Pine River seniors open time capsule

LUTHER — It took from the fifth grade at Luther Elementary School until now, when they’re just about to graduate from Pine River High School for this year’s seniors to reach the right time to open the time capsule they planted way back, all those years ago.

Many of them recalled exactly where they put that piece of PVC pipe filled with all sorts of memories from way back when to jog their memories just a few weeks before they actually graduate from high school.

Of course they remembered. Some knew it was just behind the tree they planted that same day, just a little bit behind it, mind you. Others thought it was right next to the sign. Still others thought to the right. Or, gosh, was it to the left?

Bussed over to Luther on Thursday, April 14, in time for a pizza lunch, lots of cookies and other goodies, they had plenty of time to think some seven years back, and wondered just what it was they put in that thing anyway.

They ate, and laughed, talked and kidded one another about those “old days”, and they then headed out into the cold brisk day to unearth that time capsule.

Sure enough. With a loud ka-thunk, it was obvious the capsule was right where one young man thought. Many long minutes of digging later, they unearthed a rock.

More students poked and prodded a probe into the ground trying to find the elusive time capsule, and each time, additional stones and rocks were unearthed. There was more laughter, and there was more digging, then one wondered if perhaps they should check and see if somebody might want to run a sewer or pipeline through the area they were digging up.

Finally, when an ever-widening trail of overturned dirt turned up nothing, someone suggested the solution. A teacher had brought along a video of the capsule planting and by looking at it, perhaps they could find the exact location.

A whole group accompanied her from the tree to her car and then to the Senior Citizen building where they nearly got the video ready to roll when news came that the lost had been found. Back at the site of the big dig, sure enough, there was a long tube and once they returned to the building and popped it open again, it was a great time of sharing.

There were forms filled out listing favorite songs, favorite books, favorite this and that, and even items that had been placed in the capsule never to be seen again until this time only a couple three years short of a decade later.

For some of the students, it was fun seeing their penmanship “back then,” and how they had changed in photographs when they were only fifth graders and now seniors in high school.

For one young man it was discovering that his Pokemon cards and other goodies survived the whole ordeal, not ruined by moisture or cold over the years.

There were, in some cases, tears. Some from laughing so hard, others feeling the moment and realizing that they left these things as children and now, now they were about to move on into the adult world. One girl wiped tears, then smiled and said, “I thought I’d just feel happy, but this is kind of sad. And maybe scary.”

Several parents were on hand to witness the event, and shared hugs or knowing glances with their youngsters, remembering the when’s perhaps of their own lives.

Little children played nearby and appeared kind of confused about the goings on, but in a few more years perhaps they will follow those footsteps from Luther Elementary to the tiny forest of trees that have been planted over the past few years. Some fruit has already been picked from various ones, and still others will be planted in the future.

Standing by watching and grinning as the seniors shared what they had uncovered with one another, was their fifth grade teacher, “Mr. Schab.” He now teaches at Pine River Middle School, but remembers well the day they prepared and planted that time capsule, and said it meant a lot to be a part of this particular day as well.

After spending time sorting through the items in their own time capsule, these youngsters then headed down the street to visit this year’s fifth grade class at Luther Elementary. Undoubtedly, they would share their own experience as far as the time capsule project, but were also encouraged to tell the younger students about the giant step they will be taking soon. That of leaving Luther Elementary and moving on to Pine River Middle School in the fall.

One girl listened to that encouragement, then looked at a classmate and said, “That was scary, but now look at us. Now we’re going out into the big world.” Tears came. So did the words, “and I’m going to miss you!”

A number of adults along for the day, including Superintendent Jim Ganger, and Alan Dean of Dean’s Greens who has provided a tree and helped plant the time capsule each year since this class did theirs, commented that it was fun, and a real neat memory for everybody.