WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Time capsule looks back to 1994; Greenfield students bury new treasures

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When the contents of Greenfield School’s time capsule were revealed, it was clear that 25 years has brought a lot of change.

Students buried the 5-gallon bucket next to the flagpole in 1994.

Students stood around the gazebo Monday as Headmaster Beth Peters called out the items from the capsule.

“We have two T-shirts that were signed by everybody in the school in 1994,” Peters said. “I see Laura P. Crudup on here. How much do you think a stamp cost? They were 29 cents.”

Out came pictures of preschool students, a program from the spring arts festival in 1994 and a yearbook.

“Here’s some chalk,” Peters said. “We used to use chalkboards back then instead of whiteboards.”

Peters pulled out a little 45-rpm record, “The Days of the Week” by the Mulberry Bush, put in by the kindergarten class.

“Let me show you the sizes of these computer disks. This first one is called a floppy disk. You used to have to stick that inside a computer disk drive in order to get any information onto your computer,” Peters said.

Two old copies of The Wilson Daily Times had articles about public hearings to discuss the location of the U.S. 264 bypass and another on Wilson County Schools getting internet access for the first time.

“Here’s a fat-free wrapper on an apple and fruit bar,” Peters said, holding it up. “That was something that was brand-new back then, to have the terminology fat-free on there. We had never heard of that up until then.”

Out came a copy of the TV Guide fall preview.

“You can see what kind of TV shows the students watched back then,” Peters said. “We didn’t have Netflix.”

A copy of Sports Illustrated had Michael Jordan on the cover, while the magazine YM featured Andrew Shue on the cover.

“Who is that guy?” Peters asked.

Nobody knew.

Jason Taylor was a senior at the time the capsule was put in. He was there with his two children who are now Greenfield students.

“I remember it going in,” Taylor said. “I think a lot of things have changed. We certainly didn’t expect the technology that we have experienced in the last 25 years to take control of our lives the way they have.”

“Technology definitely,” said Tara Brown, registrar for Greenfield School. “We don’t even use CDs and VHS tapes anymore. Everything is digital. Computers. Toys have changed. Everything is digitized.”

Cellphones in 1994 were contained in bags the size of a fairly large purse and only a few members of the public had them.

“This generation can’t understand what we didn’t have,” said Theresa Fulghum, administrative assistant at the front office.“I grew up with rotary dial phones. Everything was different.”

Longtime teacher Crudup said there have been many changes in the last 25 years.

“First of all, I think we are more diverse in our cultures and nationalities, and it’s wonderful,” Crudup said. “We have grown and changed. The computers have changed the world in the last 25 years. I can remember averaging grades, writing them down and then the calculators and so on. We are bigger than we were 25 years ago as a school, and I think we have all worked to make sure that we are kind to each other. This is exciting.”

Brown said opening a time capsule is a valuable exercise for students. But as well, creating a new time capsule with items representative of today’s works is comparably instructive.

“We are going to show people in the future what technology and what the kids were experiencing here on the campus was all about,” Brown said. “In 25 years, things might be totally different. We might not even be using cellphones in the future. I think phones will probably not even be there. I think it will be some type of watch.”

Peters gathered up contributions from all the grades to put in the new capsule.

Kindergartners put in a Paw Patrol toy, Kinetic Sand and a picture of an Easter egg hunt. First-graders added a fidget spinner, while second-graders put in a Flat Stanley. Third-graders threw in an empty can of Coke and a bath bomb, while fourth-graders put in a Beyblade and a squishy. Fifth-graders put in a typical fifth-grade outfit, and sixth-graders added in a T-shirt with a school logo signed by the class.

Seventh- and eighth-graders sent pictures with messages and predictions. The ninth-graders put in an iPhone box with letters. The 10th-graders put in a flash drive of videos and a set of earbuds. Eleventh-graders inserted the 2019 prom invitation, and seniors added a flash drive with videos.

The can was reburied and will be reopened on or about April 22, 2044.

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