TAPE MINUTE SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
Tape 1, side 1
0-6:45 Yvonne’s father was Pedro José Urriolabeitia, from Ibarruri, her mother was María Carmen Anacabe, from Ea. Her father came to the US to try his luck. He was disappointed with his previous school in the Basque country. He came with a friend. Her father was about 19 when he came, and settled in Boise because he ran out of money. Pedro did not have enough to get to California, his original destination. He traveled by ship from the Basque country in 1920. Yvonne’s mother came at the age of 9 months with her mother and sister in 1906 (for explanation of year, see minute 7). Yvonne did some research at the Ellis Island website, and found that the immigration officials had misspelled her father’s name, which made finding information about him more difficult. The name appeared as “Urriola” instead of Urriolabeitia. As a result, Pedro went by the shortened name, as did his wife and child.
6:45-11:30 María Carmen, her mother, and sister were going to stay at Mateo Arregui’s boarding house. They joined María Carmen’s father at the boarding house. They moved into a house on 12th and Grove street, and Yvonne has some distant memories of the front porch. Yvonne was taken to this house after her mother gave birth to her at St. Luke’s hospital in Boise. A few years after her birth, Yvonne and her parents moved to another house in Boise. She lived there until she married and left home. (Anecdotes: when Yvonne’s father first came to the US, he worked for Stibnite Mining Co., herded sheep, and helped build Barber Dam. He told Yvonne that there had been accidents during the construction of the dam. Worker(s) fell into the wet concrete and were submerged. According to him, there are still bodies in the concrete of the dam. Yvonne tells another anecdote about her father mistaking a skunk for a cat).
11:30-12:30 Yvonne’s father opened Boise Brake Supply with his brother-in-law, Joe Anacabe. He bought the business from Joe and ran it until he retired. Yvonne’s mother worked in the Brake Supply office as a secretary, and ran errands.
12:30-13:45 Yvonne attended St. Teresa’s Academy in Boise for 6 years, then St. Mary’s for 2 years, and went back to St. Teresa’s for high school. She went to Links School of Business after high school (now DeVry), then went to work for a finance company, then to Idaho First National Bank. She married and left the workforce for a while, and now works for the Boise Public Schools system.
13:45-18:30 She names several of her Basque schoolmates and friends she grew up with. There were many. The Basque community was very close-knit. Basques preferred to stay to themselves, and Yvonne remembers instances of prejudice (for example, hearing “black basco”). Her father did not speak much English, but her mother did. Her mother did the bookkeeping and took care of the family’s finances. Her father never got his citizenship, and did not want to go through the hassle of becoming a citizen, even though he loved the US and considered it his country. Yvonne tells a story about her father staying at a boarding house when he first arrived.
18:30-25:30 Yvonne’s family spoke Basque at home until she started going to school. She had no difficulty learning English, for her mother had taught her some English, but insisted that she speak Basque at home. Once she started school, however, Yvonne told her parents that she wanted to speak English at home. She explains how her mother chose to name her Yvonne, and how she left St. Teresa’s to attend school at St. Mary’s. Since she had been going to school with only girls at first, Yvonne had difficulty adjusting to a school where boys and girls attended classes together. Her fear of boys faded away in high school. Yvonne had friends, but kept to herself most of the time. Since she was an only child, it was difficult for her to make friends. She had been used to interacting with adults, and was apprehensive about meeting people her own age. She spent most of her time with her mother and father in the brake shop.
25:30-28:30 Her mother was quite protective of Yvonne. She did not allow her to spend much time away from home. Instead, Yvonne spent her time running errands with her mother and helping her father install brakes. While she never worked for her parents officially, she helped around the shop. She describes her daily schedule. Yvonne was very close to her parents, and had a happy childhood.
28:30-30:00 Yvonne graduated from St. Teresa’s Academy in 1955, at the age of 17. She had dreams of becoming a nurse. She took a nursing test and had an interview with a nurse, a Catholic nun, at St. Alphonsus Hospital. The nurse told her that she did not think Yvonne was cut out to be a nurse. Yvonne was crushed, and felt that the nurse had not even given her a chance. Looking back, Yvonne sees that the nurse was right.
Tape 1, side 2
0-3:45 Yvonne took classes at Links School of Business for 2 years, and decided she had enough. She joined the workforce, find a job with Stravell Patterson (sp.), a finance company in Boise. She describes her work and what the company did. She worked there for 2 or 3 years, leaving to find another job at an insurance company across from CC Anderson’s (now the Bon Marché). She left the insurance company and found a position with Idaho First National Bank as a bookkeeper for about a year and a half. She met her husband, Jim Echevarria, and was married.
3:45-9:45 Yvonne explains how she met her husband at a grocery store across the street from her father’s break shop before high school. She also saw him at Basque dancing practice, which was taught by Juanita “Jay” Hormaechea at 13th and Eastman, in 1948 (see minute 7). She did not care for him much during high school, but after he graduated and went to the US Navy, he changed. Yvonne saw him at Midnight Mass after he came back from the Navy and found him very handsome. They dated for a year and married in 1960 (November 5, see minute 12). She backs up and describes the Basque dancing practices organized by Mrs. Hormaechea, which she took at the age of 11 in 1948. Yvonne enjoyed the dancing and Basque picnics immensely, feeling a deep connection to the Basque culture present at those events. Her father used to compete at the picnics, climbing a tall pole after taking a drink.
9:45-11:45 Yvonne credits her family with instilling in her a sense of what it means to be Basque. She describes a bit of the Basque character. Socializing and enjoying each other’s company is one of the roots of the Basque character. She grew up saturated by the culture, taking it as a way of life that she still holds dear.
11:45-16:30 Yvonne talks about her children: Christina Marie (1961), Mark Anthony (1963), James Nicholas (1965), and Reme Ann (1968). She wanted to have four children because she did not want them to be only children. She was able to experience some of what she had missed by being an only child. Her children were all raised in the house where she now lives. Yvonne mentions another Basque characteristic: Basques like to hold on to old things, they like to build memories.
16:30-22:30 Yvonne’s children were not raised with the same sense of being Basque as she was, for several reasons. Her parents were members of the Basque Center, and active in the community before the Center was built. She talks about the founding of the Basque Center. She makes some observations on how the Basque Center has changed the Basque community in Boise. Yvonne and her husband are members. She decided to join because it fulfills a need for her, and she makes an interesting observation about how meeting and talking to another Basque is different from doing the same with somebody who isn’t Basque. Yvonne feels different, very comfortable, when she spends time at the Center. She feels a strange connection, camaraderie, with other Basques, regardless of where they are from. Her children share her love for the culture.
22:30-25:00 While she has never visited the Basque country, her father told her some stories of what it was like. There is no particular reason that has prevented her from going, and she doesn’t think she will make a trip. She has been writing to a cousin in the Basque country for almost two years. The two met at this past Jaialdi.
25:00-28:15 Yvonne went back to work, this time for the Boise School District, when her youngest child was in the 8th grade. She works in the school lunch program, managing the program at Hillside Junior High School. She explains how she found and got the job. She loves working with the students, for spending time with the children is her favorite part of the job. She will retire in 3 years.
28:15-30:00 She describes some of her favorite activities. Spending time with her family is at the top of her list. All of her children still live in Boise, and she has grandchildren. Yvonne considers herself to be Basque, then American.
Tape 2, side 1
0-4:30 Yvonne gives more explanation of what it means for her to be Basque, and why she loves the culture so much. There is something about the Basque people that draws her to them, something she cannot put her finger on. The togetherness, the bond between Basques, is part of it. She speculates on how her husband would identify himself. For her, being Basque is more than where a person lives, it is more concerned with how a person is raised. She points to immigrant roots. Yvonne feels different, more comfortable, when she walks into a room full of Basques.
NAMES AND PLACES
Anacabe, Carmen – Yvonne’s mother.
Anacabe, Joe – Yvonne’s mother’s brother.
Arregui, Mateo – ran a boarding house in Boise.
Echevarria, Christina Marie – Yvonne’s oldest daughter.
Echevarria, James Nicholas – Yvonne’s youngest son.
Echevarria, Jim – Yvonne’s husband.
Echevarria, Mark Anthony – Yvonne’s oldest son.
Echevarria, Reme Ann – Yvonne’s youngest daughter.
Hormaechea, Juanita “Jay” – taught Basque dancing in Boise.
Jaialdi – an important international Basque festival.
Oinkari Basque Dancers
Stibnite Mining Company – Yvonne’s father worked for this company during his early years in the US.
Urriolabeitia, Pedro José – Yvonne’s father. Went by the last name “Urriola”.
Barber Dam, Idaho – Yvonne’s father helped build the dam, told stories about it.
Basque Center, Boise, Idaho
Boise Brake Supply, Boise, Idaho – Yvonne’s parents, and originally her uncle, Joe Anacabe, ran this shop.
Boise, Idaho – Yvonne’s birthplace and lifelong home.
California – Pedro Urriolabeitia’s original destination.
CC Anderson’s, Boise, Idaho – (now the Bon Marché) Yvonne worked for an insurance company across the
street from this department store.
Ea – Yvonne’s mother’s birthplace.
Ellis Island, New York – Yvonne did some research about her family at the Ellis Island website.
Hillside Junior High School, Boise School District, Boise, Idaho – Yvonne currently works at this school.
Ibarruri – Yvonne’s father’s birthplace.
Idaho First National Bank, Boise, Idaho – Yvonne worked as a bookkeeper for the bank.
Links School of Business, Boise, Idaho – (now DeVry) Yvonne took classes at Links for 2 years.
St. Alphonsus Hospital, Boise, Idaho – Yvonne took an exam to become a nurse at St. Alphonsus’.
St. Luke’s Hospital, Boise, Idaho – Yvonne was born at St. Luke’s.
St. Mary’s School, Boise, Idaho – Yvonne attended 2 years of school here.
St. Teresa’s Academy, Boise, Idaho – Yvonne attended this school for most of her education.
Stravell Patterson (sp.). Boise, Idaho – a finance company in Boise.
Basque clubs and organizations
Basque picnics and festivals