Mallea, Lucia "Lucy"

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

Lucy was born on 29 June 1934 in Munitibar, Bizkaia to Juan Martin Larrinaga and Ezekiela Andreinua.  She paints a vivid picture of her childhood in Euskadi: giving money to her teacher for having spoken Basque in class, watching her brothers illegally mill flour for fresh bread, playing pelota with boys, and doing chores such as boiling milk.

After finishing school at the age of 12, Lucy stayed at home to help her family run the baserri.  She married Benancio Mallea at age 20, and although he left to herd sheep in America, there was no place in the quota for women at that time, and so Lucy had to stay home.  She was not able to join her husband in Idaho until 1961--after her first daughter had been born.  Lucy and Ben worked at a sheep ranch in Grandview for one year before moving to the Basque Hotel in Mtn. Home for a change of pace.  She worked many long years there before joining the Air Force school district until her retirement in 1998.

Lucy has raised four children, with whom she enjoys participating in Basque activities around  Idaho.  Although she enjoys visiting Euskadi, the gracious welcome she has received in America, helps her feel firmly rooted in Mtn. Home.  Lucy Mallea reflects that she will always be Basque--wherever she is--and does not believe that becoming a US citizen means forsaking her cultural heritage.

Audio Recording: 
Food Rationing
Cooking at School
"Head in America"
Other Images: