On behalf of the members of Chapter 44 of the National Association of Civilian Conservation Alumni, it is my pleasure to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to those people who organized the Payson C.C.C. Reunion on April 15. The event offered a rare opportunity for local students and adults to meet members of Franklin Roosevelt's 1930s "Forest Army" and to learn about what life was like living and working in the Civilian Conservation Corps.
In particular, I want to mention the work put forth by the Northern Gila County Historical Society, and more specifically, George Spears, Gail Hearne and Tom McGuigan. Organizing such an event can be all consuming, and can lead to long hours of preparation and sleepless nights. I hope that George, Gail, Tom and all who helped, will know the happiness they helped create for our group.
In my more than 10-year association with Chapter 44, we have never been invited as guests to attend an event of this type held in honor of the C.C.C. and we do so appreciate the effort that went into arranging the event and in putting the word out. It was especially heartening to see students from the local school joining in at the suggestion of their teacher. The history of many of the 1930s New Deal programs is fast slipping by the wayside. Reunions and events like yours help raise awareness in younger generations who continue to benefit from the work of the C.C.C. 70 years later.
Payson will hold a special place in my heart, personally, and in the hearts of those members of Chapter 44 who were able to attend our C.C.C. reunion, I'm sure, not simply because the area is rich with C.C.C.-related history, but because of the warm welcome we received in your community.
Michael I. Smith, President NACCCA Chapter 44, Phoenix