|My dad must have taken this of me, (nearest the water) mom, and fellow ship-mates.|
Sometime during that almost-2-month floating sojourn, I gained the camaraderie and confidence of the steward. Bill Hawkins, a kind and patient man, knew I was fascinated by the ringing tones of his four-bar hand-held instrument that summoned the passengers to meals. Wherever we were on the ship, those chimes, with a pavlovian effect, would bring us hungry diners eagerly up and in to the dining room. The silver sound tubes and their charming chimes were pure magic to me. I longed to feel the instrument in my hands and the vibrations they made. Such power it held----to call people forth with its tonal patterns reverberating down the hall!
Thanks to Bill, the steward, I was allowed to "help" with that part of his job. I became the dinner bell ringer. I struck the bars of silver that brought the happy, hungry diners to mealtimes. My 11 year old self reveled in the pleasure and power of it all.
When the freighter delivered us to our final port, I had to give Bill back his chimes. It wasn't long though, until another instrument won my heart: my first guitar which my mother helped me find and buy in a music shop in Buenos Aires. I've loved playing the guitar ever since.