This goes back many years, so few people may remember Arthur Paulhamus. He was a social studies teacher and Dean of Men at the Williamsport High School during the period of 1930s and ’40s.
Mr. Paulhamus would assign work projects to students who chose to go astray from the rules of the school. Another interesting thing students did then and may still do today was to give their teachers nicknames. These were never spoken within earshot of the teacher.
When a student went astray and was sent to Mr. Paulhamus, he often would seat them in the rear corner of the classroom to await their punishment. I have never forgotten the morning when our class entered and was seated in Mr. Paulhamus’s room. Before starting class, Mr. Paulhamus said, “Oh, by the way, we have a guest with us this morning. He is a world traveler and likes to travel rather than attend school. He just came back from York state. I want you to meet ‘Mr. Lockard.’ “
A couple of years later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and who emerged and was hailed as a hero, but Pvt. Joe Lockard. My mind flashed back to my first introduction to Mr. Lockard. I had been in the service nearly a year and was training in Florida in a radar plotting school, just previous to my deployment. I was just returning from guard duty and was returning to my barracks when a nice clean jeep, with driver, pulled up and stopped beside me. A Lt. stepped out; it was “Mr. Lockard.” I saluted him and said, “I’m from Williamsport.” He stopped for a second and replied, “Is that right? Well, how are you doing?” As he turned to go into my barracks, I said, “Oh! Sir, do you remember Artie Paulhamus?” He looked back over his shoulder laughing and said, “Oh, yeah; wasn’t he some guy?”
This past Nov. 10, the day before Veterans’ Day, I happened to tune into PCN when veterans were telling their stories in their own words. There was Joe Lockard telling his story. For the first time, I heard right from Joe the exact details of what happened that day in their radar outpost at Pearl Harbor. Then he told about his rise in rank and testimony in Washington and graduation from Officer Candidate School and his travels while in the service. Then the person interviewing him asked what he did after his service in the military, and he told of jobs he had in Williamsport and that he retired from Amp Tool Co. in Harrisburg.
Sunday morning, Nov. 11, Veterans’ Day, I picked up the paper and there was reported one death; it was Joseph Lockard. The newspaper reported that he was 90 years old. It also told that he held 39 patents. He was a humble man and always said that he was “just doing his job.”