The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 20, 2013

Tattoos a big draw at Thunder

JOHNSTOWN — Joe Peterson and his friends do not usually set up their tattoo booths at motorcycle rallies.

But Thunder in the Valley is different.

For the second year in a row, Peterson, owner of Zaza Ink in West Boylston, Mass., organized a tattoo expo to coincide with Johnstown’s annual motorcycle event. Most rallies, unlike Thunder, cannot provide the type of clean and quiet atmosphere he and the other high-level artists require.

“I don’t think you’ll find a single artist in here that will tattoo out of a trailer or on the side of a street,” said Peterson. “We’re very specific. Everybody in here is a nationally known, award-winning artist. You won’t find them in trailers or places like that. We need to tattoo indoors in a clean, sterile environment. We need much more control over our environment than motorcycle rallies usually allow.”

The tattoo opened Thursday inside the Conference Center. It continues today through Saturday.

“This is normally where we would throw this kind of event anyway,” Peterson said.

More than a dozen artists from as far away as Wisconsin and Florida attended. Oftentimes, the same individuals participate in events where hundreds of artists work and compete for prizes. “This is a little lower key than what we’re used to, but, for us, it’s kind of a good chance to just get away and hang out with old buddies and get some tattooing done,” said Peterson.

Even though many customers are in town for the motorcycle rally, the artists are still asked to create a wide variety of pieces, other than just Harley-Davidson logos and other subjects associated with riding.

“Actually, last year I tattooed from the time I got here until the time I left, and I didn’t do one single motorcycle-themed tattoo while I was here,” said Troy McDaniel, owner of Lefty’s Tattoo in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “You’d think there would be a lot more of it.”

Holding the expo in town provides local residents a chance to get work done by high-quality artists who they might not otherwise have access to.

“There are good tattoo artists around here, but nothing you can trust for anything too complicated, so it’s really cool,” said Hooversville resident Greg Ames before getting some flowers inked onto his arm.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads