war paint


Danny Martin
United States Marine Corps

Got this skull at Sailor Eddies down on 9th and cherry in 1966. Years later a fella at work wanted to do tattoos -- I told him, "You go get yourself a tattoo needle and a nice price and you can practice on me." So I got this "US Marines" right here. I said "Make it look like it's Viet Nam era, make it look like it's been there a few years.

I got my first tattoo when I was 15, this bird, it says "Mom and Dad" over top of it -- I figured that if they found out, they wouldn't be so mad at me. I got the skull a year later -- I had the other one hidden all that time. One morning my father wakes me up for school -- he wakes me up and sees the tattoo and he says "WHAT THE HELL'S THAT?!" And we go down stairs and he says "Hey everybody, check big shot out, he got a tattoo." So I'm thinking he seen my brand new one, and he says "Go ahead, show everybody," so I'm rolling up my sleeve to show everybody the skull, when he says "check him out, he's got a bird on his arm!" and I'm like "oops!" -- My old man, he cracked me upside the head -- he tattooed my head.

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