Time capsule packed with memories of 1994

It was filled by students at Salmon Creek Elementary

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Published:

 

o "The Lion King" and "Forest Gump" were the top-grossing movies.

o O.J. Simpson led police on a high speed chase in his white Ford Bronco.

o Olympic figure skater Tanya Harding was fined $160,000 and stripped of her U.S. Championship title for hindering the prosecution of Nancy Kerrigan's attacker.

o Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president.

o Bill Clinton was U.S. president.

o Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon, Kurt Cobain and John Candy died.

o The Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVIII.

o Mariah Carey's "Hero" was the No. 1 song on Billboard charts.

o "Seinfeld" and "E.R." captivated many television viewers.

o Lisa Marie Presley entered a brief marriage with Michael Jackson.

o “The Lion King” and “Forest Gump” were the top-grossing movies.

o O.J. Simpson led police on a high speed chase in his white Ford Bronco.

o Olympic figure skater Tanya Harding was fined $160,000 and stripped of her U.S. Championship title for hindering the prosecution of Nancy Kerrigan’s attacker.

o Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president.

o Bill Clinton was U.S. president.

o Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon, Kurt Cobain and John Candy died.

o The Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVIII.

o Mariah Carey’s “Hero” was the No. 1 song on Billboard charts.

o “Seinfeld” and “E.R.” captivated many television viewers.

o Lisa Marie Presley entered a brief marriage with Michael Jackson.

When Michael Terry was a third-grader at Salmon Creek Elementary School, he wanted to grow up to be a professional athlete, have a wife and three kids, “lots and lots of money,” and, when his athletic career wound down, he would open a trading cards shop.

That was in 1994. Terry, now 29, followed a somewhat similar path. He played sports through college and he’s married, but he doesn’t have children yet or that card shop, his mother, Kim Terry, said Sunday as her son’s childhood wishes were pulled out of the ground. They were part of a time capsule buried by students 20 years ago at the Salmon Creek McDonald’s, 13002 N.E. Highway 99.

“Tell me when you’re ready,” the restaurant’s marketing coordinator, Shanah Taylor, said just before opening the capsule. “Everybody’s got their cameras?”

Taylor counted to three, then tugged at the metal lid of the capsule, which was encased in cement under the restaurant’s play area.

A Troll doll with neon-yellow hair, a double-sided floppy disk, photographs of Salmon Creek teachers and students, the school’s banner, letters and artwork from students, a Happy Meal toy and many other pieces of 1994 memorabilia were pulled out one by one. About a dozen spectators, several of them former educators at Salmon Creek, huddled around the hole in the ground.

“Oh, here’s some pictures, and a Jolly Rancher,” Taylor said, eliciting some laughter from the group.

The items were mostly intact; the capsule had leaked a bit, and water had damaged some of the papers inside.

The capsule was buried on a cool day in March shortly after the restaurant was built. The restaurant’s owners at the time, Pat and Doris Gilbert, saw snow flurries that day, the restaurant’s current co-franchisers, Matt and Val Hadwin, said.

The Hadwins bought the restaurant in 2003. They own all of the McDonald’s in Clark County, and restaurants in Kelso and Castle Rock. After seeing the contents of the 1994 capsule, Val Hadwin said she hopes to bury another one at the couple’s Hazel Dell restaurant, which they’re planning to rebuild.

When the time capsule was placed into the ground two decades ago, Sue Ochs taught second-graders at Salmon Creek. She remembers the burial of the capsule, but she said Sunday that she couldn’t quite remember what was inside.

“We did not remember what was in it until things came out,” Ochs said. “It was fun to see what some of the kids had written. … It was just fascinating.”

Ochs retired in 2008 after 40 years at the elementary school. She said she remembers a good group of students and parents, and helping out with PTA fundraisers at the McDonald’s. Several other educators from Salmon Creek Elementary School attended the unearthing of the time capsule.

“We’re having a mini reunion,” Ochs said before hurrying across the restaurant’s lobby to say hello to an old friend.

Matt Hadwin said he plans to present the contents of the time capsule to today’s Salmon Creek students and eventually give the items back to the school. But first, he’ll show the capsule’s contents to the restaurant’s previous owners.

“I was tickled,” he said. “It was better stuff than I thought.”

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523; stevie.mathieu@columbian.com; @col_stevie.

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