Quite often, in this blog, we recall the amazing influence our small people has had and currently has all over the globe. The presence, influence, and ability to “get things done” throughout the centuries is in and of itself amazing.
The same could be said of its ability to integrate into its adopted cultures, while still keeping its roots and traditions strong. We’ve always found it extraordinary how easy it is to find Basque descendants of several generations wherever we go.
All these thoughts were going through our head when we read Adam Clymer‘s obituary for Paul Laxalt in the New York Times, describing the huge influence on the recent history of the US the son of a Basque immigrant shepherd had. This influential politician has died at the age of 96.
Reading about his personal and political career is like reading a history book of that country for the past few decades, as well as of many places around the world. He was one of the closest confidants to Ronald Reagan, and he was also a Basque who never forgot his origins.
We found it interesting to read a reference to his ability to understand the people of Panama, and his respect for them, when they felt “oppressed by a great power”. Given how he was Basque, he could easily understand that feeling.
His brother, Robert Laxalt, was a writer, and his acclaimed works were critical in helping to make the Basques in the US visible, as well as reinforcing their feeling of belonging to a community of compatriots of Basque origin.
We especially liked the extraordinary 37-page National Geographic article from August 1968 titled “Land of the Ancient Basques”, written by Robert Laxalt, with photographs by William Albert Allard.
A family of Basques who have left an indellible mark on the history of the US and the Basques.
To paraphrase what Mike Dukakis’s mother said of him at a rally for Greek American supporters in ’87- “he is not just my son but the son of Basques everywhere.” @Basque_Country
— Grant Schott (@grantschott) 7 de agosto de 2018
New York Times – 6/8/2018 – USA
Paul Laxalt, U.S. Senator From Nevada and Reagan Confidant, Dies at 96
Paul D. Laxalt, a United States senator and close friend of Ronald Reagan’s whose insights aided his presidential campaigns and presidency, died Monday in McLean, Va. He was 96. Mr. Laxalt’s family said the death was from natural causes.
Google Translator. The New York Times does not permit Google’s automatic translation service. It is necessary to cut and past the article’s text into the translator