Corta, Simon

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Jordan Valley, Oregon
Interview Date: 

Simon Corta was born on 30 March 1914 in Jordan Valley, Oregon, to Justo Corta and Maria Ocamica.  His parents both came from Bizkaia, but they seldom talked to their children about their experiences there or about their immigrations to America.  Simon recalls his childhood on the family ranch in Soldier Creek, including chores, school and fun.  The family spoke Basque at home, and the children learned most of their English at school!

There were many Basques working at the Corta ranch, and Simon describes how at home he felt among the sheepherders and shearers.  He worked alongside most of them, and everyone sat down to Maria's cooking at one huge table.  Simon herded sheep for about 10 years before being drafted into the war; it was difficult to be separated from his family for almost 5 years as he toured Europe!

Simon met his wife, Elbeda Larrocea, at a Jordan Valley dance right after he left the service.  The were married in 1946, and have a son.  Over the years, Simon has run two gas stations and worked for the Highway Department.  Now retired, Simon has many wonderful memories of the Basque community in which he was raised.

Audio Recording: 
Family ranch
Working with Basques
Other Images: