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James Dean and 1950s Tattoos
page one

URGENT MESSAGE: Mermaid Tattoo

The James Dean
Tattoo Photos

These pictures were taken at the 1997 James Dean Festival in Fairmount, unless otherwise noted. I took all the photos myself, and though I asked everyone, no one had a Marilyn Monroe tattoo. So Dean outranks Marilyn in body art! (No, no, it wasn't just 'cause we were in Fairmount. No, it wasn't.)

Texas style

Brittney Foreman of Houston sports this great mural on her back. She works at Starbucks in Clear Lake and goes to school at San Jacinto south campus. The tattoo is by Charles in Houston. This was Brittney's first time here for the Festival. She is in one of the pictures at the cemetery too.

one nail enlarged     Lady Hanlon's nails


Lady and who

We were all fascinated with this artwork Lady Hanlon did on her own nails, and we love her name. Yes, she did it all herself. Lady, on the left, came to the festival from Columbus, Ohio. Here she is with a friend whose name I don't have. Lady was in the right city at the right time for the 1997 Festival. She wins the prize for originality. Please email Lady.

UPDATE! Lady Hanlon married Brad Reynolds. They have bought the diner in Fairmount, the one downtown on Main Street. You can eat there starting in August 1999. They have poured their lives and savings into this venture. It's all Dean, all 50's now. Please visit The Legend Diner. As the sign says, "Come experience the Legend."

Kari and Janice

The world has seen a lot of clothing invented; why can't we have shirts to show off these tattoos? There's a market niche for somone.

Kari Jagenow on left poses with Janice Nunn of Fort Wayne, IN, with their favorite tats. There is a good story about Janice's tattoo. Her brother did it. This was only his third tattoo ever, and his first portrait tat. When the owner of Wildman's Tattoos, on Wells Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana, saw this, he said it has the cleanest lines he had ever seen, and he hired Janice's brother on the spot.

Her brother just did a great Lone Ranger on Joe Anderson (Joe of the late, lamented Buddy Holly bass,) and a Gretsch 1620 on the forearm of Jake Bel Air. Watch for more art from Janice's brother.

And Kari, you were a good sport to pose twice. Thanks for giving us so much of your time. I hope I find your city name among my notes.

two tattoos  Jason Hart did this darling tattoo on the back of Amvets partygoer Rick May. Donny Manco did the James Dean portrait on May's right shoulder.

Peeling day

This is just a phase Jimmy is going through. All tattoos peel when they are healing up, so they tell me. I personally plan to wait until tattoos can be airbrushed on. Then I'll get mine. No pain, no pain. Photo taken during David Loehr's Rockabilly Rebel Weekend '97.


headstone and date


Spyder and date

These three tattoos are all on the arms of Dave Rubalcava. The red jacket pose is by Craig from Skin of a Different Color in Aurora IL, while Kenny from Downers Grove Tattoo did the Spyder and and Spider of Downers Grove Tattoo did the tombstone. Craig: jacket; Kenny: Spyder; Spider: tombstone. There. Dave's one wrist has Dean's birth date elaborately tattooed, while the other wrist has the date of his death. There may be more Dean tattoos on Dave. Maybe next year I can film them.


Mattie's Merc

Matt Shaffer of the Red Ball Jets has Dean's Mercury tattooed on his right arm; on his left is the car in red. Great work by Jason Hart. I photographed this at Fountain Square.

Elvira

Photo from a Fountain Square bash. I had thought this was Elvira, from the James Dean birthday party hosted by Kenneth Kendall each year for WRDI. Came an email from California, which I've already misplaced, that Elvira is not the vamp at the parties and that the tattoo is not Dean-related. Awwwww. Well, I'll call it a 50s tat, then. Thanks to all of you who help me get my facts straight.

3 Stooges

While it isn't James Dean, it is great work, and why not do this with Dean and his co-stars, or perhaps all three Deans from the three different movies? These 3 Stooges tattoos continue around the back, and if they are in other places, I didn't look. This is devotion. Photo from the pool at the Holiday Inn at Rockabilly Rebel Weekend, June of '97. Make your plans for June of 98, same motel. (And you thought they'd never let us back in!)




Please Read This Notice

There is a group of men in Northern Ireland gang-raping women as a political statement, or they say it is a political statement, anyway. One of the men has a very stylized mermaid tattoo with a cross as part of it on his arm. It is like in olden days, not cartoonish. I am advised that it is very unusual to have a cross on a mermaid tattoo; they are usually anchors. But even the mermaid alone would be helpful. We are looking for a copy of any tattoo that might fit this description. It may solve this case, and both sides of the political spectrum are very eager to see these criminals brought to justice.

Please, if you have a copy of this sort of tattoo in your books, can you send me a copy, as a .jpg or .gif or .tif format, or a bitmap?

It would be very kind and helpful if you can do so, or pass this message on to everyone you can think of whom you can reach.

Thank you from all women,
Sandra Weinhardt
editor@tentativetimes.net
125 South Marion
Suite 101
Bluffton IN 46714

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