Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tattoos! Do We Have Tattoos in Culpeper? You Bet We Do!!





 
This is my third blog on tattoos since I started the almost famous "Faces of Culpeper" photo blog. Those of you who follow me will recognize this picture from a couple of years ago....but lets keep it a secret for now.... more later.   I am more interested in why people have tattoos than the tattoos themselves.  I know for a fact that they do not get tattooed because it feels good.
When I first started collecting pictures for this blog I had decided that I would just list the person's name and perhaps his/her occupation and let the tattoos speak for themselves.  Then my granddaughter told me that half of the fun was knowing what the symbolism was in the tattoos so you will notice as you work your way through that more and more information will be presented with the pictures the further you get into the blog.... at least in most cases.  
I asked almost everyone why they get tattooed.  Some seemed to have never thought about it and some were very thoughtful and insightful in their responses.  After they gave their answer, I challenged them with questions like: why didn't you write a song or a poem or paint a picture as an art tribute instead of getting tattooed?    That is when they had to think.  I was surprised at how many people had put a lot of thought into exactly what they wanted in each tattoo and what it represented.   But a lot just said, "Because I like them."  I was only surprised a few times by which person had a tattoo.  I know almost anyone might have them these days and boy did I get good at spotting them..... even in the winter.  There have to be a lot of tattoos lurking under suits and ties and  dresses and business attire that I never found.  Gold's Gym was a great equalizer....everyone is in workout duds there and in almost all cases, if they have tats you can see them.  
The way I worked was this:  I approached people and told people who I am and that I was working on a photo blog on tattoos and would like to photograph theirs.  I would take the picture and get their email.  I would then email the picture and ask them for an explanation.  Some responded back but a few did not. Several gave me very thorough and somewhat long answers that I had to shrink to make everything fit.....apologies to those folks.   I think you will agree that I got a real good representation of Culpeper tattoos.  Thanks to everyone shown here.


You will see that Culpeper tattoos come in large, small, tiny, complex, simple, colorful, black and every other variety you can imagine.  Some of the art is outstanding.  All is interesting. 
Finally, I ask a couple of people I knew to tell me why they chose to be tattooed and their experiences surrounding those decisions.  The main responder was my friend Janell Saxton Billings who is the daughter of friends of mine and who lives in Boise, Idaho.  She has several significant tattoos that she covers up for work, and that are impressive. A special thanks to her for her amazing insights and quotes.  I put her initials (jb) after her contributions as well as the initials of others who made comments that I liked and placed them here and there.   You will note responses from these people in CAPS, BOLD, UNDERLINED AND ITALICS.    To get us going, here is the first quote:

I WOULD LIKEN YOUR QUESTION (why do you get tattoos?) TO SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF, "WHY DO YOU LIKE PIZZA?" OR "WHY DO YOU LIKE/LISTEN TO RAP MUSIC?" AND MY ANSWER IS, "I JUST DO."jb




Let's see some tattoos from the Pepper.  Wahoo!!!




                                            This rather dramatic looking young woman is Ada Rivera and she told me that she is a student.  When I asked her the significance of her tattoos, she told me that she just likes skulls.  Obviously and she also has her husband's name among the other images.                                        



Kris Lafontaine is a  field engineer for radiation cancer therapy


Look closely....this is one of the more interesting ones I have seen.  Now I wish I had ask him about it.



Add caption
                                    Heather is a mom and a talented writer among other things.  Sometimes people put  painfully personal things in their art.  This one says, "Beautiful Disaster"....                                        
This is a modern day adaptation of Shiva with the arms indicating the highs, lows and midpoints of her life.  "Brutal" is the adjective that she says best describes some of her life experiences. 




 
Kasey Blackwell





"I FEEL LIKE MY TATTOOS ARE THE STORY OF MY LIFE AND MY BODY IS THE CANVAS."jb  




Christian R. Stanley   works in paving company.  I actually really like the saying on his arm.  It is self explanatory.



Kimberly Rosewarne....  Certified Nurses Aide.  I saw her at the 7-11 getting gas and she was pumping gas, talking on her phone, and posing for me......multitasking.  We said we would get together to get info on her tats and photograph a couple of others, but it never happened and so I have no idea if there is any symbolism to her artwork but I'll bet there is.    



Holly ....Is a mom who has memorialized her cats in a tattoo.  






Stephanie Sharp recently certified as a dental asst.  At the time I took this she was  going to school for her license as a dental hygienist.   Her tattoo invites you to follow your heart...or hers. 



This is Laurel Engh.  She was working at Martin's and I noticed her "happy"  tattoo.  I have seen statements of love, horror, sadness etc., but not one that is just happy.  I have a feeling that she likes that song, "Happy" too. She has the rose, because her sister's name is Rose and just added the bee for the heck of it.  It makes for a nice tattoo....one that made me smile.






Steve Sabol



 I have noted several times that we have a lot of  interesting older men in Culpeper.  It will not be too long before I will join their ranks......well, I hope it will be several years, but anyway, this guy is one of them.  He is Steve Sabol and I stopped him in Walmart for a chat concerning his tattoos.  Right away he said they were "the most foolish thing I have ever done!"  I found out that Steve was a navy vet and that he served from 1951 until 1970.  I hope he won't mind if I reveal at this point that he lied about his age so that he could enlist at age 17.  Steve is a life long resident of Culpeper.   Steve has the variety of tattoos that servicemen wore "in the day."  At that time tattoos were not common, but were often worn by our warriors.  One of his says, "Death Before Dishonor."  The other one is an eagle.  He is a really interesting and upbeat guy.  It was my pleasure to have met him.  Sometimes I just get lucky. 



"I HAVE NEVER BEEN ONE TO CONFORM, I JUST DO THIS FOR MYSELF."ks




This is Heather Tyler and she moved to Culpeper two years ago from Texas.  I was swinging my grandson at the park  when I ran into her. She tells me that she has 13 tattoos in total and she is not done.  The  "3" behind her ear is for her 3 sons.  The rose is in memory of her mom. 










 This is Freda Kennedy and she works at Harriet's General Store in Culpeper.  Her artwork grabbed me right away. She kindly sent me some explanations.  These are her words:

                                                   
The angel on my neck my daughter drew when she was about 4 and she was in church with us and drew it during service when the pastor was talking about angels.
She drew the figures on my finger as our Wedding bands for our 14th Wedding anniversary.

The heart was once a Victoria Secret design.



This full sleeve represents her daughter, Lexi who is now 10.  You can see her name in the blocks with “mom” she loves Hello Kitty.  The Japanese art represents artwork from my favorite designer Simone Legno here is his link: www.tokidoki.it  
If I have this right....this girl represents Snow White who is her favorite character.  Hmmmm, Snow White is a lot hotter than I remember her.  


The heartbeat represents her husband and ends with a J for his name John, or his nickname, Joker. 
The little guy is a tokidoki character representing her love for Starbucks. 


This is Kate Shrewsbury who along with her husband owns Harriet's General Store.   Even my editor said, "Kate Shrewsbury has a tattoo?!!!!" Surprise, she does and here it is.   Here is what she said about this set of tattoos:  "The penny represents my Dad, he died when I was a kid and always said, 'a penny for your thoughts.'  The artichoke inside the penny represents my grandmother, who lived in the artichoke capital of the world and taught me how to love good food.  The poppies are simply because I love poppies."  She is adding to it as we speak.  I have really enjoyed Kate because she is a person that almost no one suspects would have a tattoo, but she does and a serious one.  I blew any thought of her keeping that tat a secret when I showed this very picture in the Culpeper Times in my "Snapshot of Culpeper."  Just today a lady told me that seeing Kate's tattoo in the paper  has emboldened her to display hers which she has sort of kept as a semi secret.

And.......here's the husband, Acie.  His explanation is simple....these are for his wife who "hangs the "sun, moon and the stars for me"

And voila!.....Shrewsburys a deux.  This is the "family crest" and consists of their children's initials:  C, C, B



 I think I mentioned that Harriet's seems to be a gathering spot for the tattooed.....at least I have seen several tattooed folks there.  This is Brett Conyers and that is a really cool rhino...excellent work!
Let's see.....it was 24 degrees outside...seriously, and Brett was wearing shorts!  I told him that he must be a better man than me, but there is one other possible explanation.....  Check out the elephant on the left....really good stuff!


"MY FATHER WAS A VERY CONSERVATIVE MAN.... BEFORE HE DIED HE TALKED TO ME AND SAID: LIVE YOUR LIFE TO THE FULLESTS, RIDE A MOTORCYCLE, GET A TATTOO...."ks



I was at Belk doing a little bit of shopping but mainly looking for guys with beards for my "Beard Blog,"  when I saw Marcus Terranova, who is a network marketer,  walk in with a very attractive woman whom I assume is his wife and a darling little girl who is his daughter.   I was not actively trying to find tattooed people but when I see them, I act.  Marcus is one of those guys who looks really tough and may be, but is very polite and engaging. The tattoos on his head and neck really caught my eye and I asked if I could photograph them for this blog.  He told me that he has tattoos "all over." So we got the head shots and his arm and then to my surprise right there in Belk he pulled up his shirt to reveal the work on his chest and back.  The work on this guy is not only extensive but amazing.  Check it out.....and remember, there is more.....lots more.


I thought this artwork was exceptional!




This guy was a great find for me.  I was in Walmart scouting for guys for my "Beards" blog and I saw Peter Smith shopping in the tools.  He is a big guy and was sorting of scowling but I asked him if  I could  talk to him for a minute about his  beard.  He said we could do that and so I explained about my blog etc. and asked about taking some shots of his beard and he agreed.  Then since I am  always looking for interesting tats I asked about his and found that he has a cornucopia of them.   He explained them all to me....I will let you just look, but interestingly they are almost all related to the band KISS.  By the way..... Peter is a corrections officer!







We'll leave Peter with this one on his calf.      




I stopped by Steve's Tattoos and found him busily at work on Samantha Hughes.  She was getting her seventh tattoo and this time it is a skull. 




 "SO THAT WAS MY REPRESENTATION OF COMING OUT OF THE DARK, EMBRACING MY INNER STRENGTH AND GROWING, INSTEAD OF BECOMING A VICTIM OF MY CIRCUMSTANCES.  I HAD THE CHOICE AND ABILITY TO CHANGE.  I WANTED THE PERMANENT REMINDER OF WHERE I HAD COME FROM AND WHAT I HAD BEEN THROUGH AND THAT "I" MADE THE CHOICE TO BECOME A BETTER PERSON IN SPITE OF ALL THAT."jb



 It is hard to miss the tattoo on Amanda Morris' neck.... so of course I asked her about it, but I was not quite ready for the answer.  Amanda works at Target and also is a volunteer there (I had no idea that Target had volunteers) and at the hospital and at the jail.  She mostly acts as an interpreter.  This name Beto on her neck is the name of her husband who passed away a few years ago.  She also had a couple of others. 

  A  brother who she also lost

At least this appears happy.  Although she has experienced some tough life times....she is an upbeat person.  I respect that. 




I had just taken a picture of the restaurant general manager at the new Panera Bread and was walking past their windows when I saw the tattoos on this guy's arm and turned right back around.  This is a cool couple and we had a great conversation and shot some pictures of his tattoo and planned to shoot more of both of them, but it did not work out.   They are Hannah Wiley and Hans Ugaz and just very recently moved to Culpeper from Dumfries.  They are quite taken with their new town.


I sent this picture to Hans because he had said that he would give me an explanation of his tattoos.  I am afraid that he has forgotten me. 




This happy lady is Monica Newell and as you can see she has a significant number of tattoos.    This lady is an artist, a songwriter, and a writer who is currently working on a comic book.  She has formerly been the owner of a couple of art galleries in the area and now also teaches art.  Let's see.....is it safe to say that she is art involved?  I think so.  I did not get all of her tattoos, but the ones I got are pretty cool.   

    The tattoos include a Mexican embroidery detail; a Budda and Elvis and a Native American boy riding an eagle.                    





"I GOT MY FIRST TATTOO IN 1991 IN COLORADO SPRINGS FROM A GUY NAMED 'SNAKE'." mn
    
                                     

                                      





This is the nicest guy and he has the yellowest car I have ever seen!  He also had the cutest little girl hanging on his leg.  She is Shayla which explains the tattoo.    




Two sisters here, Jessica Jarrells and Megan Edwards and both of them sparkly ladies. 



Jessica has her son's footprint on her ankle.  She also has two others "in transition" that we won't be showing right now. 


Here is Megan showing off what she calls "her heritage." 

This, of course, is a feather and it is a remembrance of her "granddad."



"I JUST LIKE THEM!  WHAT OTHER REASON CAN THERE POSSIBLY BE?"jj



I was rehabbing from some surgery and walking very slowly at Yowell when Renee Thomas walked briskly past me.  I caught sight of the tattoos on her arm and decided to wait for her to walk the entire route.  As I approached her it was safe to conservatively say that she was apprehensive about this guy who was coming up to her and more than a little suspicious of me.  When she told me that she is a corrections officer that explained everything.  Renee had great tattoos, I think she said she had ten, and she let me photograph several of them.


I let a bit of shadow get on this one, but oh, well.  The main theme for this lady involves butterflies.  She said that for her they represent new beginnings....new freedom.

Renee also has the name of her daughter on her along with Minnie.


Here is a biggie!!!!  Renee Thomas is a forever fan of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson!  He is on her more than once as you will see.  Right below Michael is a ring of butterflies.

EEOOOWW!!!  This one is almost spooky and is one her upper back.  It is all we could show tastefully and is another Michael Jackson!  With just his eyes peeking out and watching you, it is a bit weird.  Renee was a very gracious woman to share so much with me.




  

I say over and over both in my blogs and in my Snapshot feature that people in Culpeper are "nice."  I have searched for another word, but "nice" just fits and so once again I will say that Brandon Santos pictured here, is a really nice guy.  We had a funny meeting.  I had headed out to get pizza and pulled into a parking spot with the nose of my car facing the store.  My window was down.  I had just stopped when a car pulled into the spot right next to me only facing the opposite way, that is, his truck faced away from the same store that the nose of my car faced.  His window was also down and so there we were about three feet apart just looking at each other.  So, I said, "How you doing, man?"  He said, "I am doing good how about you?"  I said, "What you doing here?"  He said, "I came to get pizza."  I said, "Me too, but I was wondering if we could talk about your tattoos for a couple of minutes before we go in."  He said, "Sure."  And there you go we chatted about his tattoos.  Brandon is a chef who is originally from Brooklyn.
                                                          
                                  
Brandon told me that his tattoos are about the struggle
between good and evil and that you need to live with your
decisions.




Then we headed in and got our pizzas.





You can tell where this lady works.  She is Rhonda Higgens.

I did not get a full explanation.  I just know that she said it represented the song of her life. 



When I first met Diana she was working at Target and had a shirt that went up to her neck and sleeves that covered her wrists.  In fact, if a friend of hers had not alerted me that she had a "ton" of tattoos I would never have known.    She told me that she has, "15 tattoos total at the moment," but she is  planning on "plenty more."  Here are some of the visible ones starting with the chest piece above.  That piece she says was "a random idea that was started by one star.  It is incomplete at the moment."

Diana got this rose the day her grandmother died.  She loved roses.

This is for her mother who passed away from cancer.  Those are her birth and death dates and says, "Earth has not sorrow that heaven cannot heal." 


In case you could not tell, this is a zombie pinup.  Diana loves zombies and she loves pinups and wanted a tattoo "like no one else has."  I think she got it.




 "THIS IMAGE CAME TO ME IN A DREAM AND  THEN IT WAS A TATTOO THAT I ALWAYS WANTED, BUT I COULD NEVER ARTICULATE IT WELL ENOUGH FOR AN ARTIST TO RECREATE WHAT I WAS SEEING IN MY MIND'S EYE."jb 




I got referred to this guy, Adam T. McKay....cool dude.  In addition to working at Culpeper Pawnbroker he is founder and CEO of Team Deuces a sort of conglomerate of various types of businesses which include: cars, clothes and community. 
                 
 
With a few exceptions, Adam's tattoos are tribal symbols.







These two friends, Kandi and Savanah share an interest in tattoos.  Interestingly enough neither of them is particularly crazy about the one on their wrist. 

I have no idea what they are, but they seem pretty cool to me. 


When I shoot someone with a tattoo I always get their email so that I can send them their picture and ask them about the significance of the tattoos.  Most people respond, but some  don't and that is cool. If they ever tell me what these are about, I pass it on to you. 
I have lots of examples of complex or big tattoos, but there are also some small ones.  This is a Christian symbol and I believe the smallest tattoo in this blog....maybe anywhere! 



"I HAVE LEARNED TO EMBRACE ALL THAT IS AND LET GO OF THAT WHICH DOES NOT SERVE ME."jb 







You are pretty cool if you go by just one name, like: Jayzee or Prince or Cher etc.  Well, this is  Drew....just Drew.  He is a general artist, but I know he specializes in airbrushing and tattoos.










I met Jessica Marfinetz and Nathan at the new Lollipop Station
I know it is a slot machine with wings, but the meaning is a mystery to me.  
This is Devin Stuart whom I met at the Brandy Volunteer Fire Department where he has volunteered since he was sixteen.  Right now he is in the Air Force stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, but when he can he comes home and volunteers. 
Devin Stuart is an "Explosive Ordinance Disposal Expert"  in other words, he is like "Hurt Locker"
                                   
                       This cartoon bomb with the lighted fuse honors his work with explosives.                     




This is Danielle Hardaway and she is obviously an athlete.  She works out everyday and wins lots of competitive races.  Several of her tats express her love of being in the sun and outdoors.  
This turtle tattoo represents the mom (her) and the band are the little turtles which represent her babies.




She is a runner, after all....and was a full ride scholarship athlete!  






This is Laura Ford and she has a variety of jobs that she does at home.  I put a note in the Culpeper Times asking for anyone who believed they had special tattoos that I had overlooked to contact me.  She did and she has a bunch .....12 if I am not mistaken. 


The opening lines of Desiderata,  one on each arm constitute her basic philosophy.


Names of children and grandchildren

The Eye of Ra.... for protection



This big guy is Gary Nurse Jr.  He is a truck  driver and a volunteer EMT with Culpeper Volunteer Rescue Squad.  He has tigers with implanted diamonds or faux diamonds.  Those kind of things make me cringe.  Then on his other arm he has horns and a crest and the name "Montague."  I was really curious about that and asked him what it  stood for.  He really surprised me by commenting that he really liked "Romeo and Juliet" and that there were two families in the play.  (I taught high school English for three years and naturally this was one of Shakespeare's plays that I taught)  The families were the Montagues and the Capulets and he just chose one to memorialize this play.






Hailey Crowder loves this verse which speaks for itself.  




"THE  TATTOO THAT FOLLOWED HER PASSING IS THAT REPRESENTING THE DAY OF THE DEAD IN MEXICAN TRADITION. THERE IS NO MOURNING BUT A CELEBRATION OF ALL MY LOVED ONES WHO ARE NO LONGER HERE IN  PHYSICAL BODY, BUT WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF MY HUMAN EXPERIENCE."jb




I spotted the tat on Destinee (real name) Stanley's back from quite a distance.  The flowers are three cherry blossoms which are her favorites but I think the words are really cool.  They say, "lead me, guide me, walk beside me.  There are probably several sources for these words, but I know them from a church song called, "I Am a Child of God."





 Gracie Schlapo with a understated and tasteful tattoo quoting a verse from a favorite song. That song is "After the Storm" by Mumford and Sons.  Interesting.
She and friends sport arrows as a friendship bond.  "An arrow can only be shot forward by pulling back."


This engaging guy is David Morries.  He is a personal trainer who holds a bachelors degree in physiology and has his eye on a Phd.



Yes, Sir Officer Rochefort!  Brian Rocheforte, as you can see, is really put together....like a rock! Often guys like him are the most easy going when you are taking their picture, but  I've got some money that says that niceness turns to all business when he is making an arrest.  Did I mention that he is a police officer in Fairfax County, my old stomping grounds?  He has lots of art on him and was very patient while I shot it.



All good stuff!



When I saw Tammy Gaskins in the aisle of Martins my first question was, "Did you win?"  She was understandably just a little confused so I said, "For the most tattoos?"  She has about as much art on her as anyone and is really a good sport about talking about it.  An interesting aside about Tammy is that she is a part time forklift operator!  How about that? Yea for women! She is also a full time mom and nine of her tattoos (she has twenty and counting) are of her children.


Here is a simple truth.... if I had taken pictures of all of Tammy's tattoos (assuming they were accessible) I would still be there shooting.  So I just had to choose a couple to include here.  The one above is in memory of her "Nannie" who has passed on.  She says that it is her way of keeping her memory always.   This is what she said about the tattoo below:  "My children on my chest is the BEST mother's day gift EVER from my wonderful hubby and kids!!U only got a pic of my daughter but I also have my son on the other side now."
I hope she wins the prize someday.


"NINE OF MY TATTOOS ARE FOR MY FAMILY JUST SO I CAN HAVE THEM AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE."tg



Lovely, fun,  Mary Sullivan presented the biggest dilemma for me in presenting her  tattoos in this  blog.  Mary has several tattoos that  she can display  if she chooses, but..... well, let me have her tell you:  "My tattoos remind me to shine a little brighter.  I got them on my hips because sometimes I feel like it's nobody's business what's going on in my head and they are easy to cover up if I need to."  So let's check hers out..... 
This is the first one Mary designed entirely on her own and obviously is on her arm. There are two skeletons representing her and her sister that are facing each other and holding a sacred heart and there is much much more.
This tattoo symbolizes earth, wind, fire and water.

The tree of life symbolizes her adventures so far. 




I liked this guy because he has a sense of humor.  You can see it in his eyes.....however he only gave me his first name which is Sean.  The tattoo memorializes the band, the Nine Inch Nails.  I don't know how many of those exist in the USA, but I suspect the band could afford to give free passes to their concerts to everyone who has one.


Angela Booker travels all the way to Fairfax everyday to her work as a receptionist at a veterinarian clinic. She loves Culpeper so much that she thinks it is well worth it. The dream catcher is dedicated to her grandmother who has passed away.  Her name was AnnieBee which is why there is a bee flying from the flower. 

On this arm she has her daughter's names.  They are nine and four years old.




Michelle Rollins caught my eye.....well, because she doesn't seem like the type to have a tattoo.  I really know better because anyone can have a tattoo these days and everyone is the "type", but still she did not seem like she would be one of those who went through with it.  But, viola!  Here she is and she is pretty cute about it, and still learning to be comfortable.  She says this about the tat: "The fish are because I am a true pisces. A friend has a painting of a fish with a halo and horns and I felt it was me.  I'm good but I can be rotten. (ah, come on now) And I am a sun lover."



This is Chris Hall and he is plant manager for Tanom Motors here in Culpeper.  He is like gold to me.  Now with this blog I have used him more than any other person ever in the combination of my blogs and my "Snapshot"  in the Culpeper Times.  You may remember him from the "Beards" blog.

   
Here is Chris with the brand new "Invader" a reverse tricycle that is the sexiest thing I have ever seen.  It is going into production soon. A picture much like this was recently in my "Snapshots of Culpeper" in the Culpeper Times.

He told me that when he was younger he was really into horror and horror movies etc.  That certainly is reflected on his arms. 
This speaks for itself.



 "MY TATTOOS REMIND ME TO SHINE A LITTLE BRIGHTER."ms


One of the issues that I have had in doing this blog is that I can't seem to stop working on it.  I was absolutely sure that I had every picture I needed and then I passed Kim Henry as I was leaving Martins.  My camera was in the car and so here is Kim who is a mother of two children.  She rescued a hummingbird last year and looked up some info on that interesting creature.  It is supposed to represent "light in your own darkness to embrace the enjoyment and meaning of life."  She turned that into a personal tattoo.



It's looking like a big finish here.  This big man is Michael  Jarrell  and he is one interesting dude.  When I was told about him I was told that he "is a little bit scary."  So................ I really did not know what to expect.  What I found was a really intelligent guy who pretty much likes to keep to himself.  Scary? Not so much.  This guy is the manager of an "offsite records retention facility."  He is thoughtful and has done more studying and knows more about tattoos and tattooing than anyone I know.   He would like to have a "Japanese suit" sometime which means he would like to be covered from head to foot.  He has a great start.
Now this sounds like something out of a movie, but he and his girlfriend were driving in her car and it broke down.  As luck would have it they broke down in front of a tattoo parlor.  After waiting around for an hour and a half for help to arrive, he gave in, went in, and got his first tattoo.  The rest is, as they say, history. 
Here are the tattoos on his appendages....none of the body ones were shared.  Hang on to your hat!!!

There are lots more, but you get the idea.


Michael wanted an authentic experience and so the ones on his feet were done by a traditional Japanese artist.  He had poked each dot.....pretty painful I hear.


"SOME PEOPLE HANG ART IN THEIR HOME, I HANG MINE ON MY SKIN."mj 
  


AND FINALLY THE BIG FINISH

Samantha Crow works in the juvenile/domestic  courts of Culpeper.  She has a rather impressive tattoo on her back.  It is also uplifting and so I will end with it today.

In the center is the Sacred Heart surrounded by angel's wings.  Samantha said that she told the artist to make the wings large enough that if they were real she could fly.  She assures me that they are that large.  "The wings symbolize the freedom to live and love how  you choose.  My tattoo was done the day of the Sandy Hook shootings.  The tattoo artist said he couldn't think of a better tattoo to be working on that day."  It is a work in progress...she has thirteen hours in it so far with lots more to go.  



"BUT YOU ASKED THE QUESTION, 'But why a tattoo?' I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ANSWER WITH A REALLY INTELLIGENT ANSWER......HOWEVER, I HAVE FOUND THAT IN MY EXPERIENCE WITH STRANGERS, IT PROVIDES PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO ME AND ASK QUESTIONS.  IF I DIDN'T HAVE THIS DISPLAY OF MY STORY ON MY BODY I DON'T THINK THE RANDOM PERSON ON THE STREET WOULD HAVE ANY INTEREST IN WHO I AM, BUT IT OPENS A DOOR TO A CONVERSATION."jb


And that's all folks.  This has been a lot of fun.  As the last quote above notes: I probably would have spoken to only a few of these people featured in this blog if it had not been for their tattoos.  I am indebted to each one for taking the time to talk with me and allowing me into a piece of their world.  Fascinating to say the least.   

Be sure to look for my weekly feature in the CULPEPER TIMES,  "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper." 

If you would like to comment or share pictures of your tattoos, write to me at: facesofculpeper@gmail.com


AND LAST
THE PICTURE OF ME GETTING A TATTOO IS STAGED....IT IS A FAKE....THANKS STEVE!

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