With the passage of the ten year anniversary of 9/11, I went back and began to review the work that I was doing around that time. It brought back a lot of memories. In August of 2001, I had taken a great photo workshop in Sante Fe with photographer Paul Elledge. I returned from the workshop with a completely new perspective and started working on a series of personal projects that I felt would allow me to show my point of view. I came across a boxing gym in the Frogtown area of St. Paul called BT Bombers. It was run by a retired St. Paul police officer and was funded by small donations and a lot of good will from community volunteers. The building was a disaster. It was run down–the ceiling was caving in and when it rained parts of the interior would get drenched. In the winter it was either incredibly hot or freezing cold. It smelled like mold and sweat. The building was collapsing and probably should have been condemned. There was a lot of gang violence in the area and many of the athletes that came to the gym were trying to escape the stress of their everyday lives. Every week there would be a couple of coaches, a core group of boxers and a bunch of new faces that would show up. I enjoyed going there. I had great access and they were thrilled that I was taking pictures. I ended up going there for 1 1/2 years until the gym closed in 2002. I wonder where all of the boxers are now–ten years later.
In addition to the images posted here, I’ve created a gallery on my web site that has more of the pictures from this series. After not looking at this collection of work for almost ten years, I went through the contact sheets and found that the pictures that I liked now were, for the most part, different from the images that I selected years ago. There are two pictures that I showed in my portfolio years ago, but everything else is “new”.