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Detroit restaurant muralist lived fascinating history

Winged horses, Athenian temples, and color, color everywhere -- those were the trademarks of muralist Nick Kastrantas, whose paintings graced dozens of Detroit's Coney Islands and Greek restaurants. He died Aug. 31 at age 91, a World War II paratrooper who landed at D-Day, a multi-linguist equally adept creating fine art or commercial logos. To the metro area's Greek-American community, he was a celebrated figure, says Leo Stassinopoulos, founder of the Leo's Coney Island chain.

Excerpt:

"He was my hero. He told me all these stories in World War II, with the Germans and all. ... I asked him what he was doing now, and he said 'I'm painting,' and that's when I started doing the murals." The first one was in 1983 or '84; it was followed by about 22 others for Leo's alone.

Learn more about Kastrantas here.
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