WHITESBURG, Ky. — For 11 years, The Parlor Room Tattoo Shop and Art Gallery has been John Haywood’s sanctuary. A place to let his passions come to life. 

What You Need To Know

  • John Haywood, Whitesburg business owner, is cleaning up what’s salvageable after the deadly flash floods

  • At least 37 people are dead following the Eastern Kentucky floods

  • Haywood is accustomed to flooding after living in Martin, Kentucky

“It’s good to know, it’s good to know cause I built this one myself back when my first daughter was born. It’s got her name on it and did this little painting thing on the back,” owner John Haywood said.

His doors at The Parlor Room in Whitesburg were open to anyone who wanted to express themselves.

“We kept instruments and stuff here, so the shop was kind of like anybody who liked tattoos, art, music just would stop in,” Haywood said. “You didn’t have to have a tattoo to stop in here. Folks come in to look at the art or check out instruments or play something with us if we had time.”

Recently, jam sessions have been put on pause. The flash floods that swept through Eastern Kentucky caused water damage inside Haywood’s shop.

“We lucked out, really, that the water only got just only up to the splashguard,” Haywood said.

Flooding is something Haywood is used to experiencing since growing up in Martin, Kentucky. Now he’s dealing with the devastation first-hand as a business owner with instruments and sketches soaked in water.

“A lot of this stuff is still here, but it’s kind of in a flimsy form now, you know. There’s a lot of stuff here that goes back to when I was in college, even just getting out of high school and stuff,” Haywood said.

The aftermath of The Parlor Room in Whitesburg following the deadly flash floods. (Spectrum News 1/Erin Wilson)
The aftermath of The Parlor Room in Whitesburg following the deadly flash floods. (Spectrum News 1/Erin Wilson)

Haywood is still trying to look on the bright side.

“I had already been thinking about ways I could kind of give the shop a makeover or something,” Haywood said. “When you’re an artist, you’re also a little bit of a hoarder.”

While cleaning up what’s salvageable with hopes one day he’ll be back where it all began.

“It’s like I don’t know what to do next, you know what I mean, I keep chipping away,” Haywood said. “This is just a good town for doing a DIY business.”

At least 37 people have died in the Eastern Kentucky floods, according to Gov. Beshear’s latest announcement.