Ever since I saw our family coat-of-arms at my grandfather's house as a child I have been enamored with heraldry and the pride of my Irish heritage. As I got older and interested in genealogy and family history I have found that the first Dillon in Ireland had this device on his shield.
He was a Norman nobleman and it is easy to see how De Lion was Anglicize into Dillon. He fought for the English crown and was granted lands and titles in their war against Ireland. All of his descendants bore some form of this device on their shields. The last recorded Coat of Arms was the one in the first picture.
Through my limited studies I have yet to find proof of our lineage to this family name, but I am still trying.
Lesser sons, wives and daughters fared poorly in being kept tract of in records and history.
Now for another childhood fantasy....tattoos. My grandfather sported a blurry faded tattoo on his forearm of a hoola girl. A permanent reminder of too many beers at a local fair and an Irishman's willingness to take any dare. Although he regretted getting it, I liked it. And have wanted one as long as I can remember.
Last week on a trip to visit our youngest daughter in Florida we were taken to a local attraction I can best describe as a tourist trap, my daughter showed us a shop where she got her last tattoo. Wifey made the mistake of asking if I wanted one. I almost choked on my immediate reply of "you know I do". So she told me to go pick one out. I couldn't believe it was happening. I went inside with a dragon in mind, but after looking through the artwork books I found a beautiful colorized Grey Wolf. I found the perfect one. Until my daughter took me to see the tattoo she wanted next. On the wall behind a display book was what I finally got. A small simple black rampant lion. The type that was used on ancient shields. When I asked the price which was reasonable, I was also told that it would be larger than depicted which was fine with me, I am kind of a large guy anyway. Anyway I was told to come back in a half hour.
So I went outside and hung around for a while.
My friend's wife was upset that I would get my body marked so. I told her it was no different than women wearing make-up or coloring their hair. To which she argued that those were temporary, so I said having your ears pierced then. And she said that she could let them grow shut, to which I answered it would still leave a mark. And tattoos can be removed now with just a cream. However she still didn't see why I would do it. So I told her that where I was having it put no one would see it unless I chose to show it off.
Didn't matter. Oh well, you can't please everyone, so I pleased myself.
The artist changed the style somewhat from the original depiction which made it even more pleasing to me.
And even shaded it instead of filling it all black, which I liked even better. I told her I might just come back each time I visit until I get a whole coat-of-arms done.