The Guitar Master
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.
The Fire at Rosewood Guitar
- Update: Two Greenwood fires Thursday were arson
Seattle fire crews were out early Thursday morning, responding to three fires, including two near where four business were struck by arson on Oct. 23.
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.