Michael Vecchio playing his cherry Guild Starfire at a family Christmas gathering in 2014. (Connie Vecchio photo)

Michael Vecchio playing his cherry Guild Starfire at a family Christmas gathering in 2014. (Connie Vecchio photo)

Kelowna woman seeks missing guitar that helped dad with dementia be ‘himself again’

Connie Vecchio says the vintage guitar has gone missing from her father’s Castlegar care home

An instrument can mean the world to the musician who plays it.

For one B.C. woman, a vintage cherry red Guild Starfire was a reminder of the man her father used to be. But now, that guitar, and the connection it revived, has gone missing.

Michael Vecchio struggles with dementia. Two years ago, the now-75-year-old asked his daughter Connie Vecchio to bring his prized guitar, which he’d owned for almost 50 years, to his Castlegar care home, Talarico Place.

Connie, who lives in Kelowna, did so without hesitation. Michael would pick up the guitar to play during subsequent visits, and Connie said he’d become “himself again.”

“He sees the guitar… And then he’d sort of start bobbing his head, and before we know it, we’re in a moment,” Connie said.

The last time Connie visited her father in his room was February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic changed visitation protocols. The guitar sat on a stand in the corner of his room beside two amplifiers.

Care home staff recently informed Connie they couldn’t find the guitar. Checking a basement storage area, staff located the amps and the stand, but no trace of the guitar.

Not knowing what to do, Connie posted her story to Facebook. She said the community response has been immense, with people even offering to give Michael a new guitar. But, “unless it’s a cherry Guild Starfire,” Connie said it just wouldn’t be the same.

“That’s the guitar,” she said. “… It’s that thing that brings somebody back.”

* VINTAGE GUILD STARFIRE GUITAR MISSING FROM CARE HOME IN CASTLEGAR *
RCMP FILE # 2021-719

Thank you to the community…

Posted by Connie Vecchio on Thursday, March 11, 2021

Michael bought the guitar in the ’70s off of Nick Keraiff — better known as Buddy Marr, the frontman of a popular Kootenay band called the Versatiles. Ever since then, he’s kept the guitar in impeccable shape. Guitars of a similar ilk have been listed in online marketplaces for more than $2,000.

Connie has filed a police report and is offering a no-questions-asked $1,000 reward for the guitar’s safe return. Those with information can reach out to Connie on Facebook or the guitar can be dropped off at Johnny’s Gas in Robson, B.C., which is owned by one of Michael’s friends.

“I’m so hopeful somebody will just return it to my dad and help him have some happy moments in his last chapter.”

READ MORE: COVID vaccination party at North Okanagan retirement community

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccine protects health staff, seniors best after three weeks

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Seniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

These two city-owned houses on Railway Avenue in the Railtown district will be sold. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
City of Nelson will sell two derelict houses in Railtown

Purchasers will be responsible for demolition and slope stability issues

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
A grant from the province will fund the installation of lighting and electrical in the stage at Cottonwood Park and the construction of a washroom. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
City of Nelson receives grant for washroom and electrical at Cottonwood Falls Park stage

Grant will also fund concession stand and parking improvements

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

Most Read