Writing was a hobby Ray Lockwood enjoyed, but English wasn’t one of his strong suits so he didn’t gave much thought to doing anything with his stories.
“I started writing stories years ago, but never paid much attention to it,” said Lockwood. “But I thought I’ll share a couple on ‘If You Grew Up in Huntsville, You’ll Remember,’ a page on Facebook, and people were crazy about them.”
Members in the Facebook group encouraged Lockwood to put his stories into a book. One of those people was Ruby Truax, who helped him get his fictional history book, Yarns of Huntsville’s Past, published.
“I just love the evocative way Ray writes about nature, his beautiful, descriptive language,” wrote Truax in the Facebook group.
“A nostalgic view to my heritage,” commented Judy Smith on one of Lockwood’s stories in the group. “Thank you Ray Lockwood, your memoirs should be published in a book.”
Lockwood published 100 copies of his book at the end of December 2019, which quickly sold out. Then another 25 at the start of this January, and another 15 at the end of January.
“I couldn’t believe so many people were interested in it,” said Lockwood. “People are really intrigued by the past.”
Lockwood was born in Huntsville in 1944 and his family moved wherever his father could get work in various lumber yards, including Bancroft, Dwight, Dorset and Oxtongue.
After getting married, Lockwood and his wife, Betty Rand, moved to British Columbia in 1961 for a couple of years, before returning to Huntsville and settling here.
He followed in his father’s footsteps, working in lumber yards, but also tried his hand in tobacco fields.
“I worked in the bush with my dad when I was a young pup,” said Lockwood, noting he worked in the lumber industry until 2010.
Some of his other hobbies include wood carving, painting, and reading.
“I’ve read a lot of books over the years on Huntsville. There’s so much history here and I thought I’d try writing fictional stories. That way you can write a story about the subject you chose involving people that it really happened to,” he said. “I lived through Tasty Freeze and all of those places. It’s really an interesting town to write about. I like the fact that you can learn so much and share it with other people.”
Lockwood is considering writing another book about the lives of seniors.
“There are so many older people that don’t get to share their stories,” he said. “I’d like to concentrate on people aged 75 and up.”
To purchase a copy of Lockwood’s current book ($20, plus shipping if needed), call 705-789-7326.
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