MYAKKA CITY -- To an elementary school student, 1994 must sound like an impossibly long time ago.
But when Principal Kathy Price of Myakka City Elementary School asked her students what might be in a 1994 time capsule buried under the school courtyard, the responses were timeless:
A Barbie house?
No, none of those.
"Are you excited to see 20 years of history come out of the ground?" Price asked her students.
"Yeeesssss!" they roared back.
And with that, school staff member Lisa McLeod reached deep into the ground and pulled out a scuffed, oblong container.
Tom Redman, who served as school principal from 1980 to 1995, traveled from Tennessee to do the honors of pulling the contents from the time capsule.
Among them was a March 18, 1994, Bradenton Herald, still covered in its plastic delivery bag, VHS tapes, photographs and Polaroid prints. There was also a TV Guide magazine with Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg on the cover.
Redman reflected fondly on his students back then.
"The kids were great; it was 'yes sir,' and 'no sir,'" he said. The oldest of them are now 48, the youngest 23.
Once the time capsule's contents were emptied onto a table, the students stuffed it with new items: flash drives loaded with photos, videos, and more; a 2014 current-events booklet, index cards containing the titles of favorite books and movies, a shiny $1 bill, a health clinic pass, lunch and breakfast menus, and more.
Other highlights of the ceremony included ear-splitting competitions between student groups yelling "We have spirit, how about you?" and a song-and-dance performance by a staff and faculty ensemble.
"Mrs. Kersey and the Artifacts" performed a time-capsule song. Among the more memorable lyrics: "1994, no one was stressed by FCAT scores," and in "20 years we'll be back for more."
Marcia Cannon, the school's beloved media specialist from 1985 to 2012, passed away earlier this year. She was honored Friday as the American Association of University Women presented a $500 check in her memory.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.