Glenn, Rufina "Ruth" Bilboa

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Twin Falls, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Ruth was born in Jerome, Idaho on 15 December 1923 to John Bilbao and Santa Guisasola.  After her parents met and married in Boise, they suffered through the Depression and ultimately divorced, leaving Santa to raise her 3 children alone.  She did so by opening and running her own boarding house in Twin Falls, which, aided by Ruth and her siblings, became a great success.  Ruth describes all her efforts and life in the boarding house from a uniquely personal perspective.

Even though she couldn't raise enough money to attend college, Ruth's mother rewarded all of her help with a wonderful trip to the Basque country, which set off a lifetime of involvement with the Idaho Basque culture.  And while her husband Gene Glenn is not a Basque, the couple met at Santa's boarding house, and he enjoys the traditions.  Ruth and Gene have raised three daughters.

After helping develop and maintain her mother's boarding house, Ruth worked for a local newspaper and as bookkeeper.  She and Gene eventually took over a farm equipment store, which through dedication and hard work reminiscent of Santa's efforts, has experienced quite a measure of success.  The couple now runs two stores!  Ruth's Basque heritage is very important to her, demonstrated by her membership in multiple clubs.  Getting older has only expanded Ruth's appreciation of the Basque community.

Audio Recording: 
Boarding House Family
In the Same Boat
Basque Identity
Other Images: