The following is an interview with Harley Heegard at his home in Park Rapids, MN. Interviewed by Amy K. Rieger, July 12, 1993 as part of the Itasca State Park Oral History Project.
Rieger: O.K. We'll start out, then, on when you were born and where.
Heegard: I was born in 1917 on the prairies of North Dakota in a snow storm in a tar paper shack. We lived in North Dakota for two years and then we moved to Minnesota here in 1919, where I went to school. While I was going to school, I was a Boy Scout. We were in, I think, the first Pageant they had out at Itasca Park at that time. During that summer I had a chance to stay for about a week at a beaver fur farm two miles west of the north entrance of the Park. Then, after 1935, my brother come down to the swimming beach where I was swimming and said I'd better come home because I was going to CC camp. I didn't know this until then.
Rieger: You didn't?
Heegard: No, I didn't know anything about it.
Rieger: You moved here to Park Rapids in 1919, so you grew up here?
Heegard: I grew up in Park Rapids, yes.
Rieger: And went to the local schools here as well?
Heegard: Yes, Park Rapids school.
Rieger: Did you like Park Rapids better than North Dakota?
Heegard: Oh, yes. It's nicer down here because you don't have the winds. The wind blows every direction out there.
Rieger: About what age were you when you were a Scout?
Heegard: When I was a scout? I suppose between ten-eleven, or twelve, someplace in there. I don't remember.
Rieger: Do you remember anything about the Pageant? Can you describe what you did in the Pageant?
Heegard: I don't remember what we did [chuckles]. I had a good time up there, I will say that. They had an Indian village there and a stockade.
Rieger: Do you remember seeing any of the buffalo that were of there?
Heegard: The buffalo pens, yes. The store, especially, Wegmann's store. When we was there, we had a little money and we'd go up and try to buy an orange or a banana and he'd say, "Can't sell that to you. That's for the tourist."
Heegard: That's right.
Rieger: Theodore Wegmann said that to you. You couldn't buy anything?
Heegard: Well, you could buy something that he didn't like, but fresh fruits you couldn't get.
Rieger: But not the fresh fruits.
Heegard: You could get candy and ice cream and stuff like that, because they had a fountain there. It was quite a deal up there. Going up to the Park at that time, there was no good highways. It was all square turns. Every time you made a turn it was a ninety degree turn. It would take a lot longer. We'd come in on the south end and we followed the road all the way up to the campgrounds and then we went north, out the north side to the beaver farm.
Rieger: What did you do at the beaver farm?
Heegard: I was just a kid. There's a creek down there, we go down there. I'd never seen a beaver before. You go down there and the beaver would see you coming or hear you coming, you could hear them slap their tails on the water and then they would all disappear.
Rieger: That would be fun for a little boy.
Heegard: It was a good experience.
Rieger: Did you graduate from high school?
Heegard: No I didn't. I went through eighth grade.
Rieger: From there what did you do? Help out at home?
Heegard: No, I went into the CC camp.
Rieger: You went right from eighth grade to the CCC camp?
Rieger: How old were you then?
Heegard: I was fifteen and a half. I would have been sixteen that fall. [Note: I talked to Mr. Heegard again on 7/27/93 at which time he remembered that he was sixteen in 1933 when he finished school and was seventeen-eighteen when he joined the CCC in 1935.]
Rieger: And you did get into the CCC? O.K.
Heegard: I don't remember getting a physical or anything. There was about eight of us from around here that went over to Smokey Hills. At that time my dad come into the CC camp as an LEM [Local Experienced Man]. I can remember, the guys short sheeted him. I think he come in a little bit under the bottle, and he stuck his feet right through the sheets. He just crawled in bed, stuck his feet through the sheets, and made holes in the sheets, and he went to sleep. Everybody got quite a kick out of that.
Rieger: What was your dad's name?
Rieger: And your mom's name?
Rieger: So you didn't actually sign up for the CCC?
Rieger: Did your brother sign you up or were you drafted?
Heegard: Well, I suppose it was more or less drafted. My dad wasn't at home. They were separated at that time. I don't know. I have no idea how they got a hold of me. I don't know, maybe my mother went. I don't know. But there was an office in Park Rapids in the old Gage block and that's where I went. I don't remember an examination, you know, physical or anything. Just went up and signed some papers.
Rieger: And they shipped you right from Park Rapids up to Smokey Hills?
Rieger: Was your brother in as well?
Heegard: No. Just myself. My brothers were younger than I was.
Rieger: How many brothers?
Heegard: I had two brothers.
Rieger: Any sisters?
Rieger: So you were at Smokey Hills how long?
Heegard: We was there that summer, and in the fall we moved to Lovelis Lake.
Rieger: The fall of 1935?
Heegard: Yes. [telephone]
Rieger: You were saying that it was sort of a let-down to come from Smokey Hills.
Heegard: Well, those were all pre-fab buildings, you know, and you move into something that's made out of popple slabs, it was a letdown.
Rieger: I imagine it would be. How did you get, first of all, from Smokey Hills to Lovelis? They just transferred the whole company?
Heegard: They loaded us in trucks. They loaded everything that the guys had of their own and that was put in trucks and they went up there. [We were] in a barracks down in Smokey Hills, I was in B-barracks, probably, I went to Smokey Hills [Itasca] I was in Bbarracks up there, see?
Rieger: O.K. What did you have to do the first day when you got there? Do you remember? Just unload your stuff?
Heegard: Unload and straighten up, clean up. There was a Kansas company that moved out of there. Barracks, some of the walls had holes in them where, I don't know whether they deliberately kicked holes in the walls, or what. But it was clean up and fix up stuff.
Rieger: Your company was 2703, is that correct?
Rieger: Was that mostly Minnesota guys?
Heegard:Yes, they were all Minnesota guys. We did have a couple from North Carolina but that was beside the point.
Rieger: So, you were a little let-down. Did it get better?
Heegard: Well, you got used to it. There was no other place to go. There was no other alternative...The winter of '35 we worked in the woods. We cut, cleared brush, cut firewood. There was guys that went on the survey crew, some rabbit chokers. There was quite a few different things that went on during the wintertime.
Rieger: Who decided what the guys had to do? Did you sign up?
Heegard: That was the Superintendent. The Superintendent had laid out what the Forestry wanted done and then each foreman had a crew, he had a certain project that he took care of, if it was a wood project or if it was a brushing project. Of course, we couldn't build roads in the wintertime, we snow plowed. We kept the roads all the way from 71 to Elbow Lake plowed. We bladed the roads in the summertime with a CAT and grader.
Rieger: Was there a lot of contact [between] the regular boys with the Superintendent, or was it mostly through the foreman?
Heegard: It was through the foreman.
Rieger: Did you have any contact at all with the Forestry Division or any of the other Army personnel?
Heegard: Well, just supply sergeant, only when you wanted supplies, trade some clothes in or certain things like that. Didn't really have too much contact. You was in contact with the guys that worked there, such as your sergeants and stuff. Your barracks more or less stuck together.
Rieger: Do you remember who your Superintendent was when you first got there?
Heegard: Who was what?
Rieger: Who your Superintendent was?
Heegard: It was George Wilson. I see in these here [personal clippings], he was listed as Harold Wilson, but I never knew him as a Harold Wilson. He had a brother there that was a foreman, Dick Wilson. There was a Bill Prill. I can't think of the others right now. We must have had eight or ten local experienced, those LEMs. They was kind of like a leader, too, on certain work, carpenters and blacksmithing, different things like that.
Rieger: You mentioned getting supplies. Was there a little supply shop there that you could go?
Heegard: They had a regular supplies [canteen]. When you come in they was issued blankets and pillows. Sheets and pillowcases were every week. And they had their clothes, the shoes, the winter clothes, all the clothes you needed.
Rieger: I know when the CCC first started the little uniforms, or the clothes they gave to the guys, were old World War I surplus. You were there in '35, which was a couple of years later. Had it changed by then?
Heegard: No, they still had the wool pants and the wool shirts. I don't know if they was surplus. They were a little smoother quality. I don't know if it was surplus. Then the style got so you had these army pants. Everybody wanted a wedge put in, make them bell bottoms you know. They'd generally put in just a black piece of the same material and made bell bottoms out of the pants.
Rieger: They wanted bell bottoms.
Rieger: Was there any reason for that, or just style?
Heegard: Well, it was a style and I think another thing is that the pants legs were a little too tight, so you'd have to take your shoes off to get your pants off or put your pants on.
Rieger: Why don't you describe some of the projects you worked on the early years, the first you were there. Cutting and clearing brush the first winter...
Heegard: I worked mostly with the road crew. They would build roads. The grader would roll rocks up on the road. I worked behind the grader throwing the rocks off the side of the road so that they didn't have the rocks on the road. I worked with them for pretty near a year, and then I got a chance to work a little on the grader and also on the CAT, to drive CAT. Later on I went on steady on CAT and on fire protection roads. I remember one time we was over by Ice Cracking Lake. We was building a road down an old railroad grade and Dick Wilson was our foreman. I was running a T40 International CAT at that time. It seemed like he always walked ahead of us, motioning us on and stuff like that. So, we got moving along and by kicking the throttle lever ahead I get more horse power out of this CAT, so we was running along and I hooked a popple tree. We jerked the grader right in half, right there. He turned around just a spitting, because he was a guy that would ride in the cab and if it was too windy to spit out the window he'd spit on the floorboard, he chewed tobacco. It was little things like that. Sometimes we'd be running these new roads in and we'd run into a wasp nest and stuff like that and get stung up. Another time we was working over to Elbow Lake, and I remember this guy by the name of Elwyn Williams, he worked in the truck garage and he had the day off, so he come over to Elbow Lake with us and he said, "I'm going to get a suntan today." He stopped and he got a boat from a resort or a cabin there. He goes out in the middle of the lake, takes all his cloths off, and gets sunburned. He looked like a red fig when he come home [laughs]. He did get sick, and when he peeled, the hide peeled off, it just come off in big sheets. He was red like a lobster. Every once in a while something would come up where some guy would do this or some guy would do that. I went over one time to Elbow Lake. There was a Negro camp over there and they needed a gravel truck, so I went over to haul gravel and everything was loaded by hand. Dinner time would come and these guys didn't care if they ate at all. Somebody would get out a pair of dice and they'd start shooting dice. That's what they loved to do.
Rieger: You said before when we were talking at the preliminary interview that you did get to drive to a lot of different camps. Did you notice anything about any group of camps, besides playing dice, that were different or real similar to what you did at your camp?
Heegard: No, they were the same. They had the same work to do as we did. I couldn't see no difference. The only things is, they didn't have the equipment we did. We had more trucks and stuff. I know up on the Strawberry Lake fire there, that's over west of Elbow Lake, there was a bunch of Negroes in a CCC camp in there. I didn't see any trucks. How they got there, I don't know, but they must have had some trucks.
Rieger: Did you have contact with the actual men?
Rieger: You didn't get to know them at all?
Heegard: No. I didn't work that long with them. [pause-begins to touch microphone] I'm trying to think. Back in that time I had a crew of misfits that worked for me and we was graveling, this was in the fall of the year, it would freeze up. I also was the blaster for the camp, I did all the blasting, and we'd have to blast these gravel pits open in the morning and then we'd haul gravel. These misfits, nobody else could get them to work, and so when we went to work in the morning, I'd say, "O.K., fellows. We're going to load so many loads before dinner and we're going to load so many loads after dinner, and if you get through early, we'll head to camp. If you don't, we'll stay here until we get this completely done." It wasn't too long that there was lots of guys that wanted to get on the crew. I guess they figured it was a little better deal for them.
Rieger: Does that mean that you became a foreman?
Heegard: I was a leader.
Rieger: You were a leader, O.K. That was one step below a foreman?
Heegard: Yes, I was below the foreman. Actually, I didn't work under any foreman then. Well, I probably worked under the Superintendent.
Rieger: But you were the boss.
Heegard: Yes. One winter I was running CAT on the south side of the Park, we was cutting a bunch of dry jack pine for wood and also brushing along the south boundary line. This T-40 International I was running, it stopped on me going uphill. We didn't have Prestone radiators, we used water. Well, I drained it, but the block didn't drain, so it froze up and busted. The Superintendent called me in and chewed me out pretty good, had some favorite words of his said to me. I got the CAT fixed again and then they moved up a portable garage and then I stayed right with the CAT at night. Some nights I'd stay there and then there were some nights they'd send out a guy to keep fire and stay. There was a place to sleep and eat in there. That is some of the pictures that are in the book.
Rieger: How long did it take you to become a leader from when you first came in 1935?
Heegard: Oh, about two years.
Rieger: So you just gradually kept moving up to different jobs?
Heegard: I think that's more or less the way it worked. Everybody didn't become a leader or an assistant leader. I suppose you worked to get the jobs. I'll tell you a joke about the Superintendent. We was down to Osage and was eating dinner one day, I think we was two trucks and two truck drivers. The Superintendent had come in while we was eating and the guys were talking about truck driving or something like that and this one guy said, "Old Haywire can shove that truck right up you know where." George Wilson heard him. He said, "I want you to understand, my ass ain't a truck garage and you ain't a truck driver anymore either." So they appointed another guy to drive truck. I drove truck quite a bit, too. I drove snowplow truck, and I drove crew truck. This one year, I think a picture of the truck in there, I drove, and the crew that I hauled were pretty near all ex-truck drivers. You ain't going to get anything crazier than that bunch. They'd try to put me in a ditch and everything else. They'd get up on the center rail of the tarp up there and they'd get up and they'd swing back and forth, had me going down the road like this [illustrates with hands]. I don't know if they was trying to get me canned, but it was an ornery bunch of guys...I suppose they were trying to play a joke on me.
Rieger: Was there a lot of that going on in the camp, a lot of "tom foolery?"
Heegard: Oh, yes. There was a lot of that. You had to have something to make up for the television you didn't have. When guys first come in they'd make guys water the flag pole. Then they would get a bunch of them to go out at night, take a guy with a gunny sack, take them out in the woods and [say] "You want to go snipe hunting?" They gave him his coat and the bag and they'd make a drive for to drive snipes in. Well, they got him set there and everyone would go back to camp and there he was standing there alone.
Rieger: They would just have to find their way back into camp, or would they eventually go get them?
Heegard: Oh, they'd have to find their way back. They wouldn't take them out that far. They'd just take them out and when the guy would come back they'd laugh and kid him.
Rieger: That was for the new guy.
Heegard: Yes, rookies.
Rieger: O.K. Did you get a lot of turnover? Were a lot of people coming in and out?
Heegard: At times there was quite a few. Sometimes you'd have a big one, sometimes you'd only have a few come in. It seemed like a lot of them didn't like to have that trick played on them. They'd get kind of angry about it, but they'd do the same thing to the next guy who come along.
Rieger: I suppose they had to go through it so they'll put someone else through it. What was the average size of the camp when you were there, or did it fluctuate a lot?
Heegard: It got bigger. I think it was way over 200 when we went up there, but I believe they added three more barracks after we got there. That was the pre-fab barracks so those guys had better barracks. We was still in the slab shack.
Rieger: You didn't even get to move up to the...
Heegard: We stayed in the same ones.
Rieger: Can you describe the camp for me, some of the features? They added three more barracks. About how many were there? Were they in a square with a courtyard, I've seen some pictures, with a flag pole in the middle?
Heegard: The rec hall was on that end, the kitchen was on the other end. It was four barracks on each side of this opening here and I believe there were three more over on the addition over on the west side. The lawn was kept nice. They policed the lawn everyday, for cigarette butts and candy wrappers and stuff like that.
Rieger: You guys had to do all the decorating if you wanted? I know some of the camps had nice [yards], with the stones and the flower gardens.
Heegard: Oh, for flower gardens, yes. We did all that.
Rieger: Did you take a lot of pride in the way your camp looked?
Heegard: I think there was a lot of pride in it. Nobody seemed to object to it. I know they had a baseball field and there was trees planted all around, jack pine trees, and they was planted pretty nice around there. One part of the camp when we come there, there was kind of a side hill on it so a friend of mine named Fritz Krueger...leveled off the hill. That's were some of those barracks were... I thought that was an awful big machine at that time. You'd run eight hours and it would take you a hundred and five gallons of gasoline. It was just a good experience. I took a lot of these experiences with me when I went to the Range in the iron mine.
Rieger: You said in the winter you would do the trees and things and then the summer was mostly fighting fires, is that [correct]?
Heegard: Well, fighting fires in the spring of the year and in the fall of the year. I worked on telephone lines a lot, did a lot of pole climbing and installing telephones.
Rieger: How was that? I've heard some horror stories about that, getting blown off the line practically.
Heegard: Oh, I never, not like that. You see, my dad was an electrician, and I had a set of spurs for climbing and I did some climbing before I went in there, so I suppose it was just the experience. Then that experience, I can become a pole climber for a telephone [company]. We used to go way up to Effie, Minnesota to pick up our telephone poles. I used to go up there with a semi and pick up poles. Then we built a dam over on the Shell River. I couldn't tell you what year it is because I just don't remember, but I had to go to Cloquet to a CCC camp up in Cloquet. I picked up a pile driver up there and I had a foreman with me. On the way up to Cloquet on number 2, there's a big swamp before you get to Duluth. The road was awful high and narrow, it was tar but it was ... it wasn't rough, but it bent one side to the other. We was going through there and the foreman says, "Can't you keep this thing on the road." I said, "No. Do you want to try it?" He says, "Yes." So we switched seats, he got on. I don't think he drove a mile and he said, "I can see what you mean. Here, you can drive again." [unintelligible] The only way you could stay on the road was drive...
[End side one, tape 1]
[Begin side two, tape 1]
Heegard: ...Another time I took a pickup and went up north of Nashwauk, I don't know what CCC camp was up there, I had a load of caterpillar growsers they wanted rebuilt, so I went up there and I stayed at the camp and helped the welder on this welding the growsers. I knew nothing about arc welding at that time and that night, whenever you went anyplace we got a bed in the hospital, and my eyes hurt so terrible bad I couldn't keep them open, couldn't keep them closed, said something to the orderly and he said, "Why, you got a flash." It makes your eyeballs, little pimples all over your eyeballs so it feels just like you got sand in your eyes. Well, I got over that and we got the growsers back and on the CAT. Every once in a while I'd take the pickup and probably three guys and we'd go to Grand Rapids. It was the headquarters for the Forestry. One time I went up and we picked up three GMC dump trucks and brought back to camp. Another time they had a couple of trucks they wanted repaired and they did that up at 2705 at Bagley, I think it was Bagley, and I would take trucks up there to have repaired. I'd take a truck up, bring a truck back. So I did get around quite a bit.
Rieger: It sounds like it. Can you compare any of the other CCC camps that you may have been to with your own? Were some of them bigger, or what did they look like?
Heegard: Generally they was all the same. You had the same run of guys. Maybe some of the buildings might be a little bit better. There was a lot of them that was a lot worse than what we had. You get up on the North Shore, I forget which ones are up on the Gunflint, I believe it was Two Harbors or someplace, there was two three campsup along the lake there and that was...[unintelligible]...up from Park Rapids, just about the same distance from Bemidji, so it was pretty nice.
Rieger: Did you get to come home often?
Heegard: I got to come home often, on weekends. The one winter it was cold and I decided I was going to spend KP all one winter, so I washed pots and pans all winter.
Rieger: And you liked that, because you didn't have to go out.
Heegard: I even carried that through when I went in the Navy. I got in a fight with the first cook and he said, "Well, you can wash pots and pans." That didn't bother me at all, to wash pots and pans.
Rieger: What did you guys do for fun? Did you have a lot of free time, whether it was hanging out in the barracks or in the rec hall or going to town?
Heegard: Well, there was some guys that had musical instruments up there, and maybe they would play. You'd visit back and forth between the barracks. They had school. I took typing. I was boxing in Golden Gloves there in, I think it was '36 and '37, and a fellow by the name of Cliff Marshall and myself, we spent an awful lot of road work, running. We generally run six miles every night. I don't remember how we got to Park Rapids. We used to come into Park Rapids and box, spar a round in boxing.
Rieger: You mentioned the baseball before.
Heegard: Oh, yes. We had baseball. We played different towns and different camps. We used to play Bemidji every once in a while. This one time when we won the Gold Baseball, the game was supposed to be on Saturday and they canceled it for some reason on Saturday, so all the guys went out Saturday night and they all got drunk. Told us Sunday morning we was going to Cass Lake to play baseball, so we went up to Cass Lake. We won the championship up there.
Rieger: Was that of the region or of the north, do you remember?
Heegard: I don't know how that was divided up. It was for the championship. We used to go over to Nevis, that CCC camp 2708, we used to go over there and play baseball with them, too. I think probably we spent a lot of our leisure time in playing baseball. We didn't have no football.
Rieger: How about basketball?
Heegard: No. We had no indoor recreation at all.
Rieger: Did you do a lot in the winter, or in the summer, like fishing and sledding or any of that?
Heegard: No, there wasn't too much of that either because nobody had a boat. There was lakes around but we didn't have no boats. I guess the guys would fish along the shore, but I never did any. We had a swimming beach, we made a swimming beach in Bad Medicine Lake. That beach is still there. They put in a public access now since we started it there. There used to be quite a few scuba divers went into right there on Bad Medicine. I mentioned to them, I said, "You know, all our old tools that was condemned was dumped in the lake." Dumped right off on where we built the beach in there about two-three hundred feet off shore. If an ax was no good, anymore they cut the handle off, or a pick ax or any piece of stuff that was no good, it was dumped in the lake.
Rieger: That was a regular policy?
Heegard:&nnbsp;Yes. Anything that was condemned, they wouldn't give it away or anything like that. They just took it out and dumped it out into the lake. I told some of those guys, scuba divers... [unintelligible]
Rieger: I didn't know that. You had a rec hall, did you not?
Heegard: We had a rec hall with a pool table. We got shows. I believe we only got shows once a week. It was twenty cents.
Rieger: You had to pay for those?
Heegard: Oh, yes. The guy was from Longville that used to come in with the trailer, and he had his own generator and projectors. He had two guys that would help him set it up. They got a free show ticket for that, so you got twenty cents for helping him set up once. I worked with that on my latter part and that helped take, well, everybody went to the show. They had some church services there and stuff like that.
Rieger: Was that pretty regular, or was it just when someone was coming in?
Heegard: You mean the shows?
Rieger: No, the religious services.
Heegard: I think that was pretty near every Sunday.
Rieger: Just one or many denominations?
Heegard: Just one.
Rieger: You said that you took typing when you had the "educational opportunities," I know that was a big thing in a lot of the literature, that you were being taught these extra skills. What were the other types of things that were offered, and did a lot of people take part in it?
Heegard: There wasn't too many subjects that you could take. I don't know why I took typing, I can't spell [laughs]! I finished up my high school education in Grand Rapids at State Farm [Itasca Community College]. Of course, that was here a few years back.
Rieger: Did a lot of the other guys go to these classes?
Heegard: No, there wasn't too many, not too many guys. A lot of times at night we would go over to this, it was kind of a carpenter shop, we'd go over there, probably work in the diamond room or some wood projects we'd have.
Rieger: Where was that located at? Right in camp?
Heegard: Yes, that was right in camp. That was in the same building as the pump shacks were in and then the toilets and the shower rooms was one big long bunch.
Rieger: When you were talking about the baseball, that everyone had gone into town, and had a few too many beers or something, and then the next day had to play ball, what town was that? Was there a particular place that you went to?
Heegard: Cass Lake.
Rieger: Cass Lake. That was usually where you went?
Heegard: No, we went all over. We went to Bemidji and Cass Lake and different towns. We even played ball in Park Rapids.
Rieger: How about to go and have fun? Did you go to these different places to go drinking or dancing?
Heegard: Me, I would go.
Rieger: Did you like to dance?
Heegard: Well, I liked the fighting more than I liked the dance, so that way we traveled around. We drank. I don't think we drank excessive, we probably got drunk only once a week, pretty near every Saturday night. All depended on how much money you had.
Rieger: Was there ever any disciplinary problems, maybe with the guys liking to go fight? Did anyone ever get in trouble for that?
Heegard: Fights, I would say today if they had them, people would be a lot better off. I had guys that didn't like me and they always had a pair of boxing gloves. I put gloves on with pretty near everybody in the camp. They probably didn't like me and they figured they was going to show me up or something like that. I have had more candy and beer and pop from guys that I licked than anything. I never did take a licking. We had one big guy from Two Inlets that, his last name was Rinkfeld. He liked to put the gloves on. He put the gloves on for anybody that come around and beat the hell out of them. One time he was out there ...[unintelligible]...the guy says to me, "Put the gloves on." I said, "I don't want to put the gloves on." He said, "Come on." So I put the gloves on. I think I hit him twice, the second time I hit him he went clear out of the ring. That was the end of his boxing experience. He didn't ever box again. In the barracks I had a couple of run ins with guys the same way. I'd have to put the gloves on ...[unintelligible]...I had a friend...[unintelligible]...a guy by the name of Cliff Marshall. He kind of stayed away from me quite a bit until we started working together and he said; "You know, I thought you was the ornriest bastard there ever was. After I got to know you, you're not bad at all.
Rieger: Did you have much contact at all with any of the other local residents that lived right around the Park, like maybe the Wegmanns? Did you ever go up to his store?
Heegard: We had the Gardner family. The Gardner family washed cloths for the camp. Well, I know the Gardner boys, I got to know them real well, and I knew their sisters. I think, if I'm not mistaken, to have your clothes washed was only a dollar a month. I t couldn't have been very much more because you only had five. After the CCC camp I bought an awful lot of wood from this Gardner family. I sold wood in Park Rapids after I got out of the C's. I bought from this family all the time and even today, they are around here yet, and I see them every once in a while. Then there was the Nelsons. The Nelson widow, and her dad was an LEM and he worked an awful lot up in Itasca Park, right up there around the Park.
Rieger: What was that?
Rieger: An LEM.
Heegard: I can't even think of what his first name is, but he did an awful lot of work around the Park. You know that building straight east of the campgrounds? I think there's a forestry building up there. We worked on that, we was pouring cement in the basement. About half the basement was put into kind of a place where they put water. At that time everything was so dry so they wanted a supply of water, I suppose for the wintertime, too, so we was pouring the walls in there for the water and this one afternoon we just got through, and I don't know what happened, but the walls give away and the concrete all along inside the tank. We had to move the concrete out between the forms again and re-pour it again. I did a lot of the tree cutting around there. I don't know why or how I got all these jobs. They had big trees. They built the dam place right amongst the big trees and then they wanted the trees that was too close they wanted them cut out, so I fell all that timber in there. On the south side, I don't know what they built that forestry place down there because there was no tower, it was just south of 113 there. I don't know. They used it, but it was a pretty nice place that they built in there. We washed all the sand and gravel and poured the concrete for all the walls, I think there was a ten inch wall, and did a lot of that work. The way it sounds like I did all the work. Well, I didn't do all the work. I was there when the work was being done. Of course, I'm jumping around now. I remember one time we was working in Itasca and we'd go up from the Gardner farm and we'd go north into the Park, I can't tell you what roads it was, but in the wintertime it was nothing to see a 150 or 200 head of deer yarded up in places like that. At that time, they said the deer was starving, I don't know, there's bound to be a certain amount of fatalities amongst the deer with large numbers like that, but they'd put alfalfa hay up. They had these hay racks out for them.
Rieger: But you did see a lot when you were there?
Heegard: Oh, yes. The Park was never open for hunting at that time and soon as hunting season would open, it seemed like the deer come from every direction in the Park, they come in there and then they herded up in the wintertime.
Rieger: Do you remember any of the controversy that there was, because there was some problems? They thought that they should open the park to hunting because there were so many deer and they said they were starving because the hay wasn't good for them or something. Do you remember that at all?
Heegard: Yes. They figured it was just too many deer because there wasn't enough browse there. At that time, I suppose they knew what they know now, the CCCs would probably cut browse for them, but they didn't know anything about cutting browse for deer.
Rieger: I mentioned Wegmann before, he had a store right in the park. Did you ever have a chance to go up to the store for anything, to hang out or go buy something with your money? We're trying to see how much contact there was between the CCC camps that were around.
Heegard: There wasn't. We didn't have too much contact with the store there. If we'd go by, we'd never stop. We knew that they had a fountain, an ice cream fountain and stuff there, but we never did. My experience with it was when I was in the Boy Scouts, but after that, we knew it was there.
Rieger: After he wouldn't sell you any fruit! When we were talking last week at the preliminary interview, you'd mentioned something about a guy that was in the camp who was on parole. Were there several of those, or was he on parole when he entered the CCC?
Heegard: Occasionally somebody would get in trouble and they'd come in, I suppose they'd come back on parole. This one deal was, they was driving between Detroit Lakes and Audubon and they had a deer rifle and they were shooting windows out of the caboose. How they caught them, I don't know, but they caught them, and the one that was in the CC camp, he was on parole, and his brother got a year in jail, I believe, and then he went out on parole. But the one in camp wrote everything he did everyday, he had to make out what he did during the day. I think he must have been two or three years that I know that he did that.
Rieger: But he was still allowed to be in the CCC?
Heegard: Well, I think he was probably put in the CCs.
Rieger: Were there any other people like that or was he the only one?
Heegard: Oh, you'd hear once in a while about somebody getting in trouble down in the Cities, but I never heard if they was on parole or if they were fined or if they was just sent back to the CC camp.
Rieger: You saw Itasca when you were a kid and you were in the Pageants and then you were there again when you were in the CCC doing work. I'm just wondering if you noticed or if you were aware of the changes that you were actually doing? The CCC had an incredible effect on the Park. If you can describe any of those changes, or if you've been back since.
Heegard: They've changed so many of them roads up there, I'm lost when I come. Another thing, if they did any tree planting, those trees would be pretty good size today. They would be over fifty years old. Actually, if I go in to see what it is, I wouldn't see anything because it's completely changed. I would say probably for the better, the roads are better and stuff like that. Like up at the Old Timer's Cabin, they got a nice path. I don't imagine that was in there when it was built. Did you see that set of railroad wheels?
Heegard: Well, I remember they brought that big launch, it come through Park Rapids on trailer or truck or whatever it was, and they set that up there. And they had to have a way to get it out of the lake in the wintertime and then they would put it back in the spring, take it out in the fall. Well, I guess it got too old and rickety. I don't know if they burned the darn thing, but that's why the wheels are there.
Rieger: I was wondering about that, but Elizabeth explained what it was for when I first went down there. Did you have any inspections at all, like they do in the army, of the barracks and of what you were wearing?
Heegard: Oh, yes. You had a physical, just a half-way physical. I would say you had a short arm inspection, and that was for venereal diseases. If you had a venereal disease, you was gone. They kicked you out. They would cure you, but they would give you a discharge.
Rieger: Was there a lot of that, do you know?
Heegard: Not very much. Most guys were pretty well scared. It ain't like today. Today it's so fast, everyday event. But at that time, the guys were, I suppose they didn't want to lose their job and they didn't want to come up with any disease of any kind. It was a different bunch of people at that time. It's too bad the people ain't that today, but it ain't. They used to have experiments, too. At one time I remember they were experimenting on colds and giving you cold shots, but I don't think they ever worked. But it was always something like that. They would experiment on colds and different things.
Rieger: Did you guys mind it? Did you know that you were being experimented on?
Heegard: That was volunteer.
Rieger: How was the food?
Rieger: What did you usually have?
Heegard: In the morning we might have corn fritters and syrup and coffee, probably some juice of some kind. We had pancakes, dried breakfast food that come in little packages, you know, at that time. Always had good bakery goods, cakes, doughnuts, and stuff like that... It always seemed, once a week, we had beef hearts. They'd buy these beef hearts and they'd slice them up and roast them and make them into gravy. You say beef hearts, you wouldn't say, "Ah, hell. I don't want to eat something like that." You had to eat what you got. I never seen anybody really turn their nose up. We had good food. Skinny kids would come in and in six months they'd put on quite a few pounds, they'd fill out real good. It was always all you wanted to eat, you always had all you wanted. I can recall one time there was what they call the "Hungry Eight." That was a crew of guys that worked together. Nobody ever worked with that crew, the "Hungry Eight." They had one table, nobody else sat at that table. The blacksmith's name was Joe Sallinger. He was an LEM, and he came in that one day and he sat at that table, sat with his back against the wall. Well, one of the "Hungry Eight" couldn't sit down, so the other "Hungry Seven" set down. As everything was put out in the center of the room and then... no, let's see, the pans went around, well, they'd go down three and then cut across and that left him in the corner with nothing. He didn't get nothing to eat [chuckles]. It made him kind of mad, but he never did sit there again. Nobody would sit at that table outside of them eight guys.
Rieger: They were just that close?
Heegard: Well, they worked together. I remember when it started out over at Smokey Hills, they did rip rap work, all rock work. Then when they went up there it was still the "Hungry Eight." It was kind of fun to watch. If nobody knew about this bunch of guys, they'd attempt to sit there, but they'd get moved out.
Rieger: They'd get no food!
Heegard: The funny part about it is the KPs that waited on that table took care of that "hungry" table, too, and made sure that they got good food. It was all good, but they got their extra.
Rieger: So they actually passed the food around? You didn't have to go down a buffet line?
Heegard: No. The KPs would come in with, I don't remember what the serving dishes were like, but there was enough for eight men. The potatoes, well they'd set up here and they'd go down the side and come back the other side and be empty, and then the KP would refill the stuff and stuff like that, like your coffee and your milk and whatever was taken care of.
Rieger: And you could have as much as you wanted?
Heegard:Yes. Nobody ever went out of there hungry, I don't believe.
Rieger: Now, did you have to wear ties?
Heegard: I don't remember. I've heard some of the guys said they did, but I couldn't tell you if they did or not. It's possible. You couldn't go in without a shirt on. It was very likely that you had to have a tie on. I just don't remember.
Rieger: O.K. I was just wondering because that's what I'd heard, that you had to wear ties, and that was about the only time you wore ties, to go eat.
Heegard: No, you had to have a shirt on, your regular shirt and pants. That might have been for your supper meal. On noon meal, of course, there wasn't too many noon meals there because you was always in the woods.
Rieger: They brought it out there or you brought your own?
Heegard: No, they brought it out there. It was generally sandwiches and soup. In the wintertime, depends on the crew, they might have ten gallons of soup and there'd probably be eight-ten gallons of coffee and that was set besides the fire so it was hot. The lunches come out in a big wooden box, and that was set close too the fire so it wouldn't [get cold]...
[End side two, tape 1]
[Begin side one, tape 2]
Heegard: ...I forgot someone. You say recreations where we went to dances and stuff like that. I had a friend over at Walker, he's on one of these pictures, too, and he liked to drink and he liked to start fights. He'd start them and somebody had to finish them. We was at Island Lake. Island Lake is, you know when you're going up there, you cross Hay Creek, around that big curve and there's that big, wide opening on the slope of the hill on the left? Well, there used to be a big dance hall right there. It was on the slope so your cars were all parked on a slope. They went outside and it had been raining and then freezing, so it was slippery, and this friend of mine and this guy he was going to fight with, they went outside and he hit my friend and knocked him down and he slide under a Model-A car. Model-A cars are high, you know. And he crawled back out of there and he got hit again and he went back under there. Well, that stopped the fight then, it was no use fighting. He was up and down all the time. Another time we was down there, we spent a lot of time at Island Lake, we always carried a big tool box in the truck. It was about six foot long and two foot wide and two foot high. When you take a crew out, all the tools are put in this box. The tool box was in there and this Finnish guy from over, I believe he was up on the Ponsford prairie over on Wolf Lake, he went wild, he got drunk and went wild. The only thing they could do with him, they picked him up and put him in the box and locked the box. He went home that way when we got ready to go back to work, I meant go home, he went home that way.
Rieger: Wow. That was a big tool box!
Heegard: It was. Another experience I had, I was up there at Island Lake one night and I was pretty well canned and the cop took the bottle away from me and I raised a particular hell. The cop told one of my friends, he said, "Take that bastard out of here and we'll give him his bottle back." So they got me in the car and got the bottle back and they said, "We'll go back to the Bloody Bucket," that's north of Park Rapids. Got just about there and I said, "Ivan, stop the car. I gotta heave." "Oh," he says. He didn't stop, so I opened the door and I fell out while we was going along. He stopped the car and he come running back and says, "Are you dead, are you dead?" I said, "No, you dam fool, I'm not dead!" But I said I had to heave. Now, the trouble was the story there, he'd had an accident and killed a kid. A young fellow had been riding on the running board and fell off and got killed. So that's what scared him pretty much.
Rieger: While he was in the CCC?
Rieger: That's too bad. Now, you mentioned that there were medical facilities right in camp and that sometimes they did voluntary experiments. Was there a lot of sickness? I know some of the camps, especially in the northern part, were quarantined sometimes with things.
Heegard: We had one quarantine, and that was spinal meningitis.
Rieger: Do you remember when that was?
Heegard: That must have been about in '38, I believe.
Rieger: Did everyone get sick?
Heegard: No, just the one guy. Everyone was there except me. I was a good friend of the truck foreman, mechanic, and we would go to town after ten o'clock at night. He had his own car so we'd take off. We'd wait until bed check and then we'd go to town. This one night we was over on the south edge of the park and there was a big steep curve and there was a road straight ahead. Well, it was dark and we was in a hurry, we went over the straight ahead and into just a cow path you might say. We got out of there O.K.
Rieger: So you never got caught?
Heegard: No, never got caught. We was quarantined for a couple of weeks, I think.
Rieger: Did you get to work then, or were you stuck right in camp?
Heegard: We went out where our work area was. You see, we worked all over. We worked in the Smokey Hill district, over the Elbow Lake district, Itasca Park. There was crews going all over.
Rieger: How did holidays work? Since you lived so close, did you go home on holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas? How did that usually work for other guys that were farther away from home?
Heegard: I used to drive the Superintendent home all the time.
Rieger: That's right. You told me that before.
Heegard: I'd drive him home and then when we went back to work, he'd call me and I'd drag him back to work. I told you about the time we went to town and he had it in second gear all the way to town because, I suppose the speed was really thirty-five miles and hour, and he couldn't tell whether the motor was running fast or not. I got home an awful lot of time. One time when I wasn't riding with him I was riding with a guy that had a sawmill up at Elbow Lake and he had a '29 or '31 Model-A and I would catch him and ride in the back seat to where the road turned off 113, it was a mile back to the camp. There was no heater in that damn car, and this would be cold. I'd get out there and my feet was just like a couple of clubs, and then I'd walk that mile to camp. I did that quite a few times, too.
Rieger: You were in the CCC for four years. I know things changed, depending on seasons and things, but can you describe sort of a typical day? About what time you got up, had breakfast, etc. etc.?
Heegard: I don't remember what time reveille was. They blowed bugle in the morning. I don't remember what time reveille was or what time the eating period was. It's been a long time [laughs].
Rieger: I understand.
Heegard: I suppose supper was taken around five.
Rieger: After breakfast you headed right out for...
Heegard: Yes, right after breakfast. First, you got up you made your bed and went to the shower room or wherever you had to go, and then you come back and you got ready to go to work. I don't know if a whistle blew or what. Everybody went out of the barracks at once. There was a line up of trucks in the yard and you went, you'd see where your foreman was standing and that's where you would go, to that truck, and you would load in there.
Rieger: Then you worked until lunch?
Heegard: Yes, and then you tried to be back in camp around 3:30 or 4.
Rieger: Did you have dinner right after you got back or was there a little bit of lag time?
Heegard: You went in and had a chance to take a shower or whatever you wanted to do. Lot of time, like in the wintertime, since you got in you went to the wood yard to pick up the wood for you. You didn't do that everyday, but you always tried to get in there and get some good wood. Most of it was all green all the time. You'd probably get two loads and then you'd pile it outside. There was a wood rack and you'd pile it there and then the guy that kept fires during the night, we had a watchman that kept fires during the night. It was three barrel stoves in a barracks, one in the dry room and then there was two in the regular barracks. We had the fire department in our barracks, which consisted of buckets of water and sand. In the morning, the buckets of water had ice on them. That's why we had the sand, that don't freeze.
Rieger: So it got pretty cold there in the winter.
Heegard: It was chilly.
Rieger: Who do you think was the most colorful person in the camp, or the camp character? Do you remember anybody?
Heegard: [looks for picture] A guy by the name of [Orville] "Slim" Heddinger. He was a baseball pitcher and seemed like he was always razzing somebody. He was a character is what he was. He was a good guy. Everybody liked him and there was a certain amount of joking with one another, but he was a big guy, especially the small guys, he liked to pick on them. All over the camp. There wasn't anyone in camp nowhere had some doings with him. I remember he used to go to Ponsford, and one time he come back and we says, "What the devil do you do down there all the time." "Oh," he says, "I go down there." But he had married an Indian girl. That's like, on recreation over at Ponsford there was what they called the "Halverson Corners." Why so many went there, this Halverson family had a beer joint and I think they had five daughters. That's why the guys went there, they had all these daughters. That was the time of the fifty cent picnic beer. You buy a picnic and that's a half gallon jug for fifty cents. It seemed like them places where there was young girls or women, they had the best business. Oh, another thing about one of the things we built. We built the dam on Shell Lake. When we built it, the dam always seemed so big so [a year ago] I thought, "Well, I'm going to go over and see if I can find the dam." So I got on the road over to Shell Lake, and driving along, see some concrete work alongside the road. I don't think it was any higher, that was the dam. I don't know, it looked like they had busted it all up. It was a nice little dam in there, used to keep the water up. It was kind of a surprise to think this was a big dam when you built it and then go back fifty years later, and heck, it's nothing but a little concrete well smashed up.
Rieger: I bet that would be sort of strange to see.
Heegard: There was some other dams that were built, too. I never went back to them. I don't know how they ever come out. As a matter of fact, I would like to go back to some of the roads we made but I'm sure I couldn't find them.
Rieger: Things change. It's strange, sometimes, I know. We've discussed this just briefly, but I don't know if you can add anymore about some of the camp leaders or the supervisors that you had. Can you describe them? Were they pretty good guys? You mentioned George Wilson. Or did you just not have that much contact with them?
Heegard: Well, on a whole, they were all good guys. Pretty near all the barracks leaders had nicknames. There was Orville Doc, I guess he didn't have a nickname. His last name was Doc. And there was Conroy, "Happy Conroy" was the guy, he was a barracks leader...Albert Neske. See, them were the guys that I always associated more with, or lived with. The first sergeant was Claude Snapp. Supply was Barney Ross...I can't think of anymore right now.
Rieger: That's O.K. I was just curious. How did you like the system of pay? I know you were paid thirty dollars a month but you only got five because twenty-five was sent home. Did that seem to work?
Heegard: What else would you do [laughs]? A lot of times some of that money come back to the guys. Probably not the whole twentyfive, maybe they'd get ten-fifteen from the folks. Most of us couldn't have been up there and stayed at five dollars a month, so there had to be a little money coming back. I'm not saying all of it, but some come back.
Rieger: Just to reflect a little bit on the CCC and your experience, especially around Itasca. Do you think your experience in the CCC changed you?
Heegard: I don't know if it changed me. I don't know which way it would. I learned an awful lot, so I had the experience when I come out. I think it probably made a better man out of me. And I think anybody that was in there it made a better man out of them. You can go to these, like this Chapter 93 that we have, you go there and these are all CCs there. Funny part of it is, a lot of these guys have married the girls that they went with at that time.
Rieger: The local girls that they met?
Heegard: Yes. We had one guy from over by Backus, he was the vice president of the club and this was one of the meetings we had up here at Paulette's, and it was on a Sunday and we had dinner and then they had an orchestra there. She come over and she said, "Do you want to dance?" I never had a woman ask me, so I got up and danced with her. I went back to her [later] and I said, "How's the chance to borrow your frame for the next struggle." See, that was the saying at the time, "borrow your frame for the next dance, struggle." Pretty near all these women that are of this time know how the boys acted and stuff like that.
Rieger: Speaking of those little slangs and stuff like that, was there a lot of camp slang, do you remember?
Heegard: Only thing I seen was some in some of them papers where they said certain things, but I don't remember some of those things.
Rieger: I just happened to read an article once talking about pin cushions or something like that for porcupines and different things for shoes and tobacco.
Heegard: The only ones I've ever heard of, like java or something like that for coffee, but there was not too much of that talk, not that I know of.
Rieger: How did you feel about leaving? Did you voluntarily leave or was it because they wouldn't let you enroll anymore?
Heegard: You automatically went out. I was supposed to go out two years before that. I was supposed to go out after the first two years. In that one magazine up in the Park, it lists all of the names of the guys. There was forty-four of us supposed to leave at that time. Then the orders come through, they extended two more years. I felt pretty good at that time because there was no jobs, and then when I did go out, I hauled wood. I used to go back to the CC camp, there was some beautiful old dry jack pine, and I'd cut that down. I'd haul a cord of that at a time behind a car on a trailer. I'd probably make six bucks or something like that. If I didn't get it done on that, I'd stay at the camp, I ate at the camp and everything like that. At Gardners, after I got started, I bought a truck and then Gardners cut wood for me. I bought wood from all those people around Two Inlets, I bought wood from them. There was two of us that furnished the town with fire wood. There wasn't too much fuel oil. I remember one time said something about "Why didn't you use fuel oil." She said, "I can't afford to pay eight cents a gallon for fuel oil and I use five gallons a day." Well, that was forty cents a day, they just couldn't afford it.
Rieger: How did the rumblings of World War II affect the camp? Did a lot of people start dropping out?
Heegard: No. I can tell you one thing, the only thing that I actually knew is during this time we heard a lot about Communism. As a matter of fact, you could buy a Communist card at the time in the CC camp for twenty-five cents. You could join the Communist Party.
Rieger: Did many boys do that?
Heegard: No. There was certain guys that were trying to get you to join, but they'd always say, "Down with the Reds." They always had something to say about the Reds. That is no lie about the Communist card. It is true.
Rieger: I believe you.
Heegard: When I got out of the CCs, I wanted to go right away into the Navy. I'd had three years in the National Guards, and then I went in the Navy. I got more pay with that National Guard time, see. My ma said, "No, there's going to be a War." She knew it. I eventually did join the Navy, but not at that time. This one friend of mine, this Fritz Krueger that's in the pictures, he went in right away after he got out of the CCs. He stayed in there for twenty-four years and retired. There were so many of the guys, I knew guys that went down on that battleship in Pearl Harbor that was in our camp.
Rieger: That's a tragedy. Was there a lot of talk about politics at all while you were in the CCC, about Roosevelt?
Heegard: No, I don't think, not the way it is today. We didn't have the news. I don't know if we had a newspaper up there all summer. There were no radios. You couldn't have a radio up there because that was a 32 volt system, and that was only on in the evenings and in the morning. They could shut off certain parts of the camp, out in that 32 volt, but they had to conserve their own power for themselves. So there was no radios. The only thing, one time I was up to Cass Lake, this was another excursion of mine, went up to the Red Rooster at Cass Lake, on Saturday night. I was a new boxer and a golden glove, so I went in there and I was feeling good and they was all talking fight about Joe Lewis at that time. I said, "Hell, I can lick anybody in the place." And a big guy stepped up and he said, "You really mean it?" And I said, "Yes. Let's go outside." I learned a lot about fighting when I [was] there. You don't fight good, you fight dirty [laughs]. So I stepped out of the door, stepped over to one side, and when he stepped out of the door, I hit him and knocked him down. That was the end of the fight right there. That was one night I had free beer, all the free beer I wanted. I had learned certain things about fighting. I would say fighting was good. I would like to see it today, but if they fought the way I used to fight, I'd be in jail all the time now. Because there's so many of these young people today that think they're so cocky and good. If they took a good licking it would change them, it would tame them. You did that today, you would be arrested.
Rieger: What do you think was your best and your worst experience in the CCC at Itasca?
Heegard: I never had none, either way. I had good experiences. I never had really no bad experiences, not that I know of. Oh, I had a close call one time of getting stabbed. This guy was from North Carolina. There were three-four of us in the rec hall. I don't know if I was rubbing this guy from North Carolina or not, I might have been, I don't know. Well, I was up to the counter where they sold stuff and all at once, a friend of mine hit this guy from North Carolina with a pool cue, knocked him down, knocked him out. I asked him, "What did you do that for?" He said, "Why, he was about ready to stick a knife into you." They took him over to the hospital and patched up his head and that was all, never any more about that. That's the only close experience I ever had. Of course, I'm bragging again, you know.
Rieger: That's O.K.. When we were talking before, last week, you said towards the end that you thought that the CCC was the best time of your life.
Heegard: It was. The best time of my life.
Rieger: Why would you say that?
Heegard: Well, it seemed like I never got bored, always had something to do. I didn't have any money. I had a lot of fun. Had a roof over my head. Had food, clothing, no worries.
Rieger: Would you do it again?
Heegard: If I was that age, yes. But not at my age (laughs).
Rieger: You don't want to go up there in the woods when it's cold again!
Heegard: I could. Well, I say that again now I could when I probably couldn't. I worked up there until just a year ago, I worked everyday, and since then I've went down hill all the time, I noticed. I just can't do things I used to do.
Rieger: Is there anything else that you'd like to add that we haven't covered that you wanted to say, as I look through my notes here? Anything about the pictures?
Heegard: The only thing that I would say, I think today a lot of the young fellows are missing out on an awful lot. I think that if they could have had the experiences that we've all had in the CC camp that they'd be a lot better off today. We've become ... what do I want to say...I learned the value of a dollar, and today it seems like I'm getting stingier everyday. I think that it has helped, learning the value of the dollar has helped me today. I remember here a few years back that I didn't have a damn thing. But the experience that I got out of the CC experience has helped me.
Rieger: Good. I think it was an incredible program.
Heegard: The only thing is today it costs too much for the program, but I think you find anybody that was in the CCs would say yes. I know that they're trying all the time to get them to put it back into working again. What they did try here, I forget, a few years back, it wasn't called the CCs at that time, they'd bring these guys in, I think it was for a year, and they tried to make carpenters out of them, welders out of them, mechanics out of them, and stuff like that. Those guys today, they don't know what they want to do. If they could have had the rounded experience that we all had at this time, it may be different. We had guys that went out of the CCs become priests, teachers, school superintendents. I wouldn't be a bit surprised, even doctors and lawyers. After the War they went back to school. We had a priest in our local for awhile from Akeley, but he passed away. Ed Ness was a teacher and a superintendent of schools. .
Rieger: Well, O.K. I guess if that's it, I'll thank you very much.
Heegard: You're welcome.
Rieger: See, we filled up more than an hour and a half, and you weren't sure we were going to do it. I knew we were.