By MARINA WATERS
In the summer of 1993, Bill Clinton was the president, Janet Jackson had a hit song on the radio, cell phones were nearly the size of your face and a time capsule was buried in the ground at Fall Branch Elementary School.
And on Monday, Nov. 26 — 25 years later — that time capsule was uncovered.
“We had a great time pulling it all together,” recalled Susan Kiernan, the principal of Fall Branch in 1993. “But we had a better time looking at it this morning.”
The time capsule — opened by current Fall Branch Principal Mark Merriman, Kiernan and two Fall Branch students during Monday’s event at the school — contained items such as newspapers from 1993, a copy of the deed to the school, a laminated history of the school and Fall Branch community, picture albums and a video tape from 1993.
In addition to the items found in the 25-year-old capsule, the former principal read her remarks from 1993 to alumni, community members, and the current students of Fall Branch.
“Never give up on the dream of always having a school in our precious community,” Kiernan read. “May we all be alive in 25 years to witness the opening of this capsule by those who come after us. May they value our mission of quality education and may they have a tradition that carries on to another day. See you in 2018.”
For some, however, the capsule held more than just ‘90s memorabilia.
After the time capsule had been carefully unearthed and unpacked, alumni and community members were invited to look through the items and step back in time to relive history.
For former Fall Branch students, Kaylan Ferguson and Kensey Brown, the event served as a chance to look back on those memories and to go back to the place they once called home.
“We haven’t been back in town since we moved. We haven’t been in this area since then so we wanted to come back and visit the school and everything,” Ferguson said, standing in the school she once attended. “It’s just awesome to come back and have all these memories come flooding in. The community hasn’t changed. There are a few things that have changed, but it’s almost all the same. It makes you feel like home I guess.”
Now, history will continue on.
Fall Branch will now replace the 1993 time capsule with a 2018 one, filled with newspapers, Pokemon cards, Fall Branch memorabilia, a jump drive downloaded with pictures, school event programs, the student newspaper and a 2018 yearbook.
But the time capsules provide more than just an exciting event, Merriman said. He also said he felt the time capsules are a great way to preserve history and create an interest in the past and future.
“It’s important because it creates a flashback on what it looked like 25 years ago,” Merriman said. “It also creates a conversation for students and they’re going to get a chance to look at things like a VHS tape or the deed to the school or the newspapers back then.
“They’re also going to get to put their own stuff into the time capsule to really show what we’re about now in 2018. So it’s a really cool moment to try to look in the past but also look to the future when these guys are hopefully here in 2043.”
Though it will be another 25 years before the newest time capsule is dug up in Fall Branch, there could be another time capsule unveiling in at the school before then, as multiple alumni said they remembered another time capsule being buried on the school’s campus.
“I remember us (burying a time capsule) later on,” Ferguson said. “There’s another one they buried, but I think it was like in 1999. I remember it more vividly than this one. So they’ll do that one again in about five years.”
For now, Kiernan’s advice to the newest generation of time capsule students focused on making the years count rather than counting the years, which she said have a tendency to fly by.
“I am amazed at how quickly 25 years passed,” Kiernan said after the time capsule had been presented. “Some of my best memories were in this school building first as a student, but during the rest of my school years here at Fall Branch … I have great memories of Fall Branch.
“Twenty five years passes very quickly. Enjoy every minute of every day of every week of every year. Don’t let it slip by you.”