Legarreta, Jose Ramon

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Jose Ramon was born on 20 December 1943 in Fruiz, Bizkaia to Seberiano Legarreta (from Fruiz) and Maria Auzokoa (from Arrieta).  As a child, he often heard his father speak of the terrible conditions of his imprisonment during the Spanish Civil War.  Even after Seberiano was released, the police harassed him so often that his trucking business fell through and he left to find work in the US.  Jose Ramon's mother took care of the farm while her husband was away, managing the little watermill on the property for townspeople who paid in kind.  He had an especially difficult education due to poor curriculum and wicked teachers.

When he was 19, Jose Ramon decided to come to the US, mainly to avoid military conscription in the Spanish Army.  Since Seberiano had become an American citizen by this time, it was easy for his son to come over without a sheep contract.  He began ranch work for Simplot, then switched to construction, hauling hay and finally settled in a sawmill.

Today, Jose Ramon works the farmland that he and his brother purchased so many years ago.  Even though he is now a US citizen himself, he is still very proud of his roots, and loves attending picnics, festivals, and Basque Center functions with his friends.  Jose Ramon has made four trips back to Euskadi, and is happy that his native land is seeing better times.  Nowadays, however, he is comfortable living in Idaho, and has not seriously considered retiring in the Basque country.

Audio Recording: 
Father in the Spanish Civil War
Mother Runs the Watermill
Cruel Teacher
Other Images: