Tattoo Joe spent most of his life in custody. When he finished his sentence, he asked for a one-way ticket to Seattle because he fell in love with a magazine picture of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. His social worker said, “I still struggle to figure out the meaning of all of this, why I had such a brief time to work with him. Maybe all this has meaning–to remember those who otherwise would be forgotten because our communities don’t see the value of them and the blessings they bring.”
From family photos, donated by Joe’s mother, Tina Gaerte:
Tattoo Joe Gaerte’s Leaf was installed at the Seattle Justice Center on October 18, 2011. If you have stories or memories to share about Joe please post a comment.