I have been working with a tattoo artist to design a memorial tattoo for dad. Everything in the tattoo represents something of his life or my relationship with him.
Statue of Liberty: I believe dad had been to the Statue of Liberty before we went on our big cross-country trip in 2010. When we did our trip in 2010 we only had three tickets to go see the Statue of Liberty. Dad, Bert, and Jon went to see it and I went into New York City to the SiriusXM studios to be a guest host on the show “Freewheelin” on the Road Dog channel. (That’s right, I rode my motorcycle into New York City while they rode their motorcycles through Jersey City!)
The Butte & Buffalo: Dad loves, Arizona, the desert southwest and native American culture and spirituality. He had peace pipes, Native American flutes, drums and many other artifacts and memorabilia from that part of the country and that culture all over his house.
Hercules C-130J: Dad worked at Lockheed for 35 years as a Tool & Die Maker and in the model shop. I remember one time when he was up in Norfolk, Virginia testing a model he had built in the windtunnels up there. I was passing through in the big truck and stopped for a visit. He gave me a tour of the wind tunnel. It was so cool to see what my dad did for a living and to walk to the windtunnels with him.
The Helmet laying on its side: We were riding down the road with dad in the back on our cross country trip in 2010. All of the sudden, dad comes zooming around us, hits the shoulder. We had no idea what was going on just knew that something had to be wrong. Then he jumps off his bike and throws the helmet over the guard rail and down the hill. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes and my gut hurt! Bert ran down the hill, grabed the helmet, brought it back to dad and told him he had to do it again so he could get this picture. I think all of our guts hurt by the time we were done. It was so funny and so typical of dad.
The winding road: I cannot tell you how many times I have ridden some little curvy road and watched dad get that trike up on two wheels. He loved to ride the back roads and stay off of the interstate. When I planned my summer motorcycle trip and we spent many hours on the phone talking about what roads would be great to ride. It always tickled me when I could find a road that he had not written yet. It would make him want to go ride it.The Sunset: Dad’s health had gotten to the point that he could not ride across country anymore. I think that made him a little grumpy and broke his heart. But I was proud that at the age of 72, he was at least still riding the Eastern US. Now he can ride anywhere he wants to. I can just see him getting his trike up on 2 wheels as he makes a turn or or takes a curve up in heaven. The trike & rider: Never again will I get to see dad in my rearview mirror riding behind me. Never again will he tease me and Bert about how he rides back there so he can pick up the Harley parts. Chris did such a wonderful job in capturing the back of the trike and dad on it that I feel I will have dad riding with me no matter where I go.
It is going to take a couple of sittings to get this tattoo done. As I get it done, I will take pictures and post them here on the blog so you can see it develop. My brother is also going to get eight memorial tattoo that will be very similar to this one. There will be a a few changes to it so that it fits his relationship with dad. Some of the grandchildren maybe getting memorial tattoo says well. Those will also be similar but have a few different aspects in them. I am hoping that once everyone has their tattoos done, we can get a picture of all of us together, side-by-side with them. If I can’t get us all together, I will make sure I get pictures of them all at locked out but side-by-side so it will get a full picture of dad’s life with his children and grandchildren.