Happy Sepia Saturday folks! This time around I’m only posting one photo, but I believe it’s an interesting one. The photo shows what I assume to be all the men in my dad’s CCC unit—145 Company. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, 145 Company was assigned to build a stone house in the Townsend, VT state park.
According to blog friend Jacqueline T. Lynch, whose post on the CCC in western Massachusetts should be required reading for anyone interested in the corps, a “class photo” of this type may be somewhat unusual. I had the opportunity of sharing this photo album with Jacqueline when we had a chance to meet for lunch in Chicopee, Massachusetts during my recent cross-country trip.
The photo has faded with age, as have quite a number of images in the album. Still, it shows the men generally in what appear to be high spirits. There are also a few interesting nicknames—“Homebrew,” “Pirate” (yes, that’s my dad), “Cop” & “Black Jal” (or should that be “Black Jack”—I don’t suppose we’ll ever know). I suspect the man called “Needham” was nicknamed after his home town (Needham, Massachusetts), but it could be a surname.
I’d love to see a contemporary version of the CCC employed to work on public infrastucture projects—the condition of many roads & bridges in the U.S. are really quite woeful—but sadly, in our current political climate any such “radical” idea would probably have very little chance of success. I do know that the people I’ve known who were working class young adults under the Roosevelt administration all believed very much in his programs & credited him with pulling the U.S. out of the Depression. I also know that some folks from that time who were from wealthier backgrounds despised Roosevelt. These days I hear from some conservative folks that Roosevelt prolonged the Depression—I’m not an economic historian, but I can say this was not the belief of the working class folks who actually lived thru it.
There is a CCC legacy in several programs, mostly serving teens & people in their early 20s. Those who are interested can read more about them on Wikipedia’s CCC page (toward the bottom) or at Wikipedia’s National Civilian Community Corps page. I’m pleased to say that my home state utilizes one of those organizations, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.
Please be sure to check out other Sepia Saturday participants at this link!