One thing he didn't hide was a much more visible obsession - his obsession with guitars.
It made him an easy person to buy gifts for, as he could always find uses for a new guitar tie, guitar clock, guitar shirt... well, you get the idea.
Several years ago as I was browsing through Lulu deciding on which self-published book I'd want to read next, I stumbled upon the PERFECT gift - Jay Wright's "G.A.S. - Living with Guitar Acquisition Syndrome." Finally we had a name for his strange desire to hoard guitars and guitar-themed items!
I bought the book, got the author to sign it (a wonderful perk when dealing with self-published authors!!), and carefully read through it before gift wrapping it to see if I could get some insight into my father in law's mind (the answer to which was no, as really I didn't get much of the humor since I don't suffer from GAS).
My father in law was delighted when he read the title, and from that point on that was how he introduced people to his habit.
When the family wrote up his obituary, they couldn't resist making sure that his GAS was mentioned. I'm sure he would have laughed at that! It was a fitting way to remember him, and helped me personally to say goodbye.
The family set up some gifts to a local camp, but I can't resist plugging Jay's book one last time - if you know someone with GAS, please consider purchasing this very affordable book: http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/jay-wright/gas-living-with-guitar-acquisition-syndrome/paperback/product-6011485.html . Jay donates the royalties from the books to help buy guitars for deserving enthusiasts, and I think my father in law would have appreciated and fully supported something like that.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know struggles with alcoholism, please reach out and find help here.