People Tell Their Stories Through Body Art



Justine McGraw’s childhood babysitter wasn’t the next-door neighbor or a teenager from down the street. It was Jed Island just off East Blue Hill.

 

Justine McGraw had Jed Island and Long Island tattooed on her feet in the past couple of years. McGraw has many childhood memories on the islands, and wants to take them with her wherever she goes. — GABE SOUZA
Justine McGraw had Jed Island and Long Island tattooed on her feet in the past couple of years. McGraw has many childhood memories on the islands, and wants to take them with her wherever she goes. — GABE SOUZA
McGraw and her brother spent their summers exploring the uninhabited, 14-acre isle’s rocky shores while their father fished waters nearby for lobster.

Now 22 and a cashier at the Blue Hill Food Co-Op, McGraw feels such a strong connection to Jed Island that she had its outline tattooed on the bottom of her left foot.

McGraw is hardly alone when it comes to having memories of people and events or people inked into their skin. More than 45 million Americans are adorned with these permanent markings, according to The New York Times. Spanning the socioeconomic spectrum, this form of body art has universal appeal and has become as much a part of pop culture as television and the Rolling Stones.

Tattoos have a storybook quality.

“Having it on my foot resembles where I’ve been,” said McGraw, who has a tattoo of Long Island in Blue Hill Bay, on her right foot. “I feel a strong attachment to it.”

McGraw insists it’s purely coincidental, but her husband’s name is Jed Long McGraw.

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

 

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