Tales from the Needle is a weekly series which will highlight people and their tattoos. Some people have a favorite tat, their most memorable ink. Some people put more emphasis on the needle from a tattoo gun penetrated their skin while others have one they wish they never put any ink on their body.
Every Friday, the blog will have a first-person story of a person and their tats of choice, using only images of their tats keeps the theme of this being a faceless site. The images seen here will merely aid in bringing nuance to the numerous layers that compose the person.
As told by mrsowensblog:
I got my only tattoo thus far when I was 21. It’s a cluster of azaleas on my ribs. Everyone told me rib tats hurt the worse, but like a good Irish-Texan woman I refused to listen. I don’t regret that.
I got azaleas for my dad. I know azaleas aren’t exactly the most masculine imagery I could have gone with, and Daddy was hardly effeminate, but he liked azaleas. My childhood backyard could have been featured in Tyler’s historic “Azalea District”, with all the blooms we had. He took pride in that, I think.
No one has influenced me more than my dad. Born back in 1942 to a family of sawmill workers in Magnolia, Texas, he grew up in a house with no electricity and was the first in his family to graduate from high school. Then he graduated from Sam Houston State University…twice… then went on and got a PhD in zoology from Texas A&M University.
By the time I came along he was 43 years old and the division chair of the college of math and science at a Houston-area community college. You wouldn’t know any of that by talking to him, though. He wasn’t much of a talker, and preferred to spend his time exploring the woods or canoeing Bedias Creek than worrying about who was and wasn’t impressed by him. It wasn’t false modesty, either.
I remember him calling home from work one day because he was updating his curriculum vitae, saying “Rebecca, go look at those diplomas Mother has hanging on the wall and tell me what degrees I have”. Seriously, who doesn’t remember what degrees they earn?? That was Daddy, though. Education was of utmost importance, but promoting himself was never a thought. His priorities were his kids—two girls—and making sure we grew up educated, Christian, and outdoorswomen. Not necessarily in that order.
We lost Daddy in 2005 to stomach cancer. So, I got my tattoo the next year. I look at it, and it’s a reminder to be like him: strong, quiet (I fail at that one often), and calm. I always hope he’d be proud of my sister and me if he were here today.
And for the record, rib tats do hurt like hell.