Still "Doin' It" after all these years (breathing)
Central High School classmates planned for the future when they placed a time capsule in their new school 50 years ago.
However, Class of 1967 member Lee Gordon noticed something awry when the c
apsule was dug up Monday.
"Getting it out never occurred to us," Gordon said as school maintenance workers pondered how to lift the capsule from its tight hole.
About a half dozen members of CHS Class of 1967 gathered on the first floor of Muskogee High School's A Unit on Monday to watch the capsule being unearthed. The Class of 1967 was the first class to graduate from the "new" high school on Shawnee Bypass.
Frances Haynes, a member of the Rougher 1967 reunion committee, said the capsule will be opened during the class's 50th reunion April 28 and 29. The care and custody of the contents will be presented to the Class of 2017 at a public presentation 6 p.m. April 29, Haynes said.
The class had buried the time capsule in the basement of what was then their new high school building. It was to be opened in 2017.
The capsule, a copper box, contained newspaper clippings, books, watches and other memorabilia from Muskogee's "summer of love."
Gordon said he has a list of 153 items that were placed in the box.
"I'm sworn to secrecy not to reveal it," he said.
However, he confirmed the box does include a work by noted artist Jerome Tiger, who died in 1967.
"We put the items in plastic bags and put a packet of silica gel in each one to keep moisture out," Gordon said.
According to a 1967 newspaper clipping about the project, the box also included a paper dress, which was considered "mod" in those days. In the newspaper story, CHS Principal James Sandage said he would be 93 when the box was to be opened in 2017.
The box was buried under a four-inch slab of concrete and topped with a granite marker.
Fifty years — and a few new floors — later, the copper box was unearthed.
Several classmates from 1967 watched Muskogee Public Schools maintenance workers jackhammer through the concrete. They gasped when they saw the box, its copper surface blackened.
They also read capsule committee members' names written on the box, including John Haworth, Ellen Foster, Madeline Hisaw, Kathy Green and Greg Thomas.
Haynes said the time capsule was an example of some of the new things the class encountered at the new building.
"We were not prepared to start all the new traditions," Haynes said. "It was completely new."
For example, Haynes said the new building was the first air conditioned school many students had attended.
"We had windows that did not open," she said. "We had a map of the new buildings in our student handbooks."
Classmate Darla Page Ryan said that, in 1967, the only high school buildings were the A, B and C classroom units, the gym and the fine arts buildings. She recalled a muddy parking lot being where a technology classroom unit is now.
Haynes said items will be placed in a new time capsule and re-buried after the April reunion. Members of the Muskogee High School Class of 2017 also may bury items in a time capsule.
Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or email@example.com.