Elexpuru, Jose Martin

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Gooding, ID
Interview Date: 

Jose Martin was born in Aulestia, Bizkaia on 11 November 1939, to Rufino Elexpuru and Maria Jesus Larrinaga.  Raised on a baserri, he has vivid recollections of life on the farm: tending to the family's 100 sheep and several cows, playing with his 11 brothers and sisters, food rationing, being plundered by roving bands of German soldiers, and the unpleasant experience of school.  Fortunately, Jose Martin had time for fun as well: as a small child, he enjoyed playing sports with his friends, and as he got older, he joined a successful bicycle racing team in Gernika.

After a few years in a marble mine, conscription in the Spanish army, and a stint in the lumber industry, Jose Martin took up a friend's offer to work in the United States.  He crossed the Atlantic in October 1964 to begin life as a sheepherder.  In the years that followed, Jose Martin adjusted easily to the life and language of his new country, and switched careers to include construction, trucking, farming and real estate development.

Jose Martin met his wife Carolyn in 1979 in Gooding, and the couple was married a few years later.  They have raised a daughter, and the whole family enjoys the many Basque traditions still practiced in town.  Although Jose Martin enjoys visiting Euskadi when time allows, he considers Idaho his home now, but this doesn't prevent him from  working actively to promote the Basque culture for future generations.

Audio Recording: 
Baserri chores
Changes in Euskadi
Gernika bike team
Other Images: