To me he was Grandpa, to so many others He was one of a Kind.
I remember a lot about the Man i miss Much More Now as i become Older.
i was always in the Studio listening to his Jazz records watching him Paint, this was all normal to me I had no real idea then of anything else, he was grandpa he liked to paint shoot pictures Fly Planes, i knew he was in the war..The Facts of all these things Then i knew nothing of..
Roy E. LaGrone, World “War ll Pilot, and Tuskegee Airmen he had an illustrious career as a Graphic designer, Illustrator, art director, Graphic co-ordinator, and painter. Due to his life long commitment and passion to tell the untold stories,sacrifices, and contributions of the nation’s first black Army Air Force pilots he became the artistic spokesman for so many who needed to be seen and heard. Through his paintings, his long love of flying and the magnificent portrayals of his fellow airmen He has sealed the images of these great heroic men into the history pages.
He was always on me about one thing or another to up the Anti either in Sports or School, he would say hey there buckaroo what up with those grades when you going to learn to Fly Like your Grand daddy..a lot of lessons i learned from him, That help me live my Life Everyday now. we must be so much a like i think sometimes..when Grandma gets Annoyed with me she says so too.. "you just like your grandfather".. i now counter that with "well if you loved him then this must be a good thing. right".
When My Grandfather Passed in 93 i was still making a name for myself not yet understanding what i would really do with my life, i liked to take pictures i was already dj ing and throwing parties but the path was far from clear on how all those would come together.It was a Hard time i was in Los Angeles he was in New Jersey.. i had been meaning to call him that week of course but was caught up with being me.. the next call i would get from his number would not be the one anyone wants to Answer.
In Recent Years i have Grown to express my Art more freely when thinking of him for inspiration a man i can only wish to live up to...Feb 1st is his Birthday, what a present that must of been for him in 1971 His only Grandson would be born 2 days Later.
Which brings me to a Present i have Received recently.Last year Some of his work was shown here @ The California African American Museum.This year i will Have the Pleasure of Representing the Family Along with my Mother and Aunt for a Dedication Ceremony featuring the artwork of my Grandfather at The Pentagon. What a Trip.But it's about time.. Happy Birthday Grandpa!! I love you.
"The Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force requests the pleasure of your company at a Dedication Ceremony featuring the artwork of former Tuskegee Airman, Mr. Roy E. LaGrone, on Tuesday, the fifteenth of February at half past eleven in the morning in Corridors 9 and 10, A-Ring, 5th Floor at The Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.Please see the attached invitation for additional information and details."
R.s.v.p by 8 February
Tuskegee's Heroes, featuring the Aviation Art of Roy E. La Grone, tells the story of the first black pilots and personnel to take to the air for the U.S. Army Air Corps of WWII. Co-Authored by Ann Lewis Cooper and her husband, Major General Charles S. Cooper III, USAF Retired, this compelling book is beautifully illustrated with the art of one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Roy E. La Grone.
see some of the book.