(Casper, Wyo.) - With some inspiration from American poet and author, Charles Bukowski, one Wyoming soul roams free; free with decoration for all to see.
Daniel Tredway, 51, got his first tattoo in his 30s and has not stopped.
"I got into it pretty heavy; I just loved it and kept getting 'em," said Tredway.
Tredway, now living in Casper, grew up in Illinois where he earned a degree in 2005, taking on a career in healthcare. After completing the nursing program at Black Hawk College, he worked in Alaska for a while and then would eventually land in Wyoming.
Tredway worked in Gillette for awhile, then came to Casper to work at Wyoming Behavior Institution (WBI), Poplar Living Center and he is currently working at Shepard of the Valley Healthcare Community.
One way he stands out: he is completely covered in tattoos.
"To me, it's all just one," he laughed. "I couldn't tell you how many I have. They cover my arms, my legs, my head and my body. I have been tattooed a lot!"
For the past 17-18 years, Tredway has been tattooed off and on, he said. The tattoos represent more than a thousand hours of time and some $25,000 worth of work, and he anticipates getting more. At one point in his life, he was tattooed for 10 days straight.
"I really just like getting them, and I like the attention. I like going places, and I think at first it weirds people out, but then they get over it. Sometimes I overcompensate with my patients, and I go out of my way to be nice to get past my looks," said Tredway.
While attending nursing school at Black Hawk College, he said he could not stand class. But that was until he got on the mental health rotation, and he found his fix.
Working with mental health patients and helping them to smile, that was what he wanted to do.
One of his favorite tattoos, a simple yellow and black smiley face on his hand.
"I just love it, I cannot explain it but that one always makes me smile....Everyone has value, (looking at his smiley face tattoo). Everything that has value in our world, we don't seem to see, but we seem to value the things that are least important."
Growing up, adding tattoos to his body was not something his parents approved of, but he would eventually grow out of trying to impress them.
"Even though my mom and dad don't have tattoos, and they really don't like mine, I don't care. I feel like if I lived out in the woods, away from people, I would still look like this," said Tredway.
He continued, "If I could, and didn't have to work, I would be in a tattoo shop everyday."
Much of his work has been done in Arizona, and he told us that he has had many different artists do work on his body. He spends much of his time at Black Sunday Tattoo in Casper.
Flames, cue-balls, skulls, pumpkins, a bio-hazard logo, colors and his favorite, a smiley face, Tredway continues to live and work in Wyoming, where he can be the free spirit he wants to be.
Tredway concluded sharing one of his favoirte Bukowski quotes:
We're all going to die, all of us what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing. -Charles Bukowski-