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"Voices in the Valley"
The Tubac Historical Society Oral History Project
page 2 of 7

Narrator:

Gustavo "Gus" Antonio Amado
Beverly Irish Amado
Rancho Nuevo
Amado, Arizona

Interviewer: Betty J. Lane
Date of Interview: March 3, 1989 and March 15, 1989

Amado: Yes. One time they had these doors, you know, that unfold, [ed: Mr. Amado verifies this English word with his wife.] and they'd close them, and they'd have one to fourth grade on one side, and then fifth to eighth on the other side. The big kids were not over there with the little kids. We'd have recess in the morning and then at noon an hour for lunch, and then another recess in the afternoon, and we'd come home at four o'clock. There was a station wagon bus.
Lane: Oh, there was?
Amado: Yes, I think it was a 1932 Chevrolet bus. Out of wood. Awful square, and all thirty-two kids would get in there. The chauffeur was Paul Bell at first, and then his wife took it over--oh, I don't know, maybe three or four years later. I can't recall. Her name was Irene Bell.
B. Amado: Tell them about how you got to the top of the hill on the bus.
Amado: When we'd be coming home from school--have you been up that road? Most likely you have been--this side of the Sopori Ranch there's a saint up on top of that hill. As you'd come up that hill we'd make a drop. Some kids would get off there--the family of Garcias, about four or five kids--and then we'd take off again. Well, we'd have to get off that station wagon or the bus and push it up that hill because they didn't have enough power to get up to the top. Not all the time, just sometimes they wouldn't. (laughs)
B. Amado: It depended on what you had on the bus.
Amado: Yeh, right. That'd be about our day. We'd take tires to play at school because we didn't have any playground equip ment, or nothing. So we'd take old tires and push the tires around the yard. And every once in a while we had a baseball and bat--no backstop, I remember that. We had a garage door for the backstop, and the ball would get egg-shaped because of hitting that hard.
B. Amado: What about the Giant Strikes?
Amado: Yeah, later on we got Giant Strikes.
Lane: You got what?
Amado: Giant Strikes, we called them. It's a steel pipe that stands up and they got chains to the sides, and we'd pull each other around. We grabbed one over all the rest of the chains and then we'd pull them around and give them a joy ride. You know.
Lane: Are you saying S-T-R-I-P-E-S?
Amado: S-T-R-I-K-E
Lane: Did they take you out up in the mountains on picnics or anything like that?
Amado: We'd go. Usually we'd have pledge allegiance to the flag around 8:30, and then we'd have a recess around--I don't know--ten thirty. Then we'd just take off to the mountains, six or seven of us kids, and stay up there until the bus would come back.
Lane: You weren't punished for it? (all talking and laughing at once)
Amado: We'd stay up there and hunt these chives, you know what I mean? They grow in the ground and they're about that deep. We'd take a cold chisel and a hammer and dig those suckers out, and then get a pack of them and sit down and eat them. And then we knew what time that bus would come--we could see it from the top of the hill--then we'd come down and get on the bus and go home.
B. Amado Then you had Mrs. Bourne as a teacher.
Amado: And after that we had Mrs. Bourne.
Lane: Oh, the author?
Amado: Yes.
Lane: Is that right? Tell me about her. How long was she there? Do you remember?
Amado: I think about two or three years.

I can't remember what her first name was; we just called her Mrs. Bourne.
Lane: Eulalia.
Amado: She always wore Levis--cowgirl--and everybody liked her. We used to write articles on The Little Cowpunchers--the school paper. She took us to a parade, and she'd take us to the University of Arizona Museum. I think, all in all, she was probably one of the best teachers we had.
Lane: I'm sure you've read her books.
Amado: Yeah. Not all of them. I knew one of her husbands, Jack Ryland.
Lane: Jack Riley?
Amado: Jack Ryland.
Lane: Is that right?
Amado: He's still living. He still goes to that auction and I've seen him up there. He tucks his pants in his boots, and you know--old cowpuncher.
Lane: People tell me I ought to interview him.
Amado: Yes, you should.
Lane: Where does he live?
Amado: I don't know. Just go to the auction and ask for Jack Ryland, and they'll probably tell you. He's not there all the time, but he used to be there every week. Now just on Fridays.
Lane: You're saying the Elks?
Amado: No, the cattle auction.
Lane: Cattle auction, okay.
Amado: It's called Layton's Livestock Auction now. Mother, get that number. She can call there and ask them if they know how you can get hold of Jack Ryland. He might be in the telephone book, but I don't know his initials. In her book, maybe the initials are there, or maybe they just call him Jack Ryland.
Lane: I'll do that. Was she married to him at the time she was teaching you?
Amado: No, no. I don't know if she was married before or after, I really don't know.
Lane: Where did she live?
B. Amado: There at the school.
Amado: Yes, right there at that school. All the teachers lived right there at school. They had a kitchen, a bedroom and a small living room.
Lane: Like the one at Tubac--it was the same way.
Amado: Sort of like that, yeah.
Lane: Were you sorry to see that school torn down?
Amado: Yeah. I don't know why they tore it down. All of a sudden I drove by there and saw it cleared up. Why they tore it down was beyond me. Whose idea it was to tear it down, I don't know. That was a historical marker. I think that thing started about 1927 or 1928.

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