Monday, September 28, 2009

Civilian Conservation Corps

Sunday night there is a new series coming to tv about the Citizens Conservation Corps that was conceived during the Great Depression by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the New Deal. Young men who were without work were hired to create the National Parks we enjoy today. My dad worked on some out in West Texas at Palo Duro Canyon. We have been to Palo Duro several times and each time I feel my dad's presence there. He told me he really liked working for the CCC. He and his step father worked on our Will Rogers Coliseum.

Ken Burns wrote and put together The National Parks--the most beautiful show ever seen, so the write up said. It is a 6 night 12 hour documentary that begins Sunday at 7 CDT and 8 EDT and runs from Sunday through Friday on PBS. The parks are called America's Best Idea.

It has been a thought that it might be a good way to help some families and to provide men and women with work to start up the CCC camps again. I think my dad went to work for them so he wouldn't starve and he would send money home to his parents to help them keep their head above water until things got back to normal during the depression. I think our "downturn" is not over and it may get a lot worse. The shelters they built are still being used today and there are a few around Fort Worth. They are not elaborate, but very nice to have a place out of the rain or snow. During the years they worked 3 million men received rehabilitation, learned a skill, and economic relief.

We love going to National Parks and when we get my husband's parents settled we may head out for a short trip to one. This year is the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I've wanted to go back to the Smokies for a long time. If you have time, take a little trip to one close to you and enjoy the beauty....and if there is a little shelter look to see if it is a CCC built one.


  1. Hi Amber, This sounds a brilliant idea for lazybones here. A number of them are what we call 'swinging the lead' and are too busy cadging money from Social Services to be bothered to actually go and seek work !

    Folk here get enough money to live on so that they don't need to work! Do you know that there are families who haven't worked for three generations. They just get given cash to survive then start to have children and they are set for life!

    God help them if the Social stop their money!! Mind you I can almost hear the bleating starting up because they 'might be made to do work for their social money.

    Ohhh it makes me sooo mad!

  2. Kate,
    I makes me upset that so many think they are too good to do some jobs when clearly illegal aliens jump at the change to do the job right and not expect a Hollywood star's salary.

    I did like the movie "The Full Monty", though.

    Actaully in Texas it is really hard to do what you are talking about. The criteria for a helping hand is pretty darn stiff.

    Ah well, I'll be watching the PBS tonight and enjoy what so many toiled on for so long to keep body and sould together.

  3. Hi Amber,

    Those CCC guys really did good work. Around here there are still so many buildings and parks that were built by the workers from the WPA. Still going strong.

    Best wishes,


  4. Hi Amber, The CCC was a great thing and we have so many beautiful national parks. I remember my dad talking about the WPA, too. My name is Orange and this is what it said about me: Your name tells people that your are flamboyant and vibrant. The amount of energy that you have is simply amazing.
    You are enthusiastic about everything that comes your way. You love having new experiences and trying new things.

    People see you as bold and even a little wild. You can be an overwhelming force.
    You tend to get noticed a lot, and to be honest, you feel a bit sad when people aren't paying attention to you.
    I guess some of that is true! Amazing how they hit close to home. By the way, I burst out laughing when you said you took up two parking places the other day and it did not bother you at all.
    I love it!

  5. I think starting up the CCC again would be a great idea... but I DO wonder how many would take it...

  6. Oh Melli....probably not as many as should....everybody has gotten so used to being taken care of, even if it hard to get in Texas.

    I don't know what the heck happened to this post with the color thing mixed into the CCC post. Hmm...gotta check this out.

  7. The CCC is said to have built an American Legion "hut" in Yellville AR It looks like a log cabin.

    Pres. OBAMA wanted to increase some of our social programs like AMERICORP, but that is not regular jobs.

    We need a JOBS corp program. May they could clean up National Parks whose mainenance funds have drastically diminished. Even minimum wage plus food and shelter is better than nothing after Work Comp. etc runs out.

  8. The buildings I've seen have been made of sandstone and wood. Out in Big Bend there are a few really great houses to stay for a few days. Now you have to get a reservation a year in advance, but somehow I got us a cabin with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a room with a fireplace and a wonderful front porch that was so sweet with the smell of pine and cool as could be.

    Hopefully our President will see the wisdom and hopefully some of our deadbeats will start to value a dollar and be willing to learn how to learn do of some sort of work program.

    I think NW-1's idea of cleaning up the forests would be a good idea. I think they should publicly hang some of those arsonists who set the fires out in California and around here in Texas, too. I have no patience with them at all.

  9. Very cool to see so many folks talking about the CCC! A longer film about the Corps is premiering on PBS on 11/2, and the first chapter is already online to preview. Check it out at