Monday, April 27, 2015


Dan Bramos was kind enough to share some images of his tattoos and the stories behind them.

My story is reversed. I had the ink and then became a museum guy.

In 2011, I retired from the Navy after 21 years. Over my career, I traveled to many places, some pretty cool, most not very cool at all. On my travels, I picked up some mostly sub-par tattoos. Once I retired, I decided to do better with my ink, especially not having to make it on just a Sailor's income.

In addition to being a Sailor, I've been a space, spaceflight, science, and science fiction enthusiast my entire life. I grew up knowing that I was born on the day Apollo 16 splashed down, but what really kicked it into gear was watching Columbia launch for the first time. I was nine, drew a picture, wrote a letter and sent it to NASA. Very shortly, I received a letter and autographed picture from John Young and Bob Crippen. That sealed the deal. I've been a space geek ever since.

Through my Navy career, I've been privileged to work with a lot of great Sailors and Officers, a few of whom have gone on to be astronauts that I've kept in contact with.

Early in the summer of 2013, my wife and I were looking for an above average tattoo shop and found Lucky Bird Tattoo in Annapolis, Maryland. I sat down with Tyler McKinney and explained that I wanted something that combined my naval career and love of space. The sailing ship encompasses my time underway, the wings and engines on the ship are representative of the time I spent working on all kinds of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

I told Tyler to fill in the rest with a space-scape, which he did entirely freehand. My only request was that he use the Butterfly Nebula in there somewhere since it's my favorite pic from the Hubble Telescope.

This past year, I met a couple of gentlemen that were working on opening a spaceflight museum in Southern Maryland. I took the opportunity to volunteer and put some hours in to help get it ready. Now, after a year I'm the Operations Manager (which really means I'm the head box mover and astronaut impersonator) of the Spaceflight America Museum and Science Center in Prince Frederick, Maryland. We'll be having our Grand Opening on May 29th and 30th, 2015 in just over a month! The SAMSC is located in the Arthur Storer Planetarium at 500 Fox Run Rd. and specializes in STEM activities with a concentration on manned spaceflight.

Thanks for sharing your Museum People's Tattoo story, Dan --- and Good luck with the opening of SAMSC!

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.