Interview with Elvira Hildalgo Amado

"Voices in the Valley"
The Tubac Historical Society Oral History Project

Elvira Hildalgo Amado
Yolanda Amado Wells

Tucson, Arizona

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

Lane:    This oral history is being conducted for both the Tubac Historical Society and the archives of the Tumacacori National Monument in southern Arizona. The interviewee is Mrs. Elvira Hidalgo Amado. This taping session is taking place on October 18, 1990, in Mrs. Amado's home on East Hawthorne Street in Tucson, Arizona. Also here with us today is Mrs. Amado's daughter, Yolanda Amado Wells. Mrs. Wells' home is also in Tucson. Let me ask you, Mrs. Amado, when were you born and where?
Amado:    I was born in Tucson, Arizona, on September 20, 1905.
Lane:    Tell me your parents' names.
Amado:    My mother's name was Maggie Hughes Hidalgo. And my father was Miguel Hidalgo.
Lane:    Did you have brothers and sisters?
Amado:    Yes, I did.
Lane:    Can you give me their names?
Amado:    Uh huh. My oldest brother is Miguel, Junior Miguel Hidalgo. And my sisters, Julia she's the oldest and Elinor and Carlos. Carlos died several years ago. [ed: Carlos was a brother.]
Lane:    Where did you grow up? In what neighborhood in Tucson?
Amado:    In Tucson, Arizona on South Sixth Avenue and Seventeenth Street. That's the south side of Tucson.
Lane:    Did you live there most of the time until you...?
Amado:    Until I got married. But I was born in another house, by the cathedral on South Stone Avenue and Corral Street. But that house is .... They did away with it, and something else is there, I don't know what.
Lane:    Now, where were your parents born, and where were they from?
Amado:    My father was born in Mexico, in a little town in Sonora, San Miguelito. And my mother was born in Tucson.
Lane:    And her name was Hughes?
Amado:    Hughes, si.
Lane:    Who were her parents?
Amado:    My grandfather was Fred G. Hughes. He came to Tucson during the Civil War. I don't know what rank he had, but he was with the Yankees. He settled in Tucson, he liked it so well.
Lane:    That was your father's father?
Amado:    No, my mother's father.
Lane:    Your mother's father, okay.
Amado:    He married my grandmother.
Lane:    What was her name?
Amado:    Her name was Francisca Barcelo.
Lane:    So, your mother was what we would call Anglo, right?
Amado:    Anglo.
Lane:    That's interesting. Did she speak English only?
Amado:    Oh yes!
Wells:    She spoke Spanish also.
Amado:    Oh, yes, uh huh, but she spoke English too. But at home we spoke Spanish most of the time.
Lane:    And she sort of fit into the Spanish community then?
Amado:    Yes, uh huh.
Lane:    But she still had relatives in the Anglo community?
Amado:    Back east.
Lane:    Why did her parents come to this part of the country, do you know?
Amado:    From Mexico, you mean?
Lane:    The Hughes, why did they come?
Amado:    The Hughes? I don't remember. (laughs)
Wells:    Well, my Grandpa Hughes came here during the war.
Amado:    During the war.
Wells:    Wasn't he with the Spanish American War? Wasn't he involved with that one also?
Amado:    No, it was the Civil War.
Lane:    No? Just the Civil War?
Amado:    The Civil War, uh huh.
Wells:    He entered Tucson as one of the troops. He liked it so well in Tucson it was just a little .... What did they call it? I'm terrible about this stuff.
Lane:    Presidio?
Wells:    It was a presidio at that time. And then he settled here, and just stayed. And then he married my grandmother. My grandmother's mother, I should say, Barcelo. She was Spanish, they came from Spain, but they came through Mexico. And that's when he married her, here in Tucson. And that's when they settled with Grandpa Hughes. He was in the first Legislature ...
Amado:    He was president of the first Legislature of Arizona.
Lane:    Did I get his first name?
Amado:    Fred.
Lane:    Where did you go to school then? Did you go to a Catholic school?
Amado:    For the first two or three years I went to the Catholic school on South Sixth Avenue, St. Joseph's Academy. And then I went to Safford School on South Fifth Avenue, and then on to high school. That's as far as I went. I just graduated from high school, and then I went to work.
Lane:    Did you play mostly with Hispanic youngsters?
Amado:    In those days, yes.
Lane:    Did you grow up speaking Spanish?
Amado:    No.
Lane:    You grew up speaking English?
Amado:    We spoke both.
Wells:    Mother, she asked you if you spoke Spanish most of the time. You did speak Spanish most of the time.
Amado:    Uh huh, but we spoke a lot of English too.
Lane:    Was that a problem for you in school?
Amado:    No.
Lane:    Many people would envy you that now, knowing the two languages.
Amado:    We never had any trouble, and we always had nice friends. My mother used to see to that that we had nice friends.
Lane:    Both Anglo and Hispanic?
Amado:    Yes.

Lane:    What were some of the families that you knew, besides your own family?
Amado:    You mean here in Tucson?
Lane:    Yes.
Amado:    Well, the Aguirres, the Amados, Jacobs.
Wells:    Elias.
Amado:    Elias. My husband was an Elias. His mother was an Elias married to Amado. See, they were all friends. (laughs) Grew up in Tucson.
Wells:    Jacomes.
Amado:    The Jacomes.
Lane:    Is that true so much, anymore? Are you still mainly your social life will revolve around the family and those old family friends?
Amado:    No. Times have changed a lot.
Lane:    How?
Amado:    You hardly see your old friends now, unless there's a social gathering like when you go to the Pioneer gathering, you know, you see a lot of old friends.
Wells:    Yes.
Amado:    Gee, I don't know where else.
Wells:    Funerals?
Amado:    Funerals, yes! (laughs) And weddings.
Lane:    What were the biggest celebrations in your girlhood?
Amado:    Christmas.
Lane:    And did they revolve around church activities?
Amado:    I really don't remember. They used to have gatherings at the church once a year they'd have what they'd call ferias. What would you call it in English? Like a carnival. They'd have booths and have Mexican food. Sometimes they'd do it to raise funds for the church, also for the poor people.
Lane:    Are we talking about a church called St. Joseph's? Or what church?
Amado:    No, the cathedral.
Lane:    San Augustín Cathedral?
Amado:    Yes, that one.
Lane:    That's where you went to church?
Amado:    Yes. I was baptized there, confirmed, I got married. But that was the old church. You know, they tore it down and then rebuilt it.
Lane:    Have you seen a lot of changes in the services at that church?
Amado:    Yes.
Lane:    It's changed from what you ...
Amado:    Completely.
Lane:    In what ways has it changed since you were a girl the church service?
Amado:    Well, it used to be a Latin mass. And now it's Because they don't like the new mass.
Wells:    Oh, everything is changed in the church. It's not the way it used to be.
Lane:    Not so much Latin?
Wells:    Oh no, we don't have any Latin. Although they are going to one Latin mass now at the convent in Sabino Canyon.
Lane:    What was the name of that church?
Wells:    It's a convent.
Lane:    Oh, a convent.
Amado:    Uh-huh.
Wells:    That's the only Latin mass that they have in Tucson now.
Lane:    Did they have the mariachi music as they do now at the cathedral?
Wells:    Oh, no.
Lane:    They didn't. Is that fairly new?
Wells:    Oh, the mariachis were only for fiestas..
Amado:    Uh-huh.
Lane:    How many years do you think they've had that?
Amado:    About twenty three years.
Wells:    Since the new changes came into the church starting in 1963.
Lane:    Do you still go to San Augustín's?
Amado:    No, I go to St. Peter and Paul.
Lane:    Which is close by.
Amado:    Once in a while, we'll go over there. And then they have mariachis there, I think the 8:30 mass, but I don't like the mariachis in church.
Lane:    I don't mean to pry, but why don't you like it?
Amado:    Because it seems like you're at a party or a funeral. It's not as solemn.
Lane:    Not as solemn or formal as you would like to see it.
Amado:    Uh huh. And you feel like you can't meditate listening to that music.
Lane:    But as a youngster you went on Sundays, and did you go other days of the week to church?
Amado:    Just on Sundays.
Wells:    Well, they used to have fiestas there.
Amado:    Oh, then that was a special occasion.
Wells:    Special saints' days and all.
Amado:    Saints days and all, uh huh. Yes, we'd go days of obligation, but we always went to church on Sundays and Christmas, and of course all the holy days.

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.

Lane:    Junior, is living up near Madera Canyon on a ranch that was originally established by Antonio Senior.
Amado:    And his wife lives up there too. She's not too well, but she's still living. She must be close to 90 years old, I think.
Lane:    His mother?
Wells:    No, this is Antonio Junior's wife?
Amado:    My sister in law, Armida. She was one of the Aguirres, a well known family.
Lane:    When you moved into the other house, on the west side of the Santa Cruz, you began to remodel it and fix it up, I presume.
Amado:    Yes.
Lane:    Did you add rooms to it?
Amado:    No, just like it was. They just sort of plastered it and they made the .... The kitchen was just one room. There was no cabinets. And when they fixed it up, they put a sink and cabinets like a kitchen. It wasn't anything fancy, it was just roomy, very roomy.
Wells:    And it was during the Depression?
Amado:    Yes, during the Depression.
Lane:    How did the Depression affect you?
Amado:    Very badly. (laughs) We were having a hard time. Nobody had money.
Lane:    Did you raise most of your own food?
Amado:    No, in the summer we had vegetables, lots of vegetables. And once in a while they'd slaughter so we had meat. That's about it, I guess.
Lane:    At least you had food, which many people found very ....
Wells:    And she did a lot of canning.
Amado:    Oh yes! I did a lot of canning.
Wells:    So she did have vegetables in the wintertime. I mean, this is not fresh, but they had canned.
Amado:    I used to can a lot of peaches and pears.
Lane:    Did you have fruit trees on your property?
Amado:    Uh huh, by the pump. You know where Gus lives? About a quarter of mile. There was a lot of trees, but they've died since.
Wells:    They planted trees my dad did that so that we've have food, of course. And that's where she would plant those [ed: inaudible], and we'd can.
Amado:    It was a lot of fun.
Wells:    We never went hungry. (laughs)
Lane:    Did you have family parties? Did the others come down from Tucson?
Amado:    Oh, yes, we had a lot of company, friends. And we'd make corn tamales. You've had them?
Lane:    I've never eaten them.
Amado:    Oh you haven't? Well, they're supposed to be everybody likes them.
Lane:    Was it Antonio who also used to have big parties over there on the east side of the river, in the older days?
Amado:    Do you mean his father, or the younger?
Lane:    Probably the father.
Amado:    Yes, on his saint's day, which is August 13. That's Antonio's saint's day, no? Oh, he always had a barbecue and invited a lot of people.
Lane:    And they came down and stayed two or three days, did they?
Amado:    No, just for the day. Some of them stayed, but there wasn't room for all of them.
Wells:    Mother, I think though, when my dad was young, before you got married, they would have these parties, and wouldn't they come and stay two or three days at a time, when they were younger with their friends and so forth?
Amado:    Their relatives, uh huh, some of them. Well, they didn't have too much room.
Lane:    And it just took longer to come from Tucson in those days, I'm sure.
Amado:    Yes, it did. When Gustavo was little, they used to come with a wagon to Tucson he and his wife and the kids. And it would take them two days. I think they slept in Sahuarita.
Lane:    You're talking about your husband?
Amado:    Yes, and his parents. And then they'd come and stay with his grandmother who lived over here on Sixth Street and they'd spend two or three days, I guess.
Lane:    So did you go to church at the little church in Amado?
Amado:    It was an old church. I think somebody bought the place and they remodeled it. But it used to be an old church, adobe and ....
Amado:    No, I don't think it was a barn.
Wells:    It just felt like a barn when you'd go there. In the wintertime when you'd go, it was freezing.
Lane:    Where was that exactly?
Amado:    It belongs to ....
Wells:    England?
Amado:    No, not England. You don't know anybody that lives up there?
Lane:    I know where Judy England's place is there.
Amado:    Well, it wasn't Mr. England's, no.
Wells:    It was somebody else, but I can't remember now.
Amado:    He's very well known.
Wells:    He's very well known.
Amado:    No. I can't think of his name.
Wells:    Place?
Amado:    No, not Place either. He used to be a good friend of John Wayne's. John Wayne would visit him there. But I can't remember his name.
Lane:    So none of your children, though, went to school at Amado they went to Sopori over there?
Amado:    Sopori School, because we were in Pima County.
Lane:    [to Wells] Did you go there?
Wells:    Uh huh.
Amado:    Until the eighth grade, until you were thirteen?
Wells:    Yes.
Amado:    And then she came to town.
Lane:    Your son Gus was telling me that he went to school under Sister Bourne for a while.
Amado:    Eulalia.
Lane:    [to Wells] Did you?
Wells:    Oh yes.
Lane:    Describe her to me.
Wells:    She was very special. She was always wearing a hat.
Amado:    Cowboy hat.
Wells:    Always her cowboy hat. She was a lot of fun and she got us interested in things. We'd go on field trips and we'd take little art trips. She'd make us draw whatever we saw. It was a lot of fun having her, and she taught us something. Because we did have teachers there that didn't do too much teaching, unfortunately. It was very hard when you came into town, because you just didn't know. They didn't teach you how to study or do a lot of things. I remember when she was there and some of the children that were leaving from the eighth grade she would really teach them, like their English, especially. English and math and all of that. We did learn how to read when we were in school, which now they don't, I understand, in a lot of the schools. The one thing we did know how to read and [do] math.
Lane:    You came to Tucson High then, right from there?
Amado:    Oh yes.
Lane:    Was it difficult, making the change?
Amado:    Well, I didn't go right .... I went to Mansfeld Junior High, because I had to be in the ninth grade then.
Lane:    You didn't have to go back any grades?
Amado:    No, I probably should have, but I didn't. (laughs) But my sister did. We went to make our first communion in Los Angeles because we didn't have the facilities, or somehow we didn't go to catechism here at the ranch. You know, the church there. And so my mother put both my sister and Inot at the same time but at separate times, to go to catechism in L.A. And we went to Catholic school there. And it was hard. I had a lot of different teachers, because there were .... The sister that was teaching my grade was sick so we had a lot of substitute teachers, and they didn't catch me, I'm sure, because of that. My sister was put down a grade, and that helped her, I think. It helped her when she went to school later on.
Lane:    Did you have any trouble with your English?
Wells:    Never. I went to a convent here in Tucson.
Amado:    For kindergarten.
Wells:    Yeah, kindergarten, with the nuns. But was it called St. Joseph's at that time?
Amado:    Yes.
Wells:    And I didn't know how to speak any English at all when I first started.
Amado:    Neither did we.
Wells:    None of us. My husband can't get over how we speak now without an accent, not having spoken anything but Spanish until we went to school. But I don't remember having a hard time.
Lane:    Where did you do your shopping for groceries?
Amado:    When we'd come to town, we'd go to .... Let's see, it was a Chinaman's store on South Meyer Street. There weren't too many ....
Wells:    Jerry Lee Ho.
Amado:    Jerry Lee Ho, uh huh. That's where we did our shopping. Because then, there weren't any stores out at Amado.

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.

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 ....

Lane:    SIDE TWO

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.

Wells:    It wasn't like .... You're thinking of when they had the big roundup. We didn't have a big roundup like that where we went for days and days and days. They'd bring all the cattle from up at Madera Canyon I'm using my hands! that's what we do all the time, we speak with our hands and we'd be up there and they'd bring the cattle down to Amado to the ranch, and then we'd drive the cattle from there down to the depot, which was about three miles.
Lane:    Yes, it really wasn't very far, not like the big long roundups.
Wells:    No, it wasn't.
Lane:    But you had a lot of cattle to round up, I imagine.
Wells:    Well, I don't know how much it was it was plenty. Then the train would come sometimes and they'd scatter or whatever. That would happen every so often. (phone rings)
Lane:    What kind of cattle did you have? Hereford?
Amado:    Corrientes. Do you know what that is?
Lane:    Yes. Did you ever go out on the roundup?
Amado:    No, I never learned to ride. I didn't like it.
Lane:    You never learned to ride, but your children did?
Amado:    Yes. Oh, they loved it!
Wells:    Right.
Amado:    Once in a while they'd make me go with them, and I'd go and I'd ache all over! (laughs)
Lane:    Did the train arrive when you expected it?
Amado:    Yes.
Wells:    I don't remember that part.
Amado:    It used to arrive around a quarter to twelve. And it wasn't every day.
Lane:    I was thinking about roundup.
Wells:    I just can't remember that far. Maybe they sent us home, I just can't remember.
Lane:    But there was a daily train, from what, Tucson?
Wells:    From Nogales.
Lane:    I see. And then it would go back in the evening, would it?
Amado:    Yes, about two o'clock it would go back.
Lane:    Could you board the train there at Amado?
Wells:    Yes, sure.
Amado:    It did stop there, no? Sure a lot of people would stop at Amado and get off there. Well, it had to stop to leave the mail and ice. They delivered ice, too. Can you imagine?
Lane:    I wonder when that train stopped stopping at Amado.
Amado:    At around noon.
Lane:    I mean, about what year? Do you have any idea when they quit stopping at Amado?
Amado:    1940s, maybe.
Wells:    During the war, probably.
Amado:    Uh huh, I think so, because then they had a bus from Tucson to Nogales. I think that's why the train stopped everybody would take the bus. The bus would stop along the highway and pick up passengers from the different ranches.
Lane:    Do you remember ever taking the train that ran from Benson to Nogales? Did you ever take that excursion?
Amado:    No. They were having a roundup.
Lane:    When you were first married?
Amado:    Yes. Just a few months. I didn't know how to cook and here I was cooking for my husband and my father in law and I used to worry! (chuckles) And we had a roundup and Mr. Amado invited all the cattle buyers to come and eat. I was so worried! I had made a pan of macaroni and cheese, and I had beans and I didn't have any bread. My husband had gone out (phone rings) to look for some bread, because there were no stores then. So they came in to eat, and that's all I gave them. Soda crackers, the macaroni, and the beans. (chuckles)

Wells:    At that time they were very united, too. There were a lot of relatives and they intermarried with their .... You know, relatives married relatives.
Amado:    Not relatives, but friends.
Wells:    I mean, they were all related. You know, the friends were related, because ...
Amado:    They grew up together in Tucson, and everybody knew each other.
Lane:    Your social life was mainly with family, right?
Amado:    Yes, uh huh. And close friends.