A glimpse into the past

  • Time capsule found in a closet at the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Note on time capsule found in a closet at the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School.  STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Principal Joanne Giguere holds up a vinyl 45 of Michael Jackson's Thriller that was in time capsule found in a closet at the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School. With her are three former teachers who were there at the original burying, Patricia Valiton, Cheryl Faufaw and Cynthia Tomasini.  STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Principal Joanne Giguere holds up items from time capsule found in a closet at the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School.  STAFF PHOTO/

  • Principal Joanne Giguere and former teachers who were there at the original burying of the time capsule, Patricia Valiton, Cheryl Faufaw and Cynthia Tomasini, look over the artifacts. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 10/17/2018 12:24:05 AM

SHELBURNE FALLS — “In the year 2009 —  if we get there, because we might have a nuclear war and the world might blow up —  I will be 36 years old,” wrote a boy named Shawn from the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School in 1984. “I will be 8 feet, 1 inch and one of the best basketball players in the universe,” he predicted.

Another student did a sports banner: “BASKETBALL GAME: Mars Men vs Jupiter Jumpers. Place: Mars, Time 13:98, Date: July 56, 2009.”

How far away 2009 must have seemed to students who put their “selfie” crayon  drawings, poems, hopes and predictions into a time capsule that was to be opened by students 25 years later.

The original time capsule was put away, to be opened on the school’s 50th anniversary in 2009. But after that, school officials believed the time capsule was buried beneath the parking lot blacktop, or possibly under the building addition.

“We found it in the school vault,” said BSE Principal Joanne Giguere, who has the metal box and its contents in the school office. “I don’t think they ever buried it,” she said. “It was pretty clean.”

On Friday, the time capsule was brought out for all to enjoy.  In some ways, it was actually two “time capsules” in one. 

The original items from 1984 included an issue of Scholastic News with Michael Jackson on the cover, a cassette tape of a school choral event, self portraits in crayon, and class photographs. 

The later 2009 additions included Beanie Babies, a DVD of a student slide show, a tiny Nokia cell phone and a Time Magazine featuring the most influential people of 2009, including the Obamas.

Last week, current students got their first glimpse of their school’s past, and they are thinking of what they would like to leave for future school generations to find.

“We’re going to display some of this, and see if we can get some of the folks that put this together — or the kids that have some writings in it to come to the school,” Giguere said. “It may culminate in our putting in some of our own time-capsule things,” she said.


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