Fairfield students step back in time, unearth their own time capsule
By ANDY HALLMAN
Golden Triangle News Service
FAIRFIELD — A group of Fairfield High School seniors received a blast from the past recently from an unusual source: themselves.
About 25 students gathered at Chautauqua Park to open a time capsule dating back to the 2006-2007 school year when the students were fifth graders at Washington Elementary School. Melinda Lyon and Sharon Leach were their teachers at the time, and Joe Carr was the principal. All three of them were on hand today to see the reactions of the students as they reconnected with their childhood.
Lyon and Leach said time capsules were very popular in 2000 because it was the beginning of a new millennium. That year, Laurie Woody’s fifth-grade social studies class made a time capsule, which it opened just before graduation in May 2007. Lyon and Leach’s class heard about what the big kids had done and wanted a time capsule of their own. They begged and begged before their teachers finally caved.
Many of this year’s seniors had completely forgotten what they put in the time capsule, and some were surprised at what they found. Vince Horras put an orange stocking hat, which he said was probably something he didn’t put much thought into at the time.
“My guess is that I forgot to bring anything to school, so I used my hat because it was already there,” he said.
Horras included a note with his hat that read “I put my hat in because I always forgot to take it home, and it always flies off my head.” However, he said he didn’t believe his own note because he claimed he has always had a “huge head” and that his stocking hat would not have flown off it.
Kara Greiner put an envelope in the time capsule in which she included her lucky swim cap because swimming was one of her favorite activities at the time. She and fellow senior Baylee Bowman were on a winning relay team at a state swim meet.
Greiner also included a picture of everyone from the yearbook, a list containing her favorite TV show (“Gilmore Girls”) and favorite movie (“She’s the Man”), both of which she enjoys even now. She had a picture of her dog Lily, and a copy of the magazine “Teen.” According to the note she wrote, she included her dog because “dogs don’t tell secrets,” and the magazine was significant because her mother had just started letting her read magazines. On this issue, the girl gracing the cover is Miley Cyrus, who was then mostly known for her portrayal of Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel series of the same name.
Fifth grade was about the time Landon Gamrath developed a taste for rap music, so it’s not surprising he put a CD of a rap artist in the time capsule. The rapper’s name is “Young Jeezy,” and Gamrath said he still listens to his music today.
Gamrath said he had completely forgotten he put the CD in the time capsule, and for many years assumed it was lost forever. He was relieved this morning to learn the CD had been in good hands for the past seven years.
A few of the students were a little embarrassed at the things they included in the capsule. Allison Angstead kept a journal that year in which she wrote the phrase “I love Brandon Rauscher” multiple times inside the cover. Angstead explained that she and Rauscher were dating at the time, and the two remain good friends to this day.
Angstead learned from her younger self that, at that age, she wanted to be a photographer, a desire that has burned out over time. However, her favorite place remains the same, and that is Lake Thunderhead near Union, Missouri.
Brooke Stever was amused by what she found in the capsule, which was a softball, a softball medal and a second-place ribbon for a swim meet. Attached to the ribbon was a note reading “this is the closest I came to winning.” As it turned out, second place was not the closest Stever would come to winning because she was on the winning breaststroke relay team the following year.
At the end of the school year in 2007, Washington fifth graders autographed a sign that read, “We’ll miss you, Mrs. Leach,” which was put in the time capsule. Leach said it was touching to see that sign again this morning.
Lyon said the teachers have not continued doing time capsules, and the only reason her students from 2007 did one was because they pleaded so profusely. At the time, the teachers weren’t sure who should be in charge of the time capsule, because one of them could move and forget all about it. They decided to give it to Carr since his son, Matt, was in their class and he could remind everyone of the capsule when it came time to open it.