Guess what they found in the 1987 time capsule at Seymour Elementary School.
That's right — Guess. As in jeans.
A shirt emblazoned with the popular 1980s jeans company's logo, the defunct metamorphosing toy — someone must have thought the Transformers were just a fad — and America's favorite lasagna-loving orange cat were among the three dozen (ahem) “relics” unearthed when the capsule came out of a southwest interior wall at Seymour earlier this month to celebrate the school's 50th anniversary.
About 50 former Seymour teachers, students and administrators were on hand throughout the day to marvel at the late, great era of DayGlo, the perm and Max Headroom and to think about the past and future. The capsule was immured in 1987 with the promise of being opened 25 years later.
“I don't remember it being 25 years,” said Dan Pearson, who was a Seymour second-grader in 1987, when each class at the school put something into the capsule. “I just remember it was 'the future' — like there would be spaceships flying all around and we'd be living on Mars.”
Carol Wing, who teaches second grade at Seymour but was a first-grade teacher back in 1987, is the only educator still at the school who was present for the time capsule's sealing.
She had the honor of opening the capsule and revealing its contents for both the honored guests and the school's student body.
“It was so much fun,” Wing said. “It was a reunion for a lot of people that have worked here over time. For the kids, I think it's important for them to see what the world was like long before they were born.
“They were really interested in that,” she said. “They wanted to know 'Where did these things come from?' and 'What were kids like back then?' It was a very visual representation of history.”
There were some familiar things in the capsule, too, Wing noted: Legos, a piece from a puzzle and chalk.
“We still have those things,” she said. “I guess we were already thinking back then that maybe we wouldn't.”
In addition to the pieces of 1987's popular culture, there were also some items of more lasting duration and some showing just how much the world has changed in 25 years.
Photographs showed student styles of the day. But the pictures were also notable for some of the things they didn't show.
“No computers,” Wing said. “I think we were still a year or two away from getting computers in 1987.”
Student artwork was on display, as was a list of “What We Like” among some first-graders. Pizza was a popular choice.
“It was cool to see the stuff they were into,” sixth-grader Cassie Christenson said.
“Apparently Garfield was big,” chimed in Devin Mulder, a fifth-grader, referring to not one but two books of Garfield cartoons in the capsule.
A world map showed the Soviet Union and a divided Germany, along with exotic-sounding locales like Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Zaire.
“I was surprised to see how much the map had changed,” Cassie said.
To go with the spirit of the day, Seymour students dressed in '80s-style clothes.
Skyler Slaven, a sixth-grader, put on some of her mom's old clothes from sixth grade.
“She said I looked like a flashback of her in sixth grade in the '80s,” Skyler said. “It was cool to be able to kind of relive that.”
Fashion choices were also on the mind of fifth-grader Kristilee Finch, whose mother and grandmother both attended Seymour.
“It was fun and I learned a lot,” Kristilee said. “I learned that my mom had a perm.”
Now the cycle will continue for Kristilee, Cassie, Devin and the rest of Seymour's students as they now have a timely task ahead of them: What will they put in a capsule to be opened 25 years from now?
Seymour fifth-grade teacher Bonnie Cizek said she's already interested in what the students will imagine.
“It's really a cool project for the kids,” she said. “They get excited about it because it is their chance to kind of say something to the future. They probably won't let us put an iPad in there but we can sure take photographs of what we were doing.”
With a pair of Ralston Recorder newspapers found in the capsule, fifth-grader Kelsey Reed also had a suggestion.
“I think we should have the newspaper stories about the end of the world,” Kelsey said. “So people can see how ridiculous that sounds in 25 years.”