A Guitar Man
This is how passionate Paul Jeffers was about the guitar: when his nephew J.P. was about 10 years old and showed some interest in learning to play, Mr. Jeffers gave him lessons — strumming his own guitar into the phone from his office at Cantor Fitzgerald, since J. P. lived in North Carolina.
And this is how passionate he was about his 3-year-old son: he let his living room be dominated by a big table filled with Thomas the Tank Engine trains and track.
And then there was his house in Westhampton, the one that was nearly swallowed up in the fires that raged across the Hamptons a few summers back. "He planted all the trees himself," said his girlfriend, Nancy Evans. "Weeping willows, silver birches, even a Christmas tree that we bought with the roots."
Here's how Mr. Jeffers, who was 39 and lived in Manhattan, combined everything he loved on a single day last August: He organized a 50th-anniversary party for his parents, inviting his three siblings, nine nieces and nephews and assorted friends to convene in Westhampton. Everyone got T-shirts in different brilliant colors. Toward evening, he disappeared into the basement, to join his nephews playing Beatles songs on the guitar.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 22, 2002.