, which was built in 1967. The time capsule reveal brought back former students and teachers to the school to see what was buried.
Garcia said maintenance staff was able to safely remove the headstone of the time capsule, and added that because of the headstone, students were always asking who was buried there. She said the time capsule items were inside cigar boxes that were inside a plastic bag that was inside a metal trash can. Some of the items had water damage, but most were in fairly good condition.
Garcia said school staff has been sorting items and making sure things don’t stick together and are preserved as best as possible. Time capsule items included toys, letters, art, photographs, schoolwork, detention slips, comic books, and someone even left their Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax baseball cards.
“The way that you all learned division is exactly the way our students are learning it now,” Garcia said about math problems found in the time capsule. “It’s been really fun to see that some things just don’t change. The good stuff stays the way it should.”
Sealed letters were also in the capsule, and when Garcia pulled a letter from the stack and read the name of Alice Gray, the writer of the letter raised her hand from the back of the crowd and exclaimed that she was “still alive.”
Gray, who is now Alice Quezada, said she was 10 years old when she wrote the letter in Mr. Pope’s fifth-grade class. She couldn’t remember what she wrote in the letter because she was originally supposed to bring something else to put in the capsule, but forgot and ended up writing the letter quickly at school that day.
Garcia read the letter, addressed to “Dear Future People,” to the crowd. Quezada talked about her pets and the animals she liked in the letter and wrote, “I hope you have trees and forts and lakes; if you don’t, I feel sorry for you.” She signed the letter, “A friend from another generation, Alice Gray.”
Quezada said she always remembered the time capsule was still at the school and it was “crazy” seeing all the old items, and even crazier that her letter was picked out and read in front of the crowd.
“I’ll put it in my collection of stuff,” Quezada said about keeping her letter. “It was really great going to school here.”
Nancy Ahumada was the only former teacher to attend the time capsule revealing. She said it was her first year working at the school, where she would pull kids out of class to give them extra help. She said she recognized a lot of the names of her former students on the items.
“There’s a lot of Lemoore family names here,” Ahumada said, pointing at laminated drawings. “This is really something. It’s really neat to see.”
Ahumada ended up working for the school district for 38 years before retiring.
Garcia said anybody who had an item in the time capsule is encouraged to keep whatever is theirs if they want. She said current Lemoore Elementary students will have the opportunity to bury their own items in a time capsule that will be put into the same spot as the old time capsule and be opened 50 years from now.