Elordi, John

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

John was born in Nampa, Idaho in 1917 to Damaso Elordi and Gregoria Cabot.  John's family's home was in Jordan Valley, Oregon, but his parents were wintering their sheep close to Nampa when it came time for John to be born.  Damaso helped his wife into their horse-drawn wagon and drove her to the nearest available doctor, Dr. Kellogg in Nampa.  John's parents took him back to Jordan Valley after the winter season, where he grew up immersed in a close-knit, predominantly Basque community.  He shares some stories from his childhood, and explains what the community was like, focusing on relations between Basques and non-Basques.

After graduating from high school, John moved to Boise, Idaho to pursue a degree in accounting.  He joined the US Navy in 1942, married Emilia Telleria in 1946, and rose to the rank of Chief Yeoman by the end of his naval career in 1948.  John moved back to Boise to discover that there were few jobs available.  He went back to San Francisco, his base during the war, and found a position as an accountant.  John and his family settled in the San Francisco bay area.  He describes the Basque community there.

John returned to Boise in 1983, after his retirement, and met old friends from years past.  He feels a strong connection to the Basque community in Boise, and is an active member of the Basque Center and the Basque Museum and Cultural Center.  He enjoys spending time with family and old friends, with whom he speaks Basque at every opportunity.  

Audio Recording: 
Dancing in Boise
Jordan Valley
Other Images: