Tribune-Examiner (Dillon, Mont.) 1973-1982, September 21, 1982, Image 9

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U K -iJay, boji her 21 , 1832 Billon Ti ribUEO-EliOiiiHH 1 B - l '¿eiñniQáiiúti iroaanng, £> 0 ' Big Noi® news, ¡ 8-5 Almanac, B-7 , B-8 Zina Burton grew up with kerosene lamps B y J U L IE SIM ON S taff writer A neighbor lady had to cross Idaho’s wide Snake River to help bring Zina W ekes Burton into the world in 1892. “They always told m e I was the first w h ite girl bom in the Swan V a lley,” sm iled Mrs. Burton who was a w ife a t n o t q u ite 16, a mother a y ear later and a widow a t 49. The s ix th child in a fam ily o f 12, she grew up m ilking cows, feeding pigs, churning butter and making bread w ith flour n u lled from the farm’s own grain. “I t seem s to m e that y o u n g folks today h ave easy liv e s —and th a t some o f them are a b it spoiled,” she said, s e ttlin g down on her living room couch, her lap filled w ith photos of her 16 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren. “ N o t that I blame them. W hen I was young everyone worked hard, but we didn’t mind. Hara work was a ll we knew.” A s a g ir l Zina was accustom ed to w a shing clothes on a wash board w ith hot water heated on a stove and homemade soap made o f tallow. “ I still have m y m other’s old galvanized brass tub,” she said, pointing out the relic which now serves her for a d ecorative rather than for a p ractical purpose. IN HER YOUTH, Zina was a lso u sed to the gloom of long winter n ig h ts lighted only by flam ing wicks floating in saucers of grease and to the cold of a January day kept at bay w ith layers of warm homemade clothing. “ B u t i t was a good life,” she said. “ I loved the Swan Valley and its people. I s t ill like the country better than the town. Zina attended school only through fifth grade because she was needed a t home to take care o f her father and the fam ily’s younger children while her mother went away to school designed to teach women how to help w ith births. “School wasn’t so im portant then—not for g irls, or for the boys either, she explained, adding the community h all which h oused the LDS Church and the school served a s a g athering p la ce for the people of the v a lley. Zina’s e y e s creased with enjoym ent a s she recalled the com m unity dances. “W e would bundle up the children and go,” she said. “We’d make them beds and th e y ’d go off to sleep while we would d a n ce.” Mrs. Burton lived all, her married life in the v a lley and raised her four children there e x c e p t for a year in the b eginning when she and her husband moved to Canada to help w ith a Burton wheat farm. “It was hard to leave,” she said Left a widow a t a relatively y o u n g a g e, Zina a lso .was responsible for h er two grandchildren, orphaned when Zina’s daughter died a t age 20. Tragedy, though, was softened when ZinaTs son Clarence took on the role o f man o f the fam ily. Clarence decided to m ove the fam ily to tne B ig Hole because he was a cattlem an and much of the good p asture in th e Swan Valley had b een d estroyed when the Palisade Dam was built on the Snake. “I m issed Swan Valley, but I liked the B ig Hole, too,” Zina said. “ T he country reminded me o f Idaho. The winters? They weren’t any worse that I could see than what I ’d lived with all m y life.” Besides, there were some advantages to the move besides the availability of range land. For the first tim e in her life Zina could enjoy the convenience o f indoor plumbing. The B ig H ole eventually became home to her, but it was a home the Burtons were destined to leave. After the grandson Zina had raised d ied a t age 18, she decided a change from the dem anding life o f B ig Hole ranching m ight be good for the fam ily. So in 1963 the Burtons m oved to Dillon. “I h ated to leave the B ig Hole ju s t like I hated to leave Swan Valley. B u t you know, Dillon people are so n ice. They've become ju s t like fam ily to m e—es­ pecially the people in the (LDS) church.” Zina is s till active in her church and in spite of occasional b o u ts o f ill h ealth, she remains involved in her life-long interest in homemaking. And she remains a constant p ractitioner o f the art of q u ilting that she learned from her mother. “ My m other w a s a wonderful seam stress; she made m y wedding gown herself,” she Said making her way to the c lo set where the d elicate gown hangs. Zina herself is skilled w ith needle and thread as the piles of handmade quilts in her spare bedroom and p h o tos o f some o f her other p rojects show. For the nation’s bi-centennial, she made a huge flag quilt, a m aster work o f the art. How many quilts has she m ade in all over the years? “ I ’v e never k ept track,” she said, explaining when she finishes one project she g o e s on to the n ext, working from patterns she finds in m agazines or carries m her head. How did she find tim e n u d energy to keep at her quilting through a il the years marked by hard work and losses, including the deaths of her two daughters. \Pve always tried to keep bu s y ,” she said, folding away a quilt intended for one of her great grandchildren. And she hopes to keep on q u ilting th is winter even though she’ll be spending the cold season with ho* son Henry in Idaho. “A t m y a g e I can’t look too far ahead,” she said. “B u t I ’ll keep on w ith m y work a s long a s I ’m a b le.” Zina Burton h a s made q u ilts like th is one nearly all' Swan Valley, Idaho has many memories o f growing up her life. Mrs. Burton, the first pioneer d aughter born in when work was hard b u t the rime« good. Foreign exchange student Myriam Lopez from is currently s taying w ith Mr. and Mrs. Frank D avis. French student here for year of Rotary Club exchange student Myriam Lopez of Agen, France, says she applied for the program designed to promote international understanding because she wanted “ to know America\. ■And Dillon is the piece of America she’s finding out about as she attends school at Beaverhead County High School. The 18-year-old who is enrolled as a senior, is staying with Mr. and Mrs. Frank Davis. As the'year progresses she’ll become the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Day and Mr. and Mrs. Otlia Graham. Miss Lopez, who has finished the equivalent of high school in France, said she’s enjoying Dillon even though the English language is giving her a few problems. “The teachers sometimes talk too fast for me but I can always ask for help when I have questions,” she studying said, noting classes don’t seem as difficult here as they are in France. She noted another difference between school here and in her home country—Students here aren’t allowed to smoke! And the lunch break is considerably shorter than the two hours she’s accustomed to. Teachers tend to be more formal with students in France, she added, and there is less emphasis on sports. Miss Lopez, who plans to study fine arts, is enrolled in BCHS classes reflecting her interest. She is taking photography, ceramics as well as regular art lessons. And so far she’s been too busy getting to know her new classmates to feel an excessive amount of homesickness. interest in drug abuse Persons interested in starting an alcohol and drug abuse p revention pro­ gram in Dillon will meet Friday at noon in the County Seat for a public, no-host luncheon. The session is the result of a Friday and Saturday workshop which featured Van Ebleidinger, former director o f a highly succes­ sful prevention program in M innesota. Sponsored by the Tri County Alcohol S ervice and funded b y a s tate grant, the workshop was designed both for law enforcement and social work profession­ als and for concerned laypersons. In a Friday interview Abeidingw said efforts of volunteers and o f helper agencies could combine hem to create a prevention program to combat the drug and alcohol abuse among y o u n g people. Such abuse, law enforcement and Tri-County officials agree, prevention is widespread in Dillon. Ableiainger said one of the first steps in creating an effective prevention program is to start to create public awareness that abuse is “everyone’s problem.” He said Dillon already has enough existing re­ sources—public agencies, school counselors and po­ tential volunteer workers— on which to base a program. rite said m issing, though, is a coordinator who could work on organizing those resources for abuse preven­ tion. Citing the experience of M innesota’s Goodhue- Wabasha Diversion and Prevention project, which reduced the numbers of juveniles involved in the court system in those two counties by a substantial amount in the 1970’s, Ableidinger said that pro- ICont. on page B-2] Program geared to bright kids Dillon D istrict 10 has taken a giant step this year towards the creation o f a program designed to challenge students w ith above average a b ilities and talents. For th e first tim e a fulltim e teacher—Mrs. Patsy Retrig—has been assigned to coordinate a program designed to offer c o n sistent help to students who need extra-learning opportunities. Developed from the district’s year-and-a-half old effort to develop a “gifted ami talented” curriculum, the Learning Extension A c tivity Program (LEAP) is nearly o ff the ground, Mrs. R e ttig said. Right now she’s working w ith teachers in grades kindergarten through eighth grade to identify students who could benefit the m ost from the program. “I ’d like to steer away from the label o f ‘gifted and talented’ for this program because i t ’s not lim ited to students who fall into that category. Instead, the program’s purpose is —as its name sa y s —to offer extended learning opportunities to those who need them .” “W e’re going to start sm all and try to build from there,” Mrs. R e ttig added. She noted after students who m ight benefit b y the program are selected, she’ll begin m eeting with them for a portion of each school week and guide them through individual programs which w ill compliment their regular classroom assign­ ments. The number and tim es of those m eetings will be worked o u t after the students are selected, as will the details o f individual programs. But the district has already established the broad outlines of LEAP. “The idea i3 to provide a consistent approach to helping students all the way through their elementary years,” she said. That way the program can remain intact even if staff members change, she added. Right now Mrs. Rettig is looking at a program which will progress as follows: —Kindergarten participants will be involved in an accelerated reading program which will use the » ton M ifflin reading series which is part of the curriculum. —Students in first through third grade will be offered expanded learning activities based on the regular classroom curriculum taught a t these levels. • —Fourth grade children will be given opportunities to develop their social and leadership skills as well as the chance to explore their individual special interests. —Fifth and sixth grade students will continue to work in their special interest areas and will also take part in activities designed to point up the contribu­ tions b y people who have used their special a b ilities to help others. —Seven and eighth graders will continue to work in their special interest areas and may take part in a nation-wide program designed to encourage them to think of solutions to important and widespread prob­ lems. Pointing out that parents who think their children could benefit by the program should contact teachers, Mrs. R e ttig said. Selection into the program w ill be based on student need. “ I can’t really say how many children w ill be participating u n til the selection process is over. B u t I think we’ll probably have more younger students in the pregram, mainly because they’re easier to identify. They h aven’t had the years o f experience o f covering up their abilities and fitting into the group th a t the older children have.” Mrs. Rettig, who has attended several workshops and programs on accelerated learning systems, said she and district teachers still have a way to go in developing the details of the program. But a beginning has been made. Mis. Rettig and district officials say they hope that beginning will evolve into a solid program of learning opportunities.

Tribune-Examiner (Dillon, Mont.), 21 Sept. 1982, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/sn85053037/1982-09-21/ed-1/seq-9/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.