Uriona, Jose'

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

José was born on 8 September 1957 in Gernika, Bizkaia, to Felipe Uriona and Eusebia Jayo.  He describes growing up on the family baserri, where his mother did most of the farmwork while his father made a living away from home.  José got a job at a factory when he was 14, in order to help support his family.

At the age of 23, José decided to come to America with the help of a friend.  He spoke no English when he arrived in Idaho in December of 1980, and it took him some time to adjust to the sheepherding lifestyle.  When he retired from the Wilson ranch in 1992, he had served as foreman.

Today, José and his wife, Kim Bideganeta, are very involved in the Basque culture.  They help organize events in Mountain Home, and attend festivals in Boise and other areas as well.  The couple has been back to Euskadi.  José is encouraged by the renewed interest in Idaho's Basque heritage, and hopes to see the culture persevere into the next generation.

Audio Recording: 
Mountain Home
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