On Friday, August 7, the Basque community lost a great one, Dave Lachiondo.
Dave was a pillar, not only of the Boise Basque community, but also of Boise more broadly. He had served as both principal and president of Bishop Kelly High School, impacting an untold number of lives. His long career in education touched so many students’ lives, not only at Bishop Kelly, but at Boise High and Fairmont Junior High. His accordion was often heard at Basque events, adding that spark that makes a gathering of people something more, making it an experience, giving it marcha.
I didn’t know Dave well. We traded emails a few times, like when he told me back in 2010 about Hidden in Plain Sight exhibit that was going to be put on display at the Ellis Island National Monument Museum. I didn’t meet him until 2013, through the most unlikely of chance encounters. My family and I went to attend a performance of the Trey McIntyre Project, who had come to Santa Fe and had a piece, a Basque-inspired ballet, that had been commissioned by the Basque Museum and Cultural Center in Boise. Not even weeks before, I had met Dave’s daughter Alicia on the set of Longmire, where we were both extras on an episode featuring a mystery involving the murder of a Basque sheepherder. Alicia had been doing her residency in New Mexico and her parents were visiting when she took them to the Trey McIntyre performance. Bumping into them, I got to meet Dave, who was at the time the Director of the Basque Studies Program at Boise State University.
Since that time, we have a few random chats, primarily about Basque stuff. I was always struck by both Dave’s enthusiasm and his direct manner. He didn’t try to dance around the edges, he just said what was on his mind. And he seemed to have big ideas on his mind.
Dave leaves behind a wonderful legacy, epitomized in his two daughters who are both extremely accomplished, leaders in their fields and communities.
Goian bego, Dave.