Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hey, wait, we are those students from another century!

The greatest thing about Face book is the ability to connect with classmates that are scattered all over the country and even across the seas.
In the past few months, there has been much talk about an historical event that my classmates and I took part in many years ago.
Nearly every classmate that attended Bethel Elementary is a member of a private group of friends, and thanks to that group we have resurrected an old memory that we buried back in 1976.
After finding the newspaper clipping my grandmother had saved, I was able to get the story pieced back together.
Well, after all these years most of our memories had become a little fuzzy.
Even with the feature story that was written, I still find there are more details left out of the story, little nuggets of information that only those of us in Mrs. Dickens 7th grade class would remember.
Okay, so the story goes like this.
In the February edition of the Bath County Outlook the headline read: History Lesson; Bethel Students present bicentennial program, collect items for capsule.
Part of the paper is missing so I don’t know who wrote the story and I apologize for that. Below is is exactly how the story was written for the paper.
“What in the world is that thing”? asked a student. “Hey, here’s something funny looking” said another. The students, 58 of them, were seventh graders at the Bethel Elementary School and they were examining some fifty primitive items furnished by W.W. Roschi for their use in a Bicentennial program they would present to the entire school.
IT was the first such student program presented and they had researched and written it all themselves so they were pretty excited about it.
The items they were examining included such rarities as an old black iron cherry pitter, an antique apple-corer, old scales, a grater, pot holders and so forth, all looking very quaint and curious, especially since they were mostly unidentified. The students were required to try and figure out the purpose and name of each object themselves, as their teacher Mrs. Lorraine Dicken had told them before they would be told what the items were.
The program they finally worked out required other researching too, such as costumes and characters and most exciting of all, the ingredients that would go into the capsule. (no idea why the word ingredients were used…haha), that was to be buried in the Bethel Cemetery to perhaps be opened by students of another century. (SAY WHAT!!)
The capsule is scheduled to go to Frankfort in March where it will become a part of Mrs. Julian Carroll’s Bicentennial Exhibit in the Capital Rotunda in April.
Later, sometime in May, it will be buried with a marker that will be made by the students themselves.
The capsule couldn’t be very large, of course, so what went into it must be small and very significant.
The student’s final and proud choices included a testament, flag, name bracelet, money (coins), 4-h symbol, miniature car model, tobacco sample, mood ring, pet-rock, and a letter from the Bath County Agriculture Department.
So, that is how the article was written that appeared in the February 5 edition of the paper.
On the front page of the paper is a photograph of classmates, Doug Toy, Edsel Boyd and James Peter Jones holding a silver tray with all the items that went inside the capsule.
Inside the paper there are more pictures of Rhonda Buckner, Karen Bailey, Judy Robinson, Flossie Issacs, Tammy Reffitt, Selena Cook, Pam Boyd, and me. We are all dressed in period costume and look kind of funny in those bonnets.
Today, at Longview Cemetery in Bethel, on a small knoll beneath a tree, stands a cement marker, and beneath it are the treasures we buried as a class, memories just waiting for those same kids to reopen, not some other kids from another century.
We voted to open the capsule 50 years from the day we buried it, and we also included our predictions for what we thought life would be like in the year 2026.
Can we wait another 25 years to gather as a class and dig up our bicentennial treasures!!
I say, classmates from Bethel Elementary seventh grade, let’s all grab a shovel and go collect those bicentennial memories that belong only to each of us.