Keller: Dad’s wisdom halted tattoo 66 years ago

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Jan. 20 was the 66th anniversary of the inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower, our 38th United States President.

It’s easy for me to remember that date, because that same day, in 1953, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Sunday, as I reflected on that day, I remembered my dad saying good-bye to me at the New Orleans airport and with tears in his eyes, he said, “I hope you don’t get any tattoos.”

In those days, tattoos weren’t very popular, except for people in the military.

A few times, after drinking too much, I thought about getting a tattoo. I wanted a picture of a little skunk with STINKY written under the artwork, but because of my dad, I didn’t do it.

I’m thankful I never gave in to the temptation.

Over the years, my children and grandchildren have heard this story many times.

My grandchildren know my opposition to marking your body with tattoos.

They tell their parents that they sure wish I had that little skunk named Stinky on my arm.

Thinking of that, I am thankful that I didn’t disrespect my dad, because today, at my age, with my skinny, wrinkled arm, how ugly that inked picture of Stinky would look!

Years later, I read in the Bible: “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I and the Lord.” Leviticus: Chapter 19, Verse 28.

My dad died in 1955. I wish I would have taken his advice more.

I would have been spared a lot of heartaches. He was a great dad with a lot of wisdom.

If you have any questions or comments, please write Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or email