GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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May 25, 2013

Revisiting one Fuller class's past

Students from 1989 ready to open Mr. Thomas' 'time capsules'

On Sunday, a musty cardboard box sealed with crumbling masking tape will act as the central force, the common thread pulling together a group of about 20 adults itching to peak into their past.

Though it’s anyone’s guess what this group, Mr. Charles Thomas’s fifth-grade class of 1989, tucked away in this box 24 years ago, creating a time capsule for years down the road, this Sunday at 4 p.m., the majority of the class plans on gathering at the old Fuller School building field to find out.

“We just won’t know until we open it,” Shawna Rogers said. “Something tells me that we were able to put two things in there, and it had to be two things from your desk or something. Something tells me we did a class video and there’s maybe a videotape in there.”

Rogers and some of her classmates had been itching to open the box ever since they got a hold of it about a week ago, but decided they ought to give everyone the chance to participate. So, they scheduled the big reveal and posted the information on Facebook, where the excitement “just blew up,” Rogers said, describing how the information zipped from one classmate to the next.

“We packed it as a class, and we should try to open it as a class,” Rogers said. “I figured we waited 23 years, we can wait another week.”

When Thomas led his fifth grade classes in creating the time capsules, he had intended the classes to open the capsules at their five-year high school reunions. This class had been due to tear theirs open in 2001.

But, when Thomas passed away, more than 10 years worth of time capsules remained untouched in his basement, still marked with name cards, listing the signatures of each fifth grader from that year. And there the capsules sat — until Teresa LoContro, a student from another class, began looking for her class’s capsule from another year and Thomas’s wife dug out the capsules at her home. LoContro rescued the capsules and distributed the boxes to members of each class.

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