Some years back I received a message from a Tattoo Artist who wanted to enlist my help in speaking to the City Council of Plant City, Florida on his behalf in a quest to allow his tattoo shop to be opened up within City Limits. I guess when he searched YAHOO (that kind of ages it) searched PLANT CITY and TATTOO I was the only thing that came up; an escapee who moved to the big city and who could return, triumphant, to plead the case of allowing tattooing in a city known for The Strawberry Festival and not much else.

I checked his portfolio, which included a photo of him speaking at the City Council while wearing a T-shirt with the silhouette of a stripper on a pole and the declaration I SUPPORT SINGLE MOMS. Needless to say, I felt that my home town would be better off without his contribution to tattoo art, and I passed on the assist.

When I went back down South last year to get tattooed by David Bruehl I ended up spending a lot of time with my old Ybor City friends; visiting Skip Sampson, talking shit and catching up with he and Casper Geist was great. They’ve really helped changed the face of Tampa tattooing and I was surprised to hear that Casper had planned to leave Ybor and stake out his own plot of tattooland in Plant City.

The city had changed so much since I moved North in 1999; I had to use my GPS to get around on the streets that I had spent half of my life on.. there was a Scientology Center for goodness sakes. Was it time for a tattoo shop?

Casper sold me on it. His passion for building a kickass oldschool shop in Plant City was tangible and I found myself keeping up on the progress of the build and eventual opening of the shop, Dixie Station Tattoo.

Today’s online edition of the Plant City Observer ran a great piece by Amber Jurgenson on Casper’s fight to change the city ordinances concerning tattoo shops in the Historic Downtown area which can be read here: Plant City Observer.

I look forward to seeing Casper’s progress and wish him the best of luck in bringing modern tattooing to my old home town.