Chronicler: Mary abbot (Mitcheo)
Interviewer: Mateo Osa
Location: Gardnerville, NV
0:19 father felt responsible for herders; he had come to this country not knowing anybody; and a lot of these guys were that way. The community had been good to him, if he could help somebody, he wanted to; he sometimes got disgusted with people
1:33 herders probably chose a hotel based on who they knew best
2:09 when she was growing up she didn’t know the difference between French and Spanish Basque; but there were not many Spanish Basques then
3:13 by the time herders got to Gardnerville, they knew where they were going; they had come here to work for someone like ___sario
3:55 doesn’t remember competition between hotels; her mom was the first to have so many outsiders to come to eat; that was the early 40s. There was an influx of people into the area at the time, during the war years; parents were also friends with a lot of the ranchers who liked to come in on occasion. Tahoe discovered the area and families came down on Sundays
5:35 didn’t advertise; had souvenir ashtrays they passed out.
5:58 dad died in 1968; mom hung onto the hotel for a couple years and then leased it out to Okilanderos (?) from Bakersfield, then leased it to Mary’s brother-in-law and his wife, then when they left she thought she would just keep the bar, but she had an opportunity to sell, so she sold in the early seventies.
7:20 is glad she grew up in the Basque hotel; she would not have had those experiences otherwise, she is proud to be Basque and of the traditions they are trying to keep up; happy about opportunities for kids now like music camp and dancing; her own kids are not involved
8:12 her ex-husband is George is for everyone keeping their traditions
8:53 the Bordas were athletic; Basques had competitive edge
9:13 handball matches; her uncle; mom’s brother Jean was good; people came from California to play, sister Alice played with her hand, like the men
10:14 handball wasn’t promoted as such, it was just part of the hotel, doesn’t know who put the matches together; happened mostly in the summer
11:18 Richford Hotel was owned by the Aja family – they were Spanish (non-Basque), they had a lot of kids, they didn’t serve meals that she remembers
12:29 the J.T. came in when she was in college; Herman Springmeyer had it before, then the Troundays got it in the 50s.
13:20 Sweetwater the Iparraguirre’s (Frank) the brothers became attorneys. They lived out in Sweetwater, David, Paul, and Lauren. They dropped the I or Y in their name.
15:18 change in Basque hotel cuisine came in the 50’s. Wasn’t family style anymore, individual groups. Served as people came in and wanted to sit down, then they served steak every night at the Overland – since then that’s what the Basque places serve. Don’t see many regualr boarders anymore.
16:45 Basque identity, proud of it, enjoys her Basque friends, likes what they are doing – nice to remember the good things; she is very grateful to ? Idiart and Anita Izoco for starting the local Basque club (Mendiko Euskaldun Cluba) about 6 years ago.
17:35 they were invited to join the Reno Basque club; her dad was invited to serve; she remembers Paul Laxalt and John Ascuaga being involved, they met in Sparks for a Reno Basque festival- that was the beginning of the Reno club in the late 50s.
18:34 her dad preferred being outdoors to being in a smoky bar and took every opportunity to get out, but he had the opportunity of the hotel, and that way he could raise his family with them right there; good for raising family
19:10 her mom first came to a ranch in Susanville where she was expected to cook; she was leary about cooking for a hotel, but Faustino was still there at the hotel
19:54 her parents wanted to have their own business and they were successful. Those were the happiest days of her mother’s life because they were all together. They went on picnics to Mono lake; saw the sheepman. J.B. Saldaber (?) was one of the happiest Basque people she ever met; very generous, had big parties out at sheep camp before they would go up and invite people from all over; there was accordion music. This was during all of her schoolyears in August
21:39 END TAPE