911 and Mark Bingham - Wish I could have gotten to know you better...

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    Sep 07, 2011 2:30 AM GMT
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    I was one of the last people to see Mark Bingham
    alive. I was doing temporary tattoos back then. He
    came to my set up just before 9/11 during the
    Southern Decadence festival
    and picked out a bear claw symbol he wanted me
    to draw on his shoulder. Of course we know
    this tattoo on a man means they are attracted to
    large hairy men. But since many people don’t know
    this, I always ask the same question to gently steer
    an unknowing straight man from getting this
    tattoo (and he appeared very straight.) I said
    “you’re getting this for courage
    right?”. I watch their response to see if they realize
    what it actually means. When I asked Mark this
    question, he said “yeah, you never know when
    you’ll need a little extra courage”. He then winked
    at me and smiled to let me know he was aware of
    it’s meaning. I felt a spark with him and took a bunch
    of photos of him before he left and gave him my number.
    I was a little bummed out when he didn't call but of course
    I had no idea why.

    The picture on the cover of “Hero
    of Flight 93” is of him showing off his tattoo just after I finished
    it. (They cropped the tattoo off for the book.)
    I had no idea who he was until exactly one year after 9/11.
    A customer told me he saw me
    on a website doing Mark’s Bingham’s tattoo. And I was like
    "Mark who?" When I looked at the photo, I knew instantly
    who he was and I realized why he never called.

    I always felt like I had known someone who had died
    in 9/11 because of how deeply it had affected me.
    Even though I only got to talk with him a few
    minutes while I was drawing his tattoo, he made a
    big impression on me. When you are in the
    presence of some people, you just get the feeling
    they're special. I guess it sounds kind of silly, but a
    part of me is proud to know he was wearing his
    “courage” tattoo when he was taking on those
    hijackers in his last moments.
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    Sep 07, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
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    This is the same picture uncropped. I had just finished doing his tattoo here.
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    Sep 07, 2011 4:29 AM GMT
    What a great looking guy and tragic loss!! I think this time of year we start thinking about all of the victims of that day and how horrific it was! A really great guy from my area was on the flight that went into the Pentagon and I think of him often!!
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    Sep 07, 2011 4:51 AM GMT
    I extend my condolences to the families and friends of the victims....I lost 2 very good friends, fraternity brothers, in the collapse of the towers....I am grateful that brave men like Mark Bingham exist and are willing to make the hard choices....I wish our politicians had as much fortitude to make a choice and stand with it and would just get over the games and posturing over gay rights....The Tat is great and the man makes the tat! RIP Mark Bingham....Thank you.
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    Sep 07, 2011 4:53 AM GMT
    Hopefully more will post on this thread. Sadly there are large numbers here who have no idea who he is/was. What a loss... both for this community and the country community as a whole.
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    Sep 10, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
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    This is the pic I was looking for. Yikes, I was skinny back then!
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    Sep 10, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    Excellent story.

    I didnt know who he was until I saw a documentary about him on logo.
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    Sep 10, 2011 4:15 AM GMT
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    Sep 10, 2011 12:55 PM GMT
    Dallasfan824 saidExcellent story.

    I didnt know who he was until I saw a documentary about him on logo.



    Yeah, I guess I should have posted information about who he was. Here's a Wiki link to those interested.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Bingham
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    Sep 11, 2013 10:36 PM GMT
    What a wonderful, yet tragic story.

    I am sorry you did not get to know him better. I imagine he would have been an amazing person to know.

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    Sep 11, 2013 10:39 PM GMT
    Good to see this again today. I only posted one 9/11 item on facebook today, and that was this pic I took at the memorial a year and a half ago.
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  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1277

    Sep 12, 2015 3:29 AM GMT
    Very touching story Radd, thanks for sharing it.
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    Sep 12, 2015 3:35 AM GMT
    He lived his life and became a hero!
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    Sep 12, 2015 4:44 AM GMT
    He seemed like a great guy.


    Taken too soon...icon_cry.gif
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    Sep 12, 2015 9:50 AM GMT
    Thanks, Radd,for sharing that story.

    I'm glad that September 12 has gotten here. Yesterday I was feeling sad much of the day because of the 9/11 anniversary. I grew up in NYC and its suburbs. 14 years ago I was living in Plattsburgh, NY, about 300 miles due North. But of course lots of folks I knew up there were from "the city." My cousin had worked in the World Trade Center up to a few months earlier. So, no direct losses for me but, like still the world changed that day for all of us, very much for the worse.
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    Sep 12, 2015 10:21 AM GMT
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    Sep 12, 2015 12:55 PM GMT
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    Sep 12, 2015 3:37 PM GMT
    I've talked to his mom on the phone a couple of times. She's a wonderful person too! She accepted him totally for being gay and talked openly about his personal life. She wanted to know what we talked about during our meeting, I guess she was grasping at taking in any insights to him since she would never see him again. I told her about him picking out the bear claw tattoo but I wasn't going to mention what it meant or anything gay since I didn't know if she was supportive of that or not. But she said "oh yeah, he liked his men hairy." And she said it with fondness, not judgement.
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    Sep 12, 2015 3:44 PM GMT
    Radd saidI've talked to his mom on the phone a couple of times. She's a wonderful person too! She accepted him totally for being gay and talked openly about his personal life. She wanted to know what we talked about during our meeting, I guess she was grasping at taking in any insights to him since she would never see him again. I told her about him picking out the bear claw tattoo but I wasn't going to mention what it meant or anything gay since I didn't know if she was supportive of that or not. But she said "oh yeah, he liked his men hairy." And she said it with fondness, not judgement.


    Those "What if?" moments...we all have them.