Robert Edwin Friend was born in 1947 in DeKalb Co., Indiana, attended a two-room country grade school, and graduated from Waterloo H.S. in 1965. After farm labor and mowing lawns in high school, he worked his way through college at Ball State University via electroplating, dormitory food service, B.&O. Railroad fireman, house trailer factories, rock 'n' roll band (lead guitarist), newspaper production, etc. He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in journalism. After college he taught school three years, then did professional photography seven years, followed by over thirty years in applied graphics and professional signage, including sales and management. He is currently semi-retired.
His personal interests include photography, writing, bicycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, home projects, guitar and travel. He also spends time collating pictorial and verbal recollections of DeKalb County's "good ol' days" and the Friend/Knox & Meyer/Saltsman families.
Bob and his wife Kerstin live in Wauconda Township, Illinois, and own three dogs (pugs) -- two boys and a girl; they have also assumed custody of Kerstin’s mom’s two female mixed-breeds. Bob has two children from his first marriage: Lindsey (now Moloney), b. 1974, graduate of St. Mary's College at Notre Dame, taught music in Kansas before the family’s recent move to the Milwaukee area; she had a baby boy, Cormac, in April '07 and another, Declan, in Nov. ’09 -- and then a girl, Keelin, in March ’12; her husband, Brian, is a physician (gastroenterologist). Jonathan, b. 1980, graduate of DePaul University, is Chief Operating Officer for Chicago’s Office of the City Clerk; his wife, Becky Carroll, is Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Public Schools; they live in the Loop.