Biography of Joseph Morgan Sr.
Enrollee, Camp 122, Newport, NH & Camp 104, Cape Cod Canal & Camp 105, Freetown, MA
My father, Joseph Morgan Sr., was in the CCC. His name was Joseph Morgado then, by law, although he went by the name of Joe Morgan. He will be 86 years old. On August 16, 1934 and forward he was sent to the following:
Camp 122, Newport, NH. He was 17 yrs old (he got in underage.) They were bussed to New Hampshire.
Camp 104, Cape Cod Canal
Camp 105, Freetown, MA
In New Hampshire, the guys built fire roads so fire trucks could get into the forests. They had ROTC officers. His was Capt. Heverly (spelling)?
My dad (Joe), was on the Camp baseball team and boxing team--Camp 122 Baseball Team. They played against other camp teams. All the guys were young like my father. He had a friend, Tiny Lindell, on the baseball team. He was a good pitcher, 6'4." Was my father's "bodyguard" -haha-my day says. Tiny was actually a gentle guy and hailed from the Boston area. My dad is 5', of Portuguese descent. My dad also pitched. He has always been an avid baseball fan and played on many amateur leagues locally, in Taunton, MA.
There was a guy named Joe Kelly from Hyde Park, South Boston who was a friend of his on the boxing team. My dad was a welter weight, but didn't weigh-in too much. You were likely to go up against a bigger or smaller guy in the ring. But they had big, pillow gloves, so no one got hurt. My dad won a couple of bouts. All the boxing and baseball teams had pretty good players.
When was broke out, there was Revelry in the morning and Retreat at the end of the day.
They used to go to town, Keene, NH to dances, and there were dances held right at camp, too. The first time out to town, one of dad's black friends was sitting in corner of his bunk, not getting ready to go. My father said to him, "What do you think, you're better than us. Get your clothes on and let's go." His friend thanked him afterwards for inviting him along. All in all, though, my dad says there were all mixed races and they all got along good.
They made $30.00 per month. My dad sent $25.00 home to his mother, who was widowed, and kept $5.00 for spending money. He thought he was rich.
When my father first joined, he "hadn't done a day's work in his life." He was given a 20 lb. sledge hammer and two wedges. He had to cut trees into 6 ft. logs, split and cut them and carry out of the forest two miles/two men, to the trucks. the wood was for fires and heating. Dad says, "Kept us in shape, boy!"
The daily routine was get up, clean up for breakfast, put on work clothes, and go out and cut trees. Come back for dinner, wash and dress up dinner, go back and cut trees. Supper: wash and dress and eat. After p.m., your time was your own.
My dad was in NH almost a year. He used to "thumb" home to Taunton, MA. on weekends. Sometimes it took all day -- there weren't many cars on the road back then. He'd see about one car an hour in those days.
Then he was sent to the Cape Cod Canal for about 3-4 months. The Cape Cod Canal was being built. His job was clearing land in surrounding town forests-Hyannis, MA and other towns.
Then to Assonet (Freetown), MA for about 2 months clearing land that is now the Freetown State Forest, before he was discharged. After that, the CC Camps were starting to close up.
My dad says, "After all, it was a very good experience. Had a lot of fun."
After my father was discharged, he went back home to Taunton, MA and got a job at Glenwood Range in the city. That was 1935. He was 18 years old. It wouldn't be long before he met my mother, Hazelle (still living), and my brother (Joe, Jr) and me were born. His Mom lived with them until she died at home of TB. Dad still lives with my Mom.
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