Lasuen, John

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Mountain Home, ID
Interview Date: 

John was born 27 April 1928 in Aulestia, Bizkaia, to Luis Lasuen and Tomasa Urquidi.  He remembers attending school as a child: even though his teacher could speak Basque he was required to communicate in Spanish at all times.  Since food rationing was in effect at the time, police patrols to catch violators were frequent.  John also knew great joy as a child, since little girls and boys played together all the time; in fact, John has known his wife his whole life.

John came to the US on a sheep contract in 1948, and although there was a lot of adjustment to make with food and customs, he felt happy with the local Basque community and soon felt at home.  When he returned to Aulestia in 1955 to marry Matilde Maruri--already a citizen--the couple decided to make their permanent home in America.  The couple has raised 2 children, with whom they love to attend Basque cultural events.

John worked as a sheep man and rancher for most of his life, most recently for JR Simplot.  Today, he enjoys making trips back to the Basque country with his wife, and he reflects upon all the changes time has brought to his place of birth.  John Lasuen still appreciates his Basque roots, although he considers himself foremost an American.

Audio Recording: 
Bear trap
Sneaking into the mill
Working in Ohio
Other Images: