Demas Atencio, Version As Written
I was born and grew up in Walsenburg, CO, as were my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. I signed up at Walsenburg to join the CCC, along with three other young boys whose names were Ted Barros, Tony Anselmo, and Pat Vigil. We were sent to Co. 1848, Camp 13 at Morrison, CO the summer of 1935. I was there until late in 1937.
I am proud of having been a member of Camp SP-13-C. We had a fine relationship that existed between the members of our Company and the citizens of Morrison.
I am especially proud of having had a part in building the Red Rocks Park Amphitheatre; a masterful monument that will be there for Centuries for people to enjoy. I’d say it’s the most beautiful monument ever built by CCC. I wish all America could see it.
All the work was done by Co. 1848*, Camp SP-13-C members, of which 95 percent were Colorado Natives, working with pick and shovel and jackhammers. I operated a jackhammer. Sometimes in carving out the side of a cliff I was suspended by a rope which was attached to my belt and held by three men. I once injured my foot and was unable to work for a month. I still have a snapshot of my foot in bandages. Sometimes it was dangerous, but mostly it was hard work and we Colorado boys loved it.
After dinner at 5 pm a GI Truck would take us to Denver, drop us off in front of the State Capitol and we all scattered out to movies, dances, meeting girl friends and having fun. The deadline for pick-up back to Camp was midnight. Well, one night I missed the truck by five minutes and needless to say, I walked all the way (every inch of it) to Morrison. It was 15 miles, pitch black out (it was dark!) In those days with no lights, just open country and farms. I got into camp at 6 am just in time for roll call and breakfast, and a hard days work. Later I solved that problem by buying myself a Model A Convertible which took me into Denver every night. We were not allowed a car at camp so we parked in Morrison.
Camp SP-13-C was a meticulous camp, a show place. Many Dignitaries, political and business people came to visit the camp, from Denver and elsewhere.
After I left the CCC I served as Constable in Walsenberg, CO until 1941 when I moved to California where I now live.
I scan the CCC [Alumni] Journal for names of our Company members. I have never found one, I remember them all—Where are they? I still have the Roster with all their names and the towns where they lived in Colorado.
In June 1989 I attended a Colorado State CCC Reunion at the Camp hosted by Mile-High Chapter 7 Denver who have preserved and beautifully maintained the camp. I was graciously welcomed by all — a swell bunch of old time CCC fellows. The old feeling of camaraderie and friendship was still there.
Thanks to CCC!
—Demas Atencio, Sutter Creek, CA
All personal accounts are from Civilian Conservation Corps: the Way We Remember It, Nolte, M. Chester (ed), 1990, unless otherwise noted.
*Co. 1848 left the Mt. Morrison Camp in June 1937; Co. 1860-V then occupied the camp and completed work on the amphitheatre (through 1941), along with Co. 1822-V, from Genesee Camp SP-14-C.