Eleven years ago the first students to attend first grade at the current Hillsboro Elementary School buried a time capsule at the school that was not to be opened until their senior year. It was opened Monday.
The plastic container wrapped in plastic and duct tape that served as the time capsule had several inches of water inside it, but each student had also placed their items in sealed plastic bags. So while they were wet, most of the letters and pictures that were the primary contents of the capsule were still legible.
Some students said they had no idea what they placed in capsule, others said they remembered well, and some said they kind of remembered.
The only item in Hillsboro senior Chase Williamson’s package was a Student of the Month certificate he said he earned for honesty. He said he somewhat remembered it.
“I think it’s probably the only one I ever earned,” Williamson laughed.
But he said he remembers his Hillsboro Elementary days well. “I remember it being new and it was really big for a little kid. I remember a lot about going to this school,” he said.
Andrew Palmer said he remembered the bobblehead toy he found in his bag. “They just told us to bring something to school so I said I’m going to bring this,” he said. “It was just a toy I’d sit there and play with now and then.”
Adam Willey had two Hot Wheels and a letter his mother wrote for him in his bag. He said he remembered the two Hot Wheels, but did not remember that they were a Nascar vehicle and a Mercury Cougar.
The letter said: “These are car(s) that was mine when I was 8 year old. My mom and dad gave them to me. I wish for them to be here for a later date. This is what I did to the car and thought it was neat. But my mother wrote this because I was 8 and I don’t know how to write. I hope my car(s) are the same as they were today.”
Abby Hagen had tears in her eyes and was sniffling a bit as she looked over several items in her bag including the front page of the May 12, 2015 edition of The Times-Gazette, pictures she drew, a spelling test, and a letter from her father, Keith Hagen.
The letter said: “It should now be the year 2016. If I’m adding right you’re 18 years old! My little girl is going to graduate from high school, feels good doesn’t it? Bet you never thought this time would come. Enjoy it while it lasts. Life goes by too quickly honey. I’m so proud of you and I love you very much. Right now it’s 10:30 p.m., you’re in bed sleeping and your sister is still awake. Not hard to imagine is it? Both of you hate going to bed. I think you’re afraid you’ll miss something. I want you to succeed in everything you set out to do, whether it be a nurse like your mom, a school teacher or whatever you want to be. I know will do fine (your sister just got out of bed for the third time). I’m sitting here thinking about how fast you are growing up and it makes me sad. I want my baby girl to always be the way you are now, a loving, innocent, caring little girl. But life must go on. My fondest memory right now is being able to play baseball with you out in front of the house; boy can you hit the ball!!!! I like to call you ‘Slugger Hagen’ and when I do your face lights up, you have such a pretty smile. The day you read this I want you to come home and give me a great big hug and kiss, okay? That way I will know that you have read this. Well, I’m going to finish this letter now, we need to get up early and get you off to school. I want you to know I will always be here if you need someone to talk to, okay? No matter what it is. I love you Abigail Brooke Hagen!!”
Among the items in Reaghan Haines’ bag was a list of her favorite things. No. 1 was her name and No. 2 was her address. Other favorites included color – red; song – “I Read A Note,” (the actual name is “Love, Me) by Collin Raye; book – “Hop On Pop” by Dr. Suess; friends – Emily Myers, Madison Snyder and Kelsi Wilkin; and favorite restaurant – McDonald’s.
Hanna Breeden found both a note she wrote to her parents, Gary and Renee, and a letter from them. Hanna wrote: “Be with me. So I will tell you that I love you every day mommy and daddy. Don’t forget to tell me to give you kiss. And loving you guys that I love you. Love Hanna.”
Her parents wrote, in part: “When you read this letter you will be graduating from high school. Many years have passed, a lot of memories you will have. I just want you to know that you are my little angel and always will be. I dreamed for such a long time for a little girl and on December 1, 1997, I was blessed with you. What a beautiful blessing you were.
“… When I would set in church and listen and watch you sing you brought joy to my heart. I hope you continue to know Jesus and make him a part of your everyday life. Always remember that God loves you very much and will always be there for you… It was a little hard to write this letter to you while you’re in the first grade and something you will read when you are a senior. You were the first of the first grade class to be at the new school in Hillsboro. So the school thought it would be nice if they done a time capsule for the class. But most of all I thank God every day for allowing me to be the best parent that I can and make the best decisions for you. I love you so much and want the very best for you.”
The class of 2016 was the first group of first graders to attend Hillsboro Elementary. Half the class went to first grade at the new building and half went to Main Street Primary. Other grades that attended Hillsboro Elementary that first year buried time capsules in the same spot near the main entrance to the school and opened them when they graduated in past years. This was the last time capsule placed that first year Hillsboro Elementary opened its doors.
An engraved stone placed near the time capsules reads: “These capsules were buried to commemorate the first classes to attend Hillsboro Elementary School 2004-05.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.