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Plucking guitar strings, pulling heartstrings — Stolen guitar leads to a beautiful story of kindness in Medina

By Jessi Schultz

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    MEDINA, Ohio (WEWS) — From a young age, Rick Gaudet has loved the way music has made him feel, the way it can bring people together. He’s known to the people of Medina as ‘Rockin’ Rick.’

“I’ve been playing around Medina for many, many years,” he said.

He plays at local bars, restaurants, event centers and even just at parks or shopping plaza sidewalks.

“Sometimes I’ll play in the cold, sometimes I’ll play in the warm, at least a couple of times a week,” he said.

Tracie Provost is a Medina native who said she doesn’t know Rick personally, but has seen him around town many times before.

“I think if anyone has been in Medina long enough they’ve come across Rick at some point,” she said.

Last week, Rick was playing outside at the Marc’s plaza on North Court Street when he started to feel a little ill.

“I was feeling a little whacked out that day, a little dizzy. I packed up my stuff and I left. I just didn’t feel great,” he said.

He didn’t realize until a couple of days had passed that he left behind a major piece of equipment: his beloved guitar.

“I said ‘Oh my gosh, where is my guitar?’ Just a chill went through my body. I was like ‘Oh man, not my guitar,’” he said.

He went back to Marc’s to see if it was there, but it was gone.

Rick posted on Facebook, asking if anyone had seen his guitar or knew where it might be:

A few days ago I was playing over by Marc’s in Medina. As I sat and played, many gave positive comments and a few dropped some tips in the old tip bucket. But after a while for some reason I felt a little dizzy and decided to pack up and go home. Well, after I packed some chords, some stands and my street amp, I apparently forgot to pack my chair and guitar. Well, they are gone. I’ve asked around and my 800.00 Seagull guitar and cheap chair are gone. I’m beside myself and somewhat heartbroken. Anyway if anyone knows or saw anything or saw anyone else around Marc’s a few days ago with a guitar case. Please let me know. Thanks

It was shared to the Medina community Facebook page and he received hundreds of comments of well-wishes and people trying to help.

One of those commenters was Provost.

“When he posted on Facebook that he lost his guitar, it became very apparent that everyone cared for him a lot. He had put on there that it was valued at $800 and I said, ‘We should start a GoFundMe page,’” said Provost.

Provost set up the page to ‘help Rockin’ Rick get his guitar back,’ and in just a few days, the page had more than $1,000 in donations, unbeknownst to Rick.

While Provost was working to connect with Rick to tell him about the GoFundMe page, he received a call from another Medina woman who offered to gift him another guitar she had in her possession.

“She said ‘Hey I saw you lost your guitar,’ then all of the sudden she sends me two beautiful pictures of this guitar. She said she felt that I was supposed to have this guitar and I said ‘You sure about that? That’s a Taylor. That’s a really nice guitar.’ She said when she saw my post, it was confirmation for God that I was supposed to get that guitar,” he said.

The woman wanted to remain anonymous but told Rick she was battling colon cancer.

Rick and Provost connected and he recounted the story of how a woman, who wished to remain anonymous, gifted him a new guitar. He told Provost he was overwhelmed with gratitude but didn’t need the money anymore.

“He said ‘All I know is she is battling cancer and she really wants to give this to me and she felt called to give this to me,’ and I said ‘Okay, whatever money we can raise on your behalf, we can gift to her,’” said Provost.

Rick told the woman about the donations he now wished to give to her and said she began to cry.

“I knew she wasn’t going to take a dime from me, personally, and she wasn’t. She already made that clear. But this other money, you could see her break down and crying, and that’s when I knew it was okay to give it to her,” he said.

It was an act of kindness for two people, Rockin’ Rick and the anonymous woman, paid forward by the entire community.

“I think God uses ordinary people to do wonderful things and I see all of this coming into play, just people wanting to help people,” said Provost.

Rick said he is shocked by the turn of events.

“I’m choked up. How could you not get choked up? The things that have happened by this and the blessings that have come are just amazing,” he said. “I never knew just how much it meant and they’re telling me, comment after comment, they love my music,” said Rick. “Kindness, love, charity, giving, you name it, it’s there. All the things that are supposed to be right in this world and it was all there.”

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