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"Voices in the Valley"
The Tubac Historical Society Oral History Project
page 6 of 7


Elvira Hildalgo Amado
Yolanda Amado Wells

Tucson, Arizona

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

Wells: A lot of ranchers did too.
Amado: Uh huh.
Lane: Mr. Porter put out a magazine, too, didn't he, about ranching or something?
Amado: I believe so, uh huh.
Lane: They lived on Ft. Lowell, I believe, at the bend of the road up there. Now, about Mr. Merchant. He was nominated to the Cowboy Hall of Fame and at one time he managed the Santa Lucia Ranch south of El Sopori Ranch?
Amado: Uh huh.
Lane: Do you still go to rodeos?
Amado: No. (laughs) I haven't been to a rodeo in years and years now.
Wells: Too dusty and the seats are too hard! (laughs)
Amado: And too long! Too long and boring!
Lane: Yolanda, how does your life differ from when you grew up? We've mentioned already that there is more socializing between Anglos and Hispanics than there was in former years, for example. Do you have a daughter, by any chance?
Wells: Yes.
Lane: How has her life differed, we'll say, from her grandmother's life? Would she be free to do more things? Less restraints on her?
Wells: Oh my, yes! (laughs) Even more so than we did. Everything is so different now than it was when I was young. I'm 61 now, so [there are] just a lot of things we didn't do then that you do now.
Lane: For example? How about dating?
Wells: I don't know, I'm not sure how to put that now on dating. It seems like when you're watching TV, everybody goes to bed right away. But I don't really think that's the case in most cases.

Oh, just your working. Women have to go to work now. My daughter has three toddlers now. I think she would like to go to work at times, and I think it's fine, as long as I don't have to babysit. (laughs) I do enough babysitting now! Not that I don't love my grandchildren, but .... Women are not as much homebodies as they used to be.

Amado: Which is just bad! (chuckles)
Lane: Do you know Ann Fimbres?
Amado: Oh, yes!
Lane: She was telling me that as she grew up, there were very definite Dos and Don'ts. As a young lady, she never went out without a chaperone, for example. Was that true in your life?
Amado: No. Well, she's a little younger than I am, but I used to know her then too. They weren't that strict. But when we were growing up, we had a lot of fun, because we had so many friends boys and girls and every weekend we'd have a party somewhere, and all we would have was punch. We were all so happy; we were all satisfied, and it was more fun.
Lane: You were in each other's houses?

Yes. And everybody used to meet at our house and then we'd go to Sabino Canyon for outings and take hot dogs and have a wienie bake. It was a lot of fun; so different from now.

All our friends, we knew their parents. We knew who they
were, and our parents were very careful who we went with.
And they'd always say, "And who is she? And who are her
parents?" (laughs)

Wells: I was very close with Ann Fimbres' ...
Amado: ... daughters.
Wells: ... daughters. We went to school together. And then they moved from here and they went to California, but we'd always look them up when we'd go. We'd always take our vacations in California my grandparents lived there, so my sister and I would take off and we would meet them there and they'd take us around to different places.
Amado: Do you know Anna very well?
Lane: I have met her, yes.

You lived on the ranch. What buildings were in Amado?
Amado: Where Gus lives?
Lane: Yes.

Amado: There was a bunch of little shacks (chuckles) adobe houses, where the ranch hands lived about three of them.
Lane: I really mean where we consider the town of Amado [is] now, where the Smithsonian is. That was a school building, wasn't it? Where the Smithsonian headquarters ....
Amado: Oh, the school is over at Amado, uh huh. That's the same school that's been there for many years, I guess. I don't remember another one. But in Amado there used to be the post office inside. And then they moved it to the highway. But it used to be somewhere in the back.
Lane: Where the depot was. We used to have to go pick up the mail there. I'd forgotten that.
Amado: That was years ago.
Lane: Well, the train stopped there.
Amado: Uh huh. Before they had a post office, the train would stop off and leave whatever they had mail and somebody would go pick it up.
Lane: And there was a station there, a little station?
Amado: Uh huh.
Lane: Do you remember the shipping pens, the cattle pens there?
Wells: Oh, yes! We used to go on roundups there. At roundup time we used to go and take the cattle there and then the train would come and pick them up.
Amado: She used to help with the roundups. All three of them.

Wells: When we were kids, uh huh.
Amado: They were good cowboys!
Lane: How long would those last the roundups?
Wells: Well, I guess they .... We were in school some of the time. Of course, we weren't during the roundup. About two or three days. We'd take off from school I guess maybe one or two days. And that's when Mrs. Bourne was there and she thought that was great that we were on the roundup! (laughs) I don't know if they paid them by the day like they do now, they probably didn't. But we would get up early in the morning my mother would make our breakfast and we'd have a party ....



Mrs. Wells was saying that when she helped with the roundups as a youngster, then their mother would fix their lunch, too, and they would take it with them and they'd be out all day long. Did you cook for the other cowhands, Mrs. Amado?
Amado: Yes I did.
Lane: Arid they'd come up to the house and eat then?
Wells: We'd take our lunch somehow. I don't remember where we ate. I can't remember that far back you know, bits and pieces.

Amado: When they'd get through, the cowhands would go to their places, but I'd feed my family.