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Alter Egos: Paul Gray/Paul Reimann

  Cover Story  

Paul Gray, professor of philosophy
My main avocation is fishing. My wife and I have a cabin on the Cedar River, and during the summer I spend much of my time at the cabin. The fishing I do there and in Iowa generally is Midwestern fishing, using a john boat and a 25-horsepower outboard motor to get to locations up and down the river. The fish I have caught include walleye, sturgeon, carp, catfish, freshwater drum, gar, and striped bass. I practice "catch and release" fishing. No fish are killed.

My fondest memories growingup are of time spent fishing. I spent my childhood fishing the rivers, lakes, and farm ponds of eastern Ohio and my family took annual fishing vacations in Canada. In 1996, I received a phone call from my closest high school friend, whom I had not seen in many years, asking if I would join him on a fly-fishing trip to the San Juan River in New Mexico. I agreed and since then we have made annual fly-fishing trips to some of the most spectacular locations and trout rivers in the American West.

I love to read philosophy and literature, and I teach philosophy and literature during the school year, with an emphasis on the topic of utopia. But, in the summer, I want to experience utopia, not just read about it and talk about it. To me, there is something truly utopian about being out in nature, surrounded by mountains in the West or by trees along the river in the Midwest, trying to capture, to "touch," for a moment or two at least, a beautiful fish-shaped "slice" of wilderness. My love of nature and love of wilderness is the closest that I will ever come to what could be called the "spiritual" in life and fishing is a constant reminder to me that human life is very much a part of natural life and natural life is but a short, ideally enjoyable, journey down a "river," with absolutely no further significance or meaning.

I had a dream last night. I saw Thoreau and Camus, sitting on the bank of a river, fishing. I join them, thrilled, but puzzled. I ask, "Is this Iowa?" They respond, in unison, "No, this is 'heaven.' "

Paul Reimann, assistant football and track coach
I produce graphite drawings of various subjects as a hobby for myself and as a business for customers. I draw a wide range of subjects including family portraits, actors and entertainers, sports montages, and anything that has meaning in my customers' lives. I started drawing as a kid but really got serious about it around 10 years ago. I draw from pictures and photographs and the best challenge for me is to arrange a group of pictures into an eye-catching montage.

A few years ago, I read an article about NFL quarterback Jeff Hostetler. He said that God has given everyone a talent and that it is up to us to utilize it. I'm very thankful for my drawing ability and when I don't work at it on a regular basis I feel somewhat guilty. So I want to be sure to stick with it. Who knows? When I've had enough of this coaching business perhaps my second career will be as an artist.

As a youngster, I copied pictures out of sports magazines and books. As I grew older and developed my skill, I studied techniques and styles of other artists, primarily Merv Corning and Paul Calle. A few years ago I discovered that Tubby Raymond, the head football coach at the University of Delaware, is also an accomplished artist. That was very motivating to me. My goal is to produce limited edition prints. Making a little money on the side is a nice benefit but I don't want my drawing to become work. I once drew seven separate pictures of family members for a customer and I had to have them done by a certain date. That was tough!

My artwork provides a nice release for me. It would be very easy to take my job home with me, and I often do just that with recruiting and watching film. I don't get to draw very much during the coaching season and most of my free time is spent with my family. But I believe all of us need a little time to ourselves. Whenever I can break away from the world, head to my drawing table, put on some music, and work on a project, that's a great way for me to recharge my batteries.

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