San Francisco's Cleveland Elementary School seals next time capsule

By: Amy Crawford | Examiner Staff Writer
Time capsule
Superintendent Carlos Garcia and a student volunteer place the time capsule inside the wall at Cleveland Elementary School. (Amy Crawford/The Examiner)
Cleveland Elementary School was built a century ago to serve a city still recovering from the devastation of the 1906 earthquake and fire. When officials buried a time capsule on campus, they included a letter hoping for a brighter future.

Current students and staff opened the time capsule in January, discovering the letter along with photos and pamphlets documenting school life in 1910.

And on Monday, they replaced that time capsule with a new one, which they hope will show children of the future what life was like in 2011.

“It’s a really cool thing, to represent the time capsule from our school,” said fifth-grader Pedro Palacios, 10. “I hope the people in 100 years find it.”

John Weidinger, the Cleveland Elementary volunteer who discovered the 1910 capsule last year while researching the school’s history, surveyed students and teachers about what the box should contain.

“A lot of the stuff that was in the old box was administrative,” he said. “I wanted something for the kids.”
The new box contains a baseball signed by the Giants, a package of Silly Bandz — trendy rubber bracelets — and a “Star Wars” comic book.

Weidinger, 70, a retired California Highway Patrol officer who was a student at Cleveland from 1947 to 1953, also slipped his own letter into the copper box, with some advice for the children who will eventually see it.

“It’s important that they study hard,” he said, summarizing the letter. “Listen to your teachers, read your books.”

Weidinger said he had a wish for public schools 100 years from now.

“I would like to see the schools totally funded,” he said. “I hope they spend their money wisely.”

Pedro, whose favorite time capsule item is the signed baseball, also had a wish for the future.

“I hope there are better Giants in 100 years, to win another [World Series],” he said.

Time stamp

Some of the items in the 2011 capsule:

  • Copies of documents and pictures from the 1910 box
  • Newspapers proclaiming the Giants’ World Series win
  • A baseball signed by the Giants
  • A “Star Wars” comic book
  • A package of Silly Bandz
  • Letters from former students and school and city officials
  • A May 2011 school lunch menu
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: