Floyd Calvin Hardesty – Submitted by Ms. Betty D. Bailey

Thank you for the opportunity to share my father’s story.  Upon graduation from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1933, he enlisted in FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  He was sent to Idaho [probably to camp Elk Creek – Ed.], where he planted trees and worked on roads.  I pray at least one tree he planted is still standing!

My dad was the first conservationist I was aware of.  His experiences in the CCC deeply affected him. He impressed on us – me and my siblings – how detrimental our behavior was to the earth, air and water, and, ultimately, to humans.

My brother, Calvin, adds that Dad said he worked hard and was very cold in Idaho, and he told a story of working on road construction, moving a great deal of dirt, when a huge bunch of snakes came rolling out.  That got everyone’s attention! 

I do know that Dad was grateful for the work, income, food and shelter.  He told me he did not know what he would have done without the opportunity to enroll in CCC.

I am here as a result of the CCC.  My father met another CCC enrollee from Indiana in Idaho, Joe Fleitz.  Joe showed Floyd Hardesty a photo of his sister, Dorothy. Dad always told us that when he looked at the wallet photo, he thought, “I’m going to marry that little girl.” We kids (me, sister Janice and brother Calvin) always loved that story. When the boys returned to Indiana, Joe introduced Floyd to his sister and they were married June 3d, 1939.  Sadly, after 56 years of marriage, Dad was morally injured in an auto accident in 1995.

It’s almost embarrassing to realize we should have asked Dad for more specifics years ago. Our Dad was taciturn by nature and kids are self-absorbed.  By the time one wants to learn, it’s too late.

It is a shame the Republicans did away with FDR’s vital efforts to help our country and her citizens.  We need these programs today.  Now they’d rather ban books and expression than AK-47s.  I am heartsick.

Again, thank you for your interest in those who were affected by and involved in FDR’s New Deal (Calvin thanks you, too).  Your work is appreciated. 

I hope you can use the photo duplicates I made for you.

Mrs. Olen (Betty) Bailey

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