This is my first rerun
of any of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and I discovered how much
I miss this show! The drama was great, there was the quick wit of
so many characters, the naiveté of young Indy himself, and all the
action and car chases you could want.
Indy has returned from World War I, the Great War, and is in college,
waitering at an Italian restaurant in Chicago to make a living. There a
jazz band plays, and he seems to spend more time listening to them than
waitering. He tries and eventually makes friends with the lead band
member, Sid Bechet, who gives him a soprano saxophone and teaches him about
Jazz. The greatest scenes with this plot thread are when Sid teaches Indy
how to play Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star, and Indy keeps playing it over and
over, bland at first, then inserting some Jazz improvisation. Great stuff.
Indy also gets a lesson about black and white folk during this episode,
because Sid is, of course, black. Indy seems to be the only one who
doesn't notice any difference between the blacks and whites. The whites
frown on him for crossing onto the black side of the beach, the blacks ignore or
stare at him when he enters a blacks-only club or a black church. Right
away, Indy is lost; he doesn't understand the prejudice, and is at a loss at how
to interpret it.
While at one of these clubs, Indy is told that although he knows how to play
jazz, he doesn't know how to play the Blues. He doesn't understand.
But Sid says it is a state of mind, a state of "why does the world have to be
When his boss is killed in an apparent robbery, Indy, Ernest Hemmingway and
Elliot Ness try to solve the mystery. They discover some bootlegging
"lemonade", get chased and shot at, and are brought before a Chicago gangster,
who advises them not to stick their noses where they don’t belong.
Eventually, they discover Al Capone is the one who they are looking for.
But the police aren't interested.
Tossed out of the police station, dumbfounded and at a complete loss, Indy is
suddenly ready to play the blues.
It was fun to watch Hemmingway and Ness, because they are complete opposites.
Ness was the most nerdy of all, not drinking the alcohol because he ordered
water, totally uneasy about breaking and entering, and totally aghast at the
policeman when he tears up their evidence. This is probably exactly what
Ness was like as a youngster.
The show was completely enjoyable, and the music was great, too. I
loved the jazz and blues they played. I wish I had more of it. Maybe
it's time to go to the music store and look up Sid.
For now, I can't wait to watch the next adventure of Young Indy!