MODESTO -- It was 1987, "La Bamba" pulsed from the jukebox, a gallon of gas cost less than a dollar, and at Stanislaus Elementary School, a time capsule snuggled under freshly turned dirt.
Twenty-five years later, the next generation peered into the past.
Today's fourth-graders wielded the shovels Monday while two students from the 1987 class and retired teacher Marilyn Mack watched decades-old memories come literally to light.
Every item held meaning for Allison Bledsoe, now a mom whose children also are Stanislaus Elementary alums.
"I remember a whole day of us figuring out what to put in there. We were all so excited to bury it. But I haven't even thought about it in, well, 25 years," she said.
Bledsoe said she'd heard from about 40 former schoolmates before the event through Facebook. Jason David was among them.
David said he saw the posts and wanted to see the capsule opened.
"The world's changed so much since then," he said, shaking his head as he looked at pictures of bowl haircuts and ice-chest-size Apple computers.
Reports detailed 1987 fashions, cutting-edge technology (the floppy disk) and school life, which back then included five daily recesses.
Surveys of students' favorite movie ("Stand By Me") and TV show ("Moonlighting"), a trophy, a receipt, and other memorabilia were preserved in plastic bags within the capsule and buried a little more than 2 feet deep.
Eight winning essays predicting the future made it into the large white drum with its screw-top cap. Mack marveled at some of her students' prophetic prose.
"Viewing screens for reading books!" she said with amazement they foresaw the Kindle.
Also eagerly anticipated by those earlier fourth-graders: "vision phones" that if you typed in a name could make the call, solar-powered cars and food warmed by machines as it was ordered.
Some visions remain to be fulfilled, including jet-pack chairs and flying cars, a halo-type contraption to inject knowledge into the wearer's brain and a single worldwide language.
Dreams of Mack's colleague, project organizer Kim Beck, were spelled out in a typewritten page left with a detailed map to guide the dig.
Stanislaus Principal Pamela Collinsworth read it aloud to the 365 students of 2012.
"Hopefully, as you open this time capsule, the social issues and medical mysteries of our time will have been resolved. It would be wonderful to know that cancer and AIDS have been eliminated and that there is no longer the threat of nuclear Holocaust," Beck wrote.
Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2339, and on Twitter, @NanAustin.