The Gift Shop Featured Artist for April is Jack Fritz, author of “A Lifetime Adventure.” With his wife, Jill, Jack recently joined the Gift Shop group. Jack has provided his own artist’s statement.

Every day I look for the good and beautiful. I say “good, better, best” and filter out “bad and worse.” In personal relationships and everyday pursuits, I work for “creating and building” rather than “destroying and dismantling.” Asked my age, I reply “I’m 88, going on twelve!” I strive to find humor and laugh and move quickly if I encounter challenges. I enjoy keeping busy in all ways, but I’m definitely not a Type-A personality.

During my career I’ve done many kinds of professional writing, but “A Lifetime Adventure” is my first book. I feel that I have soloed and taken my first flight. The good reviews have surprised me. I wrote primarily for my two children and two grandchildren. Jill and I belong to the SaddleBrooke Genealogy Club. A guest speaker told how she developed her memoir, then five-years ago, I started writing my book after visiting cousins in Norway. When I recalled an experience, I would make notes and write it out. As Jill and I talked, she would make suggestions. Memories came more easily for me when hand-written before Jill set them in Word.

We put the book together last March when COVID-19 hit when we couldn’t do much else. I did most of my writing in our den, looking at the birds and the Catalina Mountains, or on the patio. We frequently rearranged the format. After getting help from Richard Spitzer from the SaddleBrooke Computer Club, we used software for captions and pictures. This summer we found Book House Publishing in Bellingham, Washington; they were wonderful to work with.

My book describes most of my life’s experiences, but I have one important thing to note: we should appreciate what has been given to us. Born at the depth of the Great Depression, I started working when I was very young. After working through high school and college, I traveled in the Navy, moved to the Pacific Northwest, met Jill skiing at Stevens Pass, Washington, and worked at several organizations over the years. Jill and I have lived along Puget Sound since 1967. In 1993 we rafted the Colorado River and fell in love with Arizona. After retirement, because of the rainy Washington weather, we moved to SaddleBrooke in 2000.

I have enjoyed my creative experience. I am sure it will help those needing to overcome obstacles. To inspire my readers, I have offered the insights given to me from the professional people along my way.

As new members, we have enjoyed working in the Gift Shop the last couple of weeks. Our neighbors show amazing talent—and meeting the Gift Shop artists has been fun! We enjoy the customers’ pleasure with their purchases, and we recall our own first purchase, many years ago-- a walking stick for Jill’s dad.

Check out Jack’s web site. Visit jackfritzauthor.com.


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