Friday, September 18, 2015

Tattoos Of Culpeper.... Again!

I have been doing my "Faces" blog now for five years.  I have featured hundreds of people, sometimes with themes and sometimes random.  This is the third blog about people in the peper who sport tattoos.  I have to admit that I find them interesting and always enjoy meeting the people.  This blog should burst any misconceptions about who gets tattoos,  because all kinds of people do.  Almost everyone that I ask to photograph for any of my pieces readily agrees.  The longer I do my blog, facebook and "Snapshot" the easier it is because so many know my work.   However, this time I had two ladies turn me down....that is unusual.  They were both heavily and tastefully tattooed and would have really added to the blog.  Too Bad!  A number of people including a tattoo shop owner expressed the opinion that not as many men are getting tats now as women.  The shop owner told me that his business runs about 20% men and 80% women.  That validated my experience.  When I thought I was done I counted by gender and found that I had 12 women and 6 men.  Sooooo ....  I went to where there are always tattooed guys, Golds Gym. Sure enough.

Well enough conversation let's get to it.... Tattoos of Culpeper.... Again!

When I went to Golds Gym to find guys with tats, Nick Swett was the first guy I ran into.  He is a big guy... about as tall as I am but a whole lot bigger.  He works hard at that!  He is a construction worker and works out four or five times a week.  He told me that his tattoos below left were all tribal.

And this one is an  "old token Indian" tattoo if I understood him correctly.

Then I  cracked up when I saw this tattoo on this tough guy. Let's see, tribal, Indian and Pig Pen.  Works for me!


Shortly after one of our massive rains of the summer I was driving past Yowell Meadow Park and spotted Nicole Vissone fishing.  I have seen alot of people in general fishing this year and several of them were young woman, but Nicole was fishing with her boyfriend and they were not fishing in the pond.... they were fishing in the flooded areas of Yowell Meadow Park.....AND they were catching fish!  Talk about being given lemons and making lemonade!  When I stopped to talk to them I saw some  tattoos peeking out on Nicole in a couple of places and we had to talk.
Nicole is a student at Germanna studying police science.  In the meantime she works for the school in security. 

See, a little peek on the leg! 

And on the back

And a gun and roses on the thigh!

She has quite a display of quality work from the back.  When someone has so many tattoos, I get general information about them and their email on the spot and then send them a copy of the pictures.  I asked them to tell me about the tats so that I can explain them here on this blog.  Unfortunately I was not able to get an explanation from Nicole.  Maybe the email address I had was wrong, but Nicole if you see this, please email me and tell me about the art.

This is Allen Jenkins who works at Lowe's.  Until he joined Lowes, he spent most of his life breaking and training horses. He still does that as his second job.  Like everyone's, Allen's tattoos tell  stories.  His first tattoo on top came when he was 19 and he really liked the tv show, "The Saint."  As I recall that was the symbol they opened the show with.  The cross was designed by his Godmother at a time when he needed a reminder of the real direction in his life. 

Tiffany Yowell... beauty and beast?

I met Tiffany Yowell at Dick's Sporting Goods a couple of months ago when I was looking for a "Face of the Week"  which was then a new feature on my Facebook page.   I also call that  "Faces of Culpeper" but I added "by Rich Crowley."   Who would not want to feature this face?  Tiffany  told me that she had been  a "pretty good" soccer player and so googled her.  There were several newspaper articles about her achievements on the soccer field including a ton of awards and recognition for her skill.  A couple of times her "aggressive play" was mentioned.  I thought to myself, "This young lady has the face of an angel and the competitive heart of a beast!"  I don't know her well but she was a college scholarship athlete until injury forced an early retirement.  Then to top that off she shared with me that she had seven tattoos.  Seven!! By the way.... in real life she is a full time student at Mary Washington University.
Here is one tattoo with several facets.  There is a piano keyboard.... she plays piano.  There are music notes to represent her families' love of music and the words, "in the arms of an angel" which is the favorite family song.

On Tiffany's foot is a soccer ball representing her love for the game that she played long and well.

On her shoulder is this message in memory of her grandpa.

This butterfly is made from the her initials along with her mother's.

And finally.....
This was added right after the first surgery she had on her knee.  There would be two more surgeries before she was done.

That is a lot of tattoos on this woman and she told me that she is not done. 

Brittney Wright and Tiffany are, as they say, BFFs.  She attends JMU studying health science.  Brittney has the best planned tattoo that I have ever seen.  Talk about long range planning.  I will explain it below.

This obviously is two baby elephants with their trunks joined to make a heart.  Brittney told me that someday she would marry and have two kids. Not 1 or 3 but 2!  At that point she will have the names of each added above an elephant.  She certainly is a forward thinker!!

Michael Cregger works at Automotive Options and among other things is an excellent detailer.  The tattoos on his forearm represent peace and love.  Michael's passion in life is skateboarding.  His tattoo "One Love" is his dedication and love for when he finds the right woman he can tell her that it is for her.  :)

I met Tracy Shipe outside of the 7-11 on the corner where you turn to go to Mountain Run Lake Park.  I commented on her tattoos and we were off and running.  I asked if I could shoot them and she  suggested that we do it at Mountain Run Lake Park instead of in the parking lot.  She has a great deal of symbolism in her art and so I will quote below what she wrote me about it.
"The leaf symbolism refers to mother earth."

This can be hard to see at first, but it is a beautiful
woman with tattoos on her face.

A giant plus for me was Tracy telling me that she has not let her friends photograph
 her, but with me it was different because instantly we shared the same
energy.  Yeah!  I will take it!

 In black is Jorge Perez who works construction... his tattoos honor friends that have died plus some honor his Mom and Dad.
     CJ Fincham  in red works for Presidential Detailing  and says that he has allowed his arms to be a "sketch pad" for tattoo artists.  They are complex and interesting and random. 

One of the things that I love about summer is that if you are looking for tattoos, they are right out in the open.  I noticed this one in Target on the arm of Katie Beatty who works at the animal hospital.  As you can tell there are two roses, but what might not be quite as clear is that above the roses is the name of Katie's daughter, Ava Rose.

On July 4th I ran into Robert Hawkins at the car show on E. Davis.  Robert has his share of tattoos which he acquired in "various cities."  Robert left Culpeper in 1966 and worked as an iron worker until her retired and returned here in 2013.

I was delivering a magazine to one of my wife's friends and saw 
Jessica Stull walking down the street to her home.  We had to talk!!

This arm of Jessica's is serious business!  The tattoos represent the past, present and future. In no real order.... the roses represent Alice in Wonderland. The bird represents  freedom.

Jessica is a paramedic (EMPT) for Prince William County and she continues to live her life in spite of the
pain she carries with her.   


I ran into Taylor Radan at the post office.  She was trying to address an envelope to her husband, her baby was tired and fussy, and I wanted to talk about her tattoo.  I might have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but talk about a gracious woman......she stopped and gave me all the information that I needed.   Taylor is a stay at home mom whose husband is deployed in Kuwait. She wrote me this about her tattoo:  "The lock and key symbolize a nine year long friendship.  We have not seen each each other for years but our friendship never faded, so I got the tattoo to show that we would always be friends."

If you have followed me on any of my outlets (blog, facebook, "Snapshot of Culpeper) you will have seen this guy before.  He is Antonio Yates and he is the owner of  Antonio's Classic Barber Spa.  In addition he is a competitive body builder with a competition coming up in October.  He told me that his tats are all  religious and tribal.

This is Amy Mariyasov and obviously some one hurt her so badly that it was like a spike through her heart...... pretty sad.  She works at the 7-11 near Mt. Run Lake Park. 

This man lives not too far from me and was moving into his new house when I spotted his arm and came back to talk to him.  This is James Pennell who works (if I got this right) at Workers Builders First Source. He and his wife have three kids.  His tattoo wraps around his upper arm and honors two fathers: God and our biological fathers.  In actuality the inside part of his arm is in respect for his father in law who died too soon. 

This is Jennifer Bywaters  who owns an online business making handmade jewelry.  Mosts of her products are for children and some that I saw were very clever as well as attractive.  Her business is called BBbead boutique.  You can reach her by email at  She had her tattoo done shortly after her baby was born.  It is a mommy and baby bird together. 

Jessica Wester Marks has quite a few tattoos, but this one is obviously the one most noticed.  It is a butterfly and cherry blossoms.  

Juan Lord only has three tattoos.  This one is a beautiful  picture of his deceased mother. 
Juan is in the Air Force and currently going to school. 

These two are the initials of his children.   I have to note that Juan's arms are big enough to tattoo an aircraft carrier on. 

Miarra Robinson is a hair stylist at the Hair Cuttery.  She was in a big hurry when I asked her to pause just a second for a picture which she graciously did.  All of our communication was by email and got a little confused at times.  The scissors on her forearm are obviously acknowledgement to her career which she loves.  The tattoo near her collar bone says "Strong woman, in Hindi."

Russell Furr is a Master Plumber who lives in the Peper with his wife and three kids.  He told me that all of his tattoos are "Bio mechanical designs"  and that the artist is Thom Little.  These tats are pretty complex and a bit scary.

This happy face  belongs to Tracey Farrar who has a total of five tattoos.  This one was the most visible.  Tracey is a single mom and a sign language interpreter.  We can't see everything here, but the flowers are hibiscus and iris and in there somewhere is "I love you" in sign.

Kendall Peters is a Tanning Consultant at Tan City .  She has just this one tattoo and her sister has a matching one.  It demonstrates their bond forever. 


Frank Whorton works in Federal Security.  He was previously in the military but left because of the severe wounding he received in Afghanistan.  He is a true wounded warrior who has gone through much difficult work and pain to get where he is today.... he still has a ways to go.  When I talked with him he seemed to have a great attitude.  I am personally impressed with him and grateful to him for serving all of us.  Besides, his dead lifting is impressive.  
This, of course, the Grim Reaper siting on a clock that is ticking someones' time away.  You will notice that it has two red lines running down from it.  Frank said that when they had completed the tattoo, that his blood was running down his arm just like that and he got the artist to grab some red ink and make it permanent.  


1. This is one of three photo related presentations that I do about Culpeper, Virginia.
2. Be sure to check out my newest and very hot facebook page:   Faces of Culpeper by Rich Crowley
3. The Culpeper Times runs a weekly feature called,  Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper.  It is located inside the front cover and you cannot miss it. 
4.  A bit of education..... my last name is pronounced,  CRO  LEE the first part is just like the name of the black bird.

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