Ryan explained how he was raised by his grandmother, whose name was Dolly, but he just called Mom. She lived a full life, well into her nineties, and was pretty much the only mother he really knew. After she passed, he wanted something to memorialize her and got this tattoo which not only has her name, but a black rose, a skull, a sparrow, and a derringer. He elaborated about his grandmother's life:
"Back in the day, when she was 19 or 20 years old, she was in the Irish mob and she made whiskey and hooch and she would basically run it back and forth across state lines and that's how she made her money. That's how she supported her family. That's what the derringer is for, because she would always keep a derringer in her bra, just in case something happened ... the black rose ... is symbolic of her life and her passing, which is the skull ... the bird - she's free - you know, God always keeps his eye on the sparrow ... it's a montage of her very interesting life."
Ryan had this tattoo done in Mobile, Alabama, buy an artist he only knows as 'Link,' a tattooist who spent a lot of time in Philadelphia and who also owns a shop in Pensacola, Florida.
Thanks to Ryan for sharing this tattoo, along with Dolly's story, here on Tattoosday!
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