Ben Matheny

  • Hometown: Clarinda , IA
  • Tattooing Since: 2006
  • Favorite Tattooers: Bob Roberts, Sailor Jerry, Ross Nagle, Cap Coleman


(Ben never gave me a bio, so here are the lyrics to Patches. -Jeremiah)

I was born and raised down in Alabama
On a farm way back up in the woods
I was so ragged that folks used to call me Patches
Papa used to tease me about it
‘Cause deep down inside he was hurt
‘Cause he’d done all he could

My papa was a great old man
I can see him with a shovel in his hands, see
Education he never had
He did wonders when the times got bad
The little money from the crops he raised
Barely paid the bills we made

For, life had kick him down to the ground
When he tried to get up
Life would kick him back down
One day Papa called me to his dyin’ bed
Put his hands on my shoulders
And in his tears he said

He said, Patches
I’m dependin’ on you, son
To pull the family through
My son, it’s all left up to you

Two days later Papa passed away, and
I became a man that day
So I told Mama I was gonna quit school, but
She said that was Daddy’s strictest rule

So ev’ry mornin’ ‘fore I went to school
I fed the chickens and I chopped wood too
Sometimes I felt that I couldn’t go on
I wanted to leave, just run away from home
But I would remember what my daddy said
With tears in his eyes on his dyin’ bed

He said, Patches
I’m dependin’ on you, son
I tried to do my best
It’s up to you to do the rest

Then one day a strong rain came
And washed all the crops away
And at the age of 13 I thought
I was carryin’ the weight of the
Whole world on my shoulders
And you know, Mama knew
What I was goin’ through, ’cause

Ev’ry day I had to work the fields
‘Cause that’s the only way we got our meals
You see, I was the oldest of the family
And ev’rybody else depended on me
Ev’ry night I heard my Mama pray
Lord, give him the strength to face another day

So years have passed and all the kids are grown
The angels took Mama to a brand new home
Lord knows, people, I shedded tears
But my daddy’s voice kept me through the years

Patches, I’m dependin’ on you, son
To pull the family through
My son, it’s all left up to you

Oh, I can still hear Papa’s voice sayin’
Patches, I’m dependin’ on you, son
I’ve tried to do my best
It’s up to you to do the rest

I can still hear Papa, what he said


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Testimonials (4)

  • There is often some trepidation when going to a new artist and a new shop. I waked in to G&B with an open mind and a simple idea. My tattoos are always left to the interpretation of the artist because I have no artistic skills whatsoever. I told Ben I wanted a tattoo based off a few lines of an E.E. Cummings poem to commemorate a friend who passed away.

    He was very diplomatic in pairing down my ideas to something that was actually doable. I came back a week and a half later to an amazing design with touches I hadn’t even considered with a definite old school flair.

    Ben has great chair-side manner and even made some last minute changes that improved the piece even further. He’s heavy-handed but did a really good job in helping me honor my friend Heather.

    “and this is the wonder that is keeping the stars apart. i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)”

    - Jeremiah Shafer
  • Ben did an amazing job on my first tattoo. He took the time to plan every detail even better then I could imagined and it looked so much better then I had hoped. The next tattoo will most definitely be done by Ben. Thanks Man!

    - Kevin
  • Ben did an amazing job on my first tattoo. I sent in a picture but I wanted a larger version of it. I was so nervous it would get distorted, but Ben had an amazing sketch ready for me with some amazing added detail! I was nervous this being my first tattoo but he completely calmed me down! He did an amazing job and is a really cool guy!

    - Hannah
  • Ben did a phenomenal job on my cursive lettered tattoo, I was the last walk in to get a tattoo and he still took time and effort to make sure I was beyond satisfied with his work. I most definitely recommend Ben and will be back to get my third tattoo at Grinn & Barretts. :)

    - Latricia

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