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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Ready, set, ink

Old Gold Tattoo, located on State Street, is ready for the first superstitious Friday of the year. Tattoo artist and parlor manager K.C. Lange is nervously anticipating Friday the 13th, but not for the same reasons as most.

“I’m not superstitious at all,” he said. “For me it’s a nerve-racking day. It’s a long day for us; it’s  grueling, back-breaking.”

The entry to Old Gold Tattoo. // Photo by Regan Bervar
The entry to Old Gold Tattoo. // Photo by Regan Bervar

In previous years, Old Gold Tattoo offered $13 tattoos for those wanting a trademark of the sinister day.

“In the past, a lot of times they’re simple with two or three colors and have the the number 13,” Lange said. The tattoos were around the size of a silver dollar and were simple but knick knack designs, he said.

“Some of them are horror-themed and some of them are just fun tattoo stuff,” he said.

Before working at Old Gold Tattoo, Lange’s shop in Arizona participated in the same deal for Friday the 13th.

Lange worked from morning, late into the night tattooing “13s”. “I think I did 64 that day,” Lange said.

Friday the 13th hasn’t always been celebrated among tattoo and piercing parlors, Lange said.

“One Friday the 13th, I had a man get one of the designs on the shaft of his penis.”

K.C. Lange

“The Friday the 13th tattoo special is fairly new in tattoo culture,” he said. “I think it’s popular because it’s counterculture. To like something that is unliked, that’s the whole idea of tattooing.”

Working as an experienced tattoo artist, Lange has seen it all.

“Weird things happen all the time,” he said, and Friday the 13th seems to be no exception. “The shop didn’t have specifications [then] on where the tattoos could go. When we do it, we do [mostly] arms and legs.”

The entry to Old Gold Tattoo. // Photo by Regan Bervar
The entry to Old Gold Tattoo. // Photo by Regan Bervar

“One Friday the 13th, I had a man get one of the designs on the shaft of his penis,” Lange said. “He wanted to get his penis tattooed and I was like, ‘alright man, whip it out. You’re the one who chose this.”

This year, Old Gold is changing it up by offering $100 tattoos instead of $200 ones.

By doing bigger tattoos, the customer saves money and has a more intimate experience with more thought put into it, Lange said.

Old Gold Tattoo has now developed a reputation for offering some sort of special on the ominous Fridays, Lange said. The tattoos offered for the upcoming Friday the 13th, feature collaborations from all the artists in the shop.

Lange expects the shop to be busy this year, but not as much as past years when they offered $13 tattoos.

“For me, Friday the 13th is just another day; a busy day.”

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