Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

I was between four and five years old. It was one of my first real memories as a child and one where I began to understand how important my parents really were to me and the bond of love between a parent and a child.

I was in the car with my Dad. It was a blue convertible and we were driving with the top down in the Chicago area, either Elmhurst or Moline, depending on my exact age. He had given me a plain chocolate Hershey Bar, and it may have been the first one of my life. As we were driving I remember seeing the wind blowing through his hair, eating that chocolate and listening to Otis Redding sing Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.

I remember Dad whistling along with the song. To this day I get emotional listening to this song. I believe my love of music was born in this very moment, a direct influence delivered unintentionally in some of the things my Dad and now I, at age 47 enjoy: driving, chocolate and music.

I have relayed this story to him and he does not remember the moment (though he does remember the Pontiac we were driving!) and yet he is proud when I tell the story because it means so much to me and the connection it has brought with us. I have also learned to not underestimate your influence in your actions even when you think no one is watching.

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