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"Voices in the Valley"
The Tubac Historical Society Oral History Project
page 3 of 7


Elvira Hildalgo Amado
Yolanda Amado Wells

Tucson, Arizona

Interviewer: Betty J. Lane
Date of Interview: October 18, 1990

Lane: Did your school, at St. Joseph's, only go to certain grades? Is that why you went to Safford? Why were you sent then to Safford School?
Amado: Because we didn't like it anymore, my sisters and I. We wanted to go to the public school. (laughs)
Lane: Was that a co ed school when you went to St. Joseph's? Or were the girls all in one class and the boys all in other classes?
Amado: No, there was mostly girls.
Lane: Mostly girls.
Amado: And a few youngsters, little boys but very few. They were most girls.
Lane: But you wanted to go to Safford then?
Amado: Yes.
Wells: Where the boys were! (laughs)
Amado: Maybe (laughs).
Lane: Well, you've got both then, in your background, which maybe was good.
Amado: Uh huh, we thought so. It was more fun
Lane: And what high school did you go to?
Amado: Tucson High. The original one. The only at that time.
Wells: But that's where Roskruge is now, isn't it?
Amado: Uh huh, it was the old school, on Roskruge. Half of the school was for the high school and the other one was grammar, while they were building the new high school, the one over here on Sixth Street.
Lane: What is it called now?
Amado: Tucson High. It is very different, though. It used to be so nice when we went all nice people and now it's the kind of people that ....
Lane: Had you known your husband to be when he was a youngster?
Amado: I think I was about 14 or 15 years when I met him, because cousins were his cousins, and sometimes they'd come around to the house, and that's how we met. So I feel like I knew him all my life. (laughs)
Lane: You knew him while you were in high school, then, too, didn't you?
Amado: Oh yes.
Lane: Did he go to the same high school?
Amado: Uh huh, he did.
Lane: I'd like to get a picture of your household some more when you were growing up did your mother do as mine did, washed on Mondays, ironed on Tuesdays? Did she work that way?
Amado: She always had somebody to wash on Mondays. They were mostly Indians.

Lane: What kind of Indians?
Amado: Papago Indians. And Mexican ladies too. They would wash for my mother. And she had somebody that would iron for her.
Lane: And clean for her?
Amado: No, she did it and we helped.
Lane: Did she prepare Mexican food a lot?
Amado: Well, I don't think it was always Mexican, but we ate meat and vegetables and beans. We all loved beans.
Lane: Did you have a garden?
Amado: Just a few flowers, nothing fancy.
Wells: They didn't grow vegetables. Grandpa didn't. Her father was a blacksmith.
Amado: Uh huh. In the summer they'd buy their vegetables. There was a Chinaman that would come around in a wagon, and he'd have vegetables. In the winter there was no vegetables because nobody had refrigeration. I guess that they had to ....
Lane: Did she go to the grocery practically every day, or did someone go for her?
Amado: Sometimes we'd go. There was a little store about two blocks from us Claubergs they had everything.
Lane: What did you say the name of that was?
Amado: Claubergs, C L A U B E R G S.
Lane: And how old were you when you married?
Amado: Twenty three.
Lane: And you were married in the cathedral?
Amado: Uh huh.
Lane: In a long white dress?
Amado: No, a white dress and a white hat.
Wells: Flapper style.
Lane: Flapper style?
Amado: Yes.
Lane: Did you go away for a honeymoon?
Amado: We went to California for two weeks.
Lane: And then where did you live?
Amado: When we came back? Well, we went to live at the ranch, at my father in law's home, because the home that we were going to have had been vacant for many years about ten years, maybe. Because Gustavo's grandmother, Doha Ismael Amado, she built that home. She'd spend the summers out there.
Lane: That's the same home where your son and wife live now?
Amado: Yes, that's right. It was built in 1911. When she died, they just left the home it was so dilapidated. So we stayed with our father in law for almost two years. His home was across the river, about a mile from where Gus lives. And it had no inside plumbing. (laughs) That's where I spent my honeymoon.
Lane: Mrs. Amado said that she actually lived in the Amado house on the east side of the Santa Cruz.
Amado: Yes.
Lane: Who built that home? Who originally occupied that home?
Amado: Mr. Amado.
Lane: Gustavo?
Amado: No, his father.
Lane: Who was ...
Amado: Antonio Amado.
Lane: This is the house where Mr. Underdown lives now?
Amado: Yes.
Lane: And was Antonio the first one to occupy that house?
Amado: He built it.
Lane: And he had quite an establishment there, didn't he, the ranch?
Amado: Yes, he did.
Lane: And how long did you stay in that house?
Amado: Almost two years, until they fixed our house where Gus lives now. But it's nothing like it is now. (laughs) At least I had inside plumbing. No electricity, or no hot, running water.
Lane: You may have experienced some floods in that area, right?
Amado: Not too bad, no. I remember sometimes when it rained, the water would run on the side of the house, but not too bad. It never came in the house.
Lane: Did you have cattle over there?
Amado: Yes, we did.
Lane: And was that what your husband was doing?
Amado: Yes, and then he farmed too.
Lane: What crops did he farm?
Amado: Chile peppers in the summer tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants.
Wells: Corn.
Amado: Corn the corn that's used for tamales. And pinto beans.
Lane: And did he do that also after you moved? Did he farm on both sides of the river later?
Amado: No. On this side, because the other was his dad's. We owned 108 acres over here, where Gus lives.
Lane: On the west side of the Santa Cruz?
Amado: Yes.
Lane: And he had cattle and farmed.
Amado: But the cattle he had up in the Santa Ritas, because he homesteaded a section up there. Then his father had some land up there, so they all shared it with the cattle.
Lane: Mrs. Amado and her daughter added that at the present time, Mark Amado, the son of Gus ...
Amado: No, grandson of Antonio Amado.
Lane: Grandson of Antonio Amado ...
Amado: Junior.