Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I’ve been very busy with CCC work the past two months—so much so that I haven’t had time to write about my adventures! So, this lengthy blog entry will talk about a number of events, past and upcoming.

Fourth Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Recognition Day (CCCRD)

The Fourth Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Recognition Day (CCCRD) was held on April 13, 2013, at Saguaro National Park West, Tucson. The event was attended by more than 300 individuals.

We were extremely honored by the presence of six former enrollees. Plus, the son of a CCC camp commander, who spent some of his early years in a CCC camp, was there. He met up with one of the enrollees from his dad’s camp who used to cut his hair 75 years ago! Several families of former CCC personnel were there as well, including members of the Castillo and Griffin families.

I spoke about the CCC camp newspapers; Bob Audretsch talked about the work of the CCC in northern Arizona; Mike Smith talked about accidents and fatalities in the CCC; Phil Brown talked about the CCC in the Tucson Mountains; and Mary Nichols, USDA, talked about her research project to locate and map CCC erosion work sites.

Bob Audrestch had a table featuring his books on the history of the CCC at Grand Canyon and in northern Arizona; I had a table featuring my publications on the CCC in southern Arizona and on the CCC camp newspapers; William Ascarza had tables on his books dealing with the history of southern Arizona; Mary Nichols demonstrated her computer database of CCC soil erosion projects; and Saguaro National Park featured information on the CCC camp in their area.  

We showed videos on the CCC, including a video taken at the St. David camp in 1939 by an enrollee and one of the living history presentation the students from Centennial School will be presenting at the national competition for National History Day in Washington, D.C. in June.

I had a photo display on Company 3840, St. David and Patagonia; Phil Brown had a map of the CCC sites in all of Arizona; and the Murphy from the Patagonia Museum brought a photo display of CCC sites in Patagonia.

Here's a press release the park did on the event:  http://www.nps.gov/resources/2016.htm?id=31D9B925-155D-451F-676EC425DCB9B65E

Civilian Conservation Corps Recognition Day, Flagstaff, AZ

On April 6, a Flagstaff CCCRD was held in Flagstaff, AZ, at the Coconino Public Library. I gave a talk, "The Boys Tell Their Stories: The Camp Newspapers of the CCC Enrollees," and Bob Audretsch gave a talk “We Still Walk in Their Footprint.” Over 50 people were in attendance.

Arizona-New Mexico Joint History Convention

The 2013 Arizona-New Mexico Joint History Convention was held in Las Cruces, New Mexico, April 18-21. One of the sessions was “The CCC in Arizona and New Mexico.” I gave a talk on the CCC camp newspapers, “In Their Own Words: The Camp Newspapers of the Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollees.” Here is the abstract from the program:  Each Civilian Conservation Corp camp published its own camp newspaper as part of their educational program. This paper will illustrate the importance of the camp newspapers in the Arizona camps by exploring jokes, illustrations, poetry, and stories found there. Sharon Hunt is a freelance editor and author from Tucson. She has written numerous books and articles on the CCC.

The session was ably moderated by Jim Steely. Bob Audretsch gave a talk on and
Richard Melzer, professor of history at the University of New Mexico, Valencia, talked about the impact of the CCC, both then and afterwards, on the boys who served in it and on the country as a whole: “The Personal Impact of the Civilian Conservation Corps on New Mexicans, 1942 to the Present.” Bob Audretsch gave a talk on the CCC in northern Arizona, “We Still Walk in Their Footprint: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Northern Arizona, 1933-1942.”

 Mary Nichols

Dr. Mary Nichols, USDA, Tucson, AZ, is working on a research project to locate and map soil erosion work projects of the CCC. If you know of a CCC soil erosion work project (a dam, stock tank, rock spreader, etc.), you can visit the website she has set up and identify the site on the map found there. She will then investigate any information she receives and add to her database of soil erosion projects. I’m excited about her project, as the location of many CCC work projects are unknown and should be identified. The work of the CCC lives on in the landscape of southern Arizona, influencing our environment and our lives today. Her website is http://www.rangescape.com/ and the specific page for marking points on the map is http://www.rangescape.com/practices.aspx

CCC Legacy Annual Gathering

The CCC Legacy Annual Gathering will be held in Tucson, Arizona, October 24 - 27, 2013, “Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the CCC.”  The event is co-hosted by the Southwest Conservation Corps, “Celebrating 15 years of service.” More information is available at http://www.ccclegacy.org/2013_CCC_Legacy_Gathering.php

I’m part of the planning group for the event; please feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts.

National History Day

The students from Centennial Elementary School are off to Washington, D.C., to give their living history presentation in the finals of National History Day! They secured a place in the nationals by succeeding in the state competitions on April 13. The girls gave a “Friends and Family” presentation on April 11, which I attended, and they did a truly outstanding job! One of the enrollees they interviewed for the presentation was present at the event, and he was filled with joy at their good work and at the knowledge that recognition and appreciation for the CCC will go on into the future.

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