In early December 1976, Coast kids were bogeying (yes, they were) to songs like “Rubberband Man,” “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” “Hot Line” and “Car Wash” or rocking out to “More Than a Feeling,” “Detroit Rock City” and “Livin’ Thing.”
They were cracking each other up over the latest “Saturday Night Live” catchphrases and pondering why anyone would spend money for a Pet Rock.
In Long Beach, students in Shelton Comeaux’s eighth-grade Advanced History class were busy working on a time capsule. That year, 1976, had been celebrated as the bicentennial of the United States, and pretty much everyone was still in the bicentennial spirit, including these kids. They decided the capsule should be opened Dec. 10, 2017 — 41 long years away.
It might seem an odd year to choose, but Comeaux and his students wanted the opening to coincide with Mississippi’s own bicentennial year.
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Their teacher’s love of history was addictive, and the students were excited to contribute a variety of items, including toe socks, a mood ring, a copy of the Sun Herald and the school newspaper, and tapes (presumably cassette tapes) of interviews with students. Members of the classes of 1980 and 1982 also were invited to add items.
“We are excited to open the time capsule and reveal the contents,” class member Angie Johnson said. “There’s a secret item, too.”
Classmates have kept the secret item secret for 41 years (well, some might or might not have forgotten after 41 years). All will be revealed Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. when the capsule, which has been sitting under an etched marble slab since late 1976, will be opened. A small reception will be held in the school cafeteria after the opening, and the public is invited to attend the event.
The capsule was dedicated in honor of Thomas L. “Joe” Reeves, who was superintendent at the time. Reeves also contributed something to the cause: dreams and expectations for the coming years. Reeves died about 15 years ago, but family members are expected to be at the capsule opening on Dec. 10.
If you go
What: Long Beach Middle School time capsule opening.
When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.
Where: Long Beach Middle School, 204 N. Cleveland Ave., Long Beach.
Details: The public is invited. A small reception will be held in the school cafeteria after the opening.