Few things brighten a walk on Main Street as much as seeing Roy Eaton, 91, then chatting in the warmth of his smile. Roy is back, the pandemic fading, and so is his music.
By David Stone
Roy was excited. He had news.
He’d just attended, he said, his 75th high school reunion. “On Zoom,” he added with a laugh about an event that brought the alumni of the school of Music and Art, now LaGuardia High School..
How many other 91 year olds do Zoom socially? I wondered.
Considering his barrier smashing careers in advertising and music made this less of a surprise than it might’ve been.
Roy Eaton, 91, on the flip side of the pandemic
Although we were in touch a couple times, by email, over the last year, and I knew he’d been well, it was refreshing, seeing him out on the street. The coronavirus kept so many his age indoors for so long.
But seeing his sunny personality unchanged, his optimism bright, was the strongest signal that we — New York City, Roosevelt Island — were back.
Last time, I talked with Roy was when I recorded a video of him playing a Bach Prelude in Bryant Park. 89 then, he resumed his annual gig there in the lunchtime piano series, two years after a stroke threatened to end his time at the keys.
Before he let me go, yesterday, he had another surprise for me.
“Save the date,” he said. “September 13th.”
That’s right. Although restrictions have kept Bryant Park from posting the schedule, this remarkable man, Roy Eaton, 91, will take his place in the rotation, again, bringing is gift of music to Midtown Manhattan.
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