Monday, February 15, 2010
Tribute to a Friend
This will be one of the few times I am being serious. It's just a passing phase, I'll get over it.
A very dear friend of mine passed away this November. He'd been my friend for nearly 25 years. His name was Gene Feller and he was one of the most talented people I ever knew.
I met Gene when I first brought my son to an Issinryu Karate class, back in early 1985. Gene was a student and instructor there and I watched him get his promotion to black belt. He was an excellent martial artist, but not what most people would think of when martial artist comes to mind. He was short, a little on the chubby side, balding and looked like he wouldn't hurt a fly. Well, Gene was a gentle soul, and would never hurt anyone, but he was skilled at martial arts and he inspired me to actually start studying Issinryu along with my son and eventually my daughter.
Gene was not only a martial artist, he was an amazing artist in the fine arts, creating with oil, acrylics and pastels. He never understood just how talented he was, taking every critique to heart and wondering if he was good enough. He supported himself by teaching others to draw and create and at the time of his death, he was finally becoming well known in the art world, especially for his pastels.
I will end by saying this, I will miss him for many things. He will never create another wonderful picture, he will never teach me or my children or anyone else the joy you can get from creating, but most of all I will miss his great sense of humor and that he will no longer be there to make me laugh when I need it the most.