I am finishing writing the stories describing the sporting achievements of 19 athletes in 4 generations, in 15 different sports. Only one page is missing. That is mine. It’s my story which will be my autobiography.
This page will, logically, also complete the section of the Luis Adarraga’s daughter and sons, of the second generation: the Adarraga-Elizaran brothers. Writing that many siblings’ pages, I have, necessarily, repeated myself, somewhat. I could not avoid it as we all were brought up in the same atmosphere, with the same parents, discipline and routines and we all have logically common traits.
Of course, there are some personal differences in how we expressed ourselves. I for instance, differ in my sporting abilities from my brothers who excelled as individual performers. I’m more like my sister Carmen. We excelled as team leaders. It’s more, after “hanging the boots” -–and before—I dedicated my experience, coaching ability and love of the sport to show it to others. See the story below. But before, I must make a couple of comments:
Juan Adarraga-Elizaran, No 2 in the family, was an excellent cyclist and pelota (Basque handball) player but how he good could have been we will never know. While studying engineering in Madrid, the Spanish Civil War broke out and he went to served with the nationals as a second lieutenant in Aviation.. Unfortunately, his life was cut short at 20, when his plane was shot down (1938) He was buried at the home cemetery. His accident is thus described:
The cold account of the death of our brother Juan by friendly artillery fire is in Spanish.
English translation: (from the original spanish article)
During the machine-gun firing at the "Casa de los Catalanes", close to the Ebro, next to the exit to the boats’ bridge that has been build and from where the resistance comes, it is shot down by friendly artillery fire that crosses his path, while flying almost at ground level. Both died. Vigueras that was flying behind in the formation, tells me that he saw them fall and crash on the ground. In the afternoon I'm in charge of collecting their remains.
The destroyed plane is on the right margin of the river. I collect both corpses and organize their transfer to Saragossa.
De "Cadenas del Aire". J.L.
Our mother Benita, a mother of 12, like a good Basque mother, lived sacrificed for the family, all her life. She would spend the day in the kitchen, assisted by two servants to feed the hungry mob and do the house chore. She would complain why we could dirty and tear so much sporting gear.
And at the home entrance door we had a sign: “God blesses large families”
She was very keen in our religious upbringing. She would encourage us to attend daily Mass and have communion; to celebrate this or that patron saint and to pray the rosary after evening dinner.
Her sporting activities were a 5 km walk with father, after dinner, and walking to church and to the market. I never saw her take one step faster than the other. She left that to us. She never ever watched a son compete (not even on television. Not yet discovered).
She was a tall pretty woman, the eldest of 6 sisters (no boys). Dad was the eldest of the 5 brothers and one sister. Their own family grew by 7 boys and 5 sisters.
Not all brothers were elite sports devotees. I must do a last comment about the family. All brothers and sisters were good at this or that sport but some were more interested in pursuing other activities. Only Carmen, Jose Luis, Juan Bautista, Bernardino, Agustin (this page) and Fernando, pursued competition sports during the University years.
Also, I’ll split my sporting life into 4 main sections to better describe what I achieved and where. These are them: