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Archive for the ‘Tennessee Tattoo’

5 Best Tattoo Artists in Memphis, TN – Kev’s Best01.12.22

The top rated Tattoo Artists in Memphis, TN are:

Skin City Ink Memphis is a professional tattoo, piercing, and airbrush business located in Memphis, Tennessee. They enjoy giving their attention, creativity, time, and dedication to your tattoo and airbrush requests because they are accomplished artists. The setting is professional, clean, and comfortable, yet private enough to make each client feel at ease. Give the artists the chance to bring your ideal tattoo or airbrush work of art to life.


Tattoos, Piercings, Supplies, Jewelry, and Air Brushing


Address: 1692 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN 38104Phone: (901) 433-9217Website:


My family and I were in search of new piercings and ink and Skin City did not disappoint us. Three piercings and two tattoos later my daughters and I were beyond pleased. Chase took care of me and was awesome very patient with me since I wasnt sure what I wanted lol. The shop was immaculate, everyone was friendly and it felt like I was home. Seriously give them your business they wont disappoint you. Mila P.

Underground Art, Inc. was the first custom tattoo shop in Memphis. Angela Russell, the proprietor, opened the shop with the aid and hard work of David Evans and a few other friends. They were all proud young parents with a business they didnt know how to run. Many of the best artists in Memphis have worked at the shop, and many have gone on to create their own studios. It has included some of the best tattoo artists from across the world as guests. The shop has developed, altered, and evolved into the woman-owned, left-leaning, safe, and welcoming space that it is now.


Tattoo and Piercing


Address: 2287 Young Ave, Memphis, TN 38104Phone: (901) 272-1864Website:


Very safe and all-inclusive spot to get tattooed or pierced. The staff is amazing. I recently had a vertical labret that I couldnt get out of. I called around and no piercer was available to help me except for Quintin. They did ask if I was vaccinated for my safety and theirs, which I love. My piercing was out within minutes and I was able to go about my day. Starla E.

Trilogy was founded in 1998 and has remained a presence on the Highland Strip as well as a staple in the Memphis tattoo and piercing community. Trilogy, which consists of seven tattoo artists and two piercers, strives to provide each customer with a high-quality experience.


Tattoo and Piercing


Address: 530 S Highland St, Memphis, TN 38111Phone: (901) 327-0404Website:


Went in for a cover-up over the most horrible tattoo in the world. I have been told numerous times by different artists that it could not be covered. Well. Nate is the G.O.A.T. Completely covered it up in the first session. Way above my expectations! Cant wait to see the results after the second session. Cindy W.

Fresh Ink tries to provide a premium experience from concept to completion to ensure your satisfaction. To convert your huge idea into an exclusive bespoke tattoo, they use sophisticated, well-crafted communication methods to form relationships with the clients. Theyre so happy to work with you and help you create a timeless designtake a look around to learn more about themand see why theyre the best pick for your tattoo requirements in the mid-South.


Tattoo Shop


Address: 10 N 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103Phone: (901) 318-5846Website:


I spoke with Dee on the phone prior to getting my tattoo. He was extremely professional and I looked forward to having him do my first tattoo. Cant say he was so pleased to find out it was going to be my first. The shop is clean, and I love the decor. Dee did an awesome job and even followed up to check on my healing process. Dee youre a class act and I will tell you all about the great Fresh Ink Tattoo Studio. Keep up the great work and professionalism. Look no further than Fresh Ink for your Ink needs, you wont regret doing so. Stephanie H.

Amazon Tattooz LLCs artist Alicia Johnson provides a personalized and professional service. They specialize in custom color and black-and-gray tattoos. Tattoo artist Alicia Amazon Johnson has been a wonderful artist for a long time. Her tattooing career began in 2005. Alicia is the first African-American woman in Arkansas to open a tattoo studio, and she is licensed in both Tennessee and Arkansas. She is the owner and operator of Amazon Tattooz in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the mother of one lovely kid. She can do any style of tattoo, but her favorites include cover-ups, vibrant floral tattoos, and black and gray work. Youve secured an outstanding one-of-a-kind work of art from this Artist.

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UPDATE: Abducted N.C. girl, father found in Tennessee; father charged with murder after wifes death – WFXRtv.com01.12.22

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: The AMBER Alert for a 3-year-old girl abducted from North Carolina was canceled about three hours after it was issued Wednesday.

Sanford police said the stolen Toyota Avalon they were looking for was found in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, just after 9 p.m. It had been involved in an accident, according to a news release.

Brent James Bockes ran from the scene with the girl, 3-year-old Riley Harper Bockes.

Local police and deputies launched a search. Brent, who is the girls father, was taken into custody at a motel. Riley was found unharmed, police said.

Brent was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Deana Michelle Bockes. She was found dead Wednesday afternoon at a residence along the 3900 block of Lee Avenue, the release said. He was also charged with larceny of a motor vehicle.

Police have not said what her cause of death was. They were waiting on results from the medical examiner.

SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) Police are looking for a man believed to have abducted a three-year-old girl from Lee County, North Carolina after her mother was found killed.

Sanford police responded to a wellbeing check at a residence along the 3900 block of Lee Avenue around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. They arrived to find Deana Michelle Bockes dead. Her death is being investigated as a homicide, according to a news release from Maj. Vinnie Frazer.

Police will not release her cause of death until results are returned from the medical examiners office.

Then, around 7 p.m., an AMBER Alert was issued for Bockes daughter, three-year-old Riley Harper Bockes.

Riley is two-foot-eight and weighs about 30 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, according to the alert.

Brent James Bockes is believed to be the abductor, the Amber Alert said. He is 50 years old, stands about 6-feet tall, and weighs about 210 pounds. He has a scar on his left wrist, a tattoo across his stomach, and another tattoo on his upper right arm.

Sanford police are also looking for a burgundy 2013 Toyota Avalon with license plate TJC-1491.

Anyone with information should call Sanford police at 919-777-1005, 911, or *HP.

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The Rose Tattoo – Wikipedia12.28.21

The Rose Tattoo is a three-act play written by Tennessee Williams in 1949 and 1950; after its Chicago premiere on December 29, 1950, he made further revisions to the play for its Broadway premiere on February 2, 1951, and its publication by New Directions the following month. [1] A film adaptation was released in 1955. The Rose Tattoo tells the story of an Italian-American widow in Mississippi who has withdrawn from the world after her husband's death and expects her daughter to do the same.

The original Broadway play starred Maureen Stapleton, Phyllis Love, and Eli Wallach. Other original cast members of the 1951 Broadway play included Martin Balsam and Vivian Nathan.[2] The original production of The Rose Tattoo premiered February 3, 1951, at the Martin Beck Theatre (now known as the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) and concluded October 27, 1951, with a total of 306 performances. It was produced by Cheryl Crawford, written by Tennessee Williams; incidental music by David Diamond, staged by Daniel Mann, scenic design by Boris Aronson, costumes designed by Rose Bogadnoff, lighting designed by Charles Elson, general manager John Yorke, stage manager Ralph De Launey, conductor and harpist Nettie Druzinsky, musicians: Michael Danzi, Jack Linx and Frank Kutak, production associate Bea Lawrene, and press representative Wolfe Kauffman.[3] The play was recreated for a July 5, 1953, hour-long radio adaptation on the program Best Plays.[4] Recordings of the radio drama exist in archives and private collections.

The play was revived in 1966, again starring Maureen Stapleton, with Maria Tucci replacing Phyllis Love in the role of Rose Delle Rose. Tucci was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance.[5] The revival ran from November 9 to December 31 at the Billy Rose Theatre (now known as the Nederlander Theatre) with 62 performances under the direction of Milton Katselas. Scenic design by David R. "Tex" Ballou, costume design by Frank Thompson, lighting designed by Peggy Clark, stage manager Ray Laine, and press representatives Arthur Cantor and Artie Solomon.[6]

The second revival, starring Anthony LaPaglia and Mercedes Ruehl, took place in 1995 from March 23 to April 30, running for 73 performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre with casting by Stuart Howard and Amy Schecter under the direction of Robert Falls. Scenic design was by Santo Loquasto, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by John Kilgore, hair and make-up design by Claus Lulla, wig design by John Aitchison, general manager Don Roe, management consultant Gordon G. Forbes, stage manager Peggy Peterson, assistant stage manager Wm. Hare, and dialect coach K. C. Ligon.[7]

New Directions Publishing reissued the play in 2010 with a new introduction by playwright John Patrick Shanley.

A third Broadway revival starring Marisa Tomei and directed by Trip Cullman premiered at the American Airlines Theatre in previews on September 19, 2019, and officially on October 15.[8][9][10]

On May 12, 1957, the Pike Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, staged The Rose Tattoo with Anna Manahan as the lead and the Irish scenic artist Reginald Gray as the set designer. After a short run, the theatre was invaded by the Irish police and director Alan Simpson was arrested for producing "a lewd entertainment" for miming dropping a condom onto the floor. Williams' script calls for a condom to fall out of a pocket during the show but the Pike staging mimed the act, knowing it would cause conflict. An intellectual revolt against the closing of The Rose Tattoo came from not only Ireland but from the continent, led by playwrights Samuel Beckett, Sen O'Casey and Brendan Behan. Simpson was later released. The presiding judge, Justice O'Flynn, ruled: "I can only infer that by arresting the accused, the object would be achieved of closing down the play." One of the results of this case was that any charges brought against theatre would have to be proven before the show could be forced to close.[11]

A film adaptation starring Anna Magnani was released in 1955. Magnani won an Academy Award for her performance.

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Jack Daniels coming of age in India – afaqs12.28.21

Marketing head Vinay Joshi pours over tales of luring white spirit consumers with flavoured whiskey, blaming the Brits for ruining Indias whiskey knowledge, and why "JD" is Tennessee whiskey and not Bourbon.

Growing up, few brands always succeeded in creating an inexplicable lust towards them inside me. A Zippo lighter, a Marlboro cigarette, an Omega watch, the complete works of Tintin and Asterix, the oval-shaped headlights of a Mercedes, a Sony boombox, they were the torchbearers of my childhood zeitgeist nurtured by worn-out copies of foreign magazines and TV shows I wasnt allowed to watch. Half parts cool, half parts unattainable.

One such brand was Jack Daniels. I, during my childhood, recognised it as JD and was clueless about the contents inside that eye-catching square bottle. Today, I do and like all those years ago lust not only for the bottle but for the sweet Tennessee whiskey inside it.

Founded in 1866 in Lynchburg, Tennessee in the United States, Jack Daniels is known for its whiskey and even today, each bottle is made in the same place.

The most famous of its offerings is the Jack Daniels Old No.7 that qualifies as a Bourbon; a premium form of whiskey made only in the States primarily from corn and must be stored in charred oak barrels among other qualifiers.

The No.7 christening is a mystery. Jack, the founder, never revealed why he choose 7. The conspiracy theories range from the seven women in Jacks life to his belief in superstition to have perfected the liquor on his seventh attempt.

But, the makers of this drink would rather have you call it Tennessee whiskey than Bourbon. Why? Because "we filter our Tennessee whiskey through 10 feet of sugar-maple charcoal before we put it into ageing... Called the Lincoln County Process, it is what gives it its unique taste because it takes away all the bitterness the whiskey gets during the distillation process. Tennessee whiskey is one plus on bourbon," remarks Vinay Joshi who leads marketing for Brown-Forman (Jack's parent company) for the Indian sub-continent and the Maldives.

The drink, over the century, has garnered a cult following rivalled by none. Which other brand can count the likes of Frank Sinatra and Keith Richards as regular consumers? It is no wonder the Jack Daniels went on to become an uber-cool and something of a rebel for many young kids.

Jack Daniels has flowed into the livers of countless world citizens and India is no different. It has come to life in India. Joshi says the country is the worlds whiskey capital and more than 50 per cent of whiskey volume sits in India. It is big in volume terms and will catch up in value terms. He explains it is due to the vast volumes of low-priced whiskey thats consumed here and this very volume attracts global and local companies.

While the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 drink has legends among its ranks, who made a beeline for the square bottle in India? It cannot be college students or young workers because the brand is premium and not many can afford it easily.

Jack Daniels is a brand that is served in fine establishments as well as questionable joints, quotes Joshi from one of the brands popular global campaigns and uses the statement to explain the drink finds tipplers from bankers to bikers. The brand is for anyone who wishes to enjoy good quality premium whiskey remarks the marketing lead.

He, however, relents and reveals the consumer is anybody who's above legal drinking age and up to 40-45 and we, internally define them as next-generation independent spirits; folks who relate to Jack Daniels core values of independence and authenticity.

And speaking of folks, I poured him a stereotype of the consumers of the Tennessee whiskey hailing mostly from Punjab or the north of India. He refused to sip. In the past couple of years, the brand has seen healthy growth from Tier 2 markets like a Poona or a Nagpur along with the Indian metro cities and not just a single state or region.

Indias poison is whiskey with a vengeance. The country guzzles the drink more than anybody in the world but unfortunately, it is not too well versed with the diverse world of whiskey. For instance, most drinkers knowledge of whiskey is limited to Scotch whisky. Then theres also the fact that you can write whiskey or whisky (the US prefers the latter). Jack Daniels despite its popularity must have faced this issue.

Joshi blames the British who introduced Scotch whisky (whiskey distilled in Scotland) to India and despite Jack Daniels mammoth popularity and more than 50 per cent share in the western markets, the awareness levels for our whiskey is low.

Jack Daniels has invested a lot of effort, through activities and initiatives, in educating trade folks (bartenders and F&B staff) about its offerings, its history, what makes it special because these folks help influence the choice of a consumer. We had cut down(brand building) in the last two years because of Covid, he reveals.

It is not completely bad news. The B2B channel is back he remarks and we've seen good footfalls, numbers, across cities since restrictions have lifted. And in some of the outlets, the feedback we've been getting is that they're doing more than pre-Covid level business.

What, I found surprising, was Jack Daniels diversification into flavoured whiskey. Yes, the brand offers Tennessee Honey, Tennessee Fire, and Tennessee Apple being the newest flavour in town. I wondered if the flavours were nothing but a carrot to dangle in front of young drinkers to lure them towards whiskey.

It is for everyone who wants to try something different says Joshi and remarks, it makes Jack Daniels more accessible as a brand to people who don't consume whiskey; they are white spirit consumers or people who don't have a palate for the hard taste for whiskey.

If you thought these flavours were a hit then you have not met the most selling item from the house of Jack Daniels after Old No. 7T-shirts. Globally, the second-largest SKU for us after the Old No. 7 whiskey is a Jack Daniels T-shirt, says Joshi and reveals how some people tattoo the brand on their bodies too.

I assumed Jack Daniels sold its merchandise online to keep the brand recall fresh in the minds of underage folks who, once of legal drinking age, might try and flock to the brand. Turns out, it was a move to grab eyeballs and an additional revenue stream for the trademark.

And speaking of grabbing eyeballs, theres not much in terms of marketing or communication from the brand unless you count an international Jack Daniels ad on Spotify. Where does the India brand spend its media monies? On GQ spreads or social media. The latter it is.

A good part of our money goes in digital and social media and that's where we do consumer education, says Joshi and gives us an interesting insight on in-store advertising. In the world of alcoholic beverages, the stores are a media space in themselves. In our categories, there are about 20,000 stores out of which there are 10,000 relevant stores for a brand like Jack Daniels you can communicate, advertise, and engage with consumers without any restrictions.

Secretive origins, poison-in-chief, and one of the world's leading sellers of T-shirts, Jack Daniels is a hypnotic brand and has come of age in India at the right time when people want to reclaim their lives with some high spirits.

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Stories that were straight from the heart of East Tennessee in 2021 – WBIR.com12.28.21

These are some of the moments that brought a smile to our faces, made us laugh and reminded us what it means to be a Volunteer.

TENNESSEE, USA In a year marked by change even as the COVID-19 pandemic still loomed, we wanted to celebrate by taking a look back at some of our area's most Straight From The Heart moments.

2021 was certainly interesting, but we made it through together.

These are some of the moments that brought a smile to our faces, made us laugh and reminded us what it means to be a Volunteer.


A Knoxville toddler became a viral sensation for her pure excitement over food.


A 2-year-old Vol fan did not let naptime get in the way of cheering for his favorite team.


When a bridge collapse in Sevier County left families homeless, a non-profit stepped in to help.


A terminally ill man surprised the staff at a Gatlinburg steakhouse with a $1,000 tip.


VFL Peyton Manning put some heat on the ceremonial first pitch at a UT baseball game.


For the first time since 2005, the Vols made it to the Super Regionals and even flew to Omaha for the College World Series.


A Knoxville tattoo artist didn't let vandals spoil her dream of opening her own business.


A single mother started a home repair business to help women and the elderly


Three Dolly Parton songs landed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.


A Blount County Elementary School student modeled in New York Fashion Week.


A West Knoxville couple went viral on TikTok after realizing their new frosted glass window wasn't that private.


An anonymous donor bought a flight so an Anderson County student could have a chance to see his mom.

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City Of Knoxville – Blog: Investigators Seeking Information On Unsolved Missing Person Case – Patch.com11.02.21

October 26, 2021

Nearly 14 years after Christina Stoddard was reported as missing, Knoxville Police Department Special Crimes Unit investigators are continuing to seek any information from the public regarding her possible whereabouts or the circumstances of her disappearance.

On October 30, 2007, Christina was reported missing at the age of 27. She was last seen four days before that, on October 26, 2007, in the area of the Clinton Highway Wal-Mart at around 12:30 p.m. At the time of her disappearance, she was approximately 5'3 and 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Christina often went by the nickname "Shelba" and had a tattoo of a skull on her left bicep.

Much about the events surrounding Christina's disappearance remain unknown. Though there is no definitive evidence to indicate foul play, her extended absence is at a minimum cause for suspicion.

Investigators are confident that there are people with information about the circumstances of Christina's disappearance and hopeful that after 14 years' time those individuals will share that information.

Anyone with information that could assist investigators is urged to submit it to East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Crime Stoppers is available online at, by phone at 1-800-222-8477 or via the P3 Tips mobile app. Tipsters will remain completely anonymous and be eligible to receive a cash reward.

This press release was produced by the City of Knoxville - Blog. The views expressed here are the author's own.

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Extreme Ink: Local adventure athletes share the stories behind their tats – Chattanooga Times Free Press09.04.21

Extreme outdoorspeople belong to a unique tribe, banded together by a drive to conquer the world one climb, one ride, one paddle at a time.

And like warriors throughout history, many choose to commemorate their victories with a tattoo.

Here, a local climber, paddler and cyclist share the stories behind their ink, and eight others show off their outdoor-inspired tats and the meanings behind the designs.


Once Bitten

Stiles Tate's dream was to become a raft guide on West Virginia's Gauley River. He had rafted the river in 2013 with friends and been awestruck by its deep gorge, powerful rapids and "all the hype" surrounding the Southeast's most infamous Class V big-water run.

He devoted the next several seasons to honing his skills as a guide on the Ocoee River. Then, in 2016, he was given the opportunity to begin training as a Gauley guide.

In the weeks leading up to his move, Tate barely slept.

"I was too excited. It felt like Christmas," he remembers. "The whole drive up to West Virginia, I was just buzzing."

Day one of training went swimmingly, Tate says. So did his second day.

That evening, he returned to camp happy and exhausted, stepped out of his truck and felt what he describes as "the worst wasp sting I could imagine."

Tate had been bitten on his foot by a copperhead.

"I knew it was a snake because I could feel it wiggling under my shoe," he says.

An hour later, at the hospital, a nurse told Tate, "Your Gauley season is over." He was unlikely to recover in time.

But Tate refused to give up his dream.

"I was eating Motrin like candy," he says.

Five days later, he was walking.

He returned to camp and begged the river manager not to send him home. And one week to the day of his bite, Tate guided his first trip down the Gauley River.

That season, says the now-29-year-old, "was life-changing for me. It opened up so many worlds. It kicked off a really adventurous time in my life."

To commemorate the experience, on his inner thigh, Tate got a tattoo: a coiled copperhead above a dedication, "Gauley River 2016."

A reminder, he says, to go for your goals. No matter what.


What Strength Looks Like

Coleman Spinks wanted a meaningful tattoo. Especially following the rainbow narwhal he had inked across his lower back in 2018.

"The result of a lost bet," laughs the now-28-year-old.

So, in 2020, he chose the image of a carabiner, an important piece of gear used in rope sports, framing the face of a lion and inscribed with the word "Emerson," the name of his 2-year-old son.

As Spinks explains, the carabiner, the lion and even the name "Emerson" all stand for strength.

A lifelong climber, Spinks says part of why he loves the sport is that it keeps him strong. It also keeps him on his toes.

"The risk of falling is real," he says.

He remembers his first crack climb, which he attempted earlier this year at the Tennessee Wall in Prentice Cooper State Forest. A crack climb involves following a crack in the rock and using a specialized technique to find holds within it.

"I didn't know if I was remotely capable. I didn't know if I would be able to get off the ground," he says. "But I just shot right up."

That sense of pride following a climb, says Spinks, is rivaled only by the accomplishments of his son the first time he rolled over; the first time he crawled.

"I can't wait to see [Emerson] top out his first wall," Spinks says.


A Fork in the Trail

David Snyder says his first tattoo serves as a daily reminder to embrace change though it didn't always.

Across his forearm in black ink is the image of a bicycle crank arm and the words "LIVE THE RIDE."

Bicycling has always represented freedom for Snyder, from the rides he took as a child to nearby Booker T. Washington State Park, to the steep dirt jumps and downhills he dedicated himself to as an adult.

"Finding flow and being able to ride the ideas I had built was big," says Snyder, now 35.

For 20 years, Snyder helped build trails across Tennessee, including some on Raccoon Mountain that are especially near to his heart, he says. But the profession and the extreme riding took a toll on his body.

Over five years, "I threw my back out eight or nine times," Snyder says.

Eventually, he was diagnosed with a herniated disc and a pinched sciatic nerve. His doctor recommended he find a new hobby.

"I spent at least a year pretty depressed. I sold all my bikes and haven't ridden since," Snyder says.

But he did eventually find a new hobby: kayaking.

"I'm making new dreams in the water trails of Tennessee and North Georgia," he says.

And as for the words inked on his forearm, Snyder says, "I'm still living it. Life is a ride. So many twists. So many turns. I couldn't have predicted any of this."


Extreme Ink: Local adventure athletes share the stories behind their tats - Chattanooga Times Free Press

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Three Musical Notes, 1,848 Miles and a Lifetime of Memories – The New York Times07.09.21

I packed my bags for a trip I never expected to take, to a place I never imagined Id visit.

Three months earlier, on a Sunday night in early January 2019, my 22-year-old daughter, Maggie, walked into our living room and sat down on a love seat facing my wife and me as we watched TV.

Im getting married, she announced.

I panicked. A recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, she had met her beau through social media four months earlier. He was an intelligence analyst in his second year of the Army stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. They were planning to marry soon at the Bell County courthouse in Killeen, Texas. Was she mature enough to get married? Id miss that first moment gazing into my daughters eyes in her wedding dress, something I had dreamed of since the day she was born.

My wife sat motionless.

Maybe you could move in together, I suggested in as calm a demeanor as I could muster. Maybe get to know each other a bit more.

We want to make a commitment and be together before hes deployed, Maggie calmly responded, sitting up straight with her hands in her lap.

I grew up in Connecticut the land of steady habits. My wife and I followed custom. We dated for 10 years before we were married, bought a house, brought two children into the world, and started college funds. Maggies surprising marriage plan broke all the principles I had lived with my entire life.

They tied the knot four weeks later, the day after Valentines Day, at a civil ceremony we couldnt attend because of the unpredictable schedule at the courthouse. They were hastily given an appointment late in the afternoon with the justice of the peace. Even then, they werent sure when they would get married because the justice of the peace also the county coroner was called away just before their vows. Two hours later, they stood in a quiet courtroom, about 1,800 miles away from our home, promising to love each other in a tranquil, yet joyous, ceremony. They sent us their wedding video, taken on a smartphone by my new son-in-laws Army buddy, his best man and witness.

Two weeks later Maggie returned to Connecticut for a few of her things.

We need a car in Texas, Dad. Would you drive down with me? she asked. Well make a vacation out of it.

Ship the car, I said. Itll be cheaper to get it there by truck, figuring in gas, hotels, food and the flight back.

In a few days, Maggie was off to Texas with her laptop, chargers, and some shorts and T-shirts. I parked at the end of the airport runway to watch her early-morning flight take off, still trying to process everything that was changing so quickly. It was dark in the early morning stillness and I felt my grasp on her disappear as quickly as the twinkling lights of her plane faded in the distance. The little girl I had once clutched so close as an infant our only daughter and youngest child was out of my reach, out in the world on her own, out of my protection zone.

Im in for the road trip, I told my daughter on the phone the next day.

Awesome! she said.

Theres one condition, I responded playfully. Id like to stop in Nashville for a few days. Ive never been and think itd be fun.

Music was woven into the fabric of our family. I had been a DJ for a decade after college, and my daughter played three instruments. Visiting Nashville would become part of our musical DNA.

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Maggie flew back to Connecticut in early April to help pack her car. We agreed to share driving duties, and be on the road no more than eight hours a day in daylight. I ordered a TripTik from AAA, an old-school, 8 -by-5-inch spiral-bound booklet made up of 61 pages of paper maps, customized for our journey. According to the booklet, the trip would be four legs, 1,847.8 miles total, taking 27 hours and 52 minutes of travel time.

Ridiculous, my daughter said dryly, catching sight of the old-fashioned booklet.

We left early morning, choosing the scenic route on a highway that ran alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway. Vast rolling green hills were dotted by black cows. The dogwoods planted alongside the road in Virginia and Tennessee were singing in full April splendor, their welcoming pink blooms tilting in the gentle breeze and pointing south toward our destination. And there were crosses, all sizes and colors, the Bible Belts symbol of continuing hope.

Two days later, we arrived in Nashville around supper time. Maggie spied a tattoo shop while we walked down Second Avenue.

Dad, do you want to get matching tattoos? she jokingly asked, as she had many times in the past. I was dismissive, never serious about getting inked, thinking only rowdy bikers got tattoos. But once we were immersed in the aura of Nashville, I realized how the two of us would be forever connected in our own way. We had to do this. It was the perfect moment.

The next day, after a couple of slices of pizza at Luigis City Pizza, I asked, So, what kind of tattoos are we getting today?

Right, Dad, Maggie said, thinking I was joking.

Lets do it.

What would we get? Her eyes grew wide.

Im thinking music notes, since were in Music City, I said.

OK, you pick the design and Ill pick the placement. Same place on both of us.

Done, I said, nervous yet excited.

Like a frenzied Whac-a-Mole arcade game player at the county fair, she began pounding out websites on her iPhone for designs and shops in the area. Within minutes, she had all shapes and styles of music notes to show me as well as a couple of tattoo shops within walking distance. I was impressed. Research and deliberation would have taken me at least a couple of weeks.

We settled on three music notes one quarter note, one eighth and one sixteenth in a triangular cluster. We agreed theyd be inked on the inside of our right arms, just above our elbows.

Remember, Dad, Ill scope out the shop to make sure its clean, she told me. If Im not comfortable, Ill give you the signal and well book outta there. Take your cue from me.

I followed Maggie into a small dimly lit shop, like a 5-year-old getting his first bike. The person at the front desk gave us forms to fill out and took our drivers licenses. We headed to the back where the tattooist prepped our table.

He worked up the design on a tattered legal pad, its worn pages curled up in the corners, printed the design on transfer paper, cut the cluster of three notes apart, and attempted to place them on my daughter.

I dont want them cut apart, she said. Id like them together so the placement is exactly the same on both of us.

Same. Positions. On. Both. Of. You. Dont. Worry, he droned.

They started to argue about the placement on her arm. Her smile disappeared and she looked downward.

Were not getting tattoos today, she said, standing up abruptly and heading for the door. Disappointed, I followed, scooping up our paperwork.

I felt disrespected, and wanted no part of it, she said outside. And Im thinking he was high.

Im proud how you stood up for yourself, I said.

Maggie had another shop lined up. We walked past a vintage Indian motorcycle in the small wood paneled foyer and up a flight of stairs. The studio was brightly lit with a line of client chairs and sparkling clean steel trays, each containing tattoo pens and needles.

Sizing our design on a gleaming iPad, our artist printed the pattern to be traced on our arms. My daughter sat first while the design was painstakingly laid out on her arm. Then it was my turn.

First tattoo? the artist asked seeing my forehead wrinkling. It wont hurt a bit. Just pinch a little.

I squeezed my eyes shut and listened to the buzzing of the electric pen, feeling the tingle of the notes being etched in place.

I slipped two folded $20s in his hand as a tip as we walked out, each of us beaming in our newly inked bond.

On the last leg of our trip, we left Little Rock, Ark., to overcast skies and light rain. By afternoon, it was dark as midnight, matching the apprehension I felt about leaving my daughter. I wrestled with the steering wheel in the wind, trying to stay in our lane while quarter-size raindrops pelted us.

When we passed through Dallas with only two hours left until our destination, Home to You by Sigrid drifted from the Spotify playlist my son had created for our trip. Fluffy white clouds floated in a bright blue sky.

Arriving at Fort Hood, my daughter closed the last page of the TripTik we had followed every day. She ran breathlessly into her husbands open arms. In the softness of the moment, I witnessed their love for each other.

During my five-day stay, my son-in-law was promoted to private first class. We were invited to the ceremony on base, the only civilians attending with 30 of his military peers. As he attained his third rank, I realized how serious he was in honoring his commitment to his fellow soldiers.

The night before I boarded my plane, Maggie and I sat in a convenience store parking lot, tears streaming down our cheeks.

I dont want you to go home, she said. Ive had so much fun with you. I dont want it to end.

Nor did I. Wed gotten to know each other as adults in a brand-new way. Shed be OK. I could say goodbye to my little girl who had turned into a confident young woman.

Life could be as unpredictable as transforming ship the car into an unexpected road trip, and as surprising as my daughter embracing paper maps. Sometimes I had to break tradition. I could be and needed to be more open-minded.

I gained more from our adventure than I would have in one hurried day at a wedding reception. Instead of a walk down the aisle with flowers gracing each pew, I drove my daughter down a scenic byway lined with pink dogwood blooms to her new husband, a man I could trust and admire. Instead of a wedding toast, I celebrated my son-in-laws promotion. We never had a father-daughter dance, but our shared tattoos represented the synchronized beauty of our bond.

I hugged her at the airport, thanking her for the gift of knowing shell never be far away. Shell always remain as close as the three small music notes I will forever carry with me.

Stan Gornicz is a writer, husband, and father who lives in Connecticut. He is working on a memoir from which this essay is adapted.

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Pointed Turkey Bones Are Oldest Native American Tattoo Kit, Says Study – Ancient Origins05.31.21

A group of researchers now think theyve discovered and identified what might be the worlds oldest tattoo kit - a set of pointy, ink-stained needles that were carved out of wild turkey bones and then buried in a Native American grave from central Tennessee at least 3600 years ago. The Native American tattoo kit study was published in The Journal of Archaeological Science , which states that the earliest forms of tattooing began in North America.

Like all modern traditions that have acquired almost ubiquitous fame, the art of tattoo making is an ancient one. Since human skin is something that doesnt survive the ravages of time, tattoos have been difficult to study archaeologically and decipher, but evidence of the tattoo tools used to make these remarkable ink paintings have lived to tell the tale. Remember, the first tattoo machine was only patented by Samuel OReilly, at the end of the 19 th century in the USA.

The tattoo kit unearthed at Fernvale, Tennessee, USA. This is the oldest tattoo toolkit discovered to date. ( Aaron Deter-Wolf and Tanya M. Peres )

The word tattoo comes from the Samoan word tatau, which means to mark or to strike, but now we know that the very first tattoos were likely made in the Americas.

The latest study on North American tattoo tools reveals that Native Americans used turkey leg bones and ochre pigments to make tattoos sometime between 5,520 and 3,620 years ago!

Led by archaeologist Aaron Deter-Wolf of the Tennessee Division of Archaeology in Nashville and his colleagues, this study pushes back the earliest understood date of tattooing in eastern North America by more than a millennia . Prior to the latest tattoo kit study, it was tzi the Iceman who held the record for the oldest tattoos, which were dated to about 3300 3100 BC. This finding may challenge that record.

The Tennessee research team conducted traditional artifact classification schemes by analyzing bone tools from the Southeastern United States. In addition to basic morphological classification, they also undertook studies of traditional animal remains from the Fernvale site (west of Nashville) tattoo kit artifacts. The assessment showed that the occupants of the site used sharpened turkey bone tools ( Meleagris gallopavo ) as implements for the tattooing process, and black and red ochre pigment for the tattoo colors.

The tattoo kit and other artifacts were discovered in 1985 during a bridge construction project but spent the next three decades in storage labelled simply as a toolkit.

"It was one of these situations where it went into a collection and nothing was done with it, said Deter-Wolf. It was initially thought to be an indigenous medicine bundle acting as a portable shrine, but after teaming up with zooarchaeologist Tanya Peres from Florida State University, they found it to be a tattoo toolkit.

Deter-Wolf took his research into the practical arena by re-creating one of tzis tattoos on his left wrist by making 1,500 puncture marks with a bone tool and black ink. "At this point there's not another activity that we know of that would create that same pattern on bone tools," Deter-Wolf says.

A photo of a Mohave Native American woman with tattoos from 1883 AD taken at Needles, California, USA. ( Public domain )

"By the arrival of the Europeans, virtually every Native American group in the Great Plains and the Eastern Woodlands practiced tattooing," Deter-Wolf told Mental Floss . "If it's something that widespread and that important, we suspect that it is very deeply rooted in Native American history."

Mummified preserved skin and ancient art shows that tattooing has been practiced since at least Neolithic times (10,000 4,500 years ago). There are also certain ancient tools that point to tattooing. Unfortunately, these skin and tool artifacts are from 49 sites scattered across the globe, including tzi the Iceman and his 61 body tattoos.

Tattooing was widely prevalent among the Austronesians in the Indo-Pacific region , perhaps as a form of expressing conquest during headhunting rituals, and have been dated to about 1,450 BC. They made tattoo tools by combining wooden handles and mallets with animal bones, fish bones , teeth or the shells of turtles and oysters .

While there are scores of sites across the globe pointing to a prevalence of tattooing among various cultures and subcultures, North America and its indigenous people have been well known as one of the oldest tattoo cultures. Previous research published by the same author and research for the current study by Aaron Deter-Wolf focused on the metaphysical understanding of tattooing. According to Aaron Deter-Wolf, tattoos arent just simple skin markings but are a form of communication that reflects the desires of the indigenous peoples to culturally connect with the ways of knowing and seeing the world: a connection to family, society, or a particular site.

Today, tattoos have acquired a strong hold over the public imagination and are used to commemorate lovers, important days, quotes, life, and death. Tattoos were popularized by music artists through the 80s and 90s but are also used by survivors of breast cancer, sexual assault and acid attacks to signify victory over a deeply emotional and traumatic battle.

Top image: Two previously unearthed turkey leg bones with sharpened tips (top) are the oldest known tattoo tools according to the latest study on the Fernvale, Tennessee site artifacts. Two other turkey bones from the same site (bottom) may also have been used for tattooing but lack tips for analysis. Source: A. Deter-Wolf, T.M. Peres and S. Karacic / Journal of Archaeological Science

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Pointed Turkey Bones Are Oldest Native American Tattoo Kit, Says Study - Ancient Origins

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Talk About Two Peas In A Pod – The Mckenzie Banner05.06.21

By Kesley Colbert

I stood in line behind a young lady at the Just Love Coffee Caf in Nolensville, Tennessee, trying to get a better look at the tattoo running down her left forearmwithout looking like I was trying to get a better look at the tattoo running down her left forearm!

It was a hunting dog. A Black and Tan hound I believe. But my peeks were hurried and scattered. She ordered a White Chocolate Tiramisu Latte. I had only an inkling that latte is some fancy word for coffee but I had noticed the holes in her jeans. Maybe I could pay for her drink, you know, help her out a little


Are you kidding me! I stared at the register in astounded disbelief! She musta ordered the pancakes and bacon when I wasnt looking.

I would like to be polite, do a good deed, help a young damsel obviously in need of a whole pair of pantsbut you never know. She might think me a meddling old man.

I let her pay for her own drink.

And ordered the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit. And a glass of sweet tea. I didnt figure I could afford the coffee in this place.

I wouldnt have been here if it werent for my mindless son. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate weekends the boy takes after his mother. He bought some steaks off of a guy parked at a service station Boy howdy, you talk about a sure sign that you are in Tennessee!

Josh had grilled the steaks the night before. They looked fine. Smelled great. But somehow I couldnt get over how we came by this meat. I didnt know if it was butchered after dark in somebodys back pasture or taken out of an Omaha Steak package on someones front steps two months ago. What if these steaks were picked up in Texas. Isnt there some kind of law against eating stolen beef that has been transported across state lines?

As you might well imagine, I ate rather guardedly.

And woke up hungry. And after the grandkids were off to school, I went looking for the Nolensville Cracker Barrel, Bojangles or Mary Lous Sweet Down Home Country Cooking Breakfast House.

Failing to find a familiar early morning culinary moniker, I took a chance on the first caf sign I saw. I was getting desperate. And its hard to mess up eggs and sausage.

The only available table was next to the hound dog tattooed girl. At least the place was popular, that was a good omen in any eatery


Maam? I dont hear as well as I used to. And my mind was a thousand miles away

His name is Festus. The young lady was holding up her forearm so I could get a real look at the dog. And she was grinning from ear to ear. I saw you eyeing him at the counter.

I leaned in with interest. The hound was leaping over a fallen log, his chest stretched out, his head up, his eyes intent on the prey ahead. Truly a striking animal.

Hes a Black and Tan.

Yes maam. Will he tree a raccoon?

She came alive, and her beautiful grin widened, Will a mop flop, will a bear run into the woods, will a hundred pound sack of flour make a big biscuit!

She was from Wartrace, down in Bedford County. And it took her less than a minute to convince me that Festus was near bout the greatest all-purpose hunting dog ever to come out of Middle Tennessee. Hed also run a fox. Could point birds if the occasion was right. Hed fetch about anything if he was a mind to. And I know he was a tick slow for it, but I tell you mister, he wouldnt quit for love nor money when that ole boy struck a deer!

But you dont tattoo a hound dog on your arm because he could hunt.

He belonged to my grandfather, was her answer when I asked. And after a slight pause, a measurable lessening of the smile and a long pull on the latte she continued, Granddaddy understood me when no one else tried.

Over a pretty decent sausage, egg and cheese biscuit we discussed life as we both understood it. And you might be amazed at how un-far apart we were. Oh, I was a mite puzzled over holes in brand new jeans and expensive coffee And she was equally bewildered by an antique still wearing faded Levis who knew the difference between a Treeing Walker, Bluetick or Redboneand a Grand Nite Champion Black and Tan!

Neither of us cared to tackle the worlds problems. Or the current political morass. Or waste time on idle chit chat.

We talked about her future. And a mite about my past. We were definitely two ships heading in opposite directions but we both loved being in the moment, appreciated where we had been, hoped things were better around the next corner and saw lots of good in most everybody.

We shared a terrific five minutes in this life together

One I will never forget. She gave me a last look at Festus and her beautiful grin as we both stood. I just know you are a wonderful grandfather, too.

Before I could find my voice she was gone.

She didnt even wait for her pancakes and bacon



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