This article was translated by John R. Bopp

Next February 26, The Idaho Humanities Council is going to recognize historian Judy Austin for her “lifelong contributions” to Idaho.  Ms. Austin joined the state’s historical society in 1967 and was a longtime editor of Idaho Yesterdays, Idaho’s history magazine.  The ceremony will be held in, of all places, the Boise Basque Center.

The Idaho Statesman newspaper, well-known to our readers, has dedicated a marvelously detailed article/interview to her, in which she tells her own story, as well as the moments and people who have marked her career.

Among the many things she talks about, she refers to the people she most enjoyed working with during her time at Idaho Yesterdays.  That’s when she brought up a surname that our readers will immediately recognize: Bieter.  It’s a surname that has popped up in some of the most interesting stories we’ve collected in these past few years.

Eloise y Pat Bieter.
Eloise and Pat Bieter.

Another great writer was Mayor Dave Bieter’s father, Pat Bieter (who taught history at Boise High School and later history and education at Boise State University and served in the Idaho House of Representatives).

Bieter was a German Catholic from Milwaukee who came to Boise and met Eloise, a beautiful Basque girl who became his wife. Bieter effectively kicked Basque history and the preservation of Basque culture in Boise into high gear. Bieter established the program at Boise State through which students can study in the Basque Country. I was always happy to see articles by Lovin and Bieter show up at the office.

Pat Bieter, that “German Catholic from Milwaukee”, married Basque-American Eloisa Garmendia and the couple became a pillar of the Boise Basque community.  He even learned the language!

And a clear example of what a Basque person is, is, as we’ve said many times before: anyone, wherever they’re from, who wishes to share with us the destiny of our people.

Eskerrik askoPat Bieter, for all that hard work, and for helping sew the seeds in that part of the US for the fruit of the Tree of Gernika.

And congratulations to Judy Austin for this well-deserved recognition, which will be held at that most historical of places, the Basque Center of Boise.

Idaho Statesman – 17/2/2015- USA

Idaho historian Judy Austin recounts her own past as she prepares to receive Idaho Humanities Council award

 Judy Austin joined the state historic staff in 1967 and was the longtime editor of Idaho Yestedays, the state's historic journal. KYLE GREEN — |
Judy Austin joined the state historic staff in 1967 and was the longtime editor of Idaho Yestedays, the state’s historic journal. KYLE GREEN — [email protected] |

The Idaho Humanities Council gives just one award a year, for Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities. “It is very special,” said Rick Ardinger, executive director of the council. “Judy has been such a resource.” Former Boise State professor Robert Sims nominated Austin for the award. Ardinger received several letters in support of the nomination. “Many were quite poignant, about how Judy helped the writers publish their first book review, or their first article,” said Ardinger. “Judy is an amazing person. She is a fabulous editor, a wonderful writer. She’s devoted nearly 50 years to Idaho and Western history,” said Boise historian Elizabeth Jacox.

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Last Updated on Dec 20, 2020 by About Basque Country

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