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Posted October 18, 2016

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Uncovered treasure!

A bottle stuffed with letters written by fourth graders nearly half a century ago was found just as the walls of the old Montgomery Elementary School came down.

Brad Clement, 58, was in fourth grade at Montgomery Elementary School when he and his schoolmates wrote letters about themselves, stuffed them inside bottles and buried them beneath trees near the school’s front entrance.

When demolition of the school located at the corner of Louisiana and Comanche began a few months ago, Clement and others who had gone there called the district and asked that they keep a lookout for the buried treasures.

Sure enough, one of bottles was uncovered by workers for SDV Construction, right where the students said it would be.

Clement along with about two dozen of his schoolmates were on hand Tuesday, Oct. 18, for the opening of that time capsule. Inside – the letter Clement wrote 48 years ago along with 24 others by his classmates.

“This is scary,” he said as he began to read the faded letter written by his 10-year-old self in the spring of 1968.

Clement’s letter said he was in fourth grade at Montgomery, Room 15, in Mrs. Hoffpauir’s class. His best friend was Brian O’Connor and his favorite TV shows were Lost in Space and The Monkees. He liked the Monkees, young Brad wrote, for three reasons: his aunt taught Sunday school to band member Micky Dolenz, she worked with Micky’s father and she knew band member Mike Nesmith.

“I have kept journals most of my life. I’ve always been interested in my history and the history of my community, so this is pretty special,” said Clement, a retired piano teacher and handyman. “I remember school being idyllic. I have great memories. I enjoyed walking to school in the mornings. I don’t have great memories of homework, though.”

Cindy Linke, another Montgomery alum who contacted APS about the time capsules, was given the honor of smashing the bottle when she and others couldn’t pull the letters through its narrow opening.

Her letter wasn’t among the 25 found, so she and others who inspected the letters Tuesday believe other time capsules are still buried, perhaps forever lost in the now vacant lot that will soon house a teacher and staff training center.

Montgomery Elementary School was built in 1955. It was converted into an administrative building, called Montgomery Complex, in 1982, where it housed special education, fine arts and other programs until this school year.

Note: We are scanning the letters that were found in the time capsule and will post them to APS.edu at a later date.

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