It’s funny how connections work.
Howard was friends with and wore tattoos by a score of people that I know and love. He worked not far from where I live and we attended many of the same conventions over the years, but the first time I met him in person was at, of all places, Sabrina’s Cafe in South Philadelphia. We were both waiting for a table for brunch and gave each other that up-and-down look you give other heavily tattooed people of a certain age; that “I’m not sure, but I probably know you” look. We said hello, compared friendships and had a laugh at the tourists clocking the heavily tattooed weirdos while we waited to go in for our pancakes and good times.
I still remember his early tattoo magazine appearances back before the new hot tattoo was only an instagram hashtag away; large work from Bill Salmon, Daniel Higgs, Mike Wilson… just being blown away with how he fit all of the clashing styles together. Every friend that we had in common had nothing but nice things to say about him and I regret not getting to know him more than the occasional upnod and hello.
Howard passed away today at 3:45pm. His family was able to be with him and say their goodbyes.
My condolences go out to his friends, family and loved ones.
Rest in Peace.