For the Record: William “Bill the Beachcomber” Matthews

TAM Blog

Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: I recently got a tip about the movie Raggedy Man from Texas tattoo history buff Matt Collins. Raggedy Man, which was released in 1981, stars Sissy Spacek as a divorced mother set in a small Texas town in 1942. Eric Roberts co-stars as a sailor who visits North Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas. During one scene in North Beach, “Bill the Beachcomber” is seen tattooing in the front of his shop at 2810 Surfside.

It must have been in the 1950s that Bill and his wife settled into the North Beach area of Corpus Christi. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi was a popular stopover for tourists. The beach area where Bill was located remained a popular destination until the Harbor Bridge was built-in the late 1950s and traffic was detoured away. By the time I got to North Beach in the mid-1960s North Beach had been battered…

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