My blogmate, Tony Deutsch, is indefatigable, a long-striding seeker of all things related to this blog. He tells me on the phone and on our nightly Boardwalks, of his adventures that day in Blogland and other digital kingdoms like Facebook, where he has ventured recently to scour up readers for Watchthetramcarplease.com. Tony is the engineer and conductor of this blog and the rest of us are more or less the passengers, carried by the engine of his energy. Which is as it should be because this blog was his idea in the first place and he has the deep computer skills to get us more than 20,000 hits in a little over a month.
So, today, he told me of a woman on Facebook with a large, wide tattoo of the tramcar across her back; above it musical notes and the words “Love those Wildwood days” and beneath it the immortal words of Floss Stingel: “Watch the Tramcar please.”
I was quietly floored that anyone could be so taken by the tramcars that she would spent a considerable amount of money to get one inked onto her back. Amazing! I was just sitting here looking out at the wind-bent trees and the vision came to me of a faceless tattoo artist, busily abuzz on this woman’s back, creating a tramcar portrait that she can only see in the mirror with another mirror. Yes, astounding.
And it also said something to me of the power of symbols to evoke times and places that resonate so deeply that we will go to the extremes of having them needled into our very skin. I see the faceless woman staring ahead as the needle etches its tale. Perhaps that Tramcar tattoo tells that woman time and time again the stories of the ocean, the beach, the Boardwalk and the magic that is in the very sea air of Wildwood, and I marvel at the strength of her vision.
I’ll never look at a tram again without seeing in my mind’s eye that tattoo – and I think that’s a good and worthy vision.
Oh, yeah, watch the tramcar please. It’s right on her back.