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


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: Could be.
Lane: Tell me about some of the people. Did you ever know Bird Yoas?
Amado: Yes. He was a Texan and he had that ranch--Agua Caliente. I don't know when he came here, but he stole a lot of cattle.
Lane: That's what I've heard.
Amado: And my grandfather says, "And in the daytime, too!" All he would say was, "He's a bad man. He's a bad man." He was a legend. HE finally sold the ranch to Ralph Wingfield when he got old.
Lane: Does Mr. Wingfield still own it?
Amado: He still owns it, yes. I think he has a boy that's running it up there.
Lane: Now that's at the foot of the Santa Ritas, really.
Amado: Right.
Lane: East of Mr. Amado's ranch here.
Amado: Uh-huh. Right at the bottom of the Smithsonian.
Lane: Were you at Canoa Ranch often? Did you visit there some?
Amado: Just when I had business, that's all.
Lane: Mike [Amado] mentioned some family stories that go 'way back involving Geronimo, and him being in the area. Do you recall any of those?
Amado: No, I don't.
Lane: Do you recall that at one time there was a military camp in through here? It wouldn't have been in your time, but many years back.
Amado: I understand that right there where the Half-Way Station is was a military camp, and the gentleman that had that was a fellow by the name of Basilio Carranza. I understand that for some reason he stopped by there and thought he could do some business there selling food to the soldiers, and he opened that restaurant. I understand that's the way he got started.
B. Amado: He was from Italy, right?
Amado: I guess he was, I don't know.
Lane: He was from where?
B. Amado: Italy.
Lane: Is that right?
Amado: He was an Italian.
Lane: Some other people that you recall from your childhood, or events?
Amado: My memory's really getting weak. When I see things is when, you know--you start thinking more how things have changed. But at the last moment I can't think of any thing. When I start driving that road, maybe then I'll start--you know.
Lane: We could always add to this later. You have seen a lot of change in the valley in your lifetime.
Amado: Oh, yeah. Well, we have a bridge there.
Lane: Yes.
Amado: Of course I never thought we'd see Green Valley. Green Valley's a bigger change.
Lane: Mike Amado in Images and Conversations says that at one time his father ran cattle all up in through there, where Green Valley is now, and as a youngster he would go up there on his horse.
Amado: Well see, this ranch where we're at right here--all the cattle used to water here because it was open range. They had to water here. That windmill and that big tank come by Twin Buttes, I guess, by horse and wagons.
B. Amado: The one behind the tack room back there, the big tank.
Amado: I guess they had big barns there where they kept their horses and everything, and they'd ride them. There were cattle spread all over the place. When they had round ups everybody would go because they'd get their own stock out of the roundup, whatever would fall in the rodeo. You know, they'd pull their own herd out--or their cattle
Lane: Were those usually in the fall, or were they fall and spring?
Amado: Usually in the fall, because in the springtime Oh, you'll have some in the springtime, but they usually like to brand them before the rainy season gets here because [there were] a lot of screwworms in those days. They've eradicated the screwworm. But usually in the fall. Then it's a good time to brand and keep the cattle that you're going to sell. Of course, it was different in that time because there was no cattle buyers. Like now, you go to market and you can sell a cow anytime you want to. But back then, you had to find somebody who was interested in buying your cows or cattle.
Lane: When you shipped cattle at Amado, where did those cattle go? (telephone rings)
Amado: Usually California.
Lane: Your business career, outside of ranching, has been what?
Amado: Well, farming. I farm in Mexico.
Lane: You do? Where?
Amado: In Caborca in Sonora, Mexico.
Lane: What kind of crops do you grow?
Amado: My main crop is cucumbers for pickling. We export them to the States. We export cucumbers for pickling to Arnold Pickle and Olive Company.
Lane: Arnold Pickle and Olive?
Amado: We've been doing that since 1963. And we grow grain crops, and grapes.
Lane: What kind of grapes?
Amado: Carragana and Perlettes.
Lane: How many acres do you have down there?
Amado: Probably one hundred fifty acres of grapes.
Lane: Do you divide your living time down there? Is there a home and all where you stay?
Amado: Yes. Usually I stay down there three days out of the week, on the average.
Lane: Do you go down some, Beverly?
Amado: Not very often. I have to be so careful. I just feel very confined
Lane: This Arnold is a United States firm; the pickle company you're talking about?
Amado: Yes, it's a United States Been around.
Lane: Do you have trucks that you bring these things up in?
Amado: Yes, we export them in trucks.
Lane: And you bring them across the border yourselves?
Amado: Right, yes. We have our own truck, and the cucumbers come in salt brine.
Lane: Oh, they do?
Amado: Yes, in that way you pay less duties on them than when you bring them fresh. And in the meantime, they've already started to ferment as they come across. We pick them one day and that night they're shipped, and they're at Arnold Pickle by the next day at eleven or twelve o'clock.
Lane: You truck them in to them?
Amado: Yes.
Lane: You don't go through a produce house in Nogales?
Amado: No, to Lukeville. They come in bins, so they're in bulk. It's not crates, or lugs or anything. They're graded out in different sizes but in bulk; they're loose, just divided out into five different grades.
Lane: The names of your children?
Amado: Our oldest is Gail Louise Valdez. Married, no children. And the next is Diana Sue Amado, and she works at the University of Arizona. She's a lab technician. Then the next one is Judy Lynn Amado McDaniel. She's married, also--no children. [ed: they also have a son, Gus, Jr., who works at the meat lab at the University of Arizona.]
Lane: Mr. Amado says that they deliver their Mexican grapes to a winery--the biggest in Mexico, originally from Spain.