While we ate our late lunch at the French Market Restaurant, New Orleans Square, Disneyland, every which way we turned provided a new opportunity to watch people as they enjoyed their meals and the live music. We had time to hear each of the two bands play two sets of different kinds of jazz. The band in the top photo, the Royal Street Bachelors, played a style I found labeled online as jazz standards--smooth-sounding, good-memory-inducing music I had grown up listening to on radio and television and in the movies. It was during the second set of one band's performance that something happened which provided one of my favorite memories of the trip.
When the boy in the blue T-shirt, with somewhat unruly, thick hair wearing wide-rimmed glasses whose lenses magnified his eyes, walked toward a table, his attention glued to the bandstand, I remember thinking, "He's mesmerized by these men and the music they're making." His mother called him to his chair and put their food down onto the table. I looked away, knowing that I'd look again in a few minutes; his intensity commanded it. Once he'd finished his mac and cheese and the red grapes in a separate bowl, I saw the boy's mother encourage him to go ahead and get closer to the band; she pulled out her cell phone and filmed the musicians. The boy stood up and walked into the open space between the bandstand and their table, standing there, watching and listening. When I realized that he had started to sing along with the music, my heart swelled. Here stood a young boy making a connection with wonderful music, all the while being captured by his mother, making an unforgettable memory for the two of them. And he knew the words!
I too sang along as I had to most of their tunes, and when the boy looked to his left and noticed me, he watched, it seemed, to make sure that we were saying the same words. Neither one of us was loud enough for anyone else to hear. Once the song ended, everyone clapped for the Royal Street Bachelors. The boy and I still looked at each other, and I spoke to him, "You like this song, don't you?" "Yes," he replied. I was choked up and about to lose it when I held my arms out to him and asked, "Could I give you a hug?" He walked into my arms for a quick hug; I saw his mother smiling as I looked over his shoulder.
My only regret--I cannot remember which song we had enjoyed; nor can I remember whether or not any member of the band sang the lyrics or if it was instrumental only. I have looked a several lists of jazz standards online and still don't know for certain. The song might have been "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" or "Someone to Watch Over Me" or "Make Someone Happy" or "Dream a Little Dream of Me." I am not worried about not being able to remember the song. I have no trouble remembering that boy and I knew the words.