Two weeks ago, retired Platteville teacher Tom Skubal asked for help from students at Platteville Middle School between 1976 and 2000 to get letters students wrote for time capsules into those students’ hands.
Two weeks later, Skubal wrote that he had experienced “an unbelievable week. The responses and requests for unclaimed time capsule materials far exceeded my expectations.”
Thanks to social media, Skubal said he had had “hundreds of contacts from all over the country,” and has sent out more than 200 unclaimed letters, with “much more still waiting.”
Between 1976 and 2000, Skubal and PMS teacher Kent Scheurell had students place letters into a time capsule each year. While students began by writing one letter, Skubal said some students placed as many as 20 letters to themselves into the time capsule.
The time capsules were supposed to be given to Platteville High School graduates at their five-year reunions. Four classes didn’t have five-year reunions, or no one claimed their time capsules. Skubal has been trying to get letters written by PHS graduates from 1982 onward into the hands of those who wrote letters to themselves.
“This experience has not been without disappointment,” said Skubal. “Those disappointments come when I have to inform someone that I was unable to locate anything for them. Almost exclusively, this is the result of the fact that a number of folks in charge of the reunions failed to return the unclaimed items to me. In their defense, in some cases the time capsules were picked up at the Middle School where they were being stored. I didn’t expect to be contacted; however, I wasn’t able to remind them to return whatever was unclaimed.”
Skubal has a list of students who wrote 10 or more letters who he can’t reach: Jessica Alexander, Amy Bader, Jesse Baker, Diana Bauman, Krista Berggren, Lauren Bradley, Terity Burbach, Nathan Caywood, John Chandler, Kari Coates, Chelsi Custer, Amy Dolphin, Jamie Faherty, Nicole Fiedler, Joey Forbes, Tasha Forbes, Jill Foster, Tiffany Gaede, Melissa Gehringer, Nicole Gehrke, Rachael Goke, Heather Grimesey, Jennifer Haile, Sara Hardy, Jacob Hibner, Andrea Honshel, Chealsey Hudson, Austin Jarding, Renee Jefcik, Trevor Jones, Bethany Keuter, Amanda Klinkhammer, Geoff Kinder, Natisha Klopp, Kristina Kurtz, Julia Levens, Ryan Liebfried, Anna Lory, Jodi Lynch, Julie Meis, Daren Mindham, Josh Moore, Christine Munson, Kelly Murphy, Matt Peterson, Bryce Pickett, Kelly Pluemer, Michele Reese, Tina Richardson, Dave Sagehorn, Kyle Saunders, Paul Shell, Jennifer Splinter, Phyllis Triege, Emily Tucker, Liz Waugh and Amber Womack.
Skubal also believes some time capsule materials may be “stored away in someone’s basement.” He is asking PHS class presidents to check for whether PMS time capsule materials might be stored somewhere.
Anyone with information or questions on the PMS time capsules can email Skubal at firstname.lastname@example.org.