Minnesota's Greatest Generation

Harley Heegard: The Best Time of My Life

Harley Heegard enrolled in the CCC in 1935, and served in Itasca State Park. In a 1993 interview with Amy K. Rieger for the Itasca State Park Oral History Project, he recalled that his time in the CCC as one of the happiest times of his life.

Oral History Excerpt

It was the best time of my life.

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.

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. I learned the value of a dollar. 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.

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Heegard, Harley; Amy K. Reiger, Interviewer, Itasca State Park Oral History Project. MHS Oral History Collection, 1993.