John Wilkes Booth had his initials tattooed on his knuckles; Thomas Edison had a five-dot pattern on his forearm; Dorothy Parker had a star on her elbow; and Andrew Jackson had a tomahawk on his thigh. The human obsession with marking the flesh dates back centuries. But the decision to let someone draw a permanent picture on your body still deserves some pondering. It'll be there forever, which is why Sean Baltzell, owner of the three-year-old Tower Classic Tattooing in the Grove, has the right idea. His old-school shop, with its dark wood and hunting trophies staring down from the walls, specializes in American classic-style tattoos that feature strong lines, a lot of black, two or three color palettes and a decent amount of skin. Says Baltzell of his tattoo philosophy: "The old creed 'bold will hold' is the best way to describe it."
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