TAPEMINUTE SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
Tape 1, side 1
0-7:00 Her father was Eustaquio Garroguerricaechevarria (Ed Garro). He was born in Arbazegi-Gerrikaitz (Munitibar). Eustaquio used to tell Adelia stories about growing up in Munitibar. She remembers one about how his mother used to be upset with him for wearing out his rope shoes. He was an altar boy at the church, so the family attended three Masses on Sundays: one in the morning, one at noon, and another in the evening. His grandmother lived with them in the family’s home and helped raise Eustaquio. He had two brothers and two sisters: José (older), Ignacio (younger), Martina and Mari. Ignacio passed away as a child of a fever, leaving Eustaquio broken-hearted. The Garro family had lived in the Munitibar area for hundreds of years, farming on their baserri. Eustaquio went to school in Munitibar, where he learned to speak Castilian Spanish. He could also speak a little Latin. His father, Francisco José (see minute 12) had come to the United States three times. By the time Eustaquio was 16 years old, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and come to America. His mother bought him a second class ticket on the Rochambeau, a French ship. The ship left from France and sailed to New York, where Valentin Aguirre met him. In March of 1913, Eustaquio took a train from New York to Mountain Home, Idaho. He was greeted in Mountain Home and driven through deep mud by horse-drawn wagon to the Bruneau Sheep Company’s ranch. Archabal owned the sheep company. Eustaquio’s father was one of the foremen at the time. He went to work with his father. Eustaquio’s father, seeing the need to have a man at home, returned to Munitibar shortly after Eustaquio’s arrival.
7:00-10:00 Adelia remembers driving to McCall, Idaho with her father and passing the Spring Valley Ranch, which used to be the headquarters of the Bruneau Sheep Company. Eustaquio used to point to the hills, saying that it was the last place he saw his father, who went back to Munitibar before 1920. Adelia talks about a letter from her grandfather to her father that was written in 1937. In the letter, her grandfather sends news of the bombing of Gernika and surrounding area, including Munitibar, and of the loss of one of Adelia’s cousins, a five-year-old girl. Although the family never found her, they knew that she had hidden in a culvert and had been injured as fighter planes strafed the area. She was taken to a hospital in Bilbao, where her family lost track of her.
10:00-12:00 Eustaquio told Adelia stories about gypsies coming to visit them at their home in Munitibar. While some gypsies distracted his mother in the front of the house, others would steal chickens behind the house. Eustaquio was scolded for not watching the chickens. His mother and father had high expectations of their children, demanding that they do their chores exceptionally well. Eustaquio’s mother worked until the day before she died of “Hong Kong flu” at the age of 93.
12:00-12:45 When Adelia started school, she told her classmates that her father’s family had eaten black bread in the Basque country. She was scolded by her father, who reminded her that his family ate only white bread. In her youth, Adelia felt very connected to the Basque country and Spain because she had family there. The connection made her feel unique and special.
12:45-17:15 Her father spoke English well. He taught himself by reading the newspaper and magazines while waiting for customers at his barbershop. He had ambition to become a banker, but the language barrier kept him from getting a job at a bank. Instead, he and his brother, José, went to barber school in Portland, Oregon. Many other Basques went to the same school. They wanted to learn another trade to get away from herding sheep. After spending many lonely days in the desert as a herder for Bruneau, Eustaquio wanted to find work in civilization. José opened a barbershop in Ely, Nevada. He used to send a big package of chorizos to his brother’s family for Christmas. Eustaquio opened a barbershop in partnership with Pete Mendieta. The shop was on Main Street in Boise, right next to the Ada Theater. Eustaquio ran the shop and lived as a bachelor with Frank Aguirre for 14 years. He enjoyed spending time with other Basques at the Uberuaga boarding house when the sheepherders came into town. He cut their hair, played cards, and golfed with them. Eustaquio spoke Basque with other Basques, and practiced English with his customers.
17:15-21:15 Eustaquio did not teach the children to speak Basque because he was trying to learn English. He became a US citizen when Adelia was born. Adelia tells the story of how her parents met at the Mode Country Club around 1932-33. Her mother, [Grace Ragsdale], who had left nursing school because she could no longer afford it, had come to Boise in search of work during the Depression. She found a job as a nanny for Irving and Helen Hart. Irving was the publisher of the Idaho Statesman. Adelia’s parents married at the Hart home in 1933. They had their wedding breakfast at the Aguirre boarding house, where they were congratulated by many other Basques. They had a large feast to celebrate. Adelia’s mother wanted a farm, so her father bought an acreage in South Boise where they were to raise their children. He was still working at the barbershop at the time.
21:15-25:00 Adelia took her first steps at a sheep ranch near Meridian, Idaho. She describes a photograph taken with she and her father to capture the event. Her father, wanting to be closer to his family’s farm, moved to a barbershop on Broadway Avenue near Garfield School. The children went to Garfield School. She remembers helping with farm chores, specifically collecting eggs. Looking back, Adelia remembers her father as a man of conviction, hard working, and a good father. Mauricio Guerry, her father’s cousin and Adelia’s godfather, was always close to the family. Mauricio owned sheep and wanted Eustaquio to work for him, but Eustaquio declined the offer because he enjoyed working for himself. The Guerry and Garro families were very close.
25:00-27:45 Adelia and her siblings are Francisco José “Frank”, herself, Mary Alice “Lani,” Ramona, and Susan. Francisco was a talented baseball player. Adelia’s mother pushed the children to get a good education. When Adelia was four years old, her mother taught her to write her name so that she could get her own library card. She mentions her favorite childhood book, Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales of Shakespeare. Her mother read to the children and taught them nursery rhymes. Seeing her love of horses, Adelia’s father pastured a horse, Joker, for her.
27:45-30:00 Eustaquio had many Basque customers. Adelia remembers Mr. and Mrs. Joe Barinaga, who became her sister, Susan’s, godparents. The Garro family went to Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary in Boise, a church built around 1950. Before that church was built, the family had to take the bus across town to St. John’s Cathedral.
Tape 1, side 2
0-1:45 Eustaquio did not continue to go to church after he immigrated to the United States. Adelia’s mother, although not a Catholic herself, raised the children in the Catholic faith. Adelia supposes that her father stopped going to church because he wanted to be his own man, and enjoyed the freedom to think for himself that he found in America.
1:45-5:45 When Adelia was about 15 years old, her father joined the Basque Center in Boise. Adelia started Basque dancing lessons with Juanita Hormaechea on Sunday nights. She danced with Alice Larrinaga, Beatrice Solosabal, Richard Hormaechea, Henry Arguinchona, and others. Her father, who spent hardly any time in bars, used to socialize with other Basques at the Center’s bar while she danced. Adelia danced from 1951 to 1952. Her sisters also participated. Her father knew most of the boarding house owners in Boise; she explains how her family is related to the Uberuagas and how her cousins used to stay at the Valencia Hotel when they were in town. Adelia used to attend the annual Basque picnics with her godmother, Juanita. Her father was not a social person. He worked, spent time with his family, and loved to fish.
5:45-12:30 Her family wrote letters to relatives in the Basque country and heard news from people who had just arrived. Eustaquio never returned to Euskadi. He had no desire to return. Adelia made a trip to the Basque country in 1964 with her husband, Dick. She talks about her trip. Adelia noticed the presence of the Guardia Civil. She also noticed that many people in her family dressed in traditional Basque clothes. At the time, people were still plowing their baserris and hauling loads with donkeys. Her next trip, in 1984, was with Pete Cenarrusa and Joe Eiguren. They were invited by the Basque government as part of a diplomatic meeting between the Basque country and the State of Idaho. She discusses the trip.
12:30-12:45 Some of Adelia’s relatives in the Basque country have come to the United States to work for the Bruneau Sheep Company. She mentions José Angel, Julian, and Prudencio, all of whom returned to the Basque country after they had worked in the US for a while.
12:45-17:45 She describes her school days at Garfield, recalling some of the other Basques she met there: Josephine, Ignacio, and Pedro Lizaso. The Lizaso children spoke Basque at home. Adelia was very proud that her father was Basque. She could tell that she and the Lizaso children were a little different from the rest of the students. Adelia remembers how she and her siblings helped wash towels at home, fold them, and deliver them to their father’s barbershop. Her mother made aprons and hemmed the barber towels for Eustaquio. The children swept the shop floor as well, making it a family enterprise. In high school, Adelia found a job at the Ada Theater, which made her father very proud. They carpooled home from work every night, and her father was impressed when Adelia offered to help pay for the gasoline. Before that, she had worked at JJ Newberry’s taking inventory. Always looking for a way to earn some pocket money, Adelia also worked as a babysitter and housekeeper. Backing up, she explains that attended North Junior High School and Boise High School. After two years at Boise High, she accepted Father Peplinski’s offer to pay for her tuition at St. Teresa’s Academy in Boise. She finished high school there. The Church became an important part of her life.
17:45-20:30 When she graduated from high school, Adelia decided to enroll at Idaho State College. She married in 1953, the summer before college started. She and her husband worked at the Simplot plant in Pocatello, Idaho and went to school. When she became pregnant with her first son, Ted, she decided to leave school. Shortly thereafter, she and her husband moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where her husband worked for the Simplot Soil Builders. They bought a house in Twin Falls and stayed for a year and a half. They decided to move to Auburn, California to work at the Simplot lumber camp. Her first daughter, Laurie, was born in Auburn in 1957. They moved back to Boise in 1959, where her husband went to work at the Simplot Co. corporate office. Two more children, Will and Ann, were born in 1961 and 1962.
20:30-26:45 Adelia explains how she became involved in community work. First, she worked for St. Alphonsus Hospital’s Auxiliary. She became involved with the Idaho State Historical Museum in 1960, becoming a charter member. Adelia served as president of the Auxiliary and helped raise funds for the Museum. She was asked to join the Junior League and accepted. She soon joined the board of directors of the Boise Art Museum. Working with the Junior League piqued her interest in preserving historic building in downtown Boise. During the city’s campaign for urban renewal, Adelia and others tried to save old buildings from being torn down, including many old Chinese buildings and Basque boarding houses. From this type of work, she became a co-founder of the Historical Preservation Council. She mentions the involvement of Romaine Gailey Hon and Rosita Artis. Adelia was also asked to join the board of directors of the Boise Philharmonic. Butch Otter, her brother in law, suggested that she apply for a community relations position with the Simplot Company. She did so and was hired in 1979. Her boss, Bill Maxwell, encouraged her to take writing classes at Boise State University to help her write articles for the company newsletter. Adelia worked full time and enjoyed the work. In 1983, she was approached by a realtor to buy the Uberuaga house and preserve it.
Tape 2, side 1
0-10:45 Adelia bought the Uberuaga house from Serafina Mendiguren. Her motivation was to save it from being torn and preserve it as a part of Boise’s history. Her husband and sister, Ramona, encouraged her to ask the Basque community for their help in restoring the building. She invited Patty Miller, Arthur Hart, Romaine Gailey Hon, Pete Cenarrusa, Pat Bieter, Eloise Bieter, Willis Sullivan, Joe Eiguren, Delfina Arnold, Al Erquiaga, Bill Campbell, Dave Navarro and others to a meeting to discuss the future of the building. They decided to renovate the building and make it a community museum. In 1986, she turned over ownership to the Basque Museum & Cultural Center. Robert Laxalt, a famous author, held a book signing as the project neared completion. The signing attracted more than 1000 people, many more than anticipated. She gives a brief history of the renovation and how it contributed to a sense of interest and excitement within the Basque community. She mentions Diana Nicholson’s role in planning two tremendously successful fundraising dinners in 1987. Adelia discusses other fundraising efforts to make payments and maintain the house.
10:45-16:15 She discusses the purchasing of the building at 611 Grove Street, which now houses the Basque Museum & Cultural Center. Adelia explains how she, Richard Hormaechea, and a group of people held a fundraiser for prominent Boise businessmen to raise money for the building. Her father-in-law, JR Simplot, matched the donations made by the other businessmen. She describes the condition of the building before they bought and renovated it. After a few others, Patty Miller became the Director of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center.
16:15-20:00 Adelia discusses how the Basque Block came to be and how she became interested in purchasing the Cub Tavern building. She scheduled meetings with Romaine Gailey Hon, Skip Oppenheimer and Ron Slocum to negotiate for the building. The building became the gateway to the Basque Block. Dan Ansotegui rented the building and opened his tavern [Gernika].
20:00-25:00 She discusses how she and a group worked to purchase the Anduiza boarding house and frontón in 1993 from the Briggs family. Adelia mentions Richard Hormaechea’s involvement in negotiating the purchasing. Today it is a popular place for pala, handball, and other games. There are also offices and storage rooms in the building. Adelia is proud of what the Basque Block has become. She talks about two consultants from Salt Lake City, Utah came to offer their insight into what the block could become. Adelia muses that she and the other people involved in building must have had some help from above. One of the consultants from Salt Lake, a Jewish man, said that “the Elders must be helping.” Adelia agrees.
NAMES AND PLACES
Aguirre, Valentin – a boarding house owner in New York; met Adelia’s father when he arrived.
Ansotegui, Dan – owner of Gernika tavern.
Arguinchona, Henry – took Basque dancing lessons from Ms. Hormaechea.
Arnold, Delfina – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Artis, Rosita – Adelia mentions her involvement in community projects.
Barinaga, Mr. and Mrs. Joe – Adelia’s sister, Susan’s, godparents.
Bieter, Eloise – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Bieter, Pat – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Briggs family – used to own the Anduiza fronton and boarding house.
Campbell, Bill – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Cenarrusa, Pete – Idaho Secretary of State.
Eiguren, Joe – Adelia took a trip to the Basque country with Joe and others.
Erquiaga, Al – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Father Peplinski – priest who convinced Adelia to attend St. Teresa’s Academy.
Gailey Hon, Romaine – Adelia mentions her involvement in community projects.
Garro, Francisco José “Frank” – brother.
Garro, Mary Alice “Lani” – sister.
Garro, Ramona – sister.
Garro, Susan – sister.
Garroguerricaechevarria, Eustaquio (Garro, Ed) – father.
Garroguerricaechevarria, Francisco José – father’s father.
Garroguerricaechevarria, Ignacio – father’s brother.
Garroguerricaechevarria, José – father’s brother.
Garroguerricaechevarria, Mari – father’s sister.
Garroguerricaechevarria, Martina – father’s sister.
Guardia Civil – Spanish police.
Guerry, Mauricio – father’s cousin, Adelia’s godfather. His wife, Juanita, is Adelia’s godmother.
Hart, Arthur – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Hart, Irving and Helen – former publishers of the Idaho Statesman newspaper.
Hormaechea, Juanita “Jay” – founded the Oinkari Basque Dancers. Adelia took dancing lessons from her.
Hormaechea, Richard – mentioned in several contexts.
José Angel – a relative who came to the United States to work.
Julian – a relative who came to the United States to work.
Larrinaga, Alice – took Basque dancing lessons from Ms. Hormaechea.
Laxalt, Robert – writer.
Lizaso, Ignacio – Adelia remembers going to school with him.
Lizaso, Josephine – Adelia remembers going to school with her.
Lizaso, Pedro – Adelia remembers going to school with him.
Maxwell, Bill – former boss.
Mendieta, Pete – Eustaquio opened his first barbershop in partnership with Pete.
Mendiguren, Serafina – Adelia bought the Uberuaga boarding house from Mrs. Mendiguren.
Miller, Patty – Director, Basque Museum & Cultural Center.
Navarro, Dave – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Nicholson, Diana – Adelia talks about her role in planning fundraisers.
Oppenheimer, Skip – negotiated for the Cub Tavern.
Otter, Butch – brother-in-law.
Prudencio – a relative who came to the United States to work.
Ragsdale, Grace – Adelia’s mother.
Rochambeau– Adelia’s father sailed to the United States on this French ship.
Simplot, Ann Calista – daughter.
Simplot, John Edward “Ted” – eldest son.
Simplot, Joseph William – son.
Simplot, JR – Father-in-law, helped raise money for the Basque block in Boise.
Simplot, Laurie Carreen – daughter.
Simplot, Richard – husband.
Slocum, Ron – negotiated for the Cub Tavern.
Solosabal, Beatrice – took Basque dancing lessons from Ms. Hormaechea.
Sullivan, Willis – mentioned as instrumental in helping to restore the Uberuaga house.
Uberuaga family – mentioned.
Ada Theater, Boise, Idaho – a movie theater now known as the Egyptian Theater.
Aguirre boarding house (Star Hotel), Boise, Idaho – Adelia’s parents had their wedding breakfast here.
Arbazegi-Gerrikaitz (Munitibar), Bizkaia – father’s birthplace.
Auburn, California – Adelia and her family lived here while her husband worked for the Simplot Co.’s lumber
Basque Center, Boise, Idaho – Adelia took dancing lessons here.
Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Boise, Idaho – Adelia discusses the founding of the Museum.
Bilbao, Bizkaia – Adelia mentions Bilbao in connection to the bombing of Gernika.
Boise High School, Boise, Idaho – one of the high schools Adelia attended.
Boise State University, Boise, Idaho – Adelia has studied here.
Boise, Idaho – current residence.
Bruneau Sheep Company, Grandview, Idaho – Adelia’s father’s first employer in the United States.
Cathedral of Saint John, Boise, Idaho – Adelia and her family went to this church before Our Lady of the Rosary
Ely, Nevada – Adelia’s father’s brother, José, opened a barber shop here.
Garfield School, Boise, Idaho – Adelia’s elementary school.
Gernika, Bizkaia – Adelia tells her family’s story about the bombing of Gernika in 1937.
Gernika, Boise, Idaho – Basque tavern in Boise.
Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho – Adelia went to school and worked in Pocatello.
JJ Newberry’s, Boise, Idaho – Adelia worked for this store in high school.
McCall, Idaho – mentioned in a story about seeing the Spring Valley Ranch.
Meridian, Idaho – Adelia took her first steps at a sheep ranch here.
Mode Country Club, Boise, Idaho – Adelia’s parents met here.
Mountain Home, Idaho – Adelia’s father’s last stop by train on the way to work for the Bruneau Sheep Co.
North Junior High School, Boise, Idaho – Adelia’s junior high school.
Our Lady of the Rosary, Boise, Idaho – Adelia’s childhood church.
Portland, Oregon – Adelia’s father and uncle went to barber school in Portland.
Salt Lake City, Utah – two consultants from Salt Lake City came to help plan the restoration of the Basque block.
Simplot Co., Boise, Idaho – mentioned in several contexts.
Simplot Soil Builders, Twin Falls, Idaho – Adelia’s husband worked for this branch of the Simplot Co.
St. Teresa’s Academy, Boise, Idaho – one of the high schools Adelia attended.
Valencia Hotel, Boise, Idaho – Basque boarding house in Boise.
Basque clubs and organizations
Boise Basque community
Non-Boise Basque communities
Boise Art Museum
Historical Preservation Council
Idaho State Historical Society
St. Alphonsus Auxiliary
Spanish Civil War