Tell Me About Your Tattoo

Mom

Motorcycles and tattoos seem to go hand in hand. For most of my life I never really understood why anyone would want to get a tattoo.  Then I met Jay who has five tribal tats.  This was before either of us owned a Harley. I asked him to explain each of them to me on one of our first dates.  Some of his stories were fascinating.  The one where he got a tattoo that looked like Goldberg’s (the wrestler) because it was his birthday wasn’t so fascinating and did not do much for the cause! However I did start to become intrigued by the concept. 

I watched a few episodes of “Inked” and “Miami Ink”, and even a documentary on tattooing.  I talked to several people about their tattoos and listened carefully to their stories.  I began to come around.

I could understand the motivation, but I knew that if I were ever going to even consider getting a tattoo it would have to have special meaning.  I wondered what in my life might have that special of a meaning that I’d consider having it permanently engraved into my skin.

  • Tweety Bird? — no 
  • The Ravens? — no
  • Yuengling? — no
  • Harley Davidson? — no
  • The name of a special guy? — no
  • My children? — hmmmm….no

And then it hit me!  My mother had been killed in a tragic car accident about a dozen years back.  Her favorite flowers were very appropriately daisies.  A daisy represents innocence and virtue.  Nothing could embody her spirit more.  I could go with that….or could I?

OK, I found an acceptable subject, but did I really want a tattoo?  It will hurt, won’t it?  Do I want to embody that “tattoo culture” image?  Jay took me to a tattoo parlor and I looked at flash art and talked to some artists.  The idea became real to me.

After months of debate I finally decided to go for it. I made some sketches and brought them into one of the best tattoo shops in the area; Wild Card Studios. The tattoo artist took my vision and made an awesome rendering of a ring of daisies around my ankle. Getting the tattoo on my boney ankle hurt like hell but I’m glad I did it.  Months later when I married Jay, having the tattoo on my ankle made me feel as though my dear departed mother was there with me for my wedding day…and that was worth more than words can ever describe.

Ankle Left

Ankle Right

That’s my ankle at our wedding

Lately I’ve been considering getting another tat.  I’ve come to peace with some new subject matter, and I am working on the design.  Time will tell how it pans out.

I heard somewhere that it was an unwritten rule that you never walked up to an old school biker and asked what his tats represented.  But in this day and age the definition of a “biker” has evolved in most circles to include all motorcycle enthusiasts, not just the 1%-ers.  So I am asking you….

  • What tattoos do you have? 
  • What do they represent?
  • What made you decide to get them?
  • Would you consider getting more?

Note: for another interesting story about a moto blogger and his tattoo click here.

20 Responses to “Tell Me About Your Tattoo”

  1. I will be emailing pics of my tats later. Great post. I love your daisies, and what they represent. I love my tattoos, and I plan to get more.

    Nice wedding pic, too! 🙂

  2. Ms. RC

    I too lost my mother in a car crash when I was young, sorry to hear of your lose. She sure is a beautiful lady! I have a photo of my mom very much like this one of your mother. Think I’ll have to scan it in so I can have it on my PC. Would hate to think something would happen that I would lose the only photo I have of her.

    As far as tats I don’t have any. Odd I know for a “biker” not to have any but like you I have never found the “right” one for me. Who knows maybe someday.

    fasthair

  3. I was really touched by this post. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. I love that picture, you look like her. And I love your tattoo.
    I have two tattoos. The first one is a butterfly on my ankle. I got it right after I moved to California. For me it symbolized a new life. I felt like I left the cocoon that was my life in Utah and now I was free to fly.
    The second tat is a celtic symbol on my lower back. It means loyalty, honor and trust. My older brother picked it out and then he, my younger brother and I all got the tattoo. Since I am the middle child, I got mine in the middle of my lower back, my older brother got his on his left shoulder, and my younger brother got his on his right shoulder. The three of us have had some serious rifts, but the tats remind us that no matter what we are connected.
    I would like to add on to the one on my back and incorporate my son’s name in it.
    BB's Tattoo
    BB's Tat 2

  4. Thank you all for your comments and compliments. Ladies, we will post your photos just as soon as we get them. (Pictures add so much to a story, don’t they?)

    BB, your butterfly story reminds me a lot of a video I am working on! 😉

  5. BTW… Tattoo Nation is a really cool book. I have it in hard cover and it makes a great coffee table book. It has pictures of rock stars and celebrities with their tattoos and their stories. You might only be able to find it in soft cover now.

  6. From my blog post about my first tatt:
    A part of me somewhere inside always wanted a tattoo. The problem was…of what? I have to be honest in saying that in over 40 years, nothing really hit me hard enough for me to say, “I want that on my body.” That was of course before I got wrapped up in the Harley-Davidson Mystique. I rode other bikes, and some of them were nice in their own right, but they had no soul. I believe there is something more to the Harley-Davidson motorcycle than mere mechanical parts. For me, my Harley has introduced me to people, places, and things I never knew existed before. I feel like a blind man who can suddenly see. I am one with the machine, and with my brothers and sisters who ride with me. So, when it really came down to it, the choice for how I would break my tattoo cherry was easy.
    Joker's first tattoo

  7. I thought long and hard when I decided to get mine. My first one isnt really a tatoo. It’s a brand. My friends and I had too much JD around the campfire so we made a “D” with some coathanger wire, got it red hot and they branded me. That hurt. Why a D? I have no idea. I guess it was the first letter of my name but it could mean “Dumbass”.

    Having a majority of my blood from Denmark I figured something that spoke of that would be in order. I searched and searched. Finally I came across a artifact from a archeological dig in Denmark. A viking broche from around 810A.D. It was missing some pieces and pretty trashed. I completed the missing pieces in a graphics program and went down to get cut. The artist promised not to keep it or use it again. We’ll see about that.
    Dave's Hairy Scooter Tramp Tattoo

  8. I have 4
    one is a pegasus comung out of the flames’ with the name Nowegian under it.
    It siginfies that no matter how hot things are I will rise above it……….Ironically although it’s a greek myth not norse..15 years after getting it I ended up married to a greek….Go figure.
    One is a naked woman sitting on a Indian blanket.
    It’s a Photo of my first wife who is a american Indian.
    one is the skull set in a maltese cross with the vin to my sporty underneath.
    the last…but not last.
    is the budwieser bowtie with my brothers name accros it He loved bud and it was a tribute to him.
    The next is a full back tat
    with Ann topless on a swing wearing a lace robe and knee high leather boots it has many shades of meaning.

  9. Oh and by the way’Since we are talking sybolisim.
    on my left hand a wedding ring
    Married to Ann.
    on my right
    a harley ring.
    Married to Annebelle 88

  10. Geez, I guess I’m pretty much out of the loop here. I have no tatts and probably won’t get one. I figure, if I haven’t gotten one by now, it must not be a happening thing. I still like to look and sometimes wonder what I would get, but that’s as far as it’s ever gotten. Love ya’lls tatts and stories! I find the reasons to be extremely interesting and meaningful.

    B.B. .. I think Dave took advantage of a good excuse to take a picture of your behind! LOL!

    Diana.. You were beautiful in your wedding picture, and you look just like your mom.

    BTW…Goldbergs?

  11. Thanks Lady R! Yes, Goldberg, the wrestler. I will have to get Jay to post his pics and stories here.

  12. Oh I have the HD tat. About 30 yrs or so of fade. Son is a tatto artist. One day I’ll have it repaired. Is the one picture an indacation of where the next is going?

  13. I had always wanted one but like others wanted something that would mean something to me years down the road, not something I’d be wondering “what was I thinking” and as much as I’d like a Ravens tat, I remember what happened when the Colts left (one more Superbowl and I may change my mind though). I love the sense of family I have gotten from my Harley friends either in my H.O.G. Chapter or just on the road and I wanted to tie my family in somehow and I got the idea for what I ended up getting. Hopefully the picture shows it clearly: It’s the names of my wife and kids riveted onto my shoulder. Got that last year and have been thinking about the next from the second I walked out the door!
    John's Tattoo

  14. John, I was only in the fifth grade, and didn’t even like football back then, but I just can’t get that image of a Mayflower truck pulling out of town through the falling snow in the middle of the night out of my head. Then as I grew older and came to be a huge football fan, fighting for Balmer to get its own team again…I came to learn that Indianapolis gets to keep OUR history forever–Johnny U and all! That’s SO not fair!!! I don’t think I could EVER be a Colts fan. (I just wanna know whatever happened to that really cool logo with the front view of a Raven with outstretched wings clutching a football in his talons???? THAT might even be tattoo worthy! LOL)

  15. There is no rule that says you have to be young to get a tat. My wife and I got our first tats for our 21st anniversary. (I was 44 and she was 47). I am now 51 and have 9 while she has over 60 (a lot of her tats were done as add ons to current pieces).

    My favorite is my latest one, done 4 years ago. A full backpiece showing a Buddhist temple in Korea, on a mountside, overlooking a meditation pond with Lotus flowers and herons. Over the top is the oath of the Hwa Rang warriors, the Korean equivelant of the Knights of the Round Table from 1300 years ago. Each element of the tat has meaning and represents places I have been phyusically as well as things I aspire to, personaly.

    I, too, serve as a Road Captain. I am in the Milwaukee Chapter and was elected last year.

    Just wish I oculd figure out how Flix, Joker, and B.B. got the pics INTO the post!!!

  16. Pauly,
    Thanks for stopping by. It is always good to hear from a new reader! Trust me, I was no young-un when I got my first tat. No one beleives me from looking at my pictures, but really I am 40 years old and my first was just 2 weeks before my 39th birthday.

    As far as the pics, you can email them to Jay at editor@roadcaptainusa.com and he will post them in your comment.

    Ride safe, and stop by again soon! 😉

  17. Yeah, I was 46 when I finally got mine.
    Diane, that Ravens logo is the one that had the big lawsuit I believe. I’m sure someone else will know the details.
    I have my next in mind, just waiting on the funds. Thanks for posting it.
    John

  18. Shoot, I mean Diana…gotta check things before I submit!

  19. It’s OK John, I am used to people calling me everything from Diane to DD to Aunt Di-Di to Deedle…
    😉
    I think the logo that infringed on copyrights was the shield with wings. The one I am referring to is a full Raven bird–I beleive it was worn on the sleeve of the uniforms for the first few years.

  20. The tattoo you decided on is beautiful! For more on tattoos and Miami Ink, check out my blog: http://www.victoriasrighthip.typepad.com/

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