Hello and welcome to the brand new blog from Positively Apex! My name is Leslie, and I am the owner and brains behind this community initiative. Though I have been doing a program since 2014, things are just getting started! One of my goals was to provide a blog that would expand on the pages of the Friendship magazine we produce, stories that didn’t make the printed pages, education about our local businesses and non-profit organizations, highlights of town and community initiatives and events, fun reviews of restaurants and activities, guest written submissions, and more! If you have any ideas, fill out our contact form!
I figured I would start this endeavor with my story. How I got to be who I am, where I am, and why I do what I do. So who is Leslie Lockhart? That’s a complex question…
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… (if you know where that line is from, we can be friends). I was born in 1976 (the year of the bicentennial) in Charlotte, NC. Though my family moved to several places and houses before I could really remember, I do have random memories of random things before we moved into the main house I grew up in- though it was quite an ugly house, it was home for most of my formative years! I’ll get back to that later…
When I was born, I was 10 pounds 9 ounces. My mother had a natural birth, poor lady. It is said that my cheeks were so fat, I couldn’t open my eyes for 3 days. Ask me nicely and I can recreate the look for you.
Like I said, I have random memories that stick out for me from my really young years. There was the house that burned- well the upstairs burned, which happened to only be me and my sister’s rooms. Luckily we were gone for the Thanksgiving holiday. We lost most of our toys and clothes. Pretty big deal when you’re a little kid. I think that’s where my obsession with vintage toys came from. I have a couple of toys to this day that were somewhere else that Thanksgiving Day of the fire, and I treasure them. We didn’t live in that house very long, but I remember it had an actual pond in the backyard, which I thought was so cool!
After the house that burned, we lived in a house for a while when I was like 5 or 6. That was the Christmas we got an Atari 2600 and my mom made me a life size Annie and Sandy doll from my favorite movie at the time, Annie. (I still have them!) I have this great Polaroid of me in my footie pajamas holding them in a rocking chair. Class 80s nostalgia. That was also the time I started the love for my favorite movie to this day, Xanadu. I have a memory of skating in the driveway pretending to be Olivia Newton-John (RIP), and busting my butt and hurting my tailbone really bad. I barely ever skated again after that. Watch Xanadu sometime with me. It’s an experience.
My parents split up when I was super young, and my dad lived far away as a newscaster for most of my life. When I was about 7, he decided to buy us a house to live in through our school years. That was a big chunk of our child support. We lived in that house until I graduated high school in 1994. Like I said, it was an ugly house- bright yellow with brown shutters- but it was nice and home for years. It was super close to our junior high and high schools too. I still have dreams about that house.
At about 6 years old, I decided my dream career was to be a veterinarian. I LOVED ANIMALS- still do. That dream was my main focus until I was about 16. I had my life all mapped out… I was gonna go to NC State and the vet school. Well, somewhere along the way in high school, I realized just how many math and science classes I would have to take and I changed my course. I wasn’t bad at math and science, I just never really had to study in school until college and knew that wouldn’t always be the case.
I was always a quirky, weird, creative kid. I took to music from an early age… LOVED the Beatles and classic rock, with a mix of 80s music from my generation. I started playing the violin in the school orchestra in 5th grade, and was pretty good at it. I kept it up through high school. In high school, I also was a member of the colorguard in marching band, and became involved in theatre! With such a one track mind about becoming a veterinarian for so many years, it made sense to suddenly decide to go to college to major in theatre, right?
So there I went to UNC-Chapel Hill to double major in theatre and media production. I had a dream for a while of being a lighting designer on Broadway… In college, I was still in the band, the Marching Tarheels- the Pride of the ACC. Go heels! At first, I continued my experience as a member of the colorguard, but finally realized a dream to be in the drumline. I was a cymbal player, but I had made it to the drumline. In 5th grade, when I picked an instrument, I actually chose the drums first but the music teacher told me I couldn’t since I was a girl. Screw that!
When I graduated from UNC in 1998, I moved up to New York City and started a career in the entertainment industry. I worked at many places the first year, including Court TV, a short lived cartoon called Sheep in the Big City from the Cartoon Network, and Miramax Films. No, I didn’t directly work with Harvey Weinstein. My boss was awesome. During that time was 9/11. Our office window was a few blocks view from the World Trade Center, so I am eternally grateful that I overslept that morning and was safe up on the Upper West Side.
After that, I worked at a cloud-based service for production offices before the cloud was a known thing… E-Studio Network. I used that opportunity to leave NYC, and live an opposite life out in Los Angeles. I loved Los Angeles, but after a few years there I decided to pull up stakes and move back to North Carolina. I knew that was where I wanted to ultimately end up, and while I was single I needed to go ahead and move so it wouldn’t be as complicated later.
When I moved back to NC, I drove across the country with my 80 year old Meemaw, my one-eyed chihuahua Elle, and my calico kitty Brooklyn. (Elle is long gone, but Brooklyn turns 18 this October!) About a year after moving, I reconnected with an old friend/ former casual dating buddy in 1999, Jim. Fast forward to now, and we are 9 years happily married with our amazing daughter, Kelsey!