Washington DC's preeminent accordionist, Merv Conn died on December 20. I called him more than a decade ago when I was living with my Nana and Pop in Alexandria. I was trying to figure out the best way to go about learning the instrument and would call accordionists listed in phone books in any city I visited. I think we must have spoken for 15-20 minutes, he gave me tips and told me about his own experiences in hopes that I might become one of his students.
I never did take a lesson from him, but years later when I heard that Jeff Krulik had made a documentary about him Kim and I went with Todd and Kristen to Silver Spring in the hope of seeing it. Alas, that screening was sold out (we saw Merv in lobby playing to his fans), but we did get to finally see it during the 2007 James River Film Festival. It's a great portrait of a beautiful person.