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Elementary school time capsule reveals memories, mementos from 1998

By Matt Rascon, KSL TV | Posted - Apr. 27, 2019 at 10:12 a.m.

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Time has a way of putting things into perspective. But no matter how fast the clock ticks, some things remain the same.

“I just love this school,” Vicki Platt said. “I’ve seen it go through a lot of changes.”

Orchard Elementary School in West Valley City has been a home for Platt for 20 plus years. Ever since her former principal, Walt Layton, hired her.

Since then she’s worked on the playground, in the library, in the cafeteria and now as assistant to the principal.

“I just joke that I’ve never gotten out of elementary school,” Platt said.

The joke was on many more on Wednesday, when Orchard Elementary gym filled up and where former principal Layton had some unfinished business to take care of.

“What a wonderful sight,” Layton said as he looked out over the crowded gym.

In 1998, then-principal Layton buried a time capsule under the school, full of mementos and memories from students and staff. On Wednesday, he finally opened it up in front of many of those same former students and staff.

“What are these?” Layton asked as he pulled out some small slides.

A floppy disk got a good laugh from the audience, followed by a cassette tape.

The capsule also included class pictures, a “my big dream is…” class assignment that ended with “to be an astronaut” for several students, and other drawings, notes and newspapers.

Even more than the items that were revealed, the experience reaffirmed that there’s never a better time to learn from the past than the present.

“Putting stuff in there that day you never knew you’d be around to see what was in it,” one former student said as he searched for his long lost assignment.

Photo: KSL TV
Photo: KSL TV

Even with the time capsule, for Platt, Orchard Elementary never gets old. Even at the school’s 40th birthday celebration, which coincided with the time capsule opening, Platt served cake to hundreds who attended.

“It’s fun to see the people that I’ve known and went to school here when they were kids,” she said.

Orchard Elementary will fill up the same time capsule again this May and bury it under the school where it will be sealed until 2038.

“I think we’re going to put a cell phone in this one,” Platt said.

Matt Rascon


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