John Obinger served with the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1941 to 1942, working in seven different locations over 14 months. In Minnesota, he cleared trails and worked on a variety of natural resource projects in the Chippewa National Forest, Deer River and Cass Lake. One day he ended up on K.P. (Kitchen Patrol), was asked to stay on permanently and was soon promoted to cook. He later transferred to work in Mount Rainer National Park in Washington.
Pictured here, John volunteers at the Conservation Corps Minnesota state fair booth every year to share stories and a photo album of his days in the CCC. Beside promoting the Corps, his favorite state fair favorite pastimes and watching the DNR’s Bird of Prey show and polka music. John and his wife, Elaine, live in Plymouth, Minn. (Photos and story by Brian Hubbard)