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All ink tells a story

Students explain the stories behind tattoos

January 11, 2017

Tattoos can tell a tale of the owner’s life and experiences. They often illustrate the inner feelings and emotions on the outside for the world to see. Some may be small, others rather large, but each tattoo has a deeper meaning and story waiting to be told and heard. Here are some of the stories of tattoos around the school.


Senior Connor Pelfrey

Senior Connor Pelfrey got his first tattoo at the age of 12 when his life started to get hectic. He was having to balance school, work and family.
He felt like he needed something to remind him to stay strong and keep pushing through life with his head held high. Pelfrey decided to have the quote “Quod me non necat me certe fortiorem facit” inked on the interior of his right arm because it helped bring him together and focus on overcoming the vast obstacles in his life. The Latin statement translates into, “For that which does not kill thee makes one stronger.”
“It helped me manage time better and put in a better mindset to overcome the challenges I faced,” Pelfrey said, “and to keep pushing through all these trials and tribulations.”
Pelfrey also wanted to show respect to his family’s noble heritage. His second tattoo is the Pelfrey family crest.
Originally named the Palfreys, his family lineage can be dated back to the 900s.
“My family were pig farmers who bred, grew and killed pigs to make saddles for the wealthier class,” Pelfrey said. “The Palfreys were a strong and hard working family that lived in Northern Europe but moved to Ireland in the 900’s. After the potato famine in the 19th century, (they) moved to America to start anew.”
Representing many years past and today, Connor Pelfrey continues to make the Pelfrey name great. “I am the only one in my family to get a tattoo,” he said. “I think it’s cool to get one and I plan on getting many more in the future. I plan on getting basically the whole right side of my body tattooed.”
“I’d like to stick to the the kind of Medieval theme my tattoos have, like the Latin quote and the family crest which both lead back to Medieval times.”


Junior Megan Rapson

July 7, 2012 is the day now junior Megan Rapson’s sister Emily passed away. Members of their family later got tattoos to remember the beloved family member they had lost at age 16.
“I knew what I wanted, and I knew I wanted to get one,” Megan said.“It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to have it designed because obviously I’ll have it forever.”
While planning out her tattoo, she sought advice and ideas from art teacher Rhonda Sherwin and her brother Michael Rapsen. The tattoo transformed into a personalized design including the purple heart making up a majority of the tattoo.
“Her (Emily’s) favorite colors were purple and blue,” Megan said.


Senior Scott Wheaton

The intricate tattoo on senior Scott Wheaton’s left shoulder blade represents his life. “It has a compass in the middle of the cross because God guides my life.” Wheaton said.
The Latin under the compass, “Fortiter Recte,” means boldly and rightly. “It’s the motto on my family crest,” he said. “Most family crests have a motto that goes with them.
Wheaton’s tattoo, which he got last Feb. 25, cost $250. “Because I kept losing the cross necklace I always wore, I decided to get something I would always have with me,” he said.
There may be more tattoos in Wheaton’s future, but he doesn’t know of what yet.


Senior Selah Rowe

Senior Selah Rowe got her tattoo after turning 18 on Nov. 13. She wanted a tattoo that would have meaning and perfectly describe herself. Those goals led her to get her Zodiac sign, “Scorpio.”
“I wanted something that represents myself,” Rowe said. “Scorpios are very strong willed, determined, extremely stubborn and are great leaders.”
Rowe, a standout volleyball player, sees the Scorpio representing her well. “I’d say my leadership is shown when I step on the volleyball court as one of the senior captains on the team,” she said.
Hardwork and determination led to Rowe being an outstanding athlete in her last season playing high school volleyball. She was unanimously chosen all-conference and helped lead Haslett to a district title.

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