Alzola, Arsenio "Arsen"

Mikel Chertudi, Toni Berria, Helen Berria
Interview Location: 
Mountain Home, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Arsen was born in Mountain Home, Idaho in 1920 to Faustino Alzola and Eusebia Elguezabal.  He and his brother, Faustino "Frosty" Alzola, explain how their parents came to the United States, married, and helped run the Bruneau Sheep Company.  Arsen describes what it took to manage the large company and its multiple divisions, a job his father did for about 40 years.  Growing up under the tutelage of their father and other Basques, Arsen and his brothers learned the joys of hunting, fishing, breaking horses, riding, and the value of hard work.

The full weight of managing the Bruneau Sheep Company fell on Arsen's shoulders when Frosty was called to fight in the Second World War.  A struggling economy, his parents' deaths, rationing and the war effort took their toll on Arsen, his family and others in Mountain Home.  He tells story of how they pulled through.

When his brother returned from Burma, Arsen, Frosty, and Martin Alzola moved onto the TM Ranch in northern Nevada.  He explains how they wintered cattle in the Bruneau Canyon, a treacherous stretch of canyon known for its floods, ice-crusted rims and other dangers.  Looking back on his childhood, the value of his Basque heritage and the years he spent in the saddle, Arsen wouldn't have it any other way.

Audio Recording: 
Learning to Work
Struggle and Sacrifice; Mountain Home During World War II
Other Images: