Bilbao, Alberto

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Emmett, ID
Interview Date: 

Alberto was born 5 May 1945 in Arrieta, Bizkaia, to Sabino Bilbao and Eustaquia Ojinaga.  He describes his early childhood in vivid detail including his school days and life on the family farm with his 7 siblings.  There wasn't much opportunity in the Basque country at that time for a young man, so Alberto decided to follow his 2 brothers' examples and head to America.

He arrived in 1964, and went to work right away as a sheepherder in Idaho.  This was a lonely and often frustrating job, but Alberto dealt with it quite well.  He saved most of his money for the five years he was in the sheep business, and sent some money home to his family.  A few years after getting his green card, Alberto decided to go into construction, then switched to Boise Cascade in Emmett, where he worked for 31 years.

Alberto met his wife Juanita Zubizareta at the Boise Basque picnic around 1972, and the couple was married 2 years later.  They have raised 2 daughters, and the whole family loves participating in Basque dances, picnics, and other social events.  Even though he has never become a US citizen, Alberto feels very happy here.

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