LEWISTON — On the sourest mornings, 10-year-old Dylan Gordon sweetened the days for employees at the Lewiston Pawn Shop.
“You can be having a bad day already and (then) you see the smile on his face,” pawn shop owner Rick LaChapelle said.
Something in the boy’s expression, his big, “Hey there!” wave and and the fact that he waits for the school bus alone on the downtown corner quickly won over LaChapelle and his employees.
“Just that feeling of being alone is the worst,” LaChapelle said. “We just want him to feel that he has several people he can come talk to.”
So, LaChapelle’s son, Matt, talked with Dylan’s mothers, Charmain Gordon and Amanda Indigo.
Matt soon learned that Dylan wanted a guitar.
Dylan’s father, Richard Gordon, had been a guitar player. When he died three years ago, Dylan’s grandparents had kept the instrument. But to Dylan, playing a guitar was a way to remember his dad. He’d been trying to learn on an old acoustic with only three strings.
The story resonated with the pawn shop operators.
“Hey, I’ve got 100 guitars on the wall,” the elder LaChapelle said.
So he fixed the boy up with a new electric Dean guitar.
He also gave him all the guitar fixin’s: an amp, a tuner, picks, a gig bag and an instructional DVD. Employees hand-wrapped all of the gifts and presented them to Charmain and Amanda before the holiday.
They didn’t have to tell anyone — including Dylan — where it all came from.
Amanda and Charmain gave it to him on Christmas morning.
“When we brought this out, his face was like, ‘Whoa,'” Amanda said. “He started hugging it.”
And they told him where it came from.
Dylan pulled the guitar from its box, placed it on his lap and thought of his dad.
“His spirit is inside of the guitar,” Dylan said.
A day later, he worked on a variety of songs ranging from “Happy Birthday” to Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.”
Even though he’s only 10 years old, he said his favorite music is classic rock. He listed songs by Van Morrison and Lynyrd Skynyrd as favorites. And he described the music and videos of Michael Jackson.
On his bedroom wall, above a photo of his father, Jackson’s “Thriller” album has a prominent spot in the corner.
Dylan imagined being a rock star and playing great songs, he said. And he talked about learning a chord or two from his new friends at the pawn shop.
He’ll be welcome, LaChapelle said.
“We’ve all been the lone kid,” LaChapelle said. “But he has friends here.”