Who is Freddy Ray? | Tattooer, Small Business Owner, Former Police Officer
Once. You start going we'll start doing the questions. Alright, are, you ready I am ready let's do it okay here we have a hurt not very much I'm, gonna start right no. It. Doesn't really feel like much does it naughty. So. Freddie. You. Live in Fort Wayne the whole life yeah yeah, for the most part what. Like. Where did, you see, yourself in either kid versus, where you are now, oh my. Goodness. When. I was a kid they're, like. When. I was a kid I thought I wanted to be a Secret Service agent yeah. That. Didn't actually end up happening no, although I. Came close but, no didn't, do that would, you would you end up going for instead cuz I don't know how many didn't know you haven't, done pets in the whole life right, almost like a second career right, it definitely yeah. Definitely, is a second career um, well, that was a police officer for. About. 23. Years. And. I suppose I got involved in that because I wanted to be in the Secret Service okay. And. Then. That took, a life of its own and I just never, made. It to the Secret Service. I did, long time. Mostly. Undercover undercover. Was. Fun like most, your career undercover, I think, total, on-and-off it was probably, 10 or 12 years. Total. Not like in a police uniform not. As a death like a regular detective, you know doing. Plainclothes. Stuff I was in the, Narcotics Unit for a few, years five or seven years for those that don't know what's the. Narcotics unit like drugs. Guns. Prostitution. Investigating. That in ways. That traditional, police, officers in a uniform and in a police car couldn't do. Right. Like. That life for a while yeah, I think it was five. To seven years and then. Left. That before. That I was on a street crimes unit doing like plain clothes investigative. Work so. Again. Not. A uniformed cop and not like a detective, in the traditional, sense we were. Like. Regular people like, I. Guess. You. Know police officers that if, you had to equate it to something we're more like a private investigator, maybe okay no just a dude in regular clothes trying. To figure some things out so. He's, like did, you enjoy that life or was it rough I mean I loved, it loved, it yeah it was great you know you can't really talk about what you do I mean. I can, talk about some of it but, no. It was super fun it, was really intense, and exciting you, know was, the most exciting moment yeah oh boy. I mean all, kinds of foot. Chases. Jumping. Over fans like oh yeah oh, yeah I was an idiot oh. I. Love, to chase people yeah, so, I often did it without thinking so you just went like a reaction, right, right, but you so what you have to keep in mind is, that we you know I was. Dressed more. Or less like you or like I am currently right just like looked. Like a regular person and, I was not very smart so, when somebody would run I would, jump out and chase them dress. Like this and you know sometimes. Running down the street dressed like this with a gun in your hand, that's, just it's not the best plan for here the longevity of your life. Only. Once only once did it get really like scary where the cops, for. A moment didn't know the difference between me and a bad guy oh. It. Happened right down the street actually really, yeah don't, Yeah. Right underneath. Basically. Underneath, the bridge where the deck is at yeah. It, was winter like this the river was frozen I was, chasing a guy down the river. And. He, ducked up under the bridge and eventually, we found him in the parking lot of three apartments okay but. When. He went under the bridge I. Kind. Of lost sight of him and came, I came out from under the bridge kind, of like wide and, not like right up against the like. Foundation. Of the bridge so, that he couldn't like jumping right so he couldn't surprise me. So. I'm in a hoodie I've got my hood up. You, know I'm wearing.
Jeans, And, gone. Out I came out from under the bridge and I started hearing police drop the gun police drop the gun so, I was looking around for the bad guy, not. Realizing, that the cops standing, on top of the bridge saw. A guy in a, hoodie with. A gun you, know I had no idea who the guy was and yeah. It got intense for a moment but fortunately. One of my buddies. That. Knew me very very well. Immediately. Recognized, like when I looked up at them I was like oh. Yeah. I was, doing, that for a long time mm-hmm. How. Did you wind up getting into the tattoo game was, that because of undercover work was that it was yeah, yep, I. Had. Probably never considered, ever in my life getting a tattoo ever however it wasn't even a thought cool no, nothing, wasn't, even a thought and. I, was out one day with an informant. You. Know about to do a bye I don't remember what we were gonna buy now yeah. But he. Was. Having trouble like buying the fact that I was a police officer just, because I didn't look like one yeah I just I looked pretty rough at the time I think there's pictures of me looking like that and there's little shadow box up here yeah um but, back then yeah I look like a child, okay. So. He. It. Was just a discussion all day about whether or not it was really a police officer, or I was just like. Pretending. To be one or something and eventually. I had, a coat on and, took, my coat off. And. When. I took the coat off he. Saw my arms were bare and, he, was like oh dude you are the police and, I'm, like I don't understand, what you mean and he informed. Me that I had no tattoos, and that you, know most bad guys had tattoos so. He. He, wanted me to. Try. To fit in better so, it. Occurred to me that maybe that would be great for being undercover you know it would be to be a tattooer and being a tattoo shop where, you. Know all kinds of people come in and talk about all kinds of crazy stuff. But. Then. I loved it and, didn't. Want to jeopardize. Either. My ability, to do it or the people that I was tattooing, with, because. Of the job I was doing yeah, you. Know like retaliation. Type stuff I didn't, want somebody to come find. Out what you were right. And then you know do. Throw. Something. Through the windows of the shop or you, know whatever, I, was, afraid might happen so I separated the two lives and kept. Them totally separate for a very long time and. Then you finally got to the end of this full-time when you retired yeah. Yeah, well I mean it was full-time before, I retired, I was probably tattooing, thirty, thirty, hours a week. And, working at the police department you know 40 to 50 hours a week. And. Then, you know I. What. I do for the tattoo shop isn't just here in the tattoo shop right with me well. There's a lot that goes on like making your drawing yeah, I do that at home okay, so there's hours outside of this and outside, of the police department, where I was at home, also. Working so long, yeah. So you know I was probably total, putting in 80. Hours or. More a week between the two jobs. And. Eventually. I just had to decide. What. I wanted to, do with my time you, know I was getting stretched very thin. And. Then. I was, working. A job at the police department that was pretty stressful in tough and. It. Just got to the point where I couldn't do both anymore and I had to decide which which, I wanted to continue doing so then what made you decide to go to tattoo grout, the. Job I was doing at the police department was so stressful I was just that I couldn't even do it yeah it was too much over, yeah. And literally like wound up in the chief's office like crying Louis, a guy like I cannot, do this anymore. It. Was just such a such, a. Demanding. Position to be in like, fixing. Problems mm-hmm. Everybody, needs you to fix it you can only do so much right right, right I felt a lot of pressure and, maybe I put a lot of pressure on myself because, I wanted, to fix things and make, everyone. Happy not you know not. Just one group of people like not. Just the prosecutor's, office or not just the police department, I wanted everyone to be happy and put. An awful lot of pressure on myself to make that happen. With. This, I suppose if I had just been doing that it wouldn't have been so bad you. Know but I knew when I got off work there I would, have to go home and draw, for two hours or three hours every night and then, come. In here first thing to do tattoo and it was just, it. Was a lot so. I chose this when. You. Said before. Being. Able to express like your creative side. Louise. Right yeah, oh yeah for sure and it would do this helps you with that creative.
Bowing Yeah. I drew and painted a. Lot. As a child and. Throughout. High school and then after high school I. Just. Kind of let it go I just. Didn't do, anything with it maybe once in a while I would do a painting or something for my mom or you know whatever but. Not. Very often did I get to do, anything with art and once I started doing this it was like oh wow I do. Art every day. And. So, it was it. Was nice. Yeah. I got, a posture so I can share top first like. The. Closer we get to your shoulder cap the. More it's gonna hurt. Yeah. I didn't warn you that it will change as, we move around what, down there I'm like. What. Be thankful we're not going up another three inches to like that bone. When. People would come into your shop come, into your tattoo shop here at dizzy ball like, what's what's, something you want them to feel because this doesn't, look like a normal, tattoo. Shop that I've been to you. Know yeah. I I want them to feel comfortable right. I want them to feel like they're here, and they. Are the. Most important, thing here if. That. It all makes sense, you. Know like like, that they're in their own living room I I. Worked. In other shops that. Are more traditional tattoo. Shops like, street street, level shops where. You can walk in and get just. Any old tattoo, at. A moment's notice, yeah yeah, we'll pick off the internet or wherever you come, up with something, and. That's. That. Has its place right. I just. After. Working. In those styles, of shops for some number, of years I went to a shop very much like this one up, in Chicago. And, just walked away thinking man that is what I want to do I want. Something like that and so like. Circumstances, came together a different a few different things happen that caused. Me to want to open my tattoo shop my own tattoo shop and, that. That, tattoo, shop that I had been tattoo that was kind. Of the vision for this. So. That when you walk in the door you know there. Aren't a bunch of people hanging. Out. You. Know gawking, at you, intimidate. Can be intimidating right traditional. Traditional. Tattoo shops can be very intimidating, because. There are a lot of people. Typically. In them and, you. Know, usually. I would say you have heavier, music playing, I, tend. To lean towards, jazz, and, you, know blues and, walked up as more soft it was playing yeah softer, music. Just. To make people feel comforted at getting. Tattooed, isn't. Necessarily, the, most, pleasant, experience, uh-hum, you, know the pain can sometimes be a lot. Yeah. A smaller, tattoo, like this it's probably not too bad but, if you were getting your whole arm done and we were gonna be here for seven hours after. A while, it. Takes a toll on you and and I just I don't know I always felt like when. I was getting tattooed and. Nine. Inch Nails was playing it was very difficult to. Concentrate. On. Not. Concentrate, on the pain you know because. That kind of amped up music just sort. Of is. Distracting, if you call it I mean a popular, word right now is both. Just like clothing boutiques we call yourself like a boutique tattoo. Parlor sure. Yeah I guess something, is chill and yeah, yeah. It's. Um I don't know I just want people to be comfortable, to. Walk away thinking, thinking. Of it as more of an experience maybe, than, just, simply, having gotten a tattoo. You. Know like when they're like always, nice, music was playing and the. People were nice, and, nobody. Was. You, know looking. Over my shoulder the whole time I was getting tattooed, that tends to happen yeah, another shops you know you'll have three or four people walk out and be like oh what are you getting there and you. Know peak it at. Your tattoo and. That. Can be uncomfortable for some people so, yeah. I tried to make it so. If you guys don't come or if, somebody is when you did I mean I'm getting my first tattoo, right now okay but, if you had his give advice to somebody that wanted to get their first tattoo. Having, the shop that way if you have all the experience that you have in giving and receiving tattoos.
Is. There advice you give them I mean. Yeah. So, I think first. And foremost you. You, have to know who you're getting tattooed, by right. If you want a quality tattoo and. That. Can. Be found, in a number of ways but I think that the best way to know, is, to see. Actual, tattoos, that someone, has done on another person, not. Just drawing on the wall not, just a drawing on a wall or I, mean unless you're going for that style of tattoo you know there's still a place for that style of tattoo in. In. Our. Tattooing. Culture right the walk in like flash tattoos, that's still a big deal in a, certain segment but I think the people that come here aren't, looking for that they're. They're looking for something personal, and. Tailored. To them. So, if that's what you're looking for you need if. You just look at an online portfolio, that can sometimes be deceptive. Jeff is actually. He's. Actually my witness, do, you like. See. This is what I'm this is what I mean right when what, we were just talking about yeah, you you could have heard my name and looked up my website or looked at my Instagram and been like oh yeah this stuff looks cool but. Do you trust that right, you went to Jeff and you were like who is this guy is he cool like first of all are his tattoos good oh look your whole arm is done by him that. Looks nice and then what is he is he a dick is he you, know like whatever yeah. And you did that you did exactly what I just described yeah, and, that's. That's how my whole business works. That's. Why I stay busy because, of that. On. The borderline, condition back to that you live, in Portland OR life yes right, do. You like this video something ideas, do here I do why, do you like being here. I mean. It's familiar first, of all that's where I grew up you know but. I think, that I've. Looked at living other places right, like I love New York City I really, do it's like totally, my vibe, it's. Very social, and, I every time I go and meet people and I just I, find. It to. Be so, amazing and fulfilling but. Also I, think if I lived in New York City I would be just be paying rent you, know I'd be working every day to pay rent. And. I. Wouldn't be able to do the things that I do on. A regular basis, like I travel, around, the, world I. Go, to really, nice restaurants. I. Enjoy. A lot of what concerts, and musicals, and plays and. Things like that that I think if I lived in New York City and I. Were just, paying rent all the time I wouldn't. Have. A chance to go do. A lot of the things that I do you, know. So. I don't, know Fort Wayne. It's. Small, there's a lot going on here maybe more than people realize. So. When I am home. Oh. The arena dinner theater yeah that's a cool little place yeah yeah. Most people don't know that's there I lived, in Weston for like a year before I even knew that was there so, it was one block from my house and I didn't know it existed so. Yeah. I think if you get out and explore. Fort. Wayne's got a lot to offer but I think what it really offers, is the ability to, do, other stuff with. Your life outside, of Fort Wayne and then come back here to have like a home base if. You will you know. Just. Tattoos. Anymore you. Already. With the cops were here what. Would be something fun to do I. Mean, thinking. About running for mayor so. That, I guess that. That maybe what I'm doing in four years instead of tattooing, who's there is that a thing just did you like. Politics, no. I hate the politics, of it I. Like, the community I want, to see the community. Do. Better is not the right word because I think we're doing great right, like like, infrastructure. Wise I do, see room for improvement, like on a human. Level yeah I'm a human interaction, level, and. So there are some things that I would like to see change and I guess, maybe, the reason this all came about is, because after, being, a cop for 20-some. Years and. Having. Like, an effect, maybe, on the community, leaving. That and not doing it I don't, miss being a cop but I do miss, having. Some. Sort of positive influence on the community yeah and, so. You. Know tattooing, is a luxury right, for. People to get tattooed, it's not necessary, it is, something that if. You're able to afford it you can do it and. I'm not really, changing. Lives I, mean tattoos, are meaningful, for people I have. Women. That come in after, like breast, reconstruction, surgeries, and and I will reach a two or. Tattoo, on their. Finish. Their reconstruction by, tattooing the Bulls are on and that's, a really crazy, process to watch happen, especially. When they look in the mirror afterwards. That's. Me having an effect on people but not not. The same it, is when I was a cop so I just really want to be involved. Some. Of the things I would like to see changed it I think the only place - only, way to change them it from Benaras office I don't.
Think I could you. Know I'm, from the City Council if I were to run for that I don't think, I could have the same effect so. Give. It a go and see what answers wrong. With that yeah, it may work out and may not but, I'll at least have tried right, and I think it's more of us at. Least tried, maybe. The world would be a slightly better place. So. Dude Freddie thank you so much for the tattoo okay let's go I love it okay if you have one thing to say like when you loved about Fort Wayne why, do you what. Do you want to see happen. And or continue to happen Airport well I want, to see it keep growing yes and I want to see us keep coming together and, enjoy in the city yeah you. Know it's one group of people for the people by me yeah I mean, gypsy Volcom at. Freddie rad Instagram, or the, Gypsy ball on Facebook. Thank. You doing it make, sure you like subscribe comment. Like and subscribe oh please like and subscribe like, subscribe follow the podcast. That doesn't watch me thank, you very much.