by Terrye Tebbetts
Normally all you hear me write about is breast augmentation or breast implants – not today! Today, I am playing proud Momma and want to share with you this article about my daughter, Kas, that appeared in the Montana Standard Newspaper yesterday.
A Historian in the Making
Kas Tebbetts, 13, talks with retired hard rock miners Ed Drabant, left, and Tom Holter, the two stars of her oral history film that debuted at the World Museum of Mining Wednesday morning.
Kas Tebbetts tagged along as her father John Tebbetts snapped hundreds of photos of Butte while their family spends summers in Montana.
Sure, Butte is interesting, but it didn’t really intrigue the 13-year-old like it did her father.
Then Kas became involved in the junior docent program at the World Museum of Mining and while there met Dolores Cooney, curator. Cooney put her in touch with Tom Holter and Ed Drabant — a couple of old miners who spent years working underground.
History took on a whole new meaning for the eighth grader from Dallas.
“I love stories and Butte has some of the best stories I’ve ever heard,” Kas said Wednesday at the World Museum of Mining. “It was so big and so booming and there were people coming every day.
“It was this huge melting pot of cultures.”
That initial meeting with two men who lived Butte’s rich mining history sparked Kas to want to make a record of their stories, John Tebbetts said.
“We had no sooner gotten in the car when she said ‘Dad, has anybody documented that?” he said. “Hearing history first person had a tremendous impact on her — it’s not like reading.”
The two set out to produce a video titled “Mining in Butte: Shedding Light for a New Generation.” In it Kas narrates a short introduction and then conducts interviews with Holter and Drabant.
They talk candidly about their lives in the mines: their early days underground, the hard work and the incredible dangers they faced every day. But they also sprinkle in a little humor and talk about the pride they took in their work.
When asked the best part of his typical day, Holter gave an honest answer.
“Going to a bar afterwards and having a boilermaker,” he said with a chuckle.
But Holter also talked of the strong bond miners felt with each other. He said the work was dangerous but men worked as a team and that made a difference.
“You had camaraderie out there,” he said. “You had good guys with you and you look out for each other.”
Drabant recalled some of his brushes with death. He said as a student miner he was thrown in by the older guys with little training to operate equipment.
“I don’t know how it was that I never got killed,” he said. “There were big boulders — which we called Duggans — falling all around me.”
John Tebbetts, a surgeon by trade, said the film was fun to work on and it helped him learn a lot about cinematography. But more important, he saw Kas develop a deep interest in something. Her mother Terrye Tebbetts saw that same passion in her daughter.
“The history just grabs her and she can’t let go,” Terrye Tebbetts said.
Kas, who lives with her family in McAllister in summer, said writing is her first love and she’s interested in studying English and literature in college. She’d love to blend her two interests and write historical fiction.
As for her film project, it will be distributed throughout Butte schools to teach about the Mining City’s past, said Jeanette Kopf, museum education director.
“These miners have amazing stories and we don’t want to lose that,” she said.
500 of the DVD’s will be donated to schools, archives and museums through out the country in an effort to preserve history and share the intrique of Butte and it’s mining culture.
About the Author: Terrye Tebbetts is one of the most knowledgeable women in the world about breast implants, with 27 years of experience educating patients and 11 years as a patient herself. For more information about breast implants or breast augmentation Dallas surgeons, please visit www.thebestbreast.com.