Workers pulling down a slate chalkboard in an elementary school found buried treasure - chalk drawings elementary schoolchildren had done a half-century earlier.
The workers were preparing to cover the wall-length chalkboard with a bulletin board at Concord Elementary School Tuesday. They noticed the slate was loose, pulled it off and found a farewell from the 6A Graduating Class of 1938.Further investigation turned up more artwork beneath another chalkboard, apparently left behind by someone who couldn't bear to erase them when new slates were installed over the worn ones 52 years before.
The wall-length boards included six still-vivid colored chalk pictures by student artists and the signatures of several dozen children who attended Lily Lodmell's class.
One of the names was of a now 64-year-old construction worker who lives a few blocks away.
"That's me - No. 17. That's my signature," Carl Marra exclaimed when he was summoned to the school.
Marra, whose name was signed Marro then - a birth certificate error he later corrected - is a lifelong resident of the South Park neighborhood. Marra said he did not remember doing the blackboard farewell, but added: "I remember most of the kids. We all lived on the same street."
Several of his classmates still live in the area, he said.
The chalk pictures are drawings of scenes in Norway, Portugal and Italy on one board, and Holland, Sweden and Mexico on another.
The teacher presently teaching in the classroom, Bernice Moore, said her third-grade students were very excited by the discovery. "They talked about what they must have been studying at the time . . . probably about those countries."
Principal Toby Gonzales informed the Seattle School District's archives office of the find and taped off the area to protect it while plans were made to put it on display in a hallway or elsewhere.