About John Friend
This is a short introduction to John and Patti Friend. We work together. She provides the grammar and writing skills I lack while I come up with the stories most of the time.
I will start out with John Friend since I know more about myself and will let Patti do her own section. Besides I am biased and would probably do it up too nice.
I was born in 1950 in Barberton, Ohio. I have lived in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, California, and Washington State. I traveled across the US thirteen times by the time I was thirteen. My father was a bricklayer who was also a jack of all trades. We moved where the grass was greener continually. Many times the work waiting was not what was expected. My family even operated a ride with a traveling carnival for a time.
My last few years before joining the Navy I lived in Washington State. That was the longest time in one spot ever—if you count moving to five different houses in three years. I have twenty-two and a half years in the military, but didn’t retire due to red tape, time in Guard service, and disabilities. Seventeen of those years was in the Navy, five and a half in the Army National Guard which required eight years service at the time. Like my father, I am a jack of all trades. Unlike him, I am a master of none. I have been a ditch digger, roofer, hod carrier, electronics tech., wheel and track mechanic, department head in retail, millwright’s assistant, valve fabricator, ad infinitum. Now I do a bit of writing, mostly to keep myself occupied.
Patti Friend was born Patricia Elaine Knapp at the Group Health Hospital in Seattle, Washington on August 2, 1951. Unlike John, I have lived my entire life in Washington State. My father was a sixth-grade teacher for the Kent School District and my mother was a homemaker.
I am the second of four daughters. We grew up on a small five-acre goat farm where we took care of thirteen nannies and a good-sized garden. I learned to can fruits and vegetables by the time I was six. When I was nine, I was helping with the milking.
I enjoy singing. My first impromptu solo was at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington when I was four and a half. I’ve been singing ever since.
Along with my singing, I enjoy crafting, reading, and—most of all—writing.
John and I both graduated from Kent-Meridian High School in June of 1969. After graduation, we went our separate ways and didn’t see each other for many years. In 1991, our paths crossed again. We had both recently been widowed and we renewed our acquaintance. We were married in June of 1994 in Marble Flats, Washington.
I have worked off and on doing several jobs. I have been a waitress, nurse’s aide, cook, tree farm worker, and institutional cook. I have volunteered an hour a week singing at a retirement center. I know many songs senior citizens really appreciate and it lifts my spirits to have them sing along with me when they know the songs I sing.
Note: The authors articles are sorted alphabetically. Because we spell out numbers, "four" comes before "one." This isn't a misteak, it's a decision. :-)
-- Gazette Staff