The First Arizona Basque Bash

 

If you were an Arizona Basque, the place to have been this past weekend was at the first Basque Bash where 150-180 of your fellow Basque attended a fun gathering at the Auza Ranch.  There was food and lots of getting reacquainted with past friends.  As an invited guest and the historian for the Arizona sheep industry, I was able to gather information on many Basque whose parents or grandparents were in the sheep business.  Some of their names I was hearing for the first time!  The families who helped me gather the information for my book about their families and others who had at one time been in the sheep business, had forgotten about them, too.  The event started with MariAlice Bidegain who had wanted a family reunion for a long time and once it got started it just blossomed into all Basque in the state being invited.  One of the Bidegain’s was Pete Bidegain, a French Basque.  He left France in 1906 and went to Flagstaff a day after arriving in America.  In his years as a sheep man he worked for the Campbell Brothers and Dr. Raymond.  I will add more on the story once I have the details written in a more concise matter and can add from the family members what they remember.   I have added just a few pictures from the event!

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