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The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
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April 25, 2012     The Adams County Record
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April 25, 2012
 

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Page 8 Wednesday, April 25, 2012 The Adams County Record Community Spotlight Tina Warner Bear's Teacher and Writer Extraordinaire By Deb Wilson "I think people in this community know me already," laughed Tina Warner, senior resident of the small community of Bear, Idaho. She's inspired two generations of area students, first as Bear's only teacher for over 2 decades, and then for 10+ years teaching at Council Elementary School. She's a woman of intelligent conversation, historical cognizance and infectious laughter. Her news columns in the Adams County Record update the weekly Bear events. Her research helps supply history for the Council Museum and other projects embracing the areas pioneer heritage. Her stories and her own history paint pictures of an enviable resiliency. She still lives alone, writes, walks two miles almost everyday, quilts, and cooks breakfast for her Bear family every morning. Although she'll deny it, her mind is sharp and full of wisdom. Talking with her is an extraordinary adventure into time. Bear was never an easy place to live. Of the dozen- plus homes, maybe 10 people live there all year, braving the harsh winter snow and the hazardous roadway, which wasn't paved from Council until after 2000. Electricity didn't arrive until 1978. Tina's small frame and attractive demeanor belie the strength it took to flourish there for nearly 70 years. Tina likes to tell the story of her arrival in Bear. The town had difficulty finding a teacher during WWII, and there wasn't housing available. Tina started the daily route from Weiser before she was 20. "I came out this way on a train, but there wasn't any transportation to Bear7 said Tina. "I rode to Bear with the mailman for the half- day of school everyday. I went back to Weiser on the train, and Dad came from Ontario to see me on the weekendsY She spent her early life traveling. "One of my earliest memories was my mother stitching up the canvas top of our old Model T" she recalled. She was born Tina Edwards in Ontario, Oregon, daughter of Joseph Edwards and Rhoda Spaulding. She and her sister, Helen, shuffled through several schools while her Depression era family looked for work. An army private during WWI, her dad had been a buckaroo, raising horses for the Pacific Livestock Company until the Depression hit. A man of values who never accepted charity, he worked at any job he could find, including the Civilian Conservation Corps, building the road out of Riggins by shovel. In Bear, Tina met the resilient Warner family who had settled the area in the 1890's. Bert Warner was a rancher who had lost his parents young. He stole Tina away from her Oregon high school sweetheart, who had continued to court her despite the long distances. "Bert was fun, and he always took me dancing," she beamed. They married in 1942, bought a team of workhorses, and started life together in a tiny, falling down house on the old Warner homestead. After their first son Joe was born, they moved up the road where she lives today, in the only blue house in Bear. Bert's stone walkway and a totem pole, carved with her and Bert's names, greet visitors. His stonework shapes a map of Idaho nn a porch wall he replaced after a freak tornado years ago. After her 4 children were born, Tina continued teaching, completing her degree at the College of Idaho while Bert took care of the kids. Later she Cambridge Senior Chatter Scam Seminar is Coming by ]anice Vuich Cawyer- 257-3358 On Friday May 4th from 2 to 4 PM we are having a "Scam Prevention Seminar:' It is free to the public, and light refreshments will be served. You will learn what the top 10 scams are, tips for avoiding scares and swindles, how to protect yourself from scares and swindles and a list of who to call if you suspect fraud. Transportation is available to those who need this service. Please call and reserve a seat, as we need to be able to plan for the number in attendance. The number to call is 257-3358. And, let your friends and neighbors know; the more people we have the more interactive the seminar will be. Good news on another front as well. Transportation on our senior bus is now free to all seniors, disabled per- sons and their caregiv- ers. Of course you must be registered for the pro- gram, but anywhere we go shopping trips etc., you will ride for free. Of course if you would like to make a donation, we will gladly accept it, and rest assured we will use it to augment our transportation pro- gram. Our next shopping trip to Ontario will be on Tuesday May 1st. There is a sign up sheet on the front table at seniors or you can call me here at 257-3358 to reserve a spot on the bus. I would like to be able to offer more transportation services to our community and maybe if we can start filling the bus, more will be possible. It's getting to be that time of month again, you know when my month end reports must be completed, so if you have any volun- teer hours, please let me know of them so they can be included in my report. Until next time, I hope you are well and happy. would obtain her Master's of Education at Boise State. Pictures of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great- great grandchildren decorate her walls and attest to their successful life together. "Bert was a good rancher and logger," she shared. In the early days fiddles, guitars, and mouse harps gathered at schools and community halls on Saturday nights. "Everyone took their kids and rolled them up in quilts under the 0 0 0 benches, so no one would step on them while we were dancing;' she laughed. Life was a little different in a tiny isolated town like Bear. Tina learned to never make the telephone operator mad or she wouldn't put the call through. She had her first television, an 8" black and white battery- powered box, before electricity came in. Bear had a diesel plant, and homes ran gas lights and gas refrigerators. Tina cooked by woodstove and pressed clothes with a gas iron. A community irrigation ditch provided water. Driving the swerving, unpaved road to Council was torture. "You were just as likely to drive off or get stuck; the road was just a bummer;' she explained. After the Bear School closed in 1968 she taught in Council until her 1981 retirement, with many famous Council residents, such as Rich Green and Dale Fisk, maturing under her tutelage. For fun she and Bert backpacked and rode horses, and loaded the kids up in the Chevy for summer trips to Canada and camping. Joe, Arlen, Pam and Gaye all enjoyed their horses and 4H. But life was not without its trauma. One day a gas tank on the back of a truck exploded beside ll-year- 000000000,0 64th Ilnnuoi Open old Joe, covering his body with 3rd and 4th degree burns. Tina was home alone with three little girls, no telephone and no car. Bert was logging in Salmon River. They managed to get Joe to the Council Hospital, where Tina stayed with him for 3 months, q-he Bear community fundraising dance helped pay for Joe's successful skin grafts in Boise. Tina expressed eternal gratitude for Bert's sister Mavis, the Bear postmistress, now sadly gone, who kept the girls through this time. After her retirement, she and Bert traveled through Mexico. As Bert's health declined, he began woodcarving. Shelves of buckaroos and Santas surround her living room; intricate wood inserts decorate her tables. Quietly, after 64 years of life's memories together, he slipped away from her three years ago. Her treasured blue- eyed cat, Aggy, keeps her company now, and travels most places she goes, including her sister Helen's in Arizona every winter. Last month Tina celebrated her 88th birthday and gathered her family around, serving the 6 gallons of white chili she made. Tina's proud of all of them, and the sacrifices that they've made for their own families. And what a difference she has made for so many in Adams County. Soturdog li Sundog, mo9 5th li 6th Show storts ot l:30pm 0 O O 0 e Riggins Rodeo Grounds - Riggins, Idoho o TICKETS 0 Ildults: 510.00 7-12:55.00 66under: free 0 PLEFlSE, 110 GLFlSS C011TFllDER$ 0 e $300 PURSE IN 7 MAIN EVENTS PLUS ENTRY FEES RODEO STOCK BY: KING CATTLE e0. HOMEDALE, IDAHO CROSS-0- e0WS & CALVES oooeeoeoee