was visiting her Nelson
Sister, Jessie, in Los Angeles and telling her about our
upcoming story about the hidden kitchen traditions of the
Basque and discovered that her sister's landscape garderners
who were there at the time were two Basque brothers,
Davia grabbed her tape recorder, and
out of the blue did an interview that is the center of
our Sheepherders Ball story. "They spoke, they sang, they
whistled. I heard all the calls they have for the sheep dogs
that traveled with them over the long treks across the American
and Joaquin Lasarte came to America in 1964 from Basque country
in northern Spain.
Neither Lasarte brother had any sheepherding experience when
they arrived in America.
"You lonely, you by yourself," Francisco Lasarte
said. "My God, you with 2,000 sheep and two dogs and you
don't know what to do, where to go."
Each brother had his own flock, and they rarely saw each other
or anyone else for months on end. Mostly they ate lamb and
bread cooked in a Dutch oven in a hole they dug in the ground.
You can still find these holes up in the mountains of Idaho,
Montana, Nevada and California.