Now, you must remember that the CCC men were generally between the ages of 16 and 24. Indeed, my own father was a6 when he joined in Philadelphia and served in the creation of the Skyline Drive. Strange to reflect on it now, we made so many vacations there when I was a child, and my father rarely reminisced about his time there in the CCC. I don't think I really got it until I was middle aged. We take it for granted that kids understand stuff that is, in essence, meaningless to them like human language to dogs and cats. He probably told us about it but I had no context for acronyms like the CCC or the WPA and probably it rolled right through my brain like rain through a gutter.
Anyhow, young men do have a propensity for rebellion, and the young CCC boys of Manahawkin had suffered enough when their leaders blew reveile one morning after a 24 hour fire fight. The refused to get up or obey orders to return to regular duties. Thirty-one of them were expelled and sent home. They weren't the only ones. In West Orange, 125 men protested teh quality of their food and the imposition of a curfew. That's not unlike what happens at home. However, these young men were being prepared for the war that many could see looming on the horizon and a soldier must be able to 'rise and shine' no matter how tired from his battles the day before, and a soldier can't carry on about his rations or curfew in camp, so fourteen of the protesting CCC men were taken by the police out of camp and returned home.
I have no way of knowing what happened to them after that but chances are good they ended up in the army, navy or marine corps eventually for the 2nd World War where the hours, work, food and rules were most definitely far more grueling, not to mention deadly.
Well, some fellows like my own dad not only survived the CCC, the military and the war, but lived long and productive lives thereafter. And many of us, their children, wish we had been less self-centered and asked them to tell us more about their experiences, while we still had them with us. I miss my father every day. He was a true hero and a loving and devoted husband to my mother, and father to us kids.
Jo Ann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On another subject - the Fido Fest yesterday was hilarious and moving. Tomorrow, more on that!