PLEASANT GROVE, Utah -- A construction project in Pleasant Grove is taking some former elementary school students on an unexpected trip down memory lane.
A Pleasant Grove Streets Department worker hit a time capsule while the crew worked on excavating Discovery Park.
The park is being rebuilt from the ground up.
Bobbie Dickey remembers that park, and used to play at it after it opened with an exciting new play area in 1996.
On Tuesday, Dickey read poems in her living room from that time in her life.
“A super good athlete, a fine student too. You need a cool picture, he'll draw one for you,” she recited.
The poems, written by her 6th Grade teacher Mr. Bagley, offer her a piece of nostalgia. He wrote the simple rhymes for each student in his class, and she said he read them to students on the last day of school.
“He was one of my favorite teachers,” she said.
It’s fun to think back on the memories—the “Sham Battles” (aka dodge ball) she played with classmates, how Mr. Bagley held monthly drawings. Bobbie won two of those drawings.
These are things she hasn’t thought about in a long time, until a former classmate sent her a photo of the poems on social media.
“I had forgotten about it, until it just barely came up,” she said.
Came up, or rather, dug up—by accident.
Nate Lloyd said his co-worker was digging near what used to be the sand box at Discovery Park, when he hit something about a foot deep in the ground.
It was a blue tube with a white end cap.
“He thought it was a pipe, so he was like, ‘Great. I just hit a pipe,’” Lloyd said.
That is until his co-worker read the lettering on the side.
“Alpine School District,” it reads. “May 2, 1996. Open on May 2, 2096.”
Unfortunately, the heavy equipment already broke the capsule open, so his co-worker brought the capsule to the shop.
“He said, ‘Hey I found this time capsule.’ So we went through it,” Lloyd recounted.
He and his co-worker started sifting through a 90s gold mine. The capsule had been buried when the park was originally built and dedicated.
They found Star Wars memorabilia, a Goosebumps book, 1996 Olympic basketball Dream Team magazine, newspapers, video tapes, and class pictures from Central Elementary School.
The find came as a total surprise to Pleasant Grove City leaders and the people involved with the Rediscover Discovery Park Committee.
The find also came as a total surprise to Lloyd.
“When I saw the Central School shirt, that was like ‘Hey-- that's… I could be in this!’”
Nate went to Central the year before the capsule went into the earth. As he looked through the pictures, he recognized teachers and students.
“These are the kids that I went to school with,” he said.
His favorite item in the capsule—a t-shirt with the logo for the Central Elementary school mock space center.
“We would do missions, and people would come visit it from all over,” Nate remembered. “And, it was a great experience.”
One of the pieces of papers included all of Mr. Bagley’s poems for his students, along with a class picture.
Bobbie Dickey is pictured near the center top row.
Her poem reads:
“In all that she does, she just gives her best, from artwork to math or spelling test, she's won, you know, 2 monthly draws. Let's all stand up, class, and give some applause.”
Memories once forgotten, now discovered again.
“Kind of neat to see those memories come back up, for sure,” Dickey said.
The Rediscover Discovery Park Committee said they plan to display the time capsule and its contents. They’ll add items from today and rebury it in the park after the new park is built—this time with a plaque to mark the spots it’s at.