Class of '51 peeks into the past

The campus has changed somewhat, and so have they, but the memories came rushing back Friday as three members of the Hoover High School class of 1951 unearthed a time capsule they buried when they were seniors.

“We are in shock, we never expected this,” said Tom O’Loughlin as he and classmates Jean Newhouse Woody and Marilyn Nadeau Chrisman stood amid dozens of staff and faculty members during a hero’s welcome on the central quad.

They carried with them a photograph pulled from a classmate’s scrapbook showing their class president, Don “Skip” Endsley, placing the capsule in wet cement.

The brass canister — hidden beneath a slab engraved with ‘51’ — contained a copy of the program from the class candlelight dinner, an enduring culinary tradition that takes place right before graduation. It also included letters written by all 365 graduates predicting where they would be and what they would be doing in the future.

The contents were brittle, but still legible.

“I am glad we got to it when we did, frankly,” O’Loughlin said.

The Hoover alums contacted their alma mater about the time capsule in anticipation of their 60th reunion, which they will celebrate in September. They knew it was buried somewhere on campus, but were unsure of its condition.

Mark Brown, head of facility and support operations for the Glendale Unified School District, said he had been contacted about a time capsule by a class that had graduated in the 1940s. But when they dug it up, they found that it had been compromised and its contents had disintegrated.

The time capsule from the class of 1951 was better preserved, he said.

“When they dug it out…it was very exciting,” Brown said.

The class of 1951 has remained one of Hoover’s most active, Chrisman said. The class email list server has more than 100 contacts. Now in their late 70s, the members lunch together multiple times a year, and increased the frequency of formal reunions to every two years.

“We figure we can’t wait for the dessert these days,” Chrisman said.

The campus had been looking forward to the unearthing of the capsule for weeks, Hoover Principal Jennifer Earl said.

“I really think it builds the sense of family that we are working on here,” Earl said.

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