ACCS unveils time capsule from 1990

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2010

NATCHEZ — In 1990, everyone went to high school with Joey McIntyre, Jordan and Jonathan Knight and the rest of the New Kids on the Block.

And a time capsule buried at Adams County Christian School in 1990 made sure the moms, dads and professionals of today would never forget it.

The contents of a time capsule compiled twenty years ago were revealed Thursday at an ACCS homecoming bonfire and fortieth anniversary celebration.

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Included in the capsule was a New Kids on the Block “Hangin’ Tough” cassette, a Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle toy, an old Rebelettes uniform, a 20th anniversary t-shirt, old newspaper clips, photographs and more.

The mementos and pictures of students now in their 30s and 40s remained buried in a barrel on the playground for twenty years until former student from 1974-1986 Phillip Watts recently decided to dig it up for the anniversary.

Watts, a ACCS father married to ACCS teacher Kathy Watts, discovered uncovering the 55-gallon barrel time capsule was not as easy as he thought.

Two weeks ago, Watts spent his weekend and a few vacation days bent over a shovel, trying to locate the barrel near the engraved time capsule concrete marker on the playground.

After digging a few fruitless holes, he asked ACCS parent Scotty Floyd to assist him with a back hoe.

With the help of the heavy equipment, Floyd, Watts and Watts’ nephew ACCS student Hunter Russ struck the barrel with the backhoe — where it was buried a few feet away from where the marker was set.

When the backhoe punctured the plastic barrel, Watts noticed the drum was filled with water due to exposure over twenty years, but he was able to salvage many of the items and pictures.

Watts displayed all of the remotely salvageable items under the pavilion for generations of ACCS Rebels to browse at Thursday’s homecoming parade and bonfire.

Children, parents and alumni walked by the picnic tables to check out how things have changed.

The Polaroid pictures sustained water damage best — which contained pictures of poofy bangs and frizzy hair.

A J.C. Penny ad from 1990 tried to sell acid-wash, clinch-waisted denim shorts, and an ad for typewriters reminded spectators computers were still on the horizon for many households in 1990.

A 1990 Coca-Cola can with a stamp reading “original recipe,” recalled a failed marketing campaign from 1985 when Coke changed their recipe and introduced “New coke” for 79 days before reverting to the original recipe after a public outcry against the change.

Watts said he originally wanted to dig up the capsule for the anniversary and nearly gave up after some unsuccessful days of searching.

But after connecting with former students through in effort to find out if someone knew where the capsule was buried — finding the capsule became a collective mission.

Watts said he enjoyed reconnecting with old classmates throughout the process, and when his social networking revealed that his old kindergarten teacher, Joan Kiser, contributed her scrapbook to the capsule — he knew he could not give up.

Kiser, who Watts said started the Kindergarten program at ACCS, attended the celebration and got a chance to see some of the salvageable articles from her scrapbook.

Many of the Democrat articles went back to the school’s beginnings in 1970, when ACCS’s first students were taught at various churches before the school was built.

Also included was an article about the land being acquired to build ACCS.

Generations of members of the ACCS families watched the latest batch of athletes, dance team members and seniors parade from Natchez 2 Market parking lot around the ACSO field in decorated pick-up trucks, before gathering around a bonfire near the pavilion.

Watts said ACCS plans on compiling a new time capsule to be opened twenty more years.

Watts said some of the ideas for 2010 mementos were a football uniform, pictures and a 2010 cell phone.

“We’re definitely doing a map for this one,” Watts said.