WINTER BLUES & TATTOOS WITH RED SONJA
NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!
This time of year we are buried in snow. Haven't seen a bike for a couple of months and I am so over it...it's February and I'm counting down the days until Hopefully March but maybe April when I can pull my girl out of the garage from under her sheath and unplug that trickle charger which is the only excitement she is getting right now.
So until then...I'd like to introduce you to Ron...he is the dude that does my tattoos back here in the mid-west and I have a ton. So needless to say we have spent a bit of time together and His story is remarkable. Mr. Bad Ass Tough Guy Tattoo Man is a quiet, subdued guy totally about the humanity of the world.
When I first met Ron Antonick a few years ago, his shop was set up and he had a group of folks working for him. He was known for his work around town which is how I found out about him and Gen X was a well known tattoo shop here in Cleveland.
Having gotten any tattoos up until now on the in Cali on the Sunset Strip, needless to say I was skeptical. I brought him a picture and have to say that our first meeting, was intimidating. He is truly a Don't waste my time kind of guy. So I gave him my pic of Betty Page and it was going to be a big piece for my back. We scheduled an appointment and it just so happens that it was June so I had been out on my bike and since it was relatively new sun, I was riding in a tank top and got a bit too much sun which on any other day is not big deal and never even occurred to me. I walked in to his shop where I imagine he had scheduled out a few hours for me since my piece was large and damn if he didn't turn me away because my back was sunburned. So needless to say his first impression of me could not have been good. Had to reschedule a couple of weeks out and as much as those 5 hours pained me, it is the most beautiful piece I have. I just love it...the whole thing. At that point, it gave me an opportunity to learn more about this guy.
Ron started tattooing when he was 18 and is in his 40s now. Opened Gen X in 1997 and ran a really successful business. He had awards all over the walls along with free hand art work that he does in his spare time. His most defined art being dark and dank and skulls drawn with the most detail I have ever seen. He is the true epitome of an artist.
His biggest issue was people taking advantage of anything and everything. Ron just didn't love to have managed people and unfortunately in a small environment like that there is drama and lots of it...always. He hated that part of it.
While he tattoos me, I learn more and more about him. The first piece was 5 hours, then I did another 3 and then an hour here and there. He speaks highly of his son who he loves more than you would think. He spoke of the lack of family that he grew up in and did not want that for his son. He spoke of adopting dogs who needed to be rescued and how he takes clothes and donated goods to the homeless men and women's shelter… all of a sudden, this bad ass guy is a humanitarian.
Ron's most recent venture is called "Breast Renew". He has rejuvenated a few ladies who have suffered the loss of one or both of their breasts to breast cancer. He has been recreating a new areola and nipple using his fine skills of the art of tattooing for these ladies who feel that they have lost their womanhood by going through the tragedy of a single or double mastectomy. After all, the doctor is mostly concerned with getting all of the cancer...as they should be. But after the healing is done and they are left with what used to be a beautiful breast, Ron is actually making them feel like women again and doing this work gratis. He does not charge these ladies to make their breasts look like real breasts again. The feedback he is getting is how much they are grateful, appreciative and respectful of his work. Check out his "Breast Renew" page on Facebook.
It kind of reminds me of when I first started riding and was invited to meet friends and found myself riding into a group of leather wearing biker dudes and the intimidation of being the "new girl" as I showed up on my Sporty. HA - As the years go on...some of those guys are still to this day my best friends and I would depend on them for anything.
So with that said...I once again have learned another lesson to "Not to judge a book by its cover"! Peace my friends...stay warm!!