Sault tattoo artist says demand has increased as people look to cross things off their bucket list
Pasquale Lento, 86, gets first tattoo honouring his late mother and crosses off bucket list item. Nov. 5/20 (Jairus Patterson/CTV Northern Ontario)
SAULT STE. MARIE -- An 86-year-old Sault Ste. Marie man is tackling his bucket list with his first tattoo honouring his late mother.
Pasquale Lento's mother passed away in 1946 when he was 13-years-old.
As a young adult, Lento knew he wanted to do something to honour her, and more than half a century later, Lento came up with an idea.
Ten years after deciding on what he was going to do, he finally told someone, his granddaughter, Jocelyn Fremlin.
"I just wasn't sure if he was actually in the right state of mind. I just didn’t know what to think about it. I was in shock, to be honest," said Fremlin. "I took out my phone and recorded the phone conversation because I just couldn’t believe it."
Lento decided he wanted to get the only picture he has of his mom tattooed on his left arm. So at age 86, he went into a tattoo parlour for the first time and sat down for a four-hour session.
"It makes me feel good. I look in the mirror and I see my mom here. It makes me feel good, I’m so happy now," said Lento.
Fremlin said her grandpa waited so long to get the tattoo because of his conservative Italian upbringing, but over the past couple of years, he has started to cross off items on his bucket list.
"He told me he was a little bit afraid of what his friends and what people think about doing the things that he did," she said.
Lento isn't alone in rushing to the tattoo chair to get some fresh ink.
Katrina Thibodeau was Lento's tattoo artist and she is the owner of Discover The Canvas Studio. She said she has seen a demand in business since the start of the pandemic.
"Business is great. It’s kind of funny, I think people are doing their bucket list stuff now. They're like 'Oh you know we were a little bit scared and this weird thing happened' and they want to go get their first tattoo," said Thibodeau.
When asked if Lento will get a tattoo on his other arm, his response was "no," just one for his mother.
"I think a long time of my mom. And I said before I die, I'm going to have something with me there," said Lento.