Saturday, February 13th, The Tradesman in Milford, MA, burnt down. It was open at the time with patrons there. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Today I took my cameras and visited the site and the owner. I have been hanging about there with friends and my camera for years. I have photographed, I guess, over 100 shows and thousands of people in that building. The month of March was always my favorite, Rob, the owner, would bring me in for the March Music Madness event. The whole month Friday and Saturdays would be booked with the best local bands. Packed wall to wall, I would end up taking more photos of the people there than the bands. Known at least by face if not name most everyone I took a picture of, the people were the Tradesman. Then there was the Labor Day Bash, the Sunday in September that spilled into the back of the building. A local music festival, which I was always there to photograph, and the photos never did it justice. Always raising money for some worthy charity is my favorite tradition to celebrate the end of summer.
If you had not been there, it was a tiny little dive bar on 140 heading towards Upton. If you had been there, you know it was a friendly place where everyone knew everyone else and were family. If you were a band or musician, you wanted to play there. If you were me, you were proud to document the unique vibe.
Thanks to COVID, we were robbed of these and so many other events over the last year. They were open, but it has not been the same. As with all small businesses, it’s been a challenge. My best to Rob, the owner, all the staff, and regulars. It has been a hard enough year without a devasting fire. I can’t wait to get back to normal in so many ways. I will photograph that family again.