Homaechevarria, Alex

Interviewer: 
Mikel and Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 
08/21/01

Alex was born in Kortezubi, Biskaia in 1945 to Juan José Homaechevarria and Eduvigis Monasterio.  His father bicycled to work at the Dalia factory in Gernika every day, returning home in the evening to help Eduvigis with farm chores.  The baserri, known as Salbide Bekoa, was largely self-sufficient but the family sold produce in several markets around Gernika.

At 14, Alex went to Gernika to study to be a machinist.  Like his father he rode his bicycle between home and school every day, and continued to do so when he found work as a machinist at the Malta factory in Gernika.  After several years, his brother-in-law in the United States wrote to him, asking if he would consider coming to work for a sheep company.  Excited to try something new, Alex agreed and left for America on December 23, 1964. 

Alex worked as a camp tender for a sheep outfit based in Marsing, Idaho for three years.  He took English classes in Boise during the winters and took every opportunity to learn as much of the language as possible.  When his contract expired, he started a career as a machinist with Yanke Machine Shop in Boise, where he works to this day.  Alex married Placida Gaona in 1969 and settled in Boise with his family.  He and his wife made teaching their children about the Basque culture a high priority.

Audio Recording: 
Camptending
Learning English
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