Chronicler: Felicia Basanez

Interviewer: Gretchen Holbert

 

0:00 About the Pioneer Hotel, who owned it (Sutherlands). Usually had fresh fish. What they ate: fish, roasts, shrimp, etc. What she thinks about the food now in the Basque hotels. More of what they ate then. Her father used to pick on her, told her elbows looked like goat's feet. What her father did in the hotel. Who the boss was in the hotel. What childhood was like, went and played baseball with the boys. Description of her mother, what she looked like and did.

 

8:40 Her mother wanted to go back to Spain, about her sisters. Often ended up taking care of 15 kids at once in the hotel. About the layout of the hotel, some of the children who stayed there. Moved from the hotel to Court Street at high school age. Who took over the hotel when they left (Tony Savala). What life was like after the hotel, the adjustment to life without it. Went to work at H.C. Stevens (dry goods store), was happy to work there in 1931, '32 and was working fulltime in 1936 when she went off to get married. Her parents regretted getting rid of the hotel, about the dances they had in the hotel. Christmas and New Year's in the hotel, Court Street. About some of the other kids, who had money and who didn't.

 

19:55 Someone different speaking... was waiting tables at the hotel. Paid by the shift, wanted to be paid by the hour. People didn't tip back then except for at certain parties. About who tipped and who didn't, wasn't customary. When people started to tip more. People don't have parties in Winnemucca as much anymore. Quit working at the Nevada Hotel in 1979, was making good money in tips. About some other girls working in the other hotels. Wages then and now. Had been working in the Nevada for 15 years. How she worked shifts, set up and all and was paid $5 per shift. Setting up and rolling up, often had to clean the whole dining room at the end of the shift. Mary cooked during that time, who else worked in there. About who is working there still (1986/87 or so).

 

 

Tape II

 

0:00 When the Overland (Winnemucca) was built (1905). Her father worked sheep also as a trader. How her parents met, mother and father were first cousins. 26 rooms in the hotel, children were not born until 1913. Adaleida Achabal, other girls who worked in the hotel. Where people sat in the restaurant, characters who stayed there. Always had to change the tablecloth after these guys ate in the restaurant. They had a Mexican barber, he occupied room 2, she and her brother teased him all the time because he was ornery. What the kids did in the hotel, cleaned rooms and fixed blankets and sheets.

 

9:10 Rooms in the Overland, what they had in them, their size. Thirteen rooms on each floor, who lived in what rooms. Rooms faced the Commercial Hotel, there was one bathroom for each floor. About the restaurant, dining room. Prohibition days there was a speakeasy downstairs, how you got down there. There was a player piano that took nickels. Kids played in the alley, but mostly worked in the hotel. The boys never really had to work much, didn't even have to make their own beds or work in the restaurant. She would sit on the porch at Court Street and crochet altar cloths out of linen. What they did on Sundays, who taught her to crochet. What her mother did in the hotel.

 

19:43 Mrs. Sabal was going to have her baby and came to Overland. Mother was the nurse and the doctor delivered the baby in the Overland. Pio Achabal was christened in the kitchen of the Overland. Pio's sister was killed by a train. Everyone had to go to the hotels because there was no hospital until Dr. Shaw came. When people died, Overland sometimes held bodies in state. The children played marbles in the middle of the rug where there were roses. She had to wash her father's snotty handkerchiefs. Often the Overland had to hold clothes for people also who did not have room for them, also did some cleaning for people. Bought crackers in 100 lb. boxes. Would toast the crackers and get the kids out in the alley to work for her in return for crackers. Mother's specialty was chorizos. The layout of the hotel (back of the house). The kids had to dry the dishes in the kitchen. When her mother was sick, she (Felicia) had to cook instead. Mother never had any time off of work.