Greetings from Sebring, Florida where I’ve started my new job as a proud member of the Civilian Conservation Corps! While I really miss my family, it is good to be working hard at a job again and the camaraderie around here brings me back to my days in the Army. It is not as strict as the military, but they do keep us on a pretty tight schedule, here is what a typical day is like for me:
6:30 AM—Physical Training (we have to be washed, dressed and in formation.)
7:15 AM—Breakfast (usually stewed prunes, cereal, ham, eggs, coffee and milk—a real stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal.)
7:45 AM—Roll Call and Inspection before work (Each morning at my CCC camp, our commanding officer gives us a little pep talk for the day before we head out to our job sites and he always ends it with “another day, another dollar!” to which my buddy Pete, a fellow vet always responds “Great! In a million days, I’ll be a millionaire!”)
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM—Work (Right now we are constructing a bridge and adjacent roadways in the Highlands Hammock State Park. My days at the family logging company are coming in handy with a lot of the work here.)
12:00 – 1:00 PM—Lunch (Usually this consists of baloney sandwiches, pb & j sandwiches, fruit, pie, and coffee, although sometimes we luck out and get a full hot meal.)
1:00 – 4:00 PM—Work (When it gets really hot in the afternoon, we usually sing songs to get through the work, here is a link to one of our favorites: Loveless CCC)
4:00 – 6:00 PM—Free time (The younger guys usually organize a football or baseball game before dinner. I think they are trying to set up a formal intramural league for baseball because the games have gotten highly competitive! I usually use this time to head to the library and catch up on my reading. It is a small library, but we rotate books among CCC camps and yesterday I started 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.)
6:00 – 7:00 PM—Dinner (Each day of the week is a different meal. My favorite days are Monday when we get beef stew with biscuits and Wednesday when we have spaghetti and tomato sauce. There is always lots of fresh fruit, dessert and coffee too.)
7:00 – 9:45 PM—Recreation time (A lot of the other vets and I enjoy shooting pool or playing cards in the evening and I make sure to write home every few days. This is also the time when the Exchange is open (the general store for the camp.) We only have $8.00 per month for personal use, the other $24.00 goes home to our families. I usually only spend money on essentials and postage.
9:45 PM—Camp lights flash indicating lights out in 15 minutes. I’m usually in bed by 9:00 PM.
10:00 PM—Lights out
So as you can see they keep us busy during the week. On the weekend, our time is our own, so we usually organize activities at the camp or head into town. A few of us have even started a little band. We have a banjo, harmonica, accordion, guitar and my fiddle and we sing all types of folksy songs. Many of the younger men go to town to chase girls at church dances or the local bars on the weekends. In a few weeks I’ll get the chance to go home and visit my family for a long weekend. Well, I should get off to bed, it has been a long day!