BY DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY
Editor, Montgomery County News
CADDO HILLS — Mrs. Jackson’s 6th grade class gathered Saturday for a very special look back to their old school days and dreams when they came together to open a time capsule they had stored away in 1977.
Most people know Mrs. Jackson as Mary Beth Lysobey, but to the Caddo Hills senior class of 1984 she is still Mrs. Jackson.
Everyone remembered that the time capsule was her idea, a project for the class when they were in 6th grade, however she couldn’t remember why she had them do the project. Some of the students seemed to recall them reading about another class creating a time capsule, which may have been the seed for the idea.
Regardless of why they did it, several of the 50 plus members of her 1977 sixth grade class were in attendance Saturday at the Caddo Hills cafeteria for the opening of the 38 year old treasure trove.
They had planned on opening it earlier, but a building project at the school some years ago had brought about the premature unearthing of the capsule. It had been safely stored away by a school employee, but had been lost to the class.
That is, it had been lost until class member Robbie Warren found it. He had asked around and found that it was sitting in the shop of Kerry Cox awaiting the return of its creators.
Cox returned the capsule to Warren. The class gathered in anticipation to see what waited inside for them.
Time had clouded the memories of the day they had collected items for the capsule. No one could remember exactly what they had put inside. They could remember that there was a cassette tape and some notes, but they would have to wait until the opening to see what else had been inserted into the capsule so many years ago.
The class gathered Saturday, May 30 at the school cafeteria to open the capsule. The capsule was nothing more than a piece of heavy gauge PVC pipe. Unfortunately the pipe had not been thick enough and somehow it had been cracked over the years.
Undaunted by the thought that their treasures may have been destroyed, the class gathered around a table with the capsule sitting atop it as Robbie Warren and Neil Simpson put saw blade to the capsule. They plastic held firm against their efforts, but with the help of Robert Brandon the contents finally saw the light of day again after nearly 37 years.
As items were removed the classmates began to remember what they had placed inside.
There were class pictures of the class, as well as letters and drawings prepared by the students. They had written essays as to what life would be like in 2002. The cassette looked as if it had soaked up too much water. Classmate Shelley King stated that she knew some people who worked with audio equipment and felt that they might be able to save the contents of the tape.
The letters were wrapped in a November 7, 1977 copy of the Arkansas Gazette to commemorate the day the capsule was closed and buried. Other items included a pill bottle, some Star Wars trading cards, a comb and a Gideon New Testament Bible.
The contents were carefully separated and put on display for everyone to enjoy. Many of the classmates had their families with them and were able to share these memories with them.
Some of the predictions made spoke of flying cars and bubble cities, while others hit pretty close to home with mention of solar heated homes and flooding.
The class wanted to thank Mrs. Jackson, AKA Mary Beth Lysobey, for encouraging them to create the capsule. They were also thankful for the efforts of Robbie Warren in finding it.