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Basque Experience in America
Passages by or about Basques in the Americas
Luck a la "Basquo"
Some "Basquos" came from Spain last week
And all went out to herding sheep;
They passed some loafers on the way,
Who had some unkind things to say
About the country- how it's run-
To what dire end it's bound to come,
And how the poor man stands no show
He might as well to Hazen go.
And so they sat and chewed the rag,
And went o'er and o'er that time-worn gag
About dividing up the wealth,
When each could travel for his health.
And as their cigarettes they smoked
They all about sheepherding joked,
And wished, meantime, some easy gink
Would come along and buy a drink.
Five years the Basque will follow sheep,
And every cent he gets he'll keep,
Except what little goes for clothes.
And then the first thing someone knows
He's jumped his job and bought a band
And taken up some vacant land;
And then the fellows who still prate
About hard luck and unkind fate,
And wail because they have no pull,
May help the "Basquo" clip his wool.
C.C. Wright in Amerikanuak by Douglass & Bilbao
When a man leaves his country for the Indies or some distant
land, while he is yet within site of his town or still
within his region, he looks back frequently at the
mountains of his homeland. But as he goes forth, once he
is beyond the view of his town and its surroundings, he adjusts
his thoughts to his country of destination, fixing his gaze upon
it and his will as well.
Pedro de Axular in Amerikanuak by Douglass & Bilbao
The vigor, activity and energy that the Basques bring to any
task makes it almost impossible to compete with them.
Carlos Pellegrini in Amerikanuak by Douglass &
In the country, to have a Basque name is to carry
credentials; it is the best possible recommendation to
gain entry to any circle or to participate in any activity.
Jose Maria Garciarena in Amerikanuak by Douglass &
Some hold that no man can herd six months straight without
going crazy, while others maintain that a man must have
been mentally unbalanced for at least six months before he
is in fit condition to entertain the thought of herding.
Gilfillan in Amerikanuak by Douglass & Bilbao
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