COLORADO SPRINGS — Our lives are defined by the most remarkable and tragic moments.
For Bob Rogers, the last few years have brought some 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 taking up guitar and playing along to songs on the radio to serving in the Navy and being a part of an "on-island" band with his fellow service members. He's also worked in construction.
Years later, he would start building the very instrument he fell in love with as a kid.
"I said, "I think I can do this!"" Rogers said.
His special touch is turning the instrument itself into a storybook of its own.
In his workshop outside of his home in Colorado Springs, Rogers lights up as he shows the various types of wood and the reasoning behind selecting each and every detail that makes up the guitar.
"I'm pretty much an introvert, doing this helps me relate to 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 have shaped theirs through music.
"It became a way to focus on someone else's story rather than our own story with some of the tragedies that we have," Rogers said, "it became and it just happened that way and I realized that is what I wanted to do."
It all started with a veteran who has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Dennis Tackett.
Tackett took up the guitar when his wife was pregnant with his third daughter when he realized playing guitar could help him in many ways.
"I didn't really have the intention of using it as therapy, but it really came across that way," Tackett said.
As a way to overcome some of his struggles with PTSD, he started writing. He'd later take up the guitar and found he could express himself through music.
"It's the way of hearing what that [his emotions] sound like," Tackett said, "it helps me balance sound so I can hear if I'm angry or tight or frustrated and after a while it just kind of releases and I can relax.
A key moment in Tackett's life is etched into the guitar, which reads "Not Afraid", a nod to a big moment for Tackett in interacting with people.
As he was working through PTSD, it was difficult for him to talk to people. One day in a crowded restaurant he went up to a group of people and started talking, someone handed him a sticker that said "Not Afraid."
Rogers credits a big part of what he does to his family, his wife and his son have been alongside him as he works to build the guitars telling the special stories of others.
As a way to honor their grandson, their logo has a semi-colon ";" as a way to raise awareness for suicide prevention. The family also has a connection with the Stauch family, whose son Gannon was murdered in 2020 , the "g" in guitar is also underlined as a tribute to him.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or suicidal thoughts help is out there. Contact Pikes
Peak Suicide Prevention at (719) 573-7447 or pikespeaksuicideprevention.org. or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.