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Bill Jamerson To Present Dollar-A-Day Boys, a musical tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps
Submitted by Joan Ennis on Thu, 07/05/2012 - 3:24pm
Michigan based author Bill Jamerson will present a music and storytelling program about the Civilian Conservation Corps at the Northfield Senior Center on Friday, July 20 at 2pm. The program is sponsored by the Northfield Public Library, co-sponsored by the Northfield Senior Center and Northfield Historical Society, and is free and open to the public.
Jamerson's presentation includes stories and performing original songs. He has performed at CCC reunions around the country and at dozens of national and state parks. The presentation is as entertaining as it is important; as honest as it is fun. It's about people both ordinary and extraordinary, with stories of wit, charm and strength.
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, eighty-four thousand young men between the ages of 17 and 25 years enlisted from Minnesota and lived in camps that held 200 men. The enrollees planted over 150 million trees, fought forest fires, planted millions of fish in rivers and lakes, built dams and bridges and constructed thousands of miles of county roads. They built several state parks including Lacqui Parie, Whitewater, Interstate, Flandrau and Itaska State Park. Camp Rabideau in Blackduck, north of Bemidji, contains many original CCC buildings. It is one of the finest CCC camp restorations in the nation. The CCC camps not only revitalized Minnesota’s natural resources but also turned the boys into men by giving them discipline and teaching them work skills.
Bill’s book, BIG SHOULDERS is a historical novel that follows a year in the life of a seventeen-year-old youth from Detroit who enlisted in the CCC in 1937. The enrollee joins two hundred other young men at Camp Raco, a CCC camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula run by reserve army officers. It is a coming-of-age story of an angry teenager who faces the rigors of hard work, learning to cope with a difficult sergeant and fending off a bully.
In his program Bill will perform songs and stories, including Chowtime, a fun look at the camp food, City Slicker, which tells of the mischief the boys find in the woods, Borrowed Mom, the story of an orphan who found a mother in camp, and Fire Fightin’ Tree Plantin' Blues, which tells of the hardships of work out in the woods. The folk songs range from heartwarming ballads to foot stomping jigs.
Bill produced eleven PBS films on Michigan history including, CAMP FORGOTTEN – the CCC in Michigan. He produced a CD of original songs on the CCC and has authored several articles on the corps. In his talk, Bill will talk about the many interesting enrollees he has met over the years and CCC projects he has visited. A question and answer period and book signing will follow his presentation. Former CCC’ers and their families are encouraged to attend and bring photo albums and memorabilia. For more information please call the library at 645-1802 or visit Bill’s website at: billjamerson.com.
Author available for interview at 906-420-3100.