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Eloy González sat down, adjusted his glasses, cradled his guitar and set his little fingers to strumming the opening chords of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
Eyes closed, the 11-year-old boy’s face broke into a fleeting smile as he played the tune.
Two years ago, Eloy had no idea how to hold the instrument. Now he is a budding talent who progresses very quickly in his guitar classes at Candelas Guitars in Boyle Heights, said his mother, Vanessa González. More than merely a hobby, his lessons serve as an escape from his daily stress and worry over his father’s struggle with pancreatitis.
“They are my therapy,” said Eloy, a sixth-grader at Macy Intermediate School in Monterey Park. “That helps me not to think so much about my father’s illness and what could happen to him. It helps me with the stress of my baseball classes and school, and also to stop thinking that I can’t help my mother with all of her responsibilities.”