Through the Eye of the Needle
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JT Boone. It’s one of those story book names. Off of a TV show or something.
As JT is a Law enforcement officer, I thought it was some kind of pseudonym, as many members of the law enforcement community are apt to use on social media. I had known him for years, peripherally through other friends, in different circles. Followed his posts, as we do nowadays to keep up with people. Not only a larger than life name, but indeed, one of those larger than life paladin crusader types. The Knight in shining armor.
We’d talked a few times, in passing, discussed a few tattoo ideas. I know that he was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and rider and this is the way we decided to go with the tattoo. As I like to make every tattoo as unique as the person who is going to wear it, I usually start the process with asking the people about themselves and to send me some reference, so as to get a feel for what they are feeling. For example someone can ask me for a picture of a panther, but what do they want? Stoic, wise, loyal, brave, ferocious? What do they want their panther to say?
The first picture JD sent me was taken from the back of the motorcycle. The lighting, the view, the open road out in front of him, the long shadows of a sunny morning or afternoon. It was perfect. We settled on that and made an appointment.
As I was working on the tattoo, something rare and happened. As perfect as that photo seemed, it became even more so. JT, for all his steadfast service, had another whole facet to him. He told me a pretty amazing tale of this woman he met whilst riding, how she had moved to be with him, and how they were shortly to become man and wife as he was planning on proposing to her that weekend. Her life was different than his in amy ways. A story of love, of adventure, of acceptance and understanding. It turns out that this photo was taken by her on their first date, her his shoulder. You can see her in the mirror on the bike.
I've had many people since tell me that this as their favorite tattoo I've done. Maybe a little of that hope, that young love, that first ride together carried over into the picture, and thats what people see.
When I see JT and Peggy together I hope that their marriage and love lasts as long as the tattoo does, that that image of their first ride will accompany them all the way to their last.
Ink 4 Vets
Long day, but good day! Got to do this on an awesome guy, a disabled vet, who got this for his wife, his very own blonde wonder woman, who stuck with him through everything, and gave birth to and dealt with his twins when he broke his back and got paralyzed.
It was an honor to do it.
Anyone who lacks faith in humanity needs to sit in my chair for a week, see the world through the eye of the needle so to speak. I promise, through the translation of so many human stories like this, your faith will be restored.