Tag Archives: CCC

Monday’s for Me ~ My Baby Shoes

me babyGrowing up with a mentally ill mother wasn’t easy. We didn’t know from one day to the next what we were waking up to in the morning. When we left Missouri for California in 1969 my mother either gave away or threw away all of our things. Even our memorabilia’s. I remember the day before we got on the road she gathered almost all of my clothes and took them to a neighbor. I saw my dad get in the garbage can and pull out a small box of photos and he put them under the front seat. I ran to the can, opened the lid and started digging through it. I found my baby shoes, so I stuck them in my small purse. I was going to keep looking but I heard my mother coming down the street, so I closed the lid and ran inside.

We lived in California for 5 years and my dad passed away from lung cancer. All my mother and sister wanted was to go “home” to Tucson, AZ. We sold most of our belongings and we packed up what we were hanging on to. I saw her sneak out the small box of photos that belonged to my dad and threw them away. I waited until dark and I went and got it out of the trash and I put it under the driver’s seat. Neither my mother nor my sister drove so I knew it would be safe.

dad ccc

Fast forward several years when I married my current husband. Over the next 33 years, we moved around, a lot! I never looked in the small box of photos and I kept the pair of baby shoes in an old trunk but they always went with us wherever we moved. I believe I didn’t take them out because I was afraid that something would happen to them. About 5 years ago I finally took out the photo box and went through it. It was amazing. There were photos of my dad when he was 3 years old in 1918. There were pictures of both of his previous wives, his family and a bunch from his time in the CCC Camp in Lake Tahoe, CA in 1935.

baby shoes & wrist band

Over a year ago we moved into a new home. I was setting up my curio cabinet when my husband brought in the old trunk. He wanted to know where to put it. I said “Right there” and he set it down. Imagine my surprise when I found the baby shoes, I had totally Wrist bandforgotten about them. I decided I should include them with my other treasures in the cabinet. When I picked up the shoes one slipped out of my hand and fell to the floor. It made a rattling sound! I picked it up and looked inside. Surprise! There was my baby bracelet with my last name on it that they put on my wrist right after I was born. I literally cried. I had never seen it before. I placed it and the shoes in a prominent place in the cabinet.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


Filed under Ancestry, Arizona, California, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Good Deeds, Hughes, Missouri, Monday's For Me, Uncategorized

The Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps


In the early 1930’s America was in the middle of the greatest financial Depression it had ever experienced. Over 4,340,000 people were out of work with over 8,000,000 living in the streets of our cities and towns. Men took any kind of work that was available to put food on the table for their families and there didn’t seem to be any relief in sight.

In the beginning of 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into office one of the first things he did was to approve several measures as part of his “New Deal”. In his first 100 days of office he instituted several programs that would put the American people back to work. One of those programs was called the “Civilian Conservation Corps” (CCC), a public works project intended to promote environmental conservation and to build good citizens through vigorous, disciplined outdoor labor. From 1933 to 1942 unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25 participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, medical care, clothing, and food, together with a small wage of $30 a month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families). Over 3 million young men took part in this over the 9 year period.


My Dad, Douglas Hughes, is on the right in the white A shirt.

I am proud to say that my Dad, Douglas Hughes, was one of those men. He joined the CCC in 1935 at the age of 20 and was sent to the camp in Lake Tahoe, California. He was born and raised in rural Missouri so this was a grand adventure for him. Growing up on a farm he had developed various skills but they were limited to agriculture and horse breeding.

At the Camp he learned how to do different types of construction work. He helped to build roads, clear trees and to build Ramada’s and out-buildings that are still used today in Lake Tahoe.


One of the building built in Lake Tahoe, CA.

Because of his participation in the CCC program he became a sought after carpenter. He could build anything with little or no instructions. 11 months after I was born, my parents moved my sister and me to Tucson Az. Within a year they bought a new home and my Dad took pride in building a carport, cement patio and block flower boxes. In 1957 he built a large red brick Bar B Que in the corner of our yard. Believe me we used it a lot over the next 10 years!


Me (on the left) and my sister and 2 cousins in front to the BBQ about 1962.


We sold the house and moved out of State in 1967. Last October my husband and I took a drive to Tucson and we drove past my old childhood home. The homes in the neighborhood were in bad shape and my home did not even resemble the well cared for home I remembered. As we drove around the corner I spotted the old Bar B Que still standing! I got so excited. It was in great condition, especially for being 56 years old!


The 56 years old BBQ still stands strong!

This is not only a testament to my Dad’s “brick and mortar” skills but also to the Civilian Conservation Corps. Because of them he learned the expertise needed to work in the Construction/Carpentry field for over 40 years.

I am so grateful to be the daughter of a CCC man!


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy