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WNY man fulfills long-time dream of watching Itzhak Perlman perform

Posted at 11:41 PM, Feb 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-25 23:41:12-05

A standing ovation from thousands of music-lovers greeted violin genius, Itzhak Perlman. More than 2,400 people in the crowd, and front and center is Larry mills, who's waited 40 years to see his idol.

"So we're taking a box of tissues with us, so we can just stay composed," said Mills.

Indeed, those tissues did come in handy seconds into Perlman's first song.

"He's a master of his craft!" said Mills.

Music to his ears, and a long-time dream in front of his eyes. But Mills, who plays anything from a sousaphone, to guitar, to piano, looks up to Perlman, who contracted polio when he was just 4 years old.

"It was said that people discounted his ability to have a solo performance because of his disability, and that he was going to prove them different... which he has," said Mills.

Something Mills says he can relate to. He had a snowboarding accident years ago.

"He looked at the films and said, 'I don't know if you're ever going to play the piano again', and I started crying and said 'no way'," remembered Mills.

And now, he plays away, just like Perlman on Saturday night.

"I think when you want something so badly, there's so much joy when it's finally placed in front of you," said Mills.

Once Saturday night's performance is over, and Mills returns to his Hamburg home, he'll have his very own Perlman of sorts. His son, Daniel, plays the violin, too. And Daniel's talents strike a cord with this dad, like only a son could.