Arm Art at Billy’s in Liberal

by admin

fig. 1.1 Subject: Vizcela dog owner, gentleman, photographer, agriculturist, beast of burden on the jukebox, and boasts a firm man-hand on the two-step. Later.

Fig. 1.2 "Get that Pellligrino bottle out of here, my boss will get mad."

To start, the subjects here have not all been in the Big House, most importantly not Fig. 1.1.

B) the setting is Billy’s Mexican BBQ in Liberal, Kansas. Go here to hang out with

  • the youngins’
  • the “hope no one at work or dad got deported this week because the taillight was out”
  • the frat boys when they’re home from college
  • a few Liberal Country Club people who want to have fun
  • beautiful hispanic girls
  • the aggies under cover, urban relative term (a Wal-mart), Liberal is it.  A nice shirt and pressed jeans doesn’t impress, Hi-Plains ghetto the current chic.
  • people who want really good food:  bbq, beans, baked potato salad to name a few.
  • and,  the real thing, a tattoo Artist just out of the pokey.

I’ll quit talking (so much), here’s some bod(ies) art.

Fig. 1.3 How could I not notice this one....

Fig. 1.4 Left guy said he had tattoos all over his body, friend at right sitting back. But, when I asked him to go in the backroom for a pic he backed out. Chicken.

Fig. 1.5 But his buddy fearless. He's knows he's a star.

Fig. 1.6 A smile and bicep makes it even better.

Fig. 1.7 Hmmm...kind of depressing...

This tattoo’s owner had  worked for Best Well Service in Oil field. Slow economy, so temporarily out of regular work. Thinking ahead about what to get pictured on the internet but still shared.  It says “Death.”

Fig. 1.8 The Yin and Yang.

Life:  how can you really appreciate one without the other? He wouldn’t let me take a second (awkward upside down arm pose) photo, I like the cool. “Rotate your picture.”  And he knows i-photo better than I do.

Now for the specifics on the Artist and how he revealed himself:

Paula:  “are you all using the same artist?  It’s a similar style.”

Artist:  “no, I did these myself.”

Paula:  “where did you learn how to do this? Did you go to school?”

Artist:  “in prison.”

Paula:  “Whoa…(pause).  Do they just give you the supplies?”  (thinking a little rehabilitative craft project…license plates…)

Artist:  “no we just get them.”

Paula:  “how do you do it?”

Well, I’ll summarize the technique here.  In lockup, one can have hair grease which looks really good in ethnic hair, I might add.  Hair grease from the brilcream is lit with a match (a prison network item) to provide  ashes:  the ink. The ashes are pressed into the skin with a needle (inter-prison commissary). And then, all the thought and artistry, zen time.

Very impressed with time use for an otherwise boring day in confinement. Idle minds are the devil’s weapon.

Paula: “so, how did you get in prison?” …..(+ a little more coaxing…)

Artist: “they said for burglery.” (who can afford a good lawyer these days?)

Paula: “did you do it?”

Artist: “Well, someone got killed.” (he only did a year, so I don’t think it could have been him, not to make light of this).

Paula: “so… are you still hanging out with these friends?  A word from mother, “you are the company you keep.”

Fig. 1.9 The Artist's friends chose for his signature piece. Note to self: ask about laser hand treatments.

So, I can’t give the handsome Artist billing on his exact visage above because he was concerned about the coverage. For the record and parole officer, he wasn’t drinking. He and his companions could not have been more lucid and gentlemanly. I was at a midwestern college so I can discern.

I have no worries, I don’t think the burgler-Artists become the Unabombers or on a Tucson tyrade, that’s takes suburbia or a higher education to bring it on. He’ll be fine.

Jody's friend in Paula's scarf, Paula, Jody, Pelligrino.

And last, credit to Jody’s friend for the fun evening of inviting me to sit down, people sharing, and encouragement. He wouldn’t tell me his name, but he did tell me his age, less than half mine. I love it when people ask if I have a daughter.  Better than when the hairdresser asked if Lace was my granddaughter, but I blame this on the culture and region, Wichita.

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