A Musical Tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps
A Free Program at Morrisson-Reeves Library
Friday, March 15, 2013 at 2pm
Upper Peninsula based author Bill Jamerson will present a music and storytelling program about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at the Morrisson-Reeves on Friday, March 15 at 2pm. The program is free and open to the public. Jamerson's program will include stories, a short video, reading excerpts from his novel and playing original songs with his guitar. Jamerson has presented his program at CCC reunions, and at CCC built state and national parks around the country.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a federal works program created by President Franklin Roosevelt in the heart of The Great Depression. During its nine year run from 1933-1942, over three and a half million young men between the ages of 17 and 25 years of age enlisted across the country. They were known as “Roosevelt’s Tree Army” because they planted over three billion trees nationwide. The enrollees lived in work camps located far from towns and were paid a dollar a day. Twenty-five dollars
a month was sent home directly to their families.
Jamerson's novel BIG SHOULDERS follows a year in the life of a seventeen-year-old youth from Detroit who enlists in the
CCC in 1937. The enrollee joins two hundred other young men at a work camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula run by army
officers. It is a coming-of-age story of an angry teenager who faces the rigors of hard work, learning to get along with a
difficult sergeant and coping with a bully.
Some of the songs Bill performs include Chowtime, a fun look at the camp food, City Slicker, which tells of the mischief the
young men get into in the woods, Borrowed Mom, is the story of an orphan who finds a mother, and Tree Plantin’, Fire
Fightin’ Bluestells of the hardships of work. The folk songs range from heartwarming ballads to foot stomping jigs. The
stories and songs are as educational as they are entertaining, as honest as they are fun.