Time for another Life Builder post, and since I’m in El Paso, it should be one of the many people from that time in my life…Martin Huerta.
This Life Builder series is something I’ve been doing for several years now, acknowledging those people who have contributed to my success in life. I believe it is a mistake to go through life failing to acknowledge those people who build us up.
Martin is one of those people to me. And this is why…
Martin Is a Giver
I cannot talk about how much Martin means to me without pointing out that, of all the people I know, Martin is one of the most generous people I ever met. It’s sad that, in today’s society, we associate generosity with giving money. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Martin is the kind of guy who will go the extra mile for you, give you the shirt off of his back, etc.
Yes, I know those are cliches that people use, but with Martin, I truly believe he really would give you the shirt off of his back if he knew you needed it more than he did.
But it’s the “go the extra mile” side of generosity where Martin truly shines. That’s what he always did for me when I lived here. Martin was the one I could always count on to give me a ride, or work on some music together for our quintet. Martin always included me in things that others would normally not. Things that seem like nothing to other people, but to an extreme introvert like me, it’s nice to be included.
I wish I had more actual examples to cite here, but we are talking about 30 years ago, so the memories are a bit foggy. But yes, that’s how I remember Martin from those days. He actually lived the way Jesus told us to live.
Kindness, Martin and This Series
This series is sort of a spin off from a parent series. I haven’t been keeping up with it much, but I am also writing a series about 1 Cor. 13, the famous love list. The second word on that list is “kind.” According to my study of how the word “kind” was used elsewhere in the Bible, kindness is when you give what is undeserved and/or cannot be repaid.
It’s a nice coincidence that I am writing about this right now because Pearl just shared the following graphic on facebook:
These Life Builder posts are not just a way to compliment the people I write about. They are all wonderful people. But this series is also about describing how their wonderfulness influenced me, and changed my life for the better. And on the topic of kindness, according to the Biblical definition that I derived from the Bible, Martin sets a wonderful example for me to follow. I want to be as kind as generous as he is.
Another VERY important thing that Martin Huerta contributed into my life was his influence in my embouchure change (I don’t like to call it an embouchure change). When Martin and I met, and for most of the time that I lived in El Paso, my range was extremely limited. I could barely play a high C, and when I did get up into that range, it was a physical nightmare. It was a painful, miserable experience.
Martin, on the other hand, had a wonderful sound in that register and seemed to execute it effortlessly. For me, someone who worked so hard to get that upper register, it was mind boggling to me how he did that.
So I began studying Martin’s embouchure in earnest. I reasoned that, if I could analyze precisely how our embouchure’s differ, I could use that information to improve my own playing.
Studying his embouchure is not the only thing that helped me get to where I am, but I can promise you that I would not have the chops I have today (and I am known for my chops) if I hadn’t done that.
Keeping In Touch
One more thing before I close this post, out of all my dear friends in and from EL Paso, none of them put as much effort into keeping in touch with me as Martin does. Martin has been an advocate for me here in El Paso. He believed in me when few others did. My connection to this, my musical birth town of sorts, may have been severed if not for Martin working to keep that connection alive.
I don’t say so to insult or offend any of my other very dear friends here in El Paso. I understand people get busy, and life happens (something for which I am equally guilty). But that’s all the more reason to acknowledge Martin for, once again, going the extra mile.
Thank You Martin!
So thank you Martin. You are a dear friend and I am honored to have shared so much of your life with you. Thank you for being a giver and teaching me how to be more of a giver myself. Thank you for your beautiful musicianship and the example you set for me thirty years ago. And finally, thank you for keeping in touch. It means more to me than you can know.
It was great to see you on Tuesday. Thank you for coming out to hear us do our thing.