Wednesday, November 4, 2009

American Experience: the CCC

My maternal grandfather, Pawpaw, was a proud veteran of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was created during the Great Depression by FDR. This service put to work unemployed young men building roads, bridges, planting trees, and working in State and National parks. I grew up going to places like Garner State Park and knowing that the CCC had built the buildings there. The young men of the CCC did great work and became the first generation of environmentalists. My Pawpaw grew up poor, hunting, fishing and gardening to survive. All of my life he had a wonderful vegetable garden, and loved to hunt and fish. I am proud of the legacy that he passed on to us, his love of nature lives on.

I was excited to watch American Experience: the CCC on PBS monday night. The show was really interesting. They talked about the connection between the dust bowl and the great depression, and the work that the CCC accomplished. I only wished that Pawpaw was there to "give us a report" as he would say, and tell his stories. Mom said she doesn't have any pictures of him from that time, but seeing the footage and images on the show I could just picture him as one of those young men.

Frank and I hiked at the Fort Worth Nature Center on Sunday, which was amazing and I have much more to share. On the trail that we hiked were several ruins of buildings built by the CCC. We had our picnic lunch in one. Pawpaw's spirit was with us, and I can just hear him saying, "Partner, I was in the CCC and we built buildings just like this"!

By the way, this site is just a ruin, but many, many buildings still stand and are in wonderful shape.

If you have any interest in the environment, the great depression, or even the current state of affairs in this country, you will really enjoy this show. Please check it out.


ArtAfterDark said...

This country should have programs like this now. As a child, my mother and dad went to Brownwood Lake several times a year and we stayed in the most beautiful rock cabins with fireplaces built by the CCC. Wonderful memories and I'm really proud these structures still stand for another generation to enjoy.

Ashley said...

I haven't been out to Brownwood, just through that area. I actually forgot about that state park. On my quest to seek out nature I'm going to have to check that one out.

I totally agree that something like this should be happening today!

Connie Akers said...

You just made me cry. I'm so proud of you for honoring your grandfather and carrying on his legacy. I'm glad you said some of the buildings at the nature center are still standing. It's a travesty that we aren't taking of ALL our resources. Love you. Mom

Ashley said...

Thanks mom.