Ernie Ray’s Gifts

Some time in early November 2013, while the tattooing marathon for the Boulder Tattoo Project was gathering speed, Chelsea Pohl, Project Manager of the Boulder Project, came up with a brilliant idea: anyone who wanted to get a tattoo but had missed the initial call for participants could get one of the commas left over after Anne Waldman’s poem was given away as tattoo words, phrases, and punctuation signs. Folks could pay $25 to have their comma inked and thus enter the Boulder Comma Club, the Western relative of Lexington’s “of the Universe” Club, which Jack X Taylor started nearly a year earlier.

Almost as soon as Chelsea announced the Boulder Comma Club on Facebook, we received a message from Ernie Ray, the only participant in the Lexington Tattoo Project to get a stand-alone comma as part of the Lexington artwork. Though initially Ernie had committed to his Lexington comma as his first and only tattoo, he wrote to ask whether he could pay to have one of the Boulder commas tattooed in Lexington AND send $25 to Boulder to pay for someone else’s comma. Of course, we thought that Ernie’s offer was generous and fun, and we loved the idea of more connections between Lexington and Boulder. We consulted with Chelsea and we said yes!

It was Gail Loveland who received a Boulder Tattoo Project comma courtesy of Ernie. And Ernie has now extended this offer to any participant in any of the other city-based Tattoo Projects who would like a comma. Ernie will pay both for his own comma from that Tattoo Project AND for the comma of a local resident. Thank you, Ernie. You make us smile whenever we think of your big heart and your collection of commas.

Ernie Ray

Ernie Ray, gifter and collector of commas

Ernie Ray's Boulder comma gift

Ernie Ray’s Boulder comma gift for Gail Loveland