Students read 20-year-old letters saved in time capsule

WINONA, Mo. -- 20 years ago, kids in a fifth grade class at Winona Elementary wrote letters to their future son or daughter. Those letters were put in a time capsule, which has not been opened until Saturday.

"Hey what's up class? I haven't seen y'all in a while. I can drive now. I have a job now and I work for a living. I have kids and a beautiful wife,...which is true," Rockie Dailey read.

"Apparently I named my daughter Samantha. Dear Samantha, your life will be so possible to handle. All the things I will give you will be so important," Delcina Myers read aloud.

"Dear sons or daughters, I am in the fifth grade. I love basketball and someday I hope to be in the NBA," Randon Boyle said.

Did that come true?

"No, not yet. We're still waiting," Boyle exclaimed.

April 13th, 1999, 19 students in Mrs. Jean Myers' fifth grade class were surprised to hear instead of social studies work that morning, they were going to write a special letter.

"When I broke the news to the kids, to the class, we were going to do that, they first seemed a bit skittish about it. They thought it was crazy at first," Myers added.

Crazy then but special now.

"I collect basketball cards and when you get older I will give them to you. I like to fish in my free time, Boyles read. I'm a christian boy. I go to the Assembly of God Church and I hope you'll become a christian someday too."

"When you are old enough to write and read, I want you to do the very same thing I did in fifth...write a letter to your child or children," Delcina Myers said.

"I have a Chevy now. It's black with Nike signs and it's really tall. I wish I was back in school. It's hard out here. I didn't know how true that was going to be," Rockie Dailey explained.

Mrs. Myers hopes today's teachers offer surprises just like she did 20 years ago.

"Don't just stick by the books all the time, Myers stated. Get as personal with them as you can to let them know you are human, that you do care about them and you want to share their lives, even beyond fifth grade."

After not seeing them for two decades, the letters are now memories they can read over and over again.

"Yeah, we're going to take them. I'm actually going to put them up and let my kids read them when they get older. If they don't do it at school, I'm going to encourage them to do our own," Dailey told KY3.

"I'm definitely going to put it in a scrapbook, so hopefully my children can go back and read it....if they can read my writing," Delcina Myers added.

"We'll probably stick it back. Maybe years down the road, our kids can look at it, Boyles explained. Like Rockie said, I would probably encourage my kids to write something, whether it's at school or at home. It's neat and a lot of fun to look back and see what was important to you at the time and what's changed over the years."

Mrs. Myers did the same writing promt with her fifth grade class the following year, in 2000, and hopes to have those students meet up and open their letters too.