Interviewer: Maria Schleidt
Interview Date: February 20, 2008
Transcribed by: Mim Eisenberg/WordCraft; May 2013
Listen: Read Transcript
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
U.S. FOREST SERVICE, REGION 8
Interview with: Dolan Daniels
Interviewed by: Maria Schleidt
Date: February 20, 2008
Transcribed by: Mim Eisenberg/WordCraft; May 2013[Transcriber’s note: The recording is very whooshy, and a dog barks occasionally.]
DOLAN DANIELS: [unintelligible] There were some fellows there. They’re not there. There should be some [floors? 0:14] up there [unintelligible; 0:14] building. [unintelligible; 0:20] [Dog barks.]
MARIA SCHLEIDT: Who else do I have? Aerial photos?
DANIELS: She might be able to tell you more about it. [unintelligible; 0:39] my little [unintelligible; 0:40].
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There’s the other one, I think.
DANIELS: Yeah. Behind the mess hall, they had those homes that those Forest Service people lived in and the Army people lived in.
MAN: [unintelligible; 0:56].
SCHLEIDT: Okay. We are at the house of Nolan Daniels on February—
DANIELS: Dolan, D-o-l-a-n.
SCHLEIDT: Oh, Dolan. Sorry. D-o-l-a-n. On February 20th?
SCHLEIDT: Twentieth, 2008. We’re discussing Camp Shady, Camp F-4? F-4.
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 1:19] Company 742.
SCHLEIDT: Seven forty-—it can’t—
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 1:26].
SCHLEIDT: That was Company [unintelligible; 1:24].
SCHLEIDT: It can’t be F-4?
DANIELS: Yeah, [unintelligible; 1:29].
SCHLEIDT: Okay. Well, we’ve come across a lot more [concrete? 1:34] than there is there.
DANIELS: Oh, yeah.
SCHLEIDT: So what I’ve got is a sketch—I’ve got photographs of some of the things that we cleaned. I’ll show you these.
SCHLEIDT: It makes sense.
DANIELS: [Counts to himself.] [unintelligible; 1:55].
SCHLEIDT: We’ve come across two chimneys.
MAN: He was looking at that.
DANIELS: Right here they are.
SCHLEIDT: One of them has a concrete slab that says “Company 742.” Then it has two names. One says “Fletcher,” and the other one, on the other side of the mantel, says “Everett.”
DANIELS: I don’t know.
SCHLEIDT: You don’t recall those names?
SCHLEIDT: Would you know what this building would have been used for, the one that has the chimney and the—
MAN: Is it a big building?
DANIELS: Recreation [unintelligible; 2:36]. It had steps running up, those old steps there?
MAN: Yeah, the steps were there.
DANIELS: The steps went up [unintelligible; 2:44], like, and then a big building. That was the recreation building. Everybody hung out there. That was the hangout. Behind that recreation hall was the bathroom, called the latrines in those days, and the barracks. There were six barracks there.
DANIELS: Six, yeah, mm-hm.
SCHLEIDT: When were you there?
DANIELS: Nineteen forty-one.
SCHLEIDT: For how long.
DANIELS: Out there a year.
SCHLEIDT: Were you a CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] enrollee?
DANIELS: Yeah, [unintelligible; 3:18].
SCHLEIDT: So that’s [unintelligible; 3:19].
DANIELS: Here’s the two.
SCHLEIDT: This is the one that’s growing in a thicket, yeah. And this is [unintelligible; 3:29]. This is a water tank?
SCHLEIDT: Okay, so it would all the way in the north end?
DANIELS: Yeah, up on the side of the hill.
SCHLEIDT: Is that—
DANIELS: They caught water there. Yeah, caught water. And [that step run? 3:40]. Let it run all the time from up there down through the latrine and then the mess halls and different places. There wasn’t any water or anything in those barracks. You had to go to the latrine to get water, or the mess hall. There wasn’t any water in the office, as far as I remember. And then the thing [unintelligible; 4:02] all the way underground and run into Mine Creek down there across the road, is where that entrance goes there.
SCHLEIDT: We see a lot of that.
SCHLEIDT: You see a lot of these rectangular, poured concrete with pipes in them.
SCHLEIDT: So that’s what—water?
DANIELS: Water. Yeah, water line went through there.
SCHLEIDT: That’s the second chimney that we found, and that’s further north of the other chimney with that slab.
DANIELS: Yeah, it went up on [unintelligible; 4:36]. Now, that’s the [unintelligible; 4:41]. Let’s see.
SCHLEIDT: [unintelligible; 4:43].
DANIELS: Hmm. [unintelligible; 4:47] old chimney there to—there’s the recreation hall, [unintelligible; 4:48]. Yes, it is. It wasn’t [unintelligible; 4:53].
SCHLEIDT: Would headquarters have one?
SCHLEIDT: Or the officers?
DANIELS: The officers club—they had one up there, yeah. And their living quarters, they had chimneys, but in those offices, as far as I know, they didn’t. Now, the Forest Service had an office—you went up the road, come off of Mine Creek Road and go straight up, and that led straight into the mess hall. You had to turn to the right. There was a building on the right out there, and it was the Forest Service office.
MAN: That may be the one with the slab that’s in the [unintelligible; 5:31]. [cross-talk; unintelligible; 5:32].
DANIELS: You turn to the right, and this office stood up here. Kind of went on the right-hand side. But that road went all the way through, come on through the camp down to the wood pile, where we cut wood. But that was the Forest Service office down there.
MAN: [unintelligible; 5:49] turn off of Mine Creek Road, and you go up there—what is it?—[unintelligible; 5:53]?
MAN: Something like that, and the road forks.
MAN: One goes into a wildlife [opening? 5:58] that the Game and Fish has got, but the road to the left—out there on the right is where that one chimney is.
DANIELS: Let’s see now. We’re going—
SCHLEIDT: Does the sketch make any sense to you?
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 6:15].
SCHLEIDT: There’s a county road. There’s the fork.
SCHLEIDT: Coming in—
DANIELS: This is all back up here, this area here.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. Right. That’s a flagpole?
DANIELS: Yeah, mm-hm.
SCHLEIDT: [unintelligible; 6:24] the flag square or something like that?
DANIELS: Yeah, they used to make those guys go out and water the flagpole, you know. [Laughs.]
DANIELS: But this is the Forest Service office here.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. Forest Service.
DANIELS: Yeah. When I was there, the guy named Paul Thomas—they called him the project superintendent.
SCHLEIDT: Paul Thomas?
DANIELS: Yeah, and he left when World War II broke out in 1941, and I was there. I was there at the camp when I heard about it.
SCHLEIDT: [unintelligible; 6:54].
DANIELS: On December the 7th. He left and went to the service. And this guy come in there from—his name was Edgar Bell. They called him project superintendent.
DANIELS: Mm-hm. And Edgar Bell came in, and he [dog barks; unintelligible; 7:11]. This is the flagpole, the recreation, the mess hall, and this is officers’ living quarters back here.
SCHLEIDT: All three?
DANIELS: Yeah, they had—well, one of them was a hospital. [unintelligible; 7:26] was a hospital.
MAN: I was going to say.
DANIELS: Yeah. And this one up here, right here was the garage where they done all the mechanic [unintelligible; 7:35], and the hospital, right up behind the mess hall.
SCHLEIDT: So this is the rec hall right here.
SCHLEIDT: These are barracks.
DANIELS: That’s barracks. There should be six of them.
SCHLEIDT: This would be 1940.
DANIELS: I was there in ’41. I was there in February of ’41.
SCHLEIDT: So rec hall—what’s this again?
DANIELS: This is—the Army personnel maintained it.
SCHLEIDT: Where would the latrine be?
DANIELS: The latrine would be right back here behind the rec hall. Let’s see. These are barracks here, and this is the recreation hall, and that latrine would be one of these buildings here. It was right behind the rec hall.
SCHLEIDT: And you said these are officers’ quarters?
DANIELS: Yep, mm-hm. Well, Forest Service personnel. The Army. The Army run that [unintelligible; 8:39].
SCHLEIDT: So flagpoles square, picket fence of some sort.
DANIELS: Used to be a rock fence.
DANIELS: Used to. Best I remember, there was a rock fence there [unintelligible; 8:59].
SCHLEIDT: And what were these two right here?
DANIELS: That would be the mess hall right here.
SCHLEIDT: This one?
SCHLEIDT: Okay, that makes sense.
SCHLEIDT: Has a root cellar.
MAN: It’s got a root cellar off to the side of it.
MAN: Do you remember that?
DANIELS: Yeah, mm-hm.
SCHLEIDT: And you don’t know what this one would be?
DANIELS: That one—let’s see.
SCHLEIDT: It would face the mess hall?
DANIELS: Well, if this is the recreation center, and it is, that would be the Army officers—Army. Captain Bryce was his name.
SCHLEIDT: Captain Bryce?
DANIELS: Yeah, B-r-y-c-e was his name. When I was there. [unintelligible; 9:45]. They had an Army doctor there. He stayed in [unintelligible; 9:46] building here at the hospital. Dr. Mullens. Do you know that?
MAN: I heard that name.
DANIELS: Oh, yeah, it was Doc Mullens.
MAN: Doc Mullens.
DANIELS: When I left CCs and came—well, they disbanded it. And I transferred from there to Utah. I came back when I was inducted into the—when I got a call to go to the service, I went down to Hot Springs for—[unintelligible; 10:09] Little Rock for examination, and Dr. Mullens was one of the examining doctors.
SCHLEIDT: Well, how do you like them apples?
DANIELS: [Chuckles.] Yeah.
SCHLEIDT: That’s great!
MAN: Is it working?
SCHLEIDT: Yeah, it’s working. Okay. So [unintelligible; 10:25] building.
DANIELS: That one right there.
SCHLEIDT: The garage.
SCHLEIDT: What would this building be behind—would that be the hospital or this little building?
DANIELS: No, they had a woodworking shop up there, way up there in the back.
SCHLEIDT: Where is the education building?
DANIELS: Well, that would be it, too.
SCHLEIDT: That would be it, too?
DANIELS: Yeah, the woodworking and education building.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. Does that look like a gas pump to you?
DANIELS: Yeah, they had a gas station.
SCHLEIDT: A gas station.
DANIELS: Mm-hm. They had gas pumps there in front of the garage.
MAN: She should have had that picture somewhere.
SCHLEIDT: What do you want, this one? No, we’re trying to figure out what this thing is. It’s on the road.
DANIELS: On the road?
SCHLEIDT: Yeah, it’s off the road. As you come in here, somewhere around here there was this all-concrete—and we suspect it was a tank or something in here. There was a deep depression. It looks like something got pulled out.
DANIELS: Could have been. I don’t know. [unintelligible; 11:28] too many years gone.
MAN: I wondered if that was the gas tank or gas pumps was at.
DANIELS: It could have been. It was out in front of the building, that gas pump was, because, you know, I drove a truck, and we all had to [unintelligible; 11:43]. No [unintelligible; 11:44]. Every evening you came in, you had to go [unintelligible; 11:47]. And they built another building there [unintelligible; 11:56] right in front of the gas pumps, one of the oil rack and a thing like that where you can run them up on there and [unintelligible; 12:03]. That might be—
MAN: That might be it right there.
DANIELS: It could be, yeah, mm-hm.
MAN: That hole might have been where they changed the oil and stuff.
DANIELS: Because we had to run them up on [the thing? 12:15].
SCHLEIDT: This is part of those right here. We found this concrete slab, and it’s got timber on it. It’s still got the wood on top. We have no idea what this is.
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 12:36].
SCHLEIDT: There’s eight of these pillars.
SCHLEIDT: They all have this metal bar, so we’re wondering if it was for water tanks or something like that.
DANIELS: No, not that I remember. There was any water tank.
SCHLEIDT: They’re all on a side of a hill.
DANIELS: Well, this could have been [unintelligible; 12:54].
SCHLEIDT: Near the chimney, the second chimney, and there’s four and four. Four look like they were poured at the same time, and four look like they’re much older.
DANIELS: It could have been a water tank because I remember we’d take a tanker truck up there and back it up there and fill it up with water, up on the side of that hill. [unintelligible; 13:22]. When they blacktopped that road—you know, when they blacktopped that road from Old Alice to Shady, I dropped the first load of blacktop on that hill.
DANIELS: My load was the first—
MAN: [unintelligible; 13:37] the dump.
DANIELS: First in the dump.
SCHLEIDT: They did a lot of hand digging around the drains, didn’t they?
DANIELS: Oh, yeah. [unintelligible; 13:55]. Matter of fact, [unintelligible; 13:58].
SCHLEIDT: Because you can—we’ve noticed a lot of these areas that had been hand dug, lined with rock and areas where they dammed the water.
SCHLEIDT: Was there any problem with flooding there?
DANIELS: No, there was no problem with flooding.
DANIELS: Uh-uh. All that was—that was hand work. How many shovels—they had shovels [cross-talk; unintelligible; 14:17].
MAN: Shovels and picks, huh?
DANIELS: Picks and shovels by the hundreds.
SCHLEIDT: Yeah. See, this is a 1934 photograph, and I’m not sure if you can see anything, but there was two camps, and they look exactly alike. And when you were there, the second camp was closed.
DANIELS: It wasn’t there. There was only one when I was there.
SCHLEIDT: Right. And they talk about having moved an old barrack from Camp 2 to Camp 1 and using it as an education building.
DANIELS: Well, yeah, that was part of it, yeah.
MAN: [unintelligible; 14:53].
DANIELS: Well, I’ll be—let’s see. Yeah, yeah, this thing here—this was part of it. I thought it was up—the woodworking shop was up here. This is Forest Service and education. If you had to take a test for anything, you went down there in this building to do it. And the road went on through here. This road came up and went on through, and on down here is where a lot of—that’s where them—if you had a cross-cut saw, we’d cut wood every weekend for those barracks, which had wood stoves in them. If you got extra duty, you went to the woodpile.
MAN: You went to the woodpile.
DANIELS: For two, three hours [unintelligible; 15:35]. [Laughs.]
DANIELS: On Saturday. You did that on Saturday.
SCHLEIDT: So you cut firewood on Saturdays.
DANIELS: Yeah. And [unintelligible; 15:42] [was slow? 15:43] one time, and we run out of wood. Didn’t have [staff? 15:45], and they got trucks, and snow was about ankle deep down the hills, and we went out and cut trees out in the forest and brought them in and cut them up for wood in those barracks. And, of course, they only built [unintelligible; 16:00] in the woods. Worked in the snow. I mean, it snows! [Laughs.]
SCHLEIDT: So how old were you when—
SCHLEIDT: I was 17, yeah.
SCHLEIDT: And where did you family live?
DANIELS: [In Mena? 16:16].
SCHLEIDT: Oh, so you’re originally from here.
DANIELS: Yes, this is home to me.
SCHLEIDT: This is home.
DANIELS: I was raised six miles out towards [Costa? 16:22] [unintelligible; 167:26]. It’s where I grew up there. [unintelligible; 16:31] south. Where [Morris? 16:30] lives now, that’s my home place.
SCHLEIDT: And you served one year?
DANIELS: I stayed a year and a half. [unintelligible; 16:42]. See, I got a twin brother, and he was up there with me. And several guys [unintelligible; 16:49] are still around Mena. We went there in February in I think ’41. I was just 17 years old the 18th of January. You had to be 17, so the next month [unintelligible; 17:04]. And we stayed there till February of ’42, and we went first to Heber City, Utah, to a camp there. [unintelligible; 17:16] I’d ever get out of [unintelligible; 17:17].
DANIELS: Transfer out.
SCHLEIDT: Did you ask to be transferred?
DANIELS: Yeah, mm-hm.
SCHLEIDT: Did your brother go with you?
DANIELS: Yeah, he went with me.
SCHLEIDT: What company was that? Do you remember?
DANIELS: Forty-seven ninety-two.
SCHLEIDT: Forty-seven ninety-two.
DANIELS: Mm-hm. Yeah. But it wasn’t Forest Service. It was [Leroy Proclamation? 17:35].
DANIELS: Yeah, which was the same thing.
SCHLEIDT: And what did you do for the year that you were at Camp Shady?
DANIELS: I drove a truck.
SCHLEIDT: You drove a truck.
DANIELS: After about—all of that history [unintelligible; 17:52] got into truck driving [unintelligible; 17:53]. I worked on—well, I helped finish that bridge at Carter’s Creek [sic; Carter Creek Camp. Source: http://www.militarycampgrounds.us/milcamps/68-utah/198-carter-creek-camp ] They built that bridge, and we finished it up the first week I was there. And then Harley Harp was a foreman with the Forest Service, and he had a [unintelligible; 18:08]. We [unintelligible; 18:15]. Then they had a truck driving school that come up and got into it, and [unintelligible; 18:24].
SCHLEIDT: Were you part of the road construction crew?
DANIELS: Yeah, I was. All of them are road construction crews. [Laughs.]
DANIELS: Yeah, and we cleaned those recreation areas, Shady Lake, Albert Pike [Recreation Area] and all the recreation [unintelligible; 18:43]. Guard Springs. [Transcriber’s note: Verify this.]
SCHLEIDT: Did you ever go up to the towers?
DANIELS: Oh, yeah. I used to [unintelligible; 18:58.] I’d go from Shady to Talls Mountain [sic; Tall Peak Mountain. Source: http://arklahomahiker.org/tag/mena-oden-district-ouachita-forest/ ]. You know where Talls Mountain is? [unintelligible; 19:07]. I stayed on the Talls Peak [sic; Tall Peak] there.
SCHLEIDT: Was that when it was a stone base?
SCHLEIDT: What did you keep in the base of this tower?
DANIELS: I’d just go up there and stay all day. Pack my lunch and come home at night, come back to camp at night.
SCHLEIDT: Oh, okay. Did someone come pick you up?
DANIELS: No, I took the truck and kept it all day.
DANIELS: There was usually two of us went, and [unintelligible; 19:36].
SCHLEIDT: So you served at Tall Peak?
DANIELS: Tall Peak and Talls Mountain.
SCHLEIDT: Talls Mountain.
DANIELS: You couldn’t get to Talls Mountain. You had to walk up that mountain to get [unintelligible; 19:43]. If you carried anything—we had to carry it. If you had [unintelligible; 19:47], you carried it. Got to stay over there all day, and [unintelligible; 19:53]. Now, you go out the Big Fork, go down towards Norman and turn right down there [unintelligible; 20:00]. It’s north of [Langston? 20:00].
SCHLEIDT: I’ve got a map that shows the location of it.
DANIELS: An old map.
SCHLEIDT: A 1940 map, I believe.
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 20:09]?
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 20:13] more than [unintelligible; 20:14].
SCHLEIDT: Oh, okay.
DANIELS: Nobody else [unintelligible; 20:14].
MAN: Did you ever stay on Big Mountain?
DANIELS: I don’t think I ever stayed on [unintelligible; 20:19]. [Hiram Lawrence? 20:19] stayed on that all the time. Yeah. But I stayed on Tall Peak.
SCHLEIDT: Did you enjoy it, being a lookout?
DANIELS: Yeah, well, I didn’t have to work.
DANIELS: I just sat around and look.
SCHLEIDT: [Laughs.] Did you ever work with on a fire?
DANIELS: Oh, yeah! Lots of them. Go out and fight fires.
SCHLEIDT: With what?
DANIELS: [Canceling tool? 20:45]. Had an old five-gallon water bag hanging on your bag with a pump on it.
SCHLEIDT: Shovels? [Flaps? 20:51]?
DANIELS: No, I didn’t carry a shovel. I carried—they called them [canceling tools? 20:56]. I’ve got one.
MAN: Yeah. It’s a fire rake.
DANIELS: It’s a fire rake, what it is. You got a [unintelligible; 21:03] blade, cutters on it. It’ll cut. [unintelligible; 21:10]. Yeah.
MAN: [unintelligible; 21:12].
DANIELS: They called it a canceling tool.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. Is that an [Indian cam? 21:15] you wore on the back?
DANIELS: No, it was a can of water.
SCHLEIDT: I know in Mississippi they called them Indian—
DANIELS: A five-gallon can of water.
SCHLEIDT: The brand name was Indian.
DANIELS: I don’t know what it was, but—
MAN: [unintelligible; 21:24] metal one?
SCHLEIDT: Metal one?
DANIELS: Yeah, it’s heavy.
SCHLEIDT: Oh, it’s heavy.
DANIELS: Yeah, and you fill it up with water, and then you got a thing you have to pump that water out.
SCHLEIDT: Was it effective?
DANIELS: [No audible response.]
SCHLEIDT: No? I didn’t think so.
DANIELS: It’s a job carrying it up them mountains. [unintelligible; 21:43] up to the fire line, you know. Five gallons is all we had. You run out, you had to go get some more.
SCHLEIDT: The nearest creek?
DANIELS: Yep, that’s where you filled them, the nearest water hole. They had a—they called it a hotshot crew, six men. And they had a pickup with a sireen [sic; siren] and everything on it, like a firefighting rig. When they got a fire alarm, they sent them first, and they had their equipment. The same thing, but they [unintelligible; 22:16]. They’d go in there first, [unintelligible; 22:19]. They called them hotshot crews. Yeah. I remember some of the guys [unintelligible; 22:24].
SCHLEIDT: So what did you do for weekend fun?
DANIELS: If I didn’t get to come home, and most of the time I didn’t—summertime, we played things from home and stuff like that.
DANIELS: Nah. No place to play basketball out at Camp Shady.
SCHLEIDT: It was baseball.
DANIELS: Lay around and tell yarns.
SCHLEIDT: Did you play cards?
DANIELS: Yeah, played cards, dominos.
SCHLEIDT: Did you go to Mena?
DANIELS: It’s the only place when we get—yeah, we’d go to Mena occasionally.
SCHLEIDT: How did you get there?
DANIELS: It was illegal. [Laughs.] The guys wasn’t supposed to have cars up there, but they did. They had them hid in those thickets down there. We knew they had the cars.
SCHLEIDT: So did you have formation on Saturday mornings?
DANIELS: Formation. Every morning.
SCHLEIDT: Oh, every morning.
DANIELS: Yeah, you fell out every morning. And every evening. Army. See, Army was in control there. They’d march you [unintelligible; 23:38]. They’d make you drill just like you do in the regular Army. You’d fall out in formation every morning. Each crew would be assigned a certain [unintelligible; 23:51].
SCHLEIDT: Did you have barrack inspections?
DANIELS: They went over them things with a fine-toothed comb.
SCHLEIDT: Did they?
DANIELS: Yeah. Man! Them barracks had to be spic and span.
SCHLEIDT: So you had to learn how to make your own bed.
DANIELS: Oh, yes. That’s where they got most of their extra duty, in them barracks [unintelligible; 24:18].
SCHLEIDT: How was the food in the mess hall?
DANIELS: Most of the time it was good. Very few times [unintelligible; 24:26].
SCHLEIDT: Did you gain weight?
DANIELS: Yup. Sure did. Everybody did. Had good clothes to wear, too.
SCHLEIDT: Really? What was your uniform like?
DANIELS: It was Regular Army uniform for dress uniform, and then we had blue jeans, blue denim. Dungarees, they called them, for work clothes. Yeah.
SCHLEIDT: What did you wear when you went to town?
DANIELS: We wore a dress uniform or civilian clothes.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. And how often did you have to wear the dress uniform?
DANIELS: Oh, about every day. When we got in from work, the Army would make us fall out there, the whole outfit, if you wasn’t assigned to some special duty, and then you’d have to put on that dress uniform, and you’d drill for maybe a hour, marching—you know, just like you was in the Regular Army. Drill like that, and then they’d dismiss you, and you’d go back and get ready for mess, chow.
SCHLEIDT: What’d you do after dinner?
DANIELS: Played pool or stuff like there down in the rec room.
SCHLEIDT: Did you take any classes?
DANIELS: Some of them did. I didn’t. You could finish your high school education [unintelligible; 25:46]. I’d already done that, finished high school, so I didn’t have [unintelligible; 25:49].
SCHLEIDT: What kind of courses did they offer?
DANIELS: I don’t remember.
SCHLEIDT: No, you don’t remember. Photography? Radio?
DANIELS: I don’t remember. I wasn’t [unintelligible; 25:56].
SCHLEIDT: Did your camp have, like—you know, they had, like, a poultry program or pigs?
DANIELS: [No audible response.]
SCHLEIDT: No? Mmm. Okay. Did you serve in the Army after that?
DANIELS: Well, yes, I served in the Navy after that in World War II, and then got out of that and came back home, and I re-enlisted in the Army and served in the Army in Korea.
MAN: [unintelligible; 26:26].
SCHLEIDT: Yeah, really.
DANIELS: I [unintelligible; 26:29].
SCHLEIDT: Yeah. Wow! Okay! Anything else? Hmm.
MAN: [unintelligible; 26:42] everything you need to know here.
SCHLEIDT: I’ll probably have more questions for you. [Laughs.]
DANIELS: Well, this guy lived down in Texas. He comes by here [unintelligible; 26:48]. Earl Hale is his name. He was [unintelligible; 26:55]. We done lots of things together. [unintelligible; 27:00].
SCHLEIDT: What’s his last name?
DANIELS: Earl Hale.
DANIELS: Mm-hm. I can [unintelligible; 27:02] Earl Hale.
SCHLEIDT: Do either one of you have photographs when you were at Camp Shady?
DANIELS: I don’t think I—
SCHLEIDT: Or the yearbook? Did you ever get a yearbook?
DANIELS: Yeah, I’ve had a yearbook. I don’t know where it’s at.
SCHLEIDT: I know, but that’s a 1937.
DANIELS: Yeah, I’ve seen that one.
DANIELS: That was before [cross-talk; unintelligible; 27:21].
SCHLEIDT: I’m looking for a different one.
MAN: Forrest Barton.
DANIELS: Yeah, old Forrest Barton.
MAN: [unintelligible; 27:28].
DANIELS: Fred Barton was in there when I was, Forrest’s brother. Did you know him?
MAN: I [unintelligible; 27:32].
MAN: [unintelligible; 27:31] Forrest.
DANIELS: Yeah, I knew both of them. But Fred was there when I was. Fred Barton.
SCHLEIDT: Was it mostly young boys from Arkansas in your camp?
DANIELS: Yeah. We had one guy from Oklahoma that I remember. He was from Shawnee, Oklahoma. But most of them was from Van Buren. Well, one of them from Lockesburg and down south of Ashdown, Polk County. [unintelligible; 28;04]. There’s several from [unintelligible; 28:07], Glenwood, in that area. Yeah, most of them was from Arkansas, [unintelligible; 28:10].
SCHLEIDT: Would you say that most of them planted trees or worked on construction?
DANIELS: They had some planted trees, but most of them was just—you know, there was some general construction to get things going. Those trees that’s planted around this build-—and this was open field here [Refers to a map.] And we took dump trucks and went out in them hills and had shovels, and we’d find a little seedling and we’d shovel it up and bring it in, and we planted that whole field with pine seedlings.
MAN: So all that in there [unintelligible; 28:47].
SCHLEIDT: It could be.
DANIELS: It probably is. It was open field, and we went out in them—
SCHLEIDT: He’s talking about the open area between Highway 25 and the Forest Service building on the right-hand side.
DANIELS: Mm-hm. Yeah, we planted that one, and dug them up by hand. You know, I’d just go around where you could find them. We’d load them in the trucks and bring them in, and then we’d set them out there.
SCHLEIDT: I’ve read in newsletters about planting 200 rose bushes?
DANIELS: I don’t remember anything like that.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. And something about putting flowers, bulbs? Like, daffodils around the flagpole?
DANIELS: Yeah, mm-hm.
MAN: [unintelligible; 29:23].
SCHLEIDT: Yeah. Oh, I’ve seen—there’s bulbs coming out now.
DANIELS: They’re probably still there, yeah.
SCHLEIDT: There’s one other—there’s something in front of—I guess it’s this building. It’s round, about this big [demonstrates], and it’s lined with rock. It’s circular, and it has a pipe in the middle. Did you have a water fountain or something?
DANIELS: No, not that I remember. Not in front of that recreation building. They had a big platform out there, bigger than this room, you know. That’s where the Army lieutenants—they’d get up on that platform and shout out their orders to us. And then they’d have boxing matches, and they’d be up on that platform there.
DANIELS: Yeah. Well, we—
SCHLEIDT: Do you know where the septic tank—
[Recording error. No sound from 30:17 to end of recording at 36:13] [Begin Part 2.]
MAN: They think it’s the septic tank.
DANIELS: Yeah? If they had one, I don’t know. It could be.
SCHLEIDT: It’s about six feet deep, full of water right now. And it’s poured concrete, and it’s got about two pipes running through it.
DANIELS: They could have had a basement around the mess hall somewhere up there. I don’t know.
MAN: They found a cellar off of the mess hall.
SCHLEIDT: We found a cellar, the root cellar next to—on the south side of the mess hall.
DANIELS: Mm-hm, yep.
SCHLEIDT: We found two chimneys, and one of them has—and I suspect the one that has the sign that says “Company 742” is the one that you’re talking about, the [unintelligible; 2-0:45], because it does have something that looks like a tall platform on one side.
DANIELS: Mm-hm. Okay.
SCHLEIDT: And then on the other side, it has that circular—I want to call it a fountain. I don’t know what else it would be. But the flagpole—was it metal or was it wood?
DANIELS: I don’t have any idea.
SCHLEIDT: Did it have anything around it, or was it just in the ground?
DANIELS: It was in the ground up there. Probably—old Marv-—you know, we’d have to fall out and we’d have to stand at attention while they raised the flag. Marvin Furr and Jack Lewis was the ones that did all that, if you remember them.
MAN: I remember Marvin Furr.
DANIELS: Well, Jack Lewis was—Marvin was a P.A., they called it.
DANIELS: And Jack Lewis was a P.A. And they raised the flag every morning, and we had to stand at attention every morning.
DANIELS: And Jack Lewis and Marvin Furr.
SCHLEIDT: I think we’re going go through the privet and kind of pace it from the root cellar to find the flagpole.
DANIELS: It was down—you know—let’s see, this road goes up here, and it turns. That flagpole was right in—this may be—this got to be it, probably.
DANIELS: Because, yeah, we’d line up all out to here, you know, all along in this vacant spots here. We’d stand at attention. They’d raise the flag.
SCHLEIDT: What was your mess kit like?
DANIELS: You’ve seen Army mess kits, haven’t you?
SCHLEIDT: Is that what it was?
DANIELS: Yeah, same thing.
SCHLEIDT: Did you keep any of that?
DANIELS: Yeah, I’ve got one up there in my junk house, yeah.
SCHLEIDT: I might have to come back and photograph it.
DANIELS: I’ve got an old canteen and an old canteen cup and a mess kit up there stored in my junk house somewhere. Yeah.
SCHLEIDT: Next time you pull it out, let me know and I’ll come photograph it.
DANIELS: I’ll see if I can find them. I haven’t seen them in years, but they’re up there somewhere. [unintelligible; 2-2:38].
SCHLEIDT: Yeah. Mm-hm. Okay.
Well, I think that—
DANIELS: Yeah, a good—they’d always tell us—we had that mess kit on us. That canteen bottle was on us every time we went out to work, and they’d check to see if you had that stuff because [unintelligible; 2:59] brought your food out. You had to have that mess kit to eat out of.
DANIELS: Yeah. Now, I’d go back and forth, hauling supplies from Hot Springs to Shady, and I carried my lunch with me. Old William Bowen was the cook over there. And he’d fix me whatever they had the best. I [unintelligible; 3:25]. I’d carry my [unintelligible; 3:28].
SCHLEIDT: William Bollen?
DANIELS: William Bowen, B-o-w-e-n.
SCHLEIDT: There’s my cook.
DANIELS: Has he recorded?
SCHLEIDT: See, that’s why I want the older annuals.
DANIELS: He was there.
SCHLEIDT: Because the annuals would give you a list of all the CCC enrollees.
DANIELS: He was there early in the ’30s, and then he was there when I was. William Bowen. Yeah. And let’s see, [unintelligible; 3:53] cook [unintelligible; 3:54]? Yeah. Well, he’s dead now. Junior Roberts from Wickes. He was a cook there.
MAN: Was he there at the same time Buck [unintelligible; 4:05]?
DANIELS: Probably, yeah. Junior was. Yup. Buck was there ahead of me.
MAN: Buck was ahead of you?
DANIELS: Mm-hm, yeah.
MAN: See, he didn’t tell me when he was there. I’ve been [unintelligible; 4:17] with him.
DANIELS: Yeah, he was there ahead of me. Buck was—I went in legal. Buck lied a little bit. He went in early. [Laughs.] I guess he told you that.
MAN: He told me. [Laughs.]
SCHLEIDT: That’s okay. A lot of them did that.
DANIELS: Buck’s only about six months older than me.
DANIELS: And he was there in Norman when I went up there.
DANIELS: Or just [unintelligible; 4:39].
DANIELS: Frank Smedley was there. He was the blacksmith. They had a blacksmith.
DANIELS: Frank Smedley, yeah.
SCHLEIDT: And where was his shop located?
DANIELS: There by—well, it’s in this area up here [refers to a map] somewhere, probably up—that looks like the garage up there, where they done—“Old Sleepy” [Burress? 5:02]. Did you ever know him?
MAN: [unintelligible; 5:02].
DANIELS: He lived there at Old Alice. He was the head mechanic there. He worked for the Forest Service. Claude Dillard. Did you know Claude Dillard?
MAN: [unintelligible; 5:10].
DANIELS: He was a mechanic there. Robert Crawford worked up there. Those guys are all dead now.
MAN: Yeah. See, that’s—
MAN: This is scraping up, you know, history from—
SCHLEIDT: A long time ago.
MAN: A long time ago.
DANIELS: They had a—and I can just see that guy’s face, but I can’t put a name on it. He was a baker. You know, he done all the baking—
DANIELS: —in the mess hall, but I can’t think of his name, but I can just see him perfectly. I’ll think of it.
SCHLEIDT: Well, if I ever come across the 1940-’41 annual or yearbook, then I can come up with the list of all the enrollees.
DANIELS: Yeah. Well, I’m on that picture. They took—when you went in up there, they dressed you out with a uniform then lined you up and took your picture.
SCHLEIDT: Did you get one of those long—
SCHLEIDT: Do you still have it?
DANIELS: No, I don’t. I don’t know where—my brother’s probably still got it. He’s in California.
SCHLEIDT: Mmm. Kind of expensive [chuckles] to go visit him!
DANIELS: I tell you who had some of that stuff, over at [unintelligible; 2-6:18] Camp. Buster Brown had a bunch of old pictures. He used to bring them to those reunions. Did you know Buster?
MAN: I don’t know Buster.
DANIELS: Well, did you know Barney [Brown]?
MAN: I knew Barney.
DANIELS: Well, Buster was a brother to Barney. Barney was in the camp when I was, mm-hm, and Buster had a bunch of pictures. He’d bring them. You know, they used to have a reunion out at Shady [unintelligible; 2-6:41].
DANIELS: Buster would bring in pictures.
MAN: Well, he did, and old Foot Slade—
DANIELS: Foot Slade did, too, yeah.
MAN: You know. And I don’t know if Foot’s son has got all that stuff or not.
SCHLEIDT: So that’s someone else we have to talk to. All I have is one photograph, from 1934.
DANIELS: Let’s see, there’s some guys live there [unintelligible; 2-7:08]. I know there someone still there that was in the camps.
MAN: I don’t know, though.
DANIELS: Dale Bunyard—I think he’s dead, though. Dale Bunyard was up there. Buddy Lloyd was a first sergeant, but he’s dead.
DANIELS: He had a brother named Homer Dale Lloyd, and he was out there, but he’s dead.
MAN: He’s dead?
MAN: And, see, there ain’t many of you guys left. You know, we’re scraping up history with very little to go on.
SCHLEIDT: Yeah, and this is the 75th anniversary of the CCC, so—
DANIELS: Earl Hale will come by here, and I’m hem him up, and I’ll make him—he’ll have a lot of information.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. All right.
DANIELS: Because his mind’s still good. Mine’s not. [Laughs.]
MAN: Oh, yours is good.
SCHLEIDT: Very good!
MAN: But I went and talked to Buck, you know?
SCHLEIDT: That’s the way I found out you were there.
MAN: Because I talked to Buck.
DANIELS: Leroy Alexander lived down here. He was there, too.
DANIELS: He lived down south of Vandervoort, down there by that pond. He was there.
DANIELS: Leroy Alexander.
SCHLEIDT: Leroy Alexander.
SCHLEIDT: What town?
DANIELS: He lives here in Vandervoort.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. We’ll find him. See, one of my—one of our dreams is to clean out Camp Shady and to make it interpretive, like a little hiking—
DANIELS: If I could go up there and walk over that ground, I could point out every [unintelligible; 2-8:38] to you.
DANIELS: But I can’t do it. [Laughs.]
MAN: Now you can. [unintelligible; 2-8:44]. We can get you there, Dolan. If you’re willing to go, we can get you there. If you can say, “This is where such was at and this was at such was at.”
SCHLEIDT: Just give us a little more time to start—
DANIELS: I’ve got that old camp in my mind, you know. Yeah. There were six barracks down there. They all was lined up west of the mess hall. Right on the north end of where them barracks was at, that’s where the latrine was, and that may be some of the pits—you know, there was a big pit dug out there, you know. The latrine was made there. That may be what you’re finding where—
DANIELS: —concreted in with water standing. It could be. With pipes going out of it?
SCHLEIDT: Mm-hm. But, then, everything’s got pipes in it.
SCHLEIDT: Metal and ceramic.
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 2-9:35] what they did. And that’s where they had—well, they had a boiler down there where they heat the water and stuff, you know?
SCHLEIDT: Where was that at?
DANIELS: In the latrine.
SCHLEIDT: In the latrine?
DANIELS: Mm-hm. Yeah.
SCHLEIDT: How many showers?
DANIELS: I don’t remember. They had a room with showers there. I don’t remember how many.
SCHLEIDT: Did you have to wait in line?
DANIELS: Well, not too bad. Back then, they didn’t want to get that dirt off of them.
SCHLEIDT: Oh, no!
DANIELS: We’d come in and shower, and then we went out for formation, they call it. Then we’d drill for maybe an hour.
SCHLEIDT: And then you went to eat.
DANIELS: Then we went to eat, yeah.
SCHLEIDT: What time did you get up in the morning?
DANIELS: [unintelligible; 2-10:18].
DANIELS: Early. Yeah, reveille. Early. Like the Army. Just like the Army. In fact, that’s what it was, an army, all except what you did in the daytime. Everything else was controlled by an army.
MAN: [unintelligible; 2-10:32] these [head walls? 2-10:33] up at some of these roads over there. Did y’all build that?
DANIELS: Yep, mm-hm. Yep. Yep. And a little [duck nest? 2-10:42]. Do you know what I’m talking about?
DANIELS: Where them culverts is. We made them duck nests, too.
SCHLEIDT: Where’d you get the concrete?
DANIELS: Down at Mena.
SCHLEIDT: And you’d mix it right there at the jobsite?
DANIELS: Yup. Sure did. Out of mortar box.
SCHLEIDT: A mortar box.
SCHLEIDT: How big is that?
DANIELS: Well, some of them would be about five feet wide and six feet long or something like that, and you’d pour sand and gravel, cement in there, and you had a hose to mix it with, pour water in there. One time, they got cement for something. We had that road tore up from Sandy to Old Alice. And they had two carloads of cement come in, and we hauled that all night long and went around the Big Fork and came into Shady, and we stored it up there where that ranger station was, you know, right west of the Shady schoolhouse. There was a ranger station there. That’s where we stored all that cement. We hauled that in the old dump trucks, sacks of cement.
MAN: So you don’t even know where that ranger station was at, though.
DANIELS: Well, you do, I’m sure.
DANIELS: Now, you growed up out there, didn’t you?
DANIELS: Well, mm-hm.
MAN: [They have a roof line? 11:59].
DANIELS: Yeah. Mm-hm. Shady—see, that’s the camp [refers to a map]. All right, you come down here. That ranger station was right along—
SCHLEIDT: Isn’t that it?
DANIELS: That’s about here.
SCHLEIDT: That’s it. That’s it.
DANIELS: Shady—is that the camp?
DANIELS: Oh, that’s a ranger station.
SCHLEIDT: That’s a ranger station.
DANIELS: Okay. Yeah, okay.
SCHLEIDT: That’s the town, and that’s the camp.
MAN: And there’s the camp.
DANIELS: Yeah, we’re coming from the west. That’s right. Yeah, mm-hm.
SCHLEIDT: Yeah, mm-hm.
DANIELS: There’s the camp. Yeah, that’s right.
SCHLEIDT: Did you guys ever handle dynamite?
DANIELS: Yeah, lots of it. And they kept that dynamite up there by Tall Peak Tower.
MAN: Was it Tall Peak or Eagle Mountain?
DANIELS: Eagle Mountain. Yeah, Eagle Mountain. They had—what did they call them?
MAN: Powder house.
SCHLEIDT: Powder house.
DANIELS: Powder house. Yeah.
MAN: Those are still there.
DANIELS: Are they? Yeah, that’s where they kept it stored at. Yeah, I carried it in there and carried it out.
SCHLEIDT: Oh, did you?
DANIELS: Yeah, mm-hm. There’s an old—they had a powder monkey, they called it. He done all the dynamite. And I went to school on that and learned how to shoot it, myself, right there at Shady.
DANIELS: I was a qualified powder monkey, yeah. Sure was.
SCHLEIDT: So how much did you do with the dynamite?
DANIELS: Well, when they do some shooting, you know, why, we’d go in and put that dynamite in the hole when they’d drill it out and set the fuse, the fire, and let her blow.
SCHLEIDT: Was that basically to construct the road?
DANIELS: Whatever it was needed for.
SCHLEIDT: Or stump removal.
MAN: What about the lookouts on Sugar Creek Vista, Buckeye Vista?
MAN: Did y’all build those?
DANIELS: Yeah. And all that stuff down at Shady Lake—now, that was before my time, but they did that, too. They built that bath house down there at Shady Lake. Yup.
SCHLEIDT: So Camp Wilder was closed by the time—
DANIELS: By the time I went in, yeah. I know where Camp Wilder was at. Yeah. And they had a sub-camp down here on Brushy [Creek; Source: http://www.arkansas.com/places-to-stay/detail.aspx?id=23271 ].
SCHLEIDT: A sub-camp? That’s the first I’ve heard of it.
DANIELS: Yeah. Do you remember anything about it?
MAN: No. I haven’t heard anything about that.
DANIELS: I can take you and show you the spot. It’s down there—well, I couldn’t get in there because—you go down—you know where Dolan Davis lived?
DANIELS: Past his place and turn left and go down across Brushy and go up about a quarter, and there was a big buil[ding]. They had a sub-camp there.
DANIELS: Yeah, mm-hm. I’ve been there.
SCHLEIDT: What was in the camp?
DANIELS: They had a bunch of boys down there doing work, you know.
SCHLEIDT: Was there any buildings?
DANIELS: Yeah, one big building. They had a mess hall and barracks and everything all in one building. It was a big building. If you’ve ever been down there on Brushy, between them pole bridges?
DANIELS: That’s where that sub-camp was at, on the east side of Brushy. I’ve been there when it was there. Mm-hm.
SCHLEIDT: Was there any rock or concrete foundation?
DANIELS: I don’t know what—
DANIELS: That’s been so long ago, I don’t remember.
SCHLEIDT: Yeah. We have to look for it and see if there’s anything—
DANIELS: It’s about halfway between them old pole bridges on Brushy there.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. That’s new, because I’ve never read of that.
DANIELS: Yeah, they had a sub-camp there.
SCHLEIDT: And that was while you were working there in ’41.
DANIELS: No, that was before ’41.
SCHLEIDT: That was before ’41?
DANIELS: Yeah, that was way—that was back in the ’30s, back about ’35, ’34, somewhere along there.
SCHLEIDT: Did you ever go to Eagleton, Camp Eagleton?
DANIELS: No, never did.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. Well, that closed, what, ’38?
DANIELS: I think it did. I know where it was at, but I never was there. Well, I’ve been there where it was at, but I wasn’t there when it was a camp.
SCHLEIDT: Because I remember reading about the boys from Camp Shady being sent to Camp Eagleton to dismantle it.
SCHLEIDT: Okay, and bring back some blacksmithing equipment.
DANIELS: Yeah. Okay.
SCHLEIDT: Okay. Can you think of anything else?
SCHLEIDT: Me neither.
MAN: You got all you need?
SCHLEIDT: I think for now. Like I said, I might ask you some more questions later, as I start—
DANIELS: I hope I can answer them.
SCHLEIDT: —becoming more familiar with all this stuff. Well, thank you very much, sir.
DANIELS: Well, I’m glad to do it.
SCHLEIDT: Hey! I’m glad you spoke to us.
[End of interview.]