Opinion: Some thoughts about my dad on Father’s Day

Father's Day
Me and my pops, Hal Lockwood
My mom, Kathleen Lockwood, and my dad, Harold Lockwood.

I’m certain that I will one day write a book. And in that book will likely be a character that will have a striking similarity to my dad. I haven’t thought the plot line through yet, but I am certain that elements of him will shine through.

In the meantime, I’ll just share a little bit about my dad — seeing as how it’s father’s day — to get the ball rolling. Harold Alan Lockwood is not a sappy guy. He is fiercely loyal, isn’t afraid to tell you what is wrong with the world, and often has a chip on his should about “fake news.”

For him, things are simple. Black or white. Right or wrong. This is where I get my stubbornness from and I’m grateful for that because sticking to my core values has gotten me through the rough stuff in my life. And I have a pretty thick skin. Still, I have been able to see past all of that angsty political front and yield to a different version of my pops; one that is based on the acceptance, affection and love that I have for him.

I remind myself that this is the same guy who captured my mom’s heart on a blind date and called her from the top of a telephone poll (he worked for the telephone company) when she was a telephone operator. He still calls my mom babe. He holds her hand because he knows she doesn’t see very well. And he doesn’t hear very well. I love watching them dance to Elvis Presley songs because my mom always looks at my dad, smiles, and says… “Ooo ooo Hal… Elivis!” And my dad hops up out of his chair, pulls her into this snappy swing and starts singing to her. Seriously… it’s a sight. And it gets me every time.

There are three of us girls… about four years apart. We all learned how to play baseball. I pretty much stunk because it turns out growing up on a farm isn’t so easy when you are allergic to hay, dust, and mold. So I was usually a catcher. I collected baseball cards with my dad until I started liking boys. And I’m sure my dad hid his disappointment when I told him that I traded over 150 baseball cards to the boy down the street for a Kiss tape (I thought he wanted to kiss me), at least that’s what my 4th grade self thought I heard. But we still went to see the Cincinnati Reds play and in the 1970s… that was just a great time to love baseball.

I learned to drive a 1942 Case tractor with a crank start and an electric start when I was 11. When we got our “official” driver’s licenses, I learned to park the tractor before I was allowed to even think about driving his truck. I also appreciate how protective he was of us girls. You checked out the Lockwood girls like library books. We weren’t allowed to go out on a date until we were 16. And when we did date, he kept a loaded 12-gauge by the door. When we asked to use the car, he only handed over the keys to the 1970 powder blue Ford F150 with a five on the floor, an AM radio and a hole the floorboard. Nope… no cruising for us.

He has encouraged me to follow my dreams in starting the news website. Helped me be a better mom to my daughter. And of course reminds me of how I vote for too many Democrats. But that’s him. As is. Take him or leave him. And I take him that way because he’s helped me be the person I am — fiercely loyal (even though I’m 450 miles from home).

Happy Father’s Day pops…

Wheeze


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About Denise Lockwood 877 Articles
Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.