Bob’s father, Gilbert Friedberg, was born in Ohio into a huge immigrant family and sent to work on a farm when he was a kid. About 18, he ran away to Detroit, where he caught on as a photographer’s assistant. A few years’ later he met Jeanne Greene, a young Jewish woman from Massachusetts, escorting her paralyzed mother to a spa in Michigan. They fell in love and married within a week.
Bob was born nine Depression years after Jeanne and Gil were married. His mother described him as a “barn door.” He was never small.
The happy trio when Bob was about 4.
Bob relaxing in front of porch, 38 Bryant Street, Malden, Massachusetts.
Cowboy Bob atop a passing pony.
Cowboy Bob loved his cap pistols.
Bob had to keep his eye on his little brother Steve.
Less than four years’ difference between them, Steve often leaned on Bob.
The brothers in their teens, posing as stud muffins.
In 1954, Bob shown here accepting the diplomas for the graduating seniors in the Malden High School Band. Bob sat as first seat in the trumpet section and composed marches (it pays to be good) and reigned as president (it pays to be tall).
After graduation from Boston University with a Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum Laude, Philosophy degree, Bob chose to join the U.S. Army and served in Germany in Battery C, 4th Missile Battalion, 7th Army instead of attending graduate school at Princeton University.
Bob, as book editor and author, standing on “the bridge that arched the flood” in Concord, Massachusetts.
Next to his wife and children, teaching became the great love of his life. Bob wrote to his old philosophy Professor Peter Bertocci: “When I teach, I ask myself, how would you have taught this class, how would you have challenged the students to pursue lives of goodness and courage?” Although Bertocci is now long dead, Bob’s convinced that Bertocci’s still challenging those around him to be the wisest, the justest, and the best they can be.
Is he happy, or what? Even his teeth are smiling. Bob and his one true and forever love, Susan. You are my 6 directions, there you’re found, My north, south, east, west, my up and down. You are my morning, afternoon, and night, My stars, my sunshine bright. You are my precious gem, For you I thank God, amen.
*May God bless and keep you always *May stars always surround you *May your wishes all come true *May you always do for others and let others do for you *May you see every painting ever hung *May you live every love song ever sung *May you stay forever righteous *May your heart be always courageous *May you stand upright and strong *May you live a life of truth a century long *May you stay forever young. [Thank you, Bob Dylan.]
Stephanie, Carolyn, Andrew--7, 1, 4.
13, 7, 10.
Carolyn = Cara
Andrew = Avi
Stephanie at Siesta Key.
Bob at his maternal grandparents’ graves. Orthodox Jewish cemetery, Melrose, Massachusetts.
Son Brother Husband Father Veteran Teacher Historian Editor Karateka Playwright Photographer Novelist Poet