Son of a Basque-Deborah Driggs

Most of us do not know why we feel or act the way we do. What if we had a road map to navigate life and understand ourselves better? What if we could better understand our struggles and frustrations? Generational trauma is real. I invite you to explore the journey of a heroic man from humble beginnings in Son of a Basque to see how the stories and traumas of our grandparents can be passed down. Discover your road map to begin your healing so you can break free.

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the oldest son of immigrant parents, found himself thrust into the role of principal breadwinner for his family when he was only ten, after the sudden death of his father. Trying to live up to his father’s expectations, Mark worked hard in the beet fields of Colorado to support his mother and siblings, never complaining about his struggles.

When he finally paid off his father’s debts, he headed west in search of a better life. Then, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, he knew his place was in the military.

but he also battled prejudice because of his Basque and Mexican heritage, having to prove himself over and over again. After two years flying combat missions for the Army Air Corps, he bore the physical and emotional scars of his time in the service, yet he was satisfied that he had fulfilled his father’s final wish that he do right by his family.

this tale of a military man who was also a devoted family man is based on the author’s own experiences as a proud son of immigrant parents, a distinguished soldier, a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend.

Writer, February 1, 2023

Son of a Basque Reviewed by William A. Douglass

Is “Son of a Basque” the great American novel or even the great Basque American novel? No. Is it an exercise in literary experimentation, a cutting-edge or avant-garde text likely to be excerpted in Harper’s? No. It is, however, a reasonably well-written and clearly autobiographical account by a first- and only-time “novelist,” who draws the reader effectively into his own Steinbeckian world. Both the author Mark Arrieta and his main protagonist Mark Vergara are married to women named Betty (from England) and fathers of two boys and a girl. In short, despite a modest effort to fictionalize the characters, this book (published Oct. 2022) is a personal memoir.

Norm Goldman

Publisher and Editor of

Son of a Basque Reviewed by Norm Goldman of

In 1998, Mark B. Arrieta passed away, and several years later, his wife Betty succumbed to lung cancer. When Betty's daughter Dorothy Stangle and her granddaughter Deborah Driggs were digging through her belongings, they came upon Mark’s manuscript. As it turned out, it was the fictionalized autobiography of Mark's life.

You probably never heard of Mark Arrieta. However, Dorothy and Deborah determined his story needed to be told. The result was the Son of a Basque.

Mark has quite a life to recount, and his story is a streamlined, detailed, and layered picture of his several experiences and encounters.

In Conversation with

Interview by Norm Goldman of welcomes as our guest Deborah Driggs. Deborah and her mother, Dorothy Stangle discovered her grandfather's, Mark B. Arrieta's manuscript while digging through her grandmother Betty's belongings after she had passed away.