About Troy Street Publishing
My name is Richard Vacca, and I am a writer, independent scholar and researcher, and the owner and at present the sole employee of Troy Street Publishing, LLC, a Massachusetts corporation. Mostly I refer to myself as a storyteller, and the company and this website provide the means for telling the stories.
Troy Street came about because of the revolution in self-publishing and the resulting disruption in the publishing industry. It is part self-publishing venture and part small press. My goal is to publish titles about the cultural and social history of Boston and eastern Massachusetts, mainly in the middle years of the twentieth century. The Boston Jazz Chronicles: Faces, Places, and Nightlife 1937–1962, is Troy Street’s first book.
The jazz story is only the first of the mid-century stories that I plan to tell. I’m fascinated by many things that have happened in this intriguing place. Nightlife of all kinds interests me, as do the stories of Boston during Prohibition and the Great Depression, the city’s newspaper wars, the rise of the “New Boston” and the people it left behind, and the role of Cambridge engineering companies in what has been called the Golden Age of Stereo. And there are more—more stories than time to tell them.
Prior to The Boston Jazz Chronicles and Troy Street, I was a technical writer in the software industry, or as a journalist writing about it, for 30 years, although I did take a two-year break to establish and run a technical information center for a professional society. I was also deeply involved in the hands-on side of technical publishing, and carried that over to Troy Street—I did all the production work on The Boston Jazz Chronicles except the cover design. Prior to all of that, I earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and an MS in Technical Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
And where is Troy Street? A better question might be, where was Troy Street. It was one of the New York Streets in Boston’s South End, running between Harrison Avenue and Albany Street. It was a commercial street, occupied by warehouses, garages, and the like, and it disappeared from the map of Boston in 1955 when its buildings were razed in the name of urban renewal. For a publisher looking to remember things left behind in the twentieth century, it’s a fine street on which to virtually set up shop.