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The Guitar Master

Updated on April 30, 2011

This hub is a tribute to my late brother, Gerald LeFevre, and his son Michael.

My eldest brother Jerry wouldn't have been the easiest dad to live with. Jerry was a driven man. He succeeded, much better than any of the rest of us ever did, in the material sense. I imagine Jerry thought he was a good husband and father, because he provided well for his wife and children. I imagine he thought he was giving everyone everything they ever could want or need, without spoiling them.

But there were vast gaps in Jerry's education of how to be a husband, and how to be a father. Coming from the place we all came from, if he didn't actually beat you or scare you to pieces routinely, then he was doing better for you, Michael, and you, Jenia, and you, Leslie, than our Dad ever did for us.

Jerry did care, a LOT. He did really love you all, a lot. He just had no clue how to show it or how to be close to you.

He had no role model to follow of how to show women; wives and daughters, or children of any stripe, respect. He didn't know how to listen, to really listen. He could be very dismissive. He could be very sarcastic. He always had to win . And that could make his family feel small.

Jerry didn't use his good brain to examine his own life very much, or use it to figure out how to be a better husband and father. He used his good brain to figure out how to get ahead--and succeeded. He invented himself, practically from scratch. He worked for an IBM think tank. He was one of the very first data analysts in the country. He invented a robotic armature for anodizing computer chips. He had his own business, and sold it eventually, to buy a grape farm, where he died tragically at the age of 50 years old in a farming accident.

There were a few shady incidents in Jerry's career. I don't know the details and don't want to, really. I think most people that have made the moola sacrificed at least a little bit of an ethic somewhere along the way.

A Rose A Risen-intro from a music piece of the same name, by Alfonso Mudarra, 1510-1580, played by my nephew, Michael LeFevre

My brother's son Michael had to fight with Jerry about studying music. Jerry thought it was an impractical occupation and that most musicians spend a lot of time getting high, when they can afford to, and starving on the streets the rest of the time...

Michael was awarded first prize at the Portland International Guitar Festival and the Northwest Guitar Festival held in Bellingham, Washington. He took first prize at the International Guitar Congress in Corfu, Greece. He has also performed with the Seattle Opera, the New Performance Group, and in guitar duet with Steven Novacek and with Apostolos Paraskevas, and in guitar quartet with the Seattle Guitar quartet. He has appeared on television in Crete, Greece and has given numerous live broadcasts on public radio.

Michael received the Northwest Young Artists award. He graduated from Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts, in 1992, and ever since has proved his father wrong. His credits and achievements in the world of classical guitar music are really too numerous to list here, and have meaning only if you can see or hear his performances. I've included the above video because it has a minute or so of the intro which is Michael playing. Then you can hear what all the fuss is about.

My brother would have been so proud. It makes it all worth it, somehow. All of it--the place where we came from and what we suffered; who we became and what happened to us all later on.


My nephew shared his wealth of knowledge and mastery of classical guitar with many students, where he patiently took them through the steps of how to master their instrument and let the music flow.

I was deeply saddened to learn that an arsonist had set fire to Rosewood Guitar, where Michael had his studio above the shop. Michael spent a lot of time there, immersed in the sounds of guitar.

The owner of the business was sad, too, if you go to the link and see his interview. It seems so pointless, so unnecessary, to destroy what is beautiful in hatred for what is wrong.


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    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment, ahorseback.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh my God Paradise , hes awesome , thanks for sharing this !.......I can only dream of such artistry!....:-}

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, epi, for those kind words.

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ...well this hub subject is truly a labor of love on your behalf ....thank you for sharing this story with us - thank you for being the person whom you are - and thank you for being such a wonderful writer with the gift to communicate and make your readers think and feel!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you so much, Red Elf, Catherine R & Laura in Denver. I'm catching up with HubPages, too, now. I let it go a little bit too long, and now have 138 emails to get to. Tax season is warming up here, while the weather is like ice, snow, winter...

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 

      9 years ago from Aurora

      What a *tragedy* about your brother, I am so sorry! And this guitar shop arson is so incomprehensible...

      But what a *triumph* in the wonderful musician that is your nephew. Wonderful playing, thank you!

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 

      9 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Nice to get back to my computer and find a few hubs to catch up on..... Your nephew is a wonderful musician and I love the piece.

    • RedElf profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Wow - great hub! The video is amazing, too. I was absolutely fascinated. You come from a talented family, and generously have passed the talents on to succeeding generations.

      Thanks so much for sharing so honestly and with such love.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, bearclawmedia and Duchess, for your lovely comments.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      9 years ago

      Paradise, you share so much of yourself here, I am not surprised you did so with this as well. Sad to hear about the loss of your brother and the senseless destruction of your nephew's shop. I hope he finds something to replace it. His music is beautiful. I enjoyed watching the development of the rose while listening. It's a great combination.

      Thank you for sharing this.

    • bearclawmedia profile image


      9 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

      I love a good well deserved tribute. Top job mate!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      You're entirely welcome, Cris, and I'm glad you visited this hub.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      This is some bittersweet story and the classical guitar music cuts to the core. Love in all its forms really moves in mysterious ways. Thanks for sharing :D

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, rm, and it's good to see you again, too. I wonder why I'm not getting emails for your hubs? I'll have to check into that.

      I'm sorry about your brother-in-law. The suddenness of it, it's overwhelming, and still to me it is this day...

      Thank you on behalf of my nephew for your kind comments. He is SO talented, and I really want to share his music with as many people as possible.

      Yeah, I noticed that, too, that you and I are hitting the same targets at the same time. You and MyOwnWorld and I are just about the same age, Hubwise. Good deal!!!

      I missed Dale's forum though I knew a "Story From My Life" got posted there. I didn't know until now it was YOU! Thank you, RM!

    • rmcrayne profile image


      9 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      The sudden loss of your brother in the accident must be haunting. I wish peace for your family. My brother-in-law was killed in a senseless accident on the job 12 years ago. It’s a hard thing to reconcile. Your nephew has an enviable talent. What a gift knowing you have brought joy to so many with your music, and can continue to do so.

      Our stats were the same today: 5 months, 66 hubs, 188 followers! Cool, huh? I think I’m correct in saying you, mow and I were in the same HubNugget group. I submitted your first “Story from My Life” hub to Dale Mazurek for his blog, and it has been posted. His forum post invited one of your own hubs, and one favorite by another hubber.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      You're very welcome, Micky Dee.

      Thank you so much, Jen, for visiting this hub and for your insightful and sensitive comment.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      9 years ago from Delaware

      Hi Paradise7, I am amazed at your understanding of your brother's inability to demonstrate his love in a way that enabled his children to feel loved for who they were as individuals. It has to be most frustrating to feel love but not have the tools to express it freely and without reservation. I'm so sorry his life ended so abruptly but am sure he felt much unexpressed love for his family and did the best he could given his upbringing.

      I'm glad you were able to acknowledge this, and speak for him,saying what he probably wanted to say many times but was unable to do. It says much about you as well! :-)

      Your nephew is beyond talented! Thank you for sharing his gift with us.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      This was so nice. Thanks for the beauty and honesty!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for the comment, Veronica. I agree so much. I always thought of Seattle as a peaceful and artistic city, but now I'm glad Michael has moved to New York, what with all the arsons lately. I'm glad no one was in the shop; this is only one of a series of arsons in that city and people, including police officers, have been hurt and killed, even though the fire department responds promptly and people are now more vigilant than ever.

      Thank you, Dohn, for your generous comment. I believe Michael will have further success in his music career in New York. I'm encouraging him to get something on YouTube that's all his...a light like his shouldn't be hidden.

      I'm proud of ALL of us, and just seeing my nephews and nieces and how well everyone turned out and their children made me so happy, and helped me to understand why we're here and why it's worth it.

      Laura, thank you, and welcome back to yourself. I'm looking forward to reading more of your interesting and well-researched hubs in 2010; and I know you and yours will have all the health and prosperity in the world, in 2010, deservedly!

      Hi Green Lotus. Thank you so much for the generous comment. He IS so talented, and I'm not just saying that cause he's my nephew!

    • Green Lotus profile image


      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Paradise and a Happy New Year to you. Lovely music and a wonderful tribute to a talented guy.

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Michael is so talented and I believe that somehow Jerry knew! I am glad you made this Hub - not only to pay tribute to Michael but because I have missed having you around! Welcome back and may you have a wonderful and carefree 2010!

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I can understand why you say that your nephew's music is some of the best you've ever heard and you are not bias! If he doesn't have one already, I'm sure that a recording contract is certainly in the cards for him. Maybe one day I'll see him at Lincoln Center for a concert.

      You have amazing talent and ability in your family, Paradise and have much reason to be proud. Thanks again!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Your nephew is so talented, and I think this was a wonderful tribute to both your late brother and his son (your nephew). I watched the news clip, and it's so sad how one person can cause so much fear in a community. I agree, it seems so pointless. Hopefully the evidence they found will provide them with a break in the case. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us Paradise7


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