I first saw Dio playing the accordion with his hot pink gloves on a rare sunny day in Portland in early February 2013. I was idling at a stoplight right off the exit and to my left, on no more than a 2-foot wide strip of concrete between lanes of accelerating and decelerating cars, I heard the sweet lull of accordion music through my cracked car window. Looking over, I saw a nice man with smiling eyes singing in Italian. He wasn't asking for money or busking in any traditional way. I thanked him and told him he played beautifully. Thank you, he said.
About a month later, in a coffee shop in that same neighborhood, I was racking my brain for a project storyline for a documentary filmmaking class. It was another sunny day and I left for Salem when what should I see as I am turning for the on-ramp, but that same gentleman wearing hot pink gloves playing his accordion and singing to passing cars. I made a big loop to turn around, parked the car to approach him, and asked if I could make a movie about him. "I have been waiting for something like this for a long time," was his response.
I never had the opportunity to show this to Dio. He died before I was able to give him a copy. But my hope is for some reconciliation- that you may enjoy this portrait of something he truly enjoyed offering to the world, and the legacy of kindness and beautiful music he left behind.
Rest in peace Dionysios Yorgos Platanias, 16 Aug 1947 - 29 Sept 2013