Musician, Velva man forge friendship over guitar

VELVA, N.D. - Great friendships often come about by a chance encounter between two people with a shared passion.

That's the basis for the story behind Daniel Starks, a local up-and-coming musician, and his friend Joe Streeper, who lives at an assisted living facility in Velva.

The sounds of yesteryear filling the halls of Valley View Manor.

Daniel Starks sharing his gift of guitar.

A gift, from a friend.

Starks first brought his talents to Valley View a month ago. That's when he met Joe Streeper.

“I found out that Joe here was a guitar player, and so we just kind of had this connection,” said Starks, 20-year-old.

The next day, a message.

“I got a text from his daughter telling me that dad wanted to give me one of his guitars,” said Starks.

Joe's Gretsch White Falcon, 1959 select.

“And I just couldn't believe it how this even happened, it was just kind of like are you sure you got the right guy?” he said.

Flash forward to the present, Starks performing again at Valley View, with the strings of the White Falcon between his fingers.

“It's not even just a guitar, when he gave it to me, he's giving me part of himself, his legacy as a guitar player, and now I want to take it and become a better guitar player, to play like Joe, and to be my best,” said Starks.

Using this gift to play the likes of Johnny Cash and Ricky Nelson.

“When I play that, it's like I connect with people that they're remembering, these are the songs from my childhood. And it's a connect thing, you connect the hearts,” said Starks.

The 83-year-old still takes time to impart some wisdom on the youngster.

“I never knew I'd have such a connection with a man that I'd never met before, but now I feel kinda, even if, you know, my own grandpa,” said Starks.

God only knows how much longer these two musicians will have together.

But for now, Starks and Streeper will enjoy every minute, playing to the tune of life.

Daniel is slated to perform at Norsk Hostfest later this year.