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Margarette Kirsch, 84, loves 'Ink Master' TV show's offer of tattoo

9:32 AM, Jul 30, 2013   |    comments
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Margarette Kirsch, 84, of Merritt Island will be on an episode of 'Ink Master' on the Spike TV channel.


Merritt Island, FL (Florida Today) -- A couple of years ago, octogenarian Margarette Kirsch climbed into an 18-wheeler and rolled across the country.

A hard act to follow? How about the roll-out of the 84-year-old's latest adventure - being tattooed on Spike TV's "Ink Master," a reality-show competition for tattoo artists?

"I got my first tattoo when I was 62, and I love them," said Kirsch, whose stint on "Ink Master" airs at 10 Tuesday night.

"And I love adventure. This is just who I am."

Two years ago, the Merritt Island resident was granted a wish by the Twilight Wish Foundation, which tries to make dreams come true for older people. Unable to fulfill Kirsch's desire to be a Vegas showgirl, they arranged for her to ride round-trip from Florida to California with a female driver (yes, Kirsch wanted to drive, but didn't have the needed license).

Later, when officials from "Ink Master" asked the folks at Twilight if they knew a senior who might be interested in getting a tattoo on the show, "they told me they thought of me right away," Kirsch said.

Be flown to New York in June for three days and three nights? Be a "human canvas" for a tattoo artist?

Kirsch, a fit 5-foot-6, 130-pounder, couldn't wait.

"I said, 'Yes. When do you want me to leave and where do you want me at?' " she said.

She was thrilled with the artist who created a phoenix, 6 inches by 11 inches, on her back. She also liked the staff of the show, which includes rocker Dave Navarro, the host, and judges Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck.

"They were wonderful," she said. "I had my own driver, my own limo and stayed at a very nice hotel."

This Rome, Ga., native is no stranger to ink-think. Her first tattoo, a bunch of red cherries on her left arm, is now complemented by a flamingo on her left calf. A flamingo on her right arm. And cartoon icon Speedy Gonzales on her upper right arm.

"I'm always running around. Speedy Gonzales, right?" said Kirsch, who worked in food service for American Airlines.

"My husband and I are very active and take good care of ourselves. We have no intention of dying until we're ready."

Kirsch's husband of 55 years, Jack, thinks his wife's TV appearance and newest tattoo are "outstanding."

He's just a little annoyed, he said, that she got a tattoo before he did. Now, at 86, he has five, including his most recent - cartoon amphibian Michigan J. Frog.

"She's a go-getter. I'm more laid-back and lazy," he said. "I retired after 40 years and said that's it, but she just keeps going."

Kirsch decries "being put in the class of 'senior citizens' - what difference does it make how old you are? I keep on doing what I do."

Besides that, she said, "I don't care what people think about me or what they think about my tattoos."

"You've gotta love yourself before you can love anybody else," Kirsch said.

"If you start worrying about what others think, you've already lost the battle. Why should I have to hide because I'm 85?"

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