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Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art
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Re-Post: Tattoos I Know – The Grim Reaper

November 7th, 2009
Today is a sad anniversary for us here on Tattoosday, for it marks one year since our friend, Tom Wacker, passed away unexpectedly.

Tom was an early supporter of the blog, from its fledgling days as a once-a-week feature over on BillyBlog, and he watched us grow with a mixture of excitement and pride.

The camera I use was a birthday gift from Tom and his fiancee Sephora, and he was always first in line to see the pictures I took whenever I had new material for the blog.

A week or two before his death, Tom was hanging out at a friend’s house in New Jersey. He took pictures of his friend’s sleeve and e-mailed them to me. The photos are still in my mailbox, unposted. I still haven’t the heart to call his friend and talk tattoo with him.

There are times I am hesitant to approach people, for whatever reason, and I overcome whatever resistance I may feel, knowing that’s what Tom would have wanted me to do, and that somewhere, he is watching, urging me on, applauding my efforts, admiring the ink.

As a tribute to Tom, I am reposting his tattoo, which he shared with us here, back in 2007.

It’s not the best tattoo, but it’s Tom’s, and his spirit is infused here in Tattoosday. It’s the least I can do for the friend that supported us so much in the early days. Here’s to you, Tom!

Tattoos I Know: The Grim Reaper (originally posted September 11, 2007)


This is the sole tattoo of my friend and co-worker, Tom Wacker.

Tom designed and drew the art upon which this tattoo was based.

The Reaper is posed on Tom’s biceps/deltoid and has resided there since 1984, when its host was a young lad of eighteen.

This is Tom’s only tattoo and he has no plans to get more. He is proud of the fact that, because he designed it and because he then tore up the original design, it is a one-of-a-kind piece…

The tattoo was inked by Dean at Lola’s Tattoos, then in Cliffside Park, but now in Bogota, New Jersey. Tom got this tattoo “because it was cool,” although the tattooer tried to convince him not to get it because it was “too mean” for him. Twenty-three years later, Tom says he has no regrets about his ink.

Thanks, Tom!

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