I struggled to find a way to start this log, but then it hit me.
None of this (and by "this" I mean tattooing in the state of Massachusetts) would be happening if it weren't for Stephan Lanphear.
And hardly anyone knows it.
*I* know it, because way back in 2001 I worked at Compass Rose, the shop he opened when he won his lawsuit vs the state.
After being arrested (on purpose) for tattooing "underground", he argued successfully that by making tattooing illegal, the state was denying him (and his clients) freedom of speech.
After years in the court system, he eventually won. He was right.
That's the reason you can get a tattoo in Massachusetts today.
So every shop, every artist, every client owes Stephan a debt of gratitude at the very least, and probably a lot more.
That's the guy, right there.
If you see him shake his hand-he's one of the greats.