SAILOR JERRY WAS BORN NORMAN COLLINS, BUT CHOSE TO DEFINE HIMSELF ON HIS OWN TERMS. HE SIMPLY WASN'T ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE BORN TO LIVE A MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD LIFE AND HE KNEW IT. BACK IN THE 1920'S, WHEN COLLINS CAME OF AGE, TATTOOING WAS AN EXPRESSION THAT BELONGED TO AN EMERGING AMERICAN COUNTERCULTURE. IT WAS A MARK OF NOT BLINDLY FOLLOWING THE MAINSTREAM - OF CHOOSING TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE LINES.
Old-school tattoos are rooted in the American serviceman’s interpretation of traditions and symbols that go back thousands of years. Obviously, every tattoo is a personal statement, but there are certain common meanings and associations. Here are a few of the most prevalent.