Legarreta, Raimundo

Daniel Chertudi and Julian Achabal
Interview Location: 
Gooding, ID
Interview Date: 

Raimundo was born on 20 January 1947 in Fruniz, Bizkaia, to Luis Legarreta and Juliana Uriarte.  He recalls what it was like to grow up in the largest baserri in his barrio: taking care of the milk cows and fields, watching his father come and go all week for his trucking company, playing with his nine brothers and sisters, being abused at school for speaking Basque, and going to church.  When he was nine years old, Raimundo was sent to work at a bar in Gernika--where a photo of his head barely clearing the counter remains to this day!

After helping his father run a family bar for a few years, Raimundo decided he needed more for his future and arranged passage to Idaho with the help of his sheepherder brothers.  It took him a while to adjust to the dramatic change in landscape and culture America afforded, but he soon learned enough English to quit herding sheep and help run his brother's bar.  Raimundo worked on and off with the trucking business for several years before settling on employment with the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind.  He married Judy Munk in 1972, and the couple has raised 3 kids with a strong appreciation for their Basque heritage.

Raimundo is very active in the Gooding Basque community, and enjoys attending the many picnics and festivals in Idaho.  He and his wife love vacationing in Euskadi, and may even spend part of their retirement there.  Raimundo identifies himself as a Basque American, with ties to both countries and a desire to make sure that the Basque culture is not lost on future generations of Idahoans.

Audio Recording: 
Mother Never Said It Twice...
Nine-Year Old Bartender
Dependable Basques
Other Images: