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"Voices in the Valley"
The Tubac Historical Society Oral History Project
page 5 of 7


Elvira Hildalgo Amado
Yolanda Amado Wells

Tucson, Arizona

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

Wells: We had Luna's.
Amado: Oh, that was years after. The first store that opened there was the Halfway Station. That's where a restaurant is now Basilio Carranza. He opened it. It was just a tiny little store. I remember when he came over and introduced himself and he told us that he was going to be available, he was opening a store. And then he went on to open the restaurant.

Wells: The bar and restaurant.
Amado: And he did very well. He had very good food. And then he started he built a what do you call it? Like a dance hall right next to the store. I was thinking of Kinsley's. He had dances there on Saturday and then he served food. After the dance, he'd sell it. That's what he did very well. He got very rich, but he was very tight! (laughs) He and his wife. (laughs) Don't put that!
Wells: It's on there! As you talk, it's on.
Amado: But they were good people.
Lane: And there was Mr. Otho Kinsley.
Amado: Kinsley, uh huh, and he had a store too, and a dance hall. And they had very nice dances there and rodeos.
Lane: Did you all go there for dances?
Amado: Oh, yes, we did. In the summer. That's the only time they had dances, in the summer.
Lane: And rodeos there?
Amado: Rodeos, uh huh. That was a big event people from all over came. And they'd have barbecue and beer and whatever.
Lane: Mrs. Wells was saying that for a while when she was in junior high and high school in Tucson she stayed with ...
Wells: Sophie Aros, a cousin.
Lane: Sophie Aros, here in town. And would you go home on the weekends?
Amado: Oh yes.
Lane: You took the bus home?
Wells: Sometimes, but sometimes ...
Amado: ... we'd come and pick her up.
Lane: How long did that go on, until your parents moved into Tucson?
Wells: Well, we stayed in town one time for about a year or two years ...
Amado: Two years.
Wells: ... in my grandmother's old house on South Sixth before they sold it. And when they sold it, we moved back to the ranch and we were commuting back and forth, the three of us. By that time we were all three in school in town. And we'd ride a little Model A, or T, I can't ....
Amado: Model T.
Wells: Model T car into town every day, back and forth. And that was very wearing on us. By Friday we were all ready to bite each other! (laughs)
Lane: Are you talking about yourself and Gus and ...
Wells: Natalia, my sister.
Lane: ... and Natalia. I should, at this point and should have before gotten the names of your children, starting with the oldest. [ed: Mrs. Amado's children]
Amado: Yolanda,
Lane: Yolanda is the oldest?
Amado: Is the oldest. Natalia Natalie she's the middle, and Gus. And I have five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Lane: Did you feel that your life as you grew up as a child differed from the families in the Anglo sections of town? Was it any different from their lives?
Amado: I don't think so. We had our own group, but we did the same things that the others did.
Lane: Did you do it with them?
Amado: No.
Lane: Did you also socialize?
Amado: No. Very little. Mostly in school. But outside of school, we didn't have any relations with them.
Lane: [to Wells] But that probably wasn't true as you grew up, was it?
Wells: I don't think so. Because the families had already separated.
Lane: That was beginning to be the trend, and now it's even more so.
Amado: We never had any trouble.
Lane: I'm going to ask you some more about some of the families with whom you socialized in the valley, and first I want to ask you about the Mannings. Were you well acquainted with the Manning family?
Amado: No. I just knew who they were. They were neighbors. They had a daughter ...
Wells: Claire.
Amado: And the little girl used to come over on horseback with her tutor. And he'd bring her and they'd ride to our end and then they'd go back and I used to see the little girl.
Lane: Now, the tutor was a man or a woman?
Amado: No, a man. He was her teacher, I guess, and he'd take her riding. But we never knew them. They had their own social life.
Wells: (laughs) They didn't socialize.
Lane: But you were close, probably, to the Elias family?
Amado: Oh, yes.
Lane: Redondos, did you know them?
Amado: No, but they were related to some of the Elias family. But I didn't know them.
Lane: Who were some of the other families that you socialized with down there, and possibly were related to?
Amado: The Hughes, the Jacomes, Jacobs, Carrillos the Tucson Mortuary.

Lane: Oh, Carrillos.
Amado: Carrillos, uh huh. My folks used to socialize with them. And who else? There were so many. [ed: These were Tucson families.]
Lane: Any around your area there around the ranch, in that area, that you particularly were with?
Wells: The Angulos
Amado: Angulos, uh huh.
Wells: They were from Sopori.
Amado: He used to manage the Sopori Ranch. His kids went to school with mine at the Sopori School, so we used to get together and we'd go to the dances with them, with Gabe and his wife.
Lane: Did you go to Sopori Ranch some?
Amado: Yes.
Lane: Any people in the valley that were particularly colorful or prominent, or maybe contributed a lot to the life in the valley that you want to mention?
Amado: The Carranzanos, Basilio. We really didn't socialize too much out there.
Lane: Mostly with your own family, probably, coming down?
Amado: Yes. Have you met Mrs. Merchant? She lives in Green Valley. She got married again.
Wells: Dorothy.
Amado: Dorothy Merchant. You wouldn't know her.
Wells: She was married to Richard Merchant, and he was just nominated to the Cowboy Hall of Fame [ed: inaudible].
Amado: You know they had a statue of a man on a horse, and that's Mr. Merchant.
Wells: At the ...
Amado: At the Porters. You remember Porter's store?
Lane: No.
Amado: It was over on North Stone Avenue. And it was a very wellknown store. All the dudes used to go there and do their shopping.