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Tattoo #2 ~ Philadelphia, PA ~ January 2019

I don't know how or when it happened, but somewhere along the line, my thirtysomething, inkless self decided it would be cool to document my travels on my skin. Maybe each tattoo will represent the trip, maybe they'll make reference to an experience, or maybe they will just be a cool design that I thought was appropriate at the moment. Whatever they end up being, they'll end up here with a little story to go along.



As I have mentioned before, it was my intention that my first tattoo would be something to celebrate my hometown of Philadelphia.. As of this writing, I am looking for an artist to do that tattoo, my fourth, for me. Better late than never!


For years, I had always said that, when I got married, I'd get the world "Everlong" tattooed on my wrist in my spouse's handwriting. This, of course, is in reference to the Foo Fighters song. In fact, I had said this to several significant others over the years. When I finally did get engaged, it suddenly felt wrong to take this thing I had said to other women and just apply it to my fiancée. Sarah deserved something unique to her. So I adapted this idea a bit, moving the tattoo up the arm and opting for our wedding song over "Everlong."


We chose "You Send Me" by Aretha Franklin as our first dance as a married couple. We also love the Sam Cooke version, but the way the Queen of Soul vamps at the end of the song sold us on her version. I told Sarah about my desire to get this tattoo, and she wrote "you send me" on a piece of paper, and showed it to me.


"Is this what you want?" she asked.


"Yes," I replied.


Now, being different people whose minds work in different ways, our understanding of that brief conversation varied. To Sarah, I had given her a general idea of what I wanted her to do, and she set to writing "you send me" dozens of times across several pages. To me, what she had written was getting permanently inked on my body. To this day, she laments that I used "the prototype" as the actual tattoo.


I left work early one day and made my way to Electric Temple Tattoo in Brewerytown. I chose Electric Temple purely because it was in Brewerytown and that, to me, will always be the best neighborhood in Philly. I had lived in Brewerytown from 2011-2014, and again from 2015-2017. You could see Electric Temple from my supremely awesome and massive bay window overlooking Girard Avenue, and that was essentially the basis for choosing this shop.


Much like my first tattoo, I didn't have an appointment, just walked up to try my luck. I called Sarah as I was walking up to the shop to let her know - she was en route and wanted to be there to see her handwriting get etched into my skin. When I got to Electric Temple, I was greeted by a guy on the stoop, smoking a cigarette. I told him what I was there for, he stubbed out his smoke, and in we went. Twenty minutes later, I had some fresh ink. Sarah nearly missed it, it was done so quickly.


Three years after my first tattoo, I now had number two. And, thanks in part to that whole global pandemic thing, it would be another three years before I got number three.



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Verb. 1) Pertaining to the behavior of being a Wittwer. 2) Doing odd things that only Wittwers would do. 3) Catchall phrase for the thoughts and actions of Patrick Wittwer.

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