Lejardi, Andres "Andy"

Interviewer: 
Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Gooding, ID
Interview Date: 
05/31/02

Andy was born on 26 May 1939 to Jeronimo Lejardi and Clara Ibaibarriaga, in Bolivar, Bizkaia.  He and his 6 brothers and sisters all had to work to help support the family during the hard times brought on by the Civil War.  Andy recalls the difficulty of starting school under the Franco regime when he spoke no Spanish, but adjusted well and eventually became good enough at math to pass the American GED.  He came to the US in 1963 to make a better living for himself.

Andy's troubles with language repeated themselves when he arrived in Idaho speaking no English, but once again, he overcame these obstacles to find successive careers in sheepherding, meat packing and machining.  He describes with enthusiasm the pastimes of the Idaho Basque community he joined.  Andy soon became a US citizen, and wed Jean Rowe in 1979.  The couple had 1 daughter, Cristina.

Andy was the first full-time president of the Gooding Basque Association, and enjoys working with friends and neighbors to strengthen and preserve the culture through activities such as picnics and dances.  Basque people have always been liked and appreciated in this country because of their honesty and hard work.  Andy is proud to consider himself both Basque and American.

Audio Recording: 
Coming To America
Missing Home
Gooding Basque Association
Other Images: