The sun was hot that morning beating down on the glistening white beach. The cold sting of waves crashed against his half-wrapped arm as he slowly came around.To his surprise, on his arm crusted with sand and sea water, was a fresh tattoo that read: “With all pain hope heals.”
In his pocket was a receipt for a payment of $400 to Satan’s Tattoo Shop. The first thought for Castleton State College student Mike McIsaac was, “Oh, I finally did it.”
Though he had long planned to get a special tattoo in memory of his aunt Bonnie, he had not expected it to happen under such circumstances or without any memory of it happening.
Not all students on campus with tattoos have such a wild story behind their body art, but all interviewed agree that a tattoo is not worth having unless it is very meaningful. Each student asked to bare their art and talk about their story stressed how important it was to not only wait to find the right inspiration for a tattoo, but also choose the right design to represent what it means to them.
Freshman Meaghan Heuer pulled up her shirt to reveal her ink and said it was a relief finally going through with getting her first tattoo. She said that her choice to get a cross, entwined with rosary beads and a heart, represented her family’s dedication to religion. Then, to add her own personal touch, the initials of her father, mother, and older brother were engraved inside the heart.
For Heuer, it was a sign of independence, while honoring her family at the same time so she could always feel connected to them.
The more tattoos uncovered on campus, the more prevalent the theme of remembering family became.
Justin Hofmeister, a junior, showed off the black spider perched on his shoulder blade.
“My aunt Mary was really cool to me growing up. She was a biker chick covered in tats, even gave me my first beer. She passed away as a result of a spider bite and ironically her favorite tattoo was a black widow, so I wanted to do this as a memorial for her,” he said.
Are there any more tattoos in his future?
Hofmeister said it will be for his uncle, who inspired him to go into law enforcement and always told him ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Hofmeister offered some advice for those on the fence about getting a tattoo.
“Make sure it is memorable. Don’t do something stupid.