October Festival Guide

MARK HOLMBERG: Are you grey enough for a tattoo?

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)- Rebel, rebel, your skin is a mess.

But along with those wrinkles and cottage cheese, more aging boomers are breaking down and finally getting that tattoo they always wanted.

Or so goes the report in  story after story told around the world.

Once the bane of many – but not all – civilized societies,  tattoos have become cool. Last year we saw that super sweet tattoo show at the Valentine Richmond History museum.

This weekend’s Richmond Tattoo Arts Festival at the Greater Richmond Convention Center (note that it’s no longer just a “tattoo convention”) was doing brisk business within minutes of the doors being opened.

And yes, along with usual young folks getting all kinds of things tattooed – necks, legs, skulls, the whole enchilada – there was more than a few gray hairs in the tattoo chairs. Some getting new ink, others getting old ink freshened,  some adding brand new tats to already crowded canvasses.

My old friend and brilliant tattoo artist Lantz Fisk said his oldest customer has been a woman, 78. Others tell of grandparents getting ink at the same time as their children and grandchildren.

Tattoo artists tell me there’s nothing super new about this. This old-with-the-new  wrinkle  has been going on for well over a decade.

Baby boomers have always been into rebellion, after all.

Here are two recent articles about this phenom, one in the US and the other in England.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-21/local/42271037_1_tattoo-machine-shoulder-catonsville

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/10443065/Older-Brits-rushing-to-get-tattoos-in-retirement.html

I’ve gone 57 years without a tattoo.

Lantz has been after me for years to get one, since my mighty (ahem) biceps are screaming for ink.

But I just don’t think I’m old enough yet.

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