Mike Feldheim

Mike Feldheim - Cubs, Bears, Chicago Flag Tattoo

Mike Feldheim - Softball Team Tattoo

Mike Feldheim works nights (his second tattoo was the Batman logo, because the superhero works nights, too) and so we met up for a daytime drink at a bar up in our neighborhood.

CFT: So first tattoo for your dad and your softball team.

Mike: Yeah

CFT: Second tattoo for working nights with the Batman logo.

Mike: Right

CFT: And third one for the Cubs, the Bears and the City.

Mike: This was our softball team’s logo. Me and my friends wanted to start our own softball team, so for like a year we were talking about it. My dad was like “I’ll play with you guys.” I was like “Dad, dad, ok.” My dad played softball all the time, until he got hurt and got a little older and he couldn’t play anymore. So I said “No, dad, you’re 48.” And he’s like “Naw, trust me, I’ll play.” So when we got started, our first year playing, we were awful. I mean, we sucked. My dad played with us, and really, he was the best player on our team. It showed his experience hadn’t gone away. Because he played 16-inch softball all the time. I grew up watching him play softball. I love playing 16-inch softball. Plus, only Chicago has it. We invented it. So that’s another thing of why I like Chicago so much—it’s one of my favorite sports.

After that year we played, we got this bar to be our sponsor. So we’d come here. A lot of his friends would give him shit like “why are you playing? You’re too old to be with all these young guys.” He said “I’ll tell you something. You wanna know why I’m playing? That’s why.” And he points to me. He says “I’m playing softball with my son. That’s why.” I was like, “Aw, thanks, Dad.” But then, after the first year, he got sick, and then eventually passed away.

So for our second year, moving forward, every year since then, when we got jerseys, we got his initials sewn in on there as a tribute. So with this, I got our logo, and his initials on the bat. It’s kind of a tribute for me, to him. Same thing with the Batman, it’s like you know what? Batman works alone at night, he likes the night. I like the night, so that was more like something for me. Like, I know what it stands for, but no one else does. They’ll be like “Oh, you like Batman?” Yeah, but that’s not why I got it.

So then I was thinking I want to get a Bears one, I want to get a Cubs ones and something for the city. Something for Chicago. So I was thinking maybe three more. The skyline always works, everyone does that one. I’m thinking maybe the Cubs logo, the Bears logo… and I was thinking maybe something to throw them all together? But I’m not that creative. So I told my brother, who is a graphic designer, and he was like “what do you want?” Something like the Cubs & the Bears, cause those are my two favorite teams, and then something for Chicago. He said “Let me think of something.” He emailed me this mock-up of what it is, and said “What do you think?” And I was like “Dude—that’s perfect!” Everything just flows into it. You’ve got the Cubs over on the top, then you’ve got the ivy, then you’ve got the city flag, then you’ve got the Soldier Field columns… once I saw it I was like “Dude. I want it. I’ve got to get it.” So I got it!

It was last year, when I turned 40. I was like, you know what? I need a birthday present for myself. So I got this one. I got the others like 8 or 9 years ago, so it was a long time before I wanted another one. I started to think about it and said let’s just do it. So I got this one done last May. The guy who did it—I don’t know what he was doing but maybe… the other two were uncomfortable, but this one hurt. This one hurt like a motherfucker—it was bad. I’m laying on the bench, just “Dude, take a break, please.” I was sitting there, like, gripping the damn cushion, like I don’t want to cry, cause it hurt so bad. It was two hours doing that, and when it was done I was like “Dude, that looks awesome.” That thing didn’t heal completely for like, 4 months. It was so bad. But, I’ll tell you, though—ever since I got it, people come up to me, like “Dude, that’s an awesome tattoo. Who did that?” And I tell them my brother designed it. You know, MasterCard had a contest last year for the ultimate Cubs fan, like “What would you do if the Cubs won the World Series?” I was like “Oh, I’ll show you what I already did” so I submitted a picture of the tattoo for that, and I won something.

CFT: Awesome!

Mike: I’m like dude, I never win anything! I won some on-the-field thing on the field at Wrigley, which is cool anyway. I’ve taken the Wrigley Field tour, where you get close to the field but not actually be on the field-field, so I loved it. So Yeah! That’s it! It’s quite noticeable; it’s definitely a conversation starter. I like it. I’m glad I got it. It’s everything I was looking for, so it’s well done.

CFT: Yeah, I’ve seen lots of people have just sort of a logo sort of floating, you know, near each other, whatever teams they like.

Mike: And I’ve seen people do the Cubs logo or just the Bears logo or put them side by side. I was thinking maybe Cubs and Bears side by side, or do one on either leg. I was thinking a couple different ways, it just didn’t seem to fit right. So with the city—everyone does the skyline—it’s been done a thousand ways, or the Sears Tower. I like the city flag. I was a history major, so I’ve always loved Chicago’s history since grade school. In high school we had an optional Chicago class. I took the class, I kept the book, I still have the notes I took from that class—it was awesome. Facebook does those Chicago pages of old-time Chicago pictures—I download all that stuff. I love seeing all the old pictures of what things were back in the 1890s after the fire burned everything down. You know, it’s cool. A friend of mine, an airplane mechanic, moved to Phoenix for a while, so his wife and his family, would go out there and visit. The entire time he was out there, he was like ‘I miss Chicago. I miss Chicago.” I’m like, “Dude, you know what? I’m going back home and I still miss Chicago.” Coming back in, every time I see that skyline by the lake, it’s like man, I love this place. I love it. It’s my favorite city. I’m never gonna move out. I’m never gonna leave the area. It’s the best city in the country. I like it too much. I can’t help it.

Mike Feldheim

About CFT

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This page contains a single entry by Fuzzy published on September 26, 2013 12:11 PM.

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