Rementeria, Joaquin

Joseba Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, Idaho
Interview Date: 

Joaquin was born in Navarniz, Bizkaia to Justo Rementeria and Manuela Maguregui.  His parents worked on the family baserri.  One of six children, Joaquin went to school and helped on the farm until letters from two older brothers, who were working in the United States, piqued his interest to join them.  At an early age, Joaquin went to work on a road-paving project to earn some of the money he would need for his passage to America.

In 1919, with the money he had earned and some that his brothers had sent, Joaquin left his home and traveled to France, where he boarded the "Rogenbau" to cross the Atlantic.  Ten days later, he arrived in New York and was met by Valentin Aguirre, who took him to his boarding house and helped him find the train to Boise, Idaho.  Since his brothers were herding sheep in California, Joaquin joined them and herded for the Bengoechea Sheep Company in Elmore County.  He remembers the friction that existed between sheep herders and cattle ranchers.  Shortly afterward, he found work as a lumberjack and construction worker for dam projects in Idaho and California.  Joaquin became a US citizen and voted for the first time in 1944.

During his first trip back to the Basque country in 1946, Joaquin met Trini Menteria.  They married the following year and moved to Boise, where they settled to raise their daughters.  An injury forced Joaquin to leave his job as a lumberjack in 1958 and find work as a custodian.  He enjoyed spending time with his family and playing muz at the Basque Center, where he won the muz championship in 1974.

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