Memories hit lost chord

A Kelowna grandfather is looking to reunite a family heirloom with his eight-year-old grandson. 

Just over a year ago, on June 24, 2017, Ron Vaselenak's son Graham died of a fentanyl overdose, just five days after his 30th birthday. Vaselenak said Graham had used cocaine on and off for several years.

“It was just a mistake that he made. Before he passed away, we went to support groups, figuring what can we do,” Vaselenak said. “The day that we got the phone call, the dreaded phone call, that was it.”

A few years prior, Vaselenak had spent six months making two custom guitars from scratch for his two sons. The unique tele-hybrid electric guitars had his sons' initials carved into the headstock, along with a logo that reads Hybrid Custom Guitars.

“I'm on a pension plan, so I couldn't always go out and spend gobs of money on them, just a little bit at a time,” he said, adding it was the first time he had made a guitar.

Several months before Graham's death, Vaselenak had noticed the guitar was for sale.

“I noticed it was online, so I thought, 'what's going on here?' but, duh, not realizing he's back into the cocaine he was using.”

Graham turned 30 on June 19, 2017, and died from an overdose just five days later, leaving behind three young children.

“I don't think he knew who he was buying from, and who knows where all this stuff comes from?” Vaselenak said. “Somebody gets it laced with fentanyl, well that's just the gamble you take.”

A year after Graham's death, Vaselenak posted a classified ad on Castanet with the hopes of finding the custom-made guitar. He hopes to give it to Graham's eldest son, eight-year-old Graham Jr.

Vaselenak says he plans to make new guitars for Grahams's other two children, once he finds the missing one.

The ad has been up for several weeks, but as of Tuesday, he hasn't received any leads.

Vaselenak is hoping anyone who may know where the guitar is will email him at [email protected].

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