Tuesday, April 22, 2014
This past weekend, Bunny, Momma and I spent the weekend doing major beach house cleaning and maintenance. Without a doubt it was the most beautiful weekend of the year and even though we were stuck cleaning and painting the three of us were well entertained by simply watching the folks on the beach and in the neighborhood.
Saturday morning a 52 passenger bus came rolling into Garden City and parked across the street at a neighbor’s house. Now, we are use to seeing cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even horses on the beach, but never have we witnessed a motor coach parked at a house. Being interested neighbors, we curtailed our chores and watched boy after boy stumble off the bus and head into the house. The fellows appeared weary and apathetic but in no time the bus was unloaded and the group came to life. Sweaters and long pants were exchanged for bathing suits and soon the group from Ohio was enjoying the beautiful South Carolina sun. Later in the afternoon the traditional spring break hair cuts took place on the deck overlooking the street and with our perfect viewpoint we watched the guys get their hair cut in some very interesting fashions. It appeared that the group was a sports team since there were so many guys with three older men who looked like coaches. Our assumption proved to be correct when a banner was hung from the railing promoting the Canfield High School Baseball Team. Quickly we learned that Canfield Ohio High School supports a chicken and spaghetti dinner and auction each year to raise money for the annual spring break trip to Myrtle Beach for the varsity players. Our fears of a house full of noisy boys were soon forgotten as the fellows proved to be well behaved and polite. In fact, lights were out in the big house across the street by 9:30 as apparently the all-night bus ride took its toll on young and old alike. Although work had to come first, I was determined to make some time for walks on the beach each day. And, as usual each year I am fascinated with the people in bathing suits on the beach with numerous tattoos all over the body. It has been said that the world is divided between people with tattoos and people that are afraid of people with tattoos. I am not afraid, but I am interested in “why.” Given that I can not understand the need to scribble on one’s body, I made an effort to learn all I could about the tattoo craze. Presently it seems that 25 percent of people under age 30 are “tatted up.” Tattoos are described as: ink, skin art, tats, work, and tattoo art. Those that have tattoos are simply people that are not scared of public opinion and want others to know what they believe in. Tattoos represent loved ones, patriotism, and one’s religious beliefs; or can be just for fun or a dumb mistake. Tattoos have been around for centuries and at one point in China it was considered a barbaric practice. In some countries, tattoos were used to communicate a person’s status. For instance at one time, criminals were tattooed for punishment which might include a single ring around the arm for each crime committed. In the early 19th Century in Great Britain, tattooing was very popular, but mostly with sailors and lower class people. Around 1870 tattoos became popular with the upper class and royalty. Some people in the royal families had the royal coat of arms and family crest tattooed on the body. However there still continued to be a class division on the acceptability of the practice. Since 1970, tattoos have been part of mainstream western fashion common among males and females, all economic classes, and most age groups. In 2012 tattooed woman outnumbered men for the first time in American history with 21 percent of women as opposed to 19 percent men having tattoos. In 2013 Miss Kansas became the first woman to show off a tattoo in the Miss American Pageant. Presently tattoos have gone from a form of defiance to a form of expression and as far as I could tell on the beach, there was a great deal of self expression being communicated.
In addition, other forms of self expression were seen like the woman with “blue” hair. Now we are not talking about the silver blue hair that is common on older women; instead we are talking bright royal blue hair. And, who knows if the young woman had a tattoo because the hair was so blue and conspicuous, tattoos were never noticed. Apparently blue hair has had a long history of artistic and literary use, but in modern times blue hair usually is an advocate for a contentious mind-set. Now, I have no idea if the lady was contentious, prickly, or just creative but she sure had blue hair. It’s only April and so far we have had a bus load of boys, copious amounts of tattooed bodies, and blue hair in the neighborhood. Perhaps I am sounding really old, or possibly it just might be an interesting summer at the beach.