Members of the Paint Lake CCC camp near Gibbs City are shown in this photo from 1933. On May 16, the Iron County Museum will host a program about the CCC camps and the men who served in the camps. (Iron County Museum photo)
CASPIAN—“Dollar a Day Boys,” a musical tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), is the first Thursday Evening at the Museum program to be held at the Iron County Museum in 2013.
On May 16 at 7 p.m., Bill Jamerson’s presentation will include telling stories about the hundreds of men he has met from the CCC, reading of excerpts from his novel “Big Shoulders” and singing original songs with his guitar. He will also be discussing the early lumberjacks and singing lumberjack songs. 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 strength, wit and charm.
There will also be a book signing before and after the program for people who wish to buy a copy of “Big Shoulders.” The book is an adult novel that follows a year in the life of a 17-year-old youth from Hamtramck who enlists in the CCC in 1937. The teenager joins 200 other young men at Camp Raco in the eastern Upper Peninsula. His adventures take him into Newberry, Sault Ste. Marie and Pine Stump Junction.
Jamerson’s songs include “Chowtime,” a fun look at the camp food, and “City Slicker,” which tells of the mischief the boys find in the woods. “Living in a Tent in Winter,” is about the cold nights they endured, “Borrowed Mom” is the story of an orphan who found a mother in camp, and “Tree Plantin, Fire Fightin’ Blues” tells of the hardships of work out in the woods. The folk songs range from heartwarming ballads to foot stomping jigs.
As part of the celebration of the 50th birthday of the Iron County Historical Society, the museum, CCCAC and MCACA are pleased to sponsor this first program in the Thursday Night at the Museum series. Doors to the museum will open at 6:30 p.m. on May 16, and the program will start at 7 p.m. An admission donation of $3 per person is requested to cover the cost of refreshments.