Obbie grew up in a family supported by a state trooper, and most of the family continues to consist of unionized public employees. He paid attention to the anti-war, civil rights and environmental protests of the day; and to the machinations of the political world in which he could not yet vote.
Obbie participated in student government every year he was enrolled at UW-Eau Claire. After a disastrous run for Student Body President, the winning candidate (who characterized Obbie’s campaign as “brilliant”) appointed him to his “cabinet”. This is where he learned that – for him – it is much more fun to campaign for office than it is to serve.
His young adult life was spent with a collective that supported itself thru publication and sale of an underground newspaper. Themes centered on environmental stewardship, breaking free of the “Money Monarchy”, and basing our social systems on cooperation and communication rather than competition for money. For many years, Obbie’s daily life consisted of hundreds of quick conversations each day promoting these values as he distributed the ‘zine’ to all corners of the United States.
Since leaving the commune, Obbie carried the world view he developed there into loud, in-your-face protest and activism. He was arrested twice during a mass protest at California’s Diablo Canyon nuke in the early 80’s; and was part of a coalition of environmentalists, outdoorsmen and Indigenous groups that forced the cancellation of the Crandon Mine in north-eastern Wisconsin.
He continues to be an active campaigner for ecological sustainability, economic fairness and social justice on a local and global level.
Rozie grew up in a family that operated a blacksmith, welding and machine shop in southeast Kansas. She helped her mother with scheduling and bookkeeping while her father built and repaired equipment for farmers and oil rig operators in the surrounding area.
During her young adult life, Rozie lived in Lawrence, Kansas and in Kansas City. She had a series of jobs in the hospitality business ranging from waiting tables in small diners to feeding hundreds of people in large hotels and convention centers. This is where she developed the kitchen management and event planning skills that were applied to her own catering business later on.
She worked for about ten years in the publishing business in Kansas City, first as a typesetter and proofreader, and then as part of the editorial staff of Workbench magazine, a venerable trade publication for woodworkers.
In the early 90’s, Rozie joined the staff of KKFI community radio in Kansas City, where she organized events and hosted a popular international music show. She developed an interest in saving old-growth forests and other environmental causes, and channeled her skills into organizing events to benefit these causes.
Since joining Obbie in 1993, she became an expert at serving healthy vegetarian food in challenging remote outdoor settings. She managed the kitchen for the national Round River Rendezvous in 1997, and catered several other functions in the North Woods of Wisconsin and Michigan. More recently, she is a go-to organizer of festivals, parades, and other gatherings for progressive activists.