Stories and instruments, a local man shares moments through guitars
COLORADO SPRINGS — Our lives are defined by the most remarkable and tragic moments.
For Bob Rogers, the past few years have brought challenges and tragedies between surviving a heart attack and losing his teenage grandson to suicide.
Rogers has many fond memories with music, from being a young boy picking up guitar and playing songs on the radio to serving in the Navy and being part of an “on the island” band with his military colleagues. . He also worked in construction.
Years later, he would start building the instrument he fell in love with as a child.
“I said, ‘I think I can do it! ‘” Rogers said.
Its special touch transforms the instrument itself into a storybook in its own right.
In his workshop outside his home in Colorado Springs, Rogers lights up showing the different types of wood and the reasoning behind selecting every detail that makes up the guitar.
“I’m pretty introverted, it helps me connect with people, we’re very interested in people’s stories,” Rogers said.
Bob and his wife Patti created “Bopat Guitars” to help tell the stories of musicians’ lives as they in turn tell the stories that shaped theirs through music.
“It’s become a way of focusing on someone else’s story rather than our own story with some of the tragedies that we have,” Rogers said, “it became and it happened like that and I realized that was what I wanted to do.”
It all started with a veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Dennis Tackett.
Tackett took up the guitar when his wife was pregnant with their third daughter when he realized that playing the guitar could help him in so many ways.
“I didn’t really intend to use it as therapy, but it really came across,” Tackett said.
In order to overcome some of his struggles with PTSD, he started writing. Later, he took up the guitar and found he could express himself through music.
“It’s the way to hear what [his emotions] sounds like,” Tackett said, “it helps me balance the sound so I can hear if I’m angry or tense or frustrated and after a while it loosens up and I can relax.
A key moment in Tackett’s life is etched into the guitar, which reads “Not Afraid”, a nod to a great moment for Tackett in interacting with people.
As he suffered from PTSD, it was difficult for him to talk to people. One day in a crowded restaurant he approached a group of people and started talking, someone handed him a sticker that said “Not Afraid”.
Rogers credits much of what he does to his family, his wife and son have been by his side as he works to build the guitars telling the special stories of others.
In order to honor their grandson, their logo has a semicolon “;” as a means of raising awareness about suicide prevention. The family also has a connection to the Stauch family, whose son Gannon was murdered in 2020, the “g” in the guitar is also underlined in tribute to him.
If you or someone you know has mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, help is there. Contact Pikes
Suicide prevention peak at (719) 573-7447 or pikespeaksuicideprevention.org. or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
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