July 14, 2005 — Thanks to the goodness of one man, Lola didn't wind up as soup, Henrik Lockhart has a new friend, and Lola is back home where she belongs.
The good man is Keith Webster, who was passing by Emile Griffith ballpark Tuesday evening when he saw a homeless man carelessly handling a bright blue macaw. Lola is the macaw, and Lockhart is Lola's very happy and relieved owner.
Lockhart, Lola and Lockhart's new bride Ellen live above Carlos on the Waterfront. Tuesday evening they had left Lola home alone with her cage open, which it normally is. Lola, Lockhart said, apparently got miffed at being left home alone, so she proceeded to knock off some potted plants from the gallery and toppled over with one of them.
Onlookers say an apparently homeless man rushed up, removed his t-shirt, wrapped the bird in it and proceeded down the waterfront. The man was in the process of showing the bird off to some children, and explaining how he was going to take it to his grandmother so she could make parrot soup, when Webster arrived.
Webster offered the man $50 for the bird, which the man immediately accepted and Webster, a bird owner himself, took the bird home with him.
Lockhart made a plea for his bird Wednesday morning on the WVWI Radio One AMVI morning show, and it wasn't long before Webster found who Lola's owner was. Lockhart said a mutual friend of his and Webster's told him Webster worked at Public Works. " I was down there at 8 o'clock to meet him," Lockhart said, "and we drove to his house and got Lola."
Now, Lockhart says, "I have a new best friend."
"Actually," Lockhart said,"one of Mr. Webster's birds, a parakeet, had escaped Wednesday morning. "I'm going to bring a cage and help him find it," Lockhart said.
Lockhart also went to Dockside Bookshop Thursday morning to get a copy of "Parrots of the World," for his new best friend.
Grinning widely Thursday morning, Lockhart and Lola seemed happily reunited. He reflected, "Through this experience, I have made a new friend, seen new hope for mankind, and am now a little closer to our creator."
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