More Tattoos at Talawanda

OXFORD — If you look closely around the halls of Talawanda, you will see many people with ink on their skin. As with every person, every tattoo has a story behind it.

Sophomore, Alexis H. got her first tattoo, a colon cancer ribbon, in seventh grade. She got it to remember her great grandma, who died of cancer. “Whenever I think about my great grandma, it’s good for me to know that she knows that I did something for her.”


Freshman English teacher, Heather Cole, has a series of tattoos dedicated to her family. She has a hummingbird for her grandma, an anchor for her grandpa, dog paws for her dogs, and a collection of stars that represent different family members like her son and husband. The anchor tattoo was one of her most recent ones, and she got it about a year and a half ago.

“I got it because my grandpa was struggling with Alzheimer’s and he was also in the Navy, and he had told a story about how when he was in basic training in San Diego that he called home to tell his mom and dad that he was done with basic training, and he was thinking about getting an anchor tattoo, a Navy tattoo, and they said, ‘if you do, don’t bother coming home.’ So he did not get a tattoo, and because I already had several, and I wanted something for each of my grandparents and significant family members, that was what I chose for him,” said Cole.

Sophomore English teacher, Danielle Mann, has a tattoo of Hillary Clinton’s autograph with the Roman numeral XLV (45) under it. She got the tattoo in July 2016, on the 20th anniversary of when she met Hillary Clinton.

“She had always been someone I admire, so to meet her was significant for me. Then, in 1996 when she got the democratic party nomination, I decided on the 20th anniversary of meeting her to have her autograph tattooed on my arm,” Mann said.

The Roman numeral under the autograph has two meanings to Mann: “Under her name is the Roman numeral XLV because in 1996 I turned 45 and I was confident that she would be the 45th president.”

Following Hillary’s 2016 loss in the presidential election, Mann thought about getting the tattoo removed, but kept it because she felt it was important to remain faithful to her admiration of and connection to Hillary.

Annually, in the United States, citizens spend more than $1.65 billion dollars on tattoos. Four in ten U.S. adults have tattoos, and 30% of all college graduates have at least one tattoo. The number of young people getting tattooed annually has been rising, and has hit an all time high in recent years, with 36% of Americans aged 18 to 25 having at least one tattoo, according to a Pew Research Center study.

However, without parental permission you have to wait until you’re 18 to get a tattoo in Ohio (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3730.06 to 3730.08).

For more on Talawanda tattoos see Joseph DeVaughn’s 2012 article “Behind the Ink” at