TAPEMINUTE SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
0-4:45 Born 8 August 1934 in Gernika. Her father was Bartolo Foruria; her mother was Alejandra Arriaga. Her father was from Gernika (Lumo) and her mother was from Morga. Miren was born in a baserri. She decided to come to the United States in 1956. Her parents worked on family farm, tending the cows, chickens, a yearly pig, and vegetables. They sold beans, potatoes, and other produce in the market in Gernika. She is one of 9 children: Daniel, María Luisa, Augustín, Pastora, herself, Manuel, and Arantza. The oldest and youngest siblings have passed away. She went to school in town, and attended to special classes in the evenings held by her teachers, among them Doña Josefina and Doña Pía, to afford their students a little more education. The teachers were from Gernika. Classes were taught in Spanish, but there were no penalties for speaking Basque.
4:45-9:00 The children helped their parents with work around the farm. When she finished school at 14, she went to sewing classes in Gernika. She studied sewing for 3 years, met her husband, and came to the United States. Aside from school and work, there were romerías, outdoor picnics/parties, on the weekends for entertainment. She went with a group of friends. Backing up, she explains that boys and girls were taught in separate buildings. Classes were also divided by age. Children ages 6-10 were taught together, as were those ages 10-14. Teachers were responsible for handling all the subjects (they did not specialize). She describes her daily schedule, which often involved going to the river to fetch water or wash the laundry.
9:00-12:00 Miren did not have a job before she came to the United States. She worked at home, but took sewing classes. She remembers taking a cooking class for about 2 years right before she immigrated. She wanted to prepare for life in the United States, and thought that learning to cook would help her. Miren met her husband, who had been born in Wyoming but returned to Gernika, when they were children. He went back to the United States for 2 years, but returned to Gernika to marry Miren. They married in Gernika in December and came to the US in January. They decided to immigrate because he had sisters in Boise.
12:00-16:00 Miren details her trip to the United States. They took a ship from La Havre, France to New York, and then flew to Boise. Her husband spoke English and was a citizen, but Miren did not. Before she arrived, she did not have much of an idea of what America would be like. They arrived in Boise at night. Miren jokes that since it was dark, she did not have a first impression of the city. She could not see it. She was sad to be without her mother and siblings, and missed them for a couple of years. Once she settled and started making a life for herself, she felt better. Her first child was born about a year after they arrived. Her children are Ramón, Dianna, and Miguel Angel. Her mother passed away in 1960, her father in 1970. Her father died just after they had been to visit him in Gernika.
16:00-28:00 When Miren and her husband arrived in Boise, they stayed with Teles Hormaechea at her boarding house. They stayed for about 2 weeks before moving into an apartment. Her husband had worked in a bank in Gernika. After they immigrated, he found a job with the Weatherby Company, which ran a sawmill in Atlanta, Idaho (for about 4 years – see minute 19). Next, he moved to the sawmill in Barber, Idaho. When it closed down, he transferred to the Boise Cascade sawmill in Emmett, Idaho. He and Miren moved to Portland, Oregon manage an Arctic Circle restaurant. They stayed in Portland for 3 years before moving back to the Basque country. After living in the Basque country, they moved back to Boise and Miren worked as a bartender at the Basque Center for 3 years. Backing up, Miren explains that she and the children stayed in Boise while her husband worked in Atlanta and Barber. He worked in Barber for 6 years before he and the family moved to Portland, where they managed the Arctic Circle for about 3 years. After Portland, they moved to Winnemucca, Nevada to manage another Arctic Circle. In 1979, they went to the Basque country, where they stayed for 16 years, with a 3-year stint in Boise, during which Miren left Dianna and Ramón in Gernika to go to school and Miren worked as a bartender at the Basque Center. (Dianna gives more details from this period).
Dianna explains that while the rest of the family was in Gernika, her father worked in New Jersey as an office assistant. This was right before he and Miren decided to move back to Boise with their youngest son. The older children stayed in Gernika, but Dianna has visited her family in Boise every summer since. Miren has now been living in Boise for 16 years.
28:00-30:00 Miren has learned to speak a little English over the years, but is more comfortable with Spanish or Basque. She worked with Jesús Alcelay at the Red Lion Riverside Hotel restaurant in Boise. After 1 ½ years, Jesús opened his Basque restaurant, Miren went with him, and has been a cook there ever since. Backing up, she describes her job at the Basque Center. Her entire family have been members of the Center since they moved to Boise.
0-3:00 During her years at the Basque Center, Miren worked solely at the bar. She did not cook for the monthly dinners, but attended them with her family, as well as the picnics every summer. Neither she nor her husband served on the board. She worked as a bartender from 1970 to 1973 (Dianna helps her work out the dates).
3:00-5:15 Miren lists the types of food she cooks at Oñati Basque Restaurant (Jesús’ restaurant). Under Jesús, she is the most senior chef. During her 15 years here, she has maintained frequent contact with friends and family in the Basque country. They used to write letters, but now they call each other on the phone.
5:15-9:15 She and her husband never seriously considered moving back to the Basque country to live permanently. Something about the United States called him, and Miren felt comfortable here. Today, she feels equally comfortable and at home in either country. When she goes to the Basque country, she enjoys herself but misses her friends in the US. The same is true when she is here. In Boise, she misses her friends and family in the old country. She is at home in both places. She considers herself to be Basque, and her children feel the same way. Miren has noticed a great deal of progress in the old country since she left in 1958. The culture every bit as good as it is in the US, and people there are learning several languages, including English, which makes them better prepared for life. They speak English and Basque, which gives them more opportunity. The economy has also improved. Basques rarely immigrate to the US anymore, which is an indication of the improvements in the Basque country’s economic situation.
9:15-11:15 Miren talks about how she feels living in the United States, and how it was more advanced (technologically) than the Basque country when she first arrived. In her trips back to Gernika, she has been aware of technological and social advances there, and how the two countries are now on par with each other.
11:15-12:15 She goes to church as Saint John’s Cathedral. She does not have much time to volunteer, because she is very busy with her job at Oñati.
12:15-17:00 She has noticed few differences between Basques in Boise and those in the Basque country. In her opinion, they are more or less the same. She gives her impression of the idea that Basques in the US are more materialistic than those in the Basque country. Miren gives an interesting description of some of the differences between the two groups, focusing on the way they socialize and their ideas of social roles. Dianna explains the process of adjusting to life in the United States, adapting to the society, and deciding to settle here. Miren and Dianna reemphasize that they have family in both countries.
17:00-19:45 Miren is a US citizen. She did not take a class, but took a test to become a citizen by 1974, before her youngest son was born. Miren did not have to apply for a green card because her husband was a citizen. She explains why she decided to become a citizen, and how she studied a list of questions to prepare for her test. Her children all have double citizenship (Spain and the United States).
NAMES AND PLACES
Alcelay, Jesús – Miren’s current employer.
Arriaga, Alejandra – Miren’s mother.
Barquin, Ramón – Miren’s oldest son.
Barquin, Dianna – Miren’s daughter. Present for the interview.
Barquin, Miguel Angel – Miren’s youngest son.
Doña Josefina – one of Miren’s teachers in Gernika.
Doña Pía – one of Miren’s teachers in Gernika.
Foruria, Arantza – one of Miren’s sisters.
Foruria, Augustín – one of Miren’s brothers.
Foruria, Bartolo – Miren’s father.
Foruria, Daniel – one of Miren’s brothers.
Foruria, Manuel – one of Miren’s brothers.
Foruria, María Luisa – one of Miren’s sisters.
Foruria, Pastora – one of Miren’s sisters.
Arctic Circle, Portland, Oregon and Winnemucca, Nevada – Miren and her husband managed these two
branches of Arctic Circle.
Basque Center, Boise, Idaho – Miren and her family are members. Miren worked as a bartender at the Center for 3 years.
Boise Payette (now Boise Cascade), Barber and Emmett, Idaho – owned a sawmill at which Miren’s husband worked.
Boise, Idaho – Miren’s current residence.
Gernika, Bizkaia – Miren’s birthplace.
La Havre, France – Miren departed by ship for the United States.
New Jersey – Miren’s husband worked as an office assistant here before settling in Boise permanently.
New York, New York – a stop along the way to Boise.
Oñati Basque Restaurant, Garden City, Idaho – Miren’s current employer (Jesús Alcelay).
Red Lion Riverside Hotel, Boise, Idaho – Miren started her working relationship with Jesús Alcelay here.
St. John’s Cathedral, Boise, Idaho – Miren’s church.
Weatherby Company, Atlanta, Idaho – owned a sawmill at which Miren’s husband worked.
Basque clubs and organizations
Societal and economic progress in the Basque country