The boy from Auburn has always craved adventure.
Carew Papritz, son of a rancher, was born in Yosemite National Park and lived his first year in a cabin tent.
He attended school in England, won a national writing award as a sixth-grader and went to a Norwegian ski academy. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1980.
Papritz joined a backcountry ski patrol and became a mountain guide in Washington. He dabbled as a freelance journalist and photographer and wrote a nationally bestselling book in his 20s.
Young, curious and ever restless, Papritz worked as a river raft guide in Grand Teton National Park. He hitch-hiked to Nova Scotia, lived briefly in New York City, drove tour buses in Alaska and tended bar in Hollywood, where he once mixed drinks for Bob Dylan and other guests at Roseanne Barr’s wedding.
A UCLA Film School graduate, Papritz wrote and produced movies and music videos, but soon realized that the fast-paced, overly romanticized lifestyle wasn’t for him.
So Papritz, looking for more out of life, returned to his roots.
He left the filmmaking business to work as a cowboy on a small cattle ranch in southern Arizona.
And he returned to his love of writing, creating powerful, inspirational fiction that draws from his many adventures and his fascination with the human condition.
“The Legacy Letters” is Papritz’s self-published ode to a father’s love for his children, containing quotes, wishes, letters of insight and infused with joy. The book, which has garnered national awards and rave reviews, resonates with families.
“It’s sort of a practical, moral and spiritual guidebook, a guidebook to life in essence,” Papritz said last week between book tour appearances in the Puget Sound area. The author, husband and father lives in Seattle when he isn’t in Arizona. “The book incorporates many Northwest values. … It’s a reminder of what’s important in life.
“One reader said it gave her permission to slow down,” he said.
And enjoy more out of life.
The story is intimate, passionate, humorous and authentic, reflective of the charismatic Papritz and his outlook on life.
In it, a dying father reveals personal letters, stories, memories and music, all of which one day guide the children he never lives to see. For his wife, however, it is a redemptive story of love.
The book connects with families and the challenges of raising children today. It’s about love and forgiveness.
“It’s important to be true to oneself, being genuine,” Papritz said of the book’s many messages. “It’s about talking straight and being generous.”
As to writing the book, the former Hollywood guy said he never thought about becoming a cowboy philosopher.
So is there one thing we can do today that will help us lead a legacy life?
“The time of your life is the greatest currency that you can give to someone. Share, give others your time,” he said. “It’s a cliche, but slow down and smell the roses. … Life is too short to be living it so fast. … Create legacy moments, share small moments of deep happiness, generosity, fairness.”