De Chiaro Steps into the Light

Sep 08, 2017 1190

BY: Micah Smith

As a child, John De Chiaro often traveled with his stepfather, a shoemaker in New Jersey, into New York City to buy supplies, but on one trip, at about 5 years old, he wandered next door to a pawnshop and found an object that changed his life.

"There was a guitar on the wall, and I just, for some reason, wanted that guitar," De Chiaro says. "My stepfather said, 'Well, you can have it if you can pay for it.' So I started working with him in his shoe store, shining shoes, and I made the $11 I needed to buy the guitar. I wanted to take lessons, and he said, 'Well, then you better make enough money to pay for that, as well.'"

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