By Dave Gibson
My uncle used to tell this story about when he was in the Navy… He and his small group of friends liked getting tattoos and talking about them. One shipmate in particular had an unusual tattoo, and he never wanted to talk about it. My uncle described it as a pig with a tree behind it, a bird in the tree and a moon in the sky. No matter how much coaxing, the sailor didn’t want to talk about it. Finally, one day he gave in and said, “Alright, you wanna know? It’s a ________________.”
Now I had always chalked this up to another one of Uncle Harry’s sea stories, until…
Fast forward about 20 years later… I’m in Honolulu at China Sea Tattoo visiting with Mike Malone and Doug Hardy, I’ve got a box of Sailor Jerry original flash on my lap. I’m looking through the different sheets, all these different designs, most of them I’d never seen before… Then, there it is! Can it be? Yes it is!
“Hey, do you guys know what this is?” I said.
Mike and Doug shrugged their shoulders, shaking their heads, “It’s a bird’s-eye view of a pig’s ass in the moonlight.”
What I’d always assumed to be a total lie or at best a homemade barn-poked special turned out to be a genuine tattoo, with genuine flash to back it up, by the genuine master…
Dave can be found here: abcdavegibson.com
Dave Gibson is featured in Tattoo Artist Magazine issue #22: