Paul Wittreich


Paul can be contacted at wingwitt@velocity.net.

Some times in life we take various paths that lead inadvertently to other things. It becomes a new life style. Mine is how I got into writing books. Bear with me on how I indirectly, through athletics, got into book writing.

When I was a bench chemist for almost 15 years, I stood on my feet most of the day, so when I got home I wanted to sit down and stay down. Subsequently when I started to play tennis and squash , I wanted to get into good shape. In addition, I went hiking with my oldest son, Bill, on the Long Trail in Vermont over three summers. All this led  to hiking the whole Appalachian Trail over 19 years encompassing 49 separate hikes.

Meanwhile I was doing a lot of running to be in shape which led to running 13 marathons. Ultimately I got bored with running so I bought a bike, a Schwinn 12 speed, at the age of 59. One day out for a last run, it occurred to me I could bike from Tenafly, NJ to Chicago in a week or more. This was the first of four sections of the USA biking coast to coast.

End result, a book, Hike/Bike America. Next I bought a tandem bike, resulting in two trips in America, the length of the Mississippi Rivers and a coast to coast following the Southern route. And next a solo ride across the breadth of Canada, 4,400 miles. During this time I was asked to draw a cachet for the 75th anniversary of Alcock and Brown's first non-stop across the Atlantic ocean going from North America to Europe in 1919. This prompted an interest early aviation pioneers. Net result, two books on pioneer aviation.

Lastly, since I was doing a lot of photography and drawing, resulting in two childrens books plus a couple of photographic books.

I have oftem wondered how I became interested in art. Once when I was in high school, I attended a school assembly in which the
outside speaker presented a slide show of Millet. I was enthralted much to my surprise since neither of my parents were into art but dramatics.

Since I wanted to have a profession using my hands, chemistry was my vocation, but art was my avocation and in retrospect it might have been the other way around as I took numerous courses in art over the years including one at the Art Students League in New York City.

As John Gnagy always said "pick up the pencil and draw " I literally did. From there, fifty years ago, I painted in egg tempera, then oil and finally with acrylics using rollers to created abstracts. Somehow in addition, I graduated to photography using the old work horse, a Pentac K1000.  The experience in photography included developing my own film, using an enlarger for producing various prints.

Lastly, I must tell you about the collages I created for works of art produced for each year in the 20th Century. Thus, there is a collage for each year in the 20th Century, all one hundred. I looked at an estimated 60,000 images on the internet, choose about 60 for each year resulting in 6,000 images overall in the collages. I cannot sell these digital collages because of copyright matters, but it was an education and a half to say the least. I love art and feel driven to produce it regardless whether I succeed in having an outside audience.

I hope you enjoy what I have here on the website as I enjoy producing it.