Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lizard Head Rock

Many of the rocks in Red Rocks Park have names. This one was named Lizard Head Rock by the men of the local Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, who built the tunnel. The road is labeled Creation Rock Drive by Denver, which owns the Park and its famous Amphitheatre. The road provides access to the top of the Amphitheatre and the new Visitor Center there. [See Lizard Head, then and now, on the website.]

The CCC is an important historical phenomenon, started by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933, that put men to work during the Depression. The program ended in 1941, when the U.S. entered World War II and many of the men enlisted. During its tenure, though, incredible public works projects from parks construction (as here) to reforestation and soil conservation were completed across the country.

In September 2004, Denver helped surviving CCC members erect a statue at the end of Creation Rock Drive. The "CCC Worker" pays tribute to the men of CCC camps across Colorado and their contributions. CCC Alumni hope to have a statue in every state!

On the day the statue was dedicated, CCC alum Don Bess wore his original government-issued work clothes to help celebrate the event!


S.L. White said...

The picture of Don in his old CCC uniform was taken two years ago-- and just last week I learned of his death. Our CCC pals are moving on, one at a time... Don left us two days after I posted this.

Potato Print said...

Hi s.l. white
Thanks for your amusing and encouraging comments about gray hair. This, one of your seven blogs, is wonderful. I have worked in local history museums over the past four years. I find that our Elders are the only ones who really keep history alive.

My dear parents taught us a lot about the CCC's contributions all over this country. It adds a layer of dignity to some of the events at that time.

Your friend Don must have seen some amazing things. I love the fact that he kept his uniform. I wish him a glorious journey.