North Carolina People, Places, and Things-July 10
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.
Last Saturday I attended a function at UNC Pembroke in anticipation of watching a firework show that would conclude a week long celebration called Lumbee Homecoming. Attending that reception was a native of Pembroke, NC, a former Major League Baseball player, and a very talented professional painter Gene Locklear. Gene is also a member of the Lumbee Tribe.
The fireworks got cancelled because of terrible thunderstorm but it let me spend some time with Gene Locklear as we waited out the rain and learn a little about his ties to Pembroke NC.
In 1969, the Cincinnati Reds signed Gene as an undrafted free agent. He had graduated from Pembroke High about a year before and was working on the farm. He has done much with his life since graduating from Pembroke High School in 1968.
Gene today shown below.
Lumbee Homecoming is a weeklong festival in Pembroke, NC and on the campus of UNC Pembroke that recognizes the heritage of the Lumbee people in Robeson County. The events include Little/Junior Miss Pageant, Teen/Miss Lumbee Pageant, golf tournament,5k run, parade, car show, live outdoor concert, and the finale fireworks.
Gene Locklear lives in San Diego but was in Robeson County for a couple of weeks. As a professional baseball player, Gene spent 10 years in Major League Baseball playing for the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres, and the New York Yankees. He finished up his career in 1980 with the Padres.
Today Gene does commissioned art pieces and at the reception the chancellor of UNC Pembroke had on display a piece he had Gene had painted for him. The chancellor and his wife subsequently donated that art to the university. That art is show below and is currently on display on the fourth floor of Lumbee Hall.
Gene’s commissioned–art clients include:
The White House
Bureau of Indian Affairs
NFL (Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
PGA Phil Mickleson
PGA Tiger Woods
Turner Broadcasting (32 commissioned pieces)
NBA Atlanta Hawks
LPGA Inamori Classic
Ted Williams Baseball Collectable Cards
MLB San Diego Padres
MLB National League Alumni
NASCAR Rusty Wallace
Duke University, Raleigh, NC
Heros of The Game Collectable Cards
Cartwrights Journal of Baseball Collectables
A link to his websites is below: