TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — One Tallahassee tattoo shop will be spending a day creating memories of Captain Brenden Rudy that will last a lifetime with a special flash tattoo event.
The Tallahassee Fire Department suffered the loss of Captain Brenden Rudy in early September.
Emilio Rodriguez is a fellow firefighter and friend of Rudy. He is also co-owner of Carbon Ink Tattoo and a tattoo artist.
"He was an awesome dude," Rodriguez said of Rudy. "He was one of the best leaders I've ever had the opportunity to work with."
He added that they weren't just close; they were part of a friend group that called themselves the Arby's Boys; a name the group still holds dear.
Rodriguez said the name stems from an old YouTube video and is an inside joke for the group.
Wanting to give back to the family of the man who meant so much to him, Rodriguez and his fellow co-owner and fiance Sydney Luciano discussed what they could do.
"Emilio was really close with Rudy and he really wanted to do something special. A common thing when people pass away, they want to get something in memoriam, they want something to hold on," Luciano said. "We've had a lot of successes with our flash specials in the past, so we were like this is something we could do."
The participating artists, which include the Carbon Ink staff and one guest artist from Hot Love Tattoo, all agreed to the idea and that all funds raised would go directly to Rudy's wife Callie and their children.
Luciano said that, what initially started a small idea, has transformed into a much larger scale event that is going to be something special with sponsors stepping in and people from the fire department helping out.
"When you have somebody that is so well loved by such a large community, especially first responders where there's such a family bond there, it really turns into something different," Luciano said.
Talking with guys from the station, they sent out ideas for tattoos directly related to Rudy to the tattoo artists and they put their talents to work creating the flash sheet.
"We all wanted to do this for his family. He would have done the same for us," Rodriguez said.
Both Rodriguez and Luciano laughed when describing the connection of the tattoos and both agreed the buffalo chicken sandwich, a beloved meal of Rudy, is one of their favorites.
Rodriguez also loves the zombie tattoo, a reference to Rudy playing Call of Duty Zombies.
"When we knew we weren't going to sleep, we played Call of Duty Zombies," Rodriguez said.
The tattoos also include several references to his love of hunting, his helmet, and the flowers for his birth month of January.
"One of the guys at Station 1, Manny, was really good friends with Rudy as well and told the story that they used to go to calls all the time for people drinking Four Lokos," Luciano said. "Rudy was like 'Man we gotta figure out what these Four Lokos are about because these kids are going crazy on these Four Lokos.' That's a good memory so we included that."
Some of the designs will be turned into stickers for those who maybe don't want to commit to a tattoo.
People who don't want a tattoo can also come and enjoy the vendors out in the lot. The Firefighters Union will be grilling for donations and there will be music, games and even a bounce house.
For those wanting a tattoo, each will be available for a $50 donation and customers should line up early to snag a spot.
The flash event will take place Oct. 5 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Carbon Ink Tattoo, 2855 Capital Circle NE Unit #7.