Eighty Years Later

The grainy gray and white picture on the wall said it all: eleven young men posing for a photographer chronicling their work. A young guy in the front row held a guitar with his left hand fingering a chord. It was as if this guitarist provided songs for the others when they relaxed after a hard day of work.

And likely that was true. This picture was an enlargement of a photo from some eighty years ago. It was hanging in a more modern building at a state park built by the CCC during the Great Depression. The CCC, Civilian ConservationCorps, was one of many projects that helped put the country back to work. Many parks still use shelter houses and conference buildings originally created by people like these young men.

Although the CCC was supposed to accept only those over 18 years of age, it looked like some of these guys were younger. They worked hard each day and were required to send most of the money they earned home to their families. Yet they were indeed happy as they built parks and pavilions around the country.

Where are they now? Those men were young, handsome and so full of possibilities when the photo was shot. I suspect some ended up in World War II, perhaps many of them. Those who survived probably had families. Are any of them alive anymore? Very likely their kids and grandchildren are.

Photos help us remember, but they are only a slice into the on-going movement of life. Moments pass and soon we move on. Hopefully, the good will, the music, and the lessons learned will continue.

“Bless the Lord, my soul;

Do not forget all the gifs of God.”



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