I decided to write about something for the local paper I knew nothing about. Tattoos. For someone who threw up on a nurse drawing blood, the thought of going near needles was way out of my comfort zone.
I walked into Old School Tattoo Parlor, pen and paper in hand along with a digital recorder and camera. The owner introduced himself as Crazy Alexander the ink pimp. His arms were covered in tattoos, his long grey hair hung in a braid down his leather vest. He showed me his latest addition, Captain Jack Sparrow that had just been tattooed on his side a few weeks earlier. I looked down at my orange Land’s End dress and matching sandals. I didn’t have any ink marks on my arms or legs. I must have looked like some homogenized freak!
I found out that Crazy and his young wife, Ashley, help out with the needs of local receiving homes, host a community Thanksgiving dinner, and sponsor several of the athletic teams. They have a two year old named Harley who was born premature and weighed only 1 ½ pounds. Life is precious to someone who has watched a baby hang on by a thread. Crazy calls him a miracle and adds, “Parents need to spend time with their kids.”
The next day I had coffee with a few older ladies from church. One of them asked what stories I was working on. When I mentioned tattoos, one lady quickly remarked. “Well, I hope you are doing an unfavorable story!”
I acknowledge that there are mixed feelings on tattoos in the church. One thing we should all agree on is that judging one’s character based on outward appearances isn’t exactly living out the golden rule.
Take time to get to know those who are different than you, you may find that you have a lot more in common than you think. Respect is something that looks good on everyone.