Ten Years of Down the Road

So… tell me a little about you

Today I’d like to turn it over to you.

I’d love to know who you are, where you’re from, how you found my blog, and how long you’ve read it. Especially if you’re a new reader or a longtime lurker. Please leave a comment and tell me!

My blog - Down the Road

Also, I’d love to know what topics I’ve covered that you’ve enjoyed, and which ones you skip over. If you’re a longtime reader, have I left any topics behind that you miss?

This is ultimately a personal blog. I can write whatever I want because this doesn’t pay any of my bills. But I also want to be read. The surest way for that not to happen is to ignore my audience!


78 thoughts on “So… tell me a little about you

  1. Gregory K Clawson says:

    I was first drawn to your blog by your reviews of the Nikon F2’s and started reading your other posts. While I may disagree with some of your views on religion and politics, I thoroughly enjoy your camera reviews and other posts.
    Jim you are a great storyteller, you are not afraid to bear your soul, that is refreshing, I look forward to your emails daily.
    Regards, Greg

    • Thanks for reading, Greg! Yeah, religion and politics — dicey subjects both. Thanks for hanging in even though my views and yours don’t align. Fortunately, religion isn’t as common a subject here anymore, and I deal with politics only in passing.

      • Gregory K Clawson says:

        Jim, I am from Lafayette, IN and I have been a regular reader for about three years. I really like your posts about the cars, cameras, and your adventures off the beaten path, well just about everything write. Keep up the good work

  2. Dan Cluley says:

    I am from the Lansing MI area, so about 4 hours “Up the Road” from you.

    I know the first time I saw the blog, was after one of your Curbside Classics pieces in which you mentioned your Argus A-four. Not sure I started reading regularly at that point, but I suspect it was soon after. It may have been after the Auburn meetup.

    I read and enjoy pretty much everything you post. One thing I liked that seems to have dropped off is your music and radio stories.

  3. Good sir, keep writing what you want to write. But I always enjoy your camera reviews and trials and tribulations with film. Keep hitting those car boot sales, and get a bigger camera cabinet!

    • You do such nice work. I love your black and whites. And you take me places I’m probably never going to see on my own. And I love your Thursday doors! Thanks for reading here, and thanks for your own blog.

  4. Fellow Indianapolisean here, who first learned of you as the crosstown competition in finding cars to write about for Curbside Classic, which was maybe 4 or 5 years ago now. I have probably been reading regularly for about 3 years.
    The camera and photography pieces are probably at the bottom of my personal list of interests, though I have learned some things there. My faves are the stories you have to tell, along with the local history pieces.
    I have also come to enjoy some other bloggers whose work I first found here in your Saturday roundups.

    • Yeah, I remember when I steered this place harder toward photography that you were a little disappointed. I’ve been trying to find the right balance of stories and tours of places I’ve been with the straight-up photography posts. But if nothing else, you can always come to look at the pretty pictures! :-)

  5. Jason Shafer says:

    Like some others, I learned of your blog while over at CC and began reading it regularly after meeting you in Auburn. Your stories of your younger years and various things you have done or are doing around your home are what most attract me.

    As for me? I live in the state capital two states west of you, have been involved at CC for five years now, and am way too focused these days on things I want/need to do to the house and property.

    • Wow, a vote for my home improvement stories! Whoodathunkit? Thanks for coming over from CC. And thanks especially for your color commentary on my old-road posts!

  6. I stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago … but I don’t recall from where. What kept me coming back was the photography. I have a very small collection of Nikon cameras and looking to expand the collection.

  7. I followed you from Penelope Trunk’s blog when you mentioned that you’d gone to Rose Hulman because I am from TH. I’ve subscribed to you for a couple years and I like the old roads explorations, but I forgot my wordpress password so I couldn’t comment on stuff I wanted to. I shared the recent post about the naval training center in Indy with my family because I’m quite sure my grandpa must have trained there.

  8. Christopher Smith says:

    Well I guess you know what I like being a avid camera collector I have around 300-400 cameras.Thats what drew me to your blog, a camera write up I forget which one but I do like to see what you think about old film cameras and what you can make them do. It gives me insperation to get out and use mine I only whish I had your talent for writing a blog and I would do one. Btw I’m from over the pond in good old blighty, Falmouth Cornwall. Anyways don’t stop collecting and writing as I enjoy reading ad looking at your work.

  9. Andy Umbo says:

    Jim, I found your site when I moved to Indianapolis for a job a few years ago. I’ve been a life-long employee of the photography discipline, working as everything from a freelance advertising photographer, to an advertising photography department director.

    As far as I’m concerned, you can write a blog the rest of your life covering driving around and looking at (and picturing) defunct and abandoned roadways and buildings; and the vintage film cameras you’re taking your pictures with! Endlessly fascinating.

    I have to say, that for most of my life, if I didn’t have anything planned, I got in the car and drove around and looked at stuff. I can spend a whole day just driving someplace and looking…

    • Well, driving around and taking pictures is what I love to do! Thanks for finding my blog and for commenting so frequently. You’ve taught me a few things through your comments.

  10. DougD says:

    I followed Jim over here from CC as well, although I am Canadian so I’ve followed him a longer distance than some of you. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim and Margaret as well at the Auburn CC meetup, very fun to meet your imaginary internet friends in person.

    Also I enjoy Jim’s blog because he is my American doppelganger. We are the same age, both Engineers, both drive Ford Focii, and have a lot of similar experiences in life. I am a crummy photographer though…

  11. I found your blog through a google search of one of the cameras i acquired. Canonet? Yashica? I don’t remember exactly which one. I love stories and you found a way to spin even the most mundane camera review into a personal experience. You are an extremely talented writer! I am not in the habit of following blogs, but you are one of 2 I do follow. I am also from Indianapolis, so most of your landmarks are familiar and I shoot a lot of places you frequent. While i currently live in Fishers my wife and I do a lot of downtown Indianapolis shooting. Well i shoot and she loves to people watch and walk.

    Keep up the stellar work!

    • I’m honored that you follow my blog then! Yeah, if you’re from around here then I’m sure I’m shooting many of the same places you do. My sons live in Fishers so I’m up there a lot.

  12. Jim,

    I’ve been reading you for so long that I can’t remember when or how it began.

    I enjoy most of your articles but initially found your analyses about your cameras my favorite.

    I put my blog on hold (way, way on hold) because of a career search that’s taken years. Another kick in the teeth was when Costco stopped developing and SCANNING images. I just haven’t found a decent film scanning alternative that I can afford.

    On a bright note, I picked up an Olympus 35 SP from a re-sale store in Chicago for $42 (normally $150 on eBay). Bright viewfinder, meter worked well even in the store. When I start blogging again, it will be about the Olympus 35 SP.

    Thanks for all your good articles. I think I read your inbound emails more than any other blogger.

    Best Wishes,


    • TELL me about it, how hard it was when Costco stopped processing/scanning film. I still miss just bopping over there at lunch and walking out with gorgeous scans.

      Glad you’re along for the ride, Richard!

  13. Keith Milsark says:

    Jim, I’ve been reading your blog regularly for four or five years. I don’t recall how I found it; probably a link from some other blog. I enjoy all the aspects of it: photography, cars, Christianity, travel. Worked in college radio and commercial radio for a few years, like you. I’m originally from Florida, but lived six years in Virginia and have now lived in Oregon for eight. You should visit Oregon. The scenery is beautiful, and there are great opportunities for photography.

    • Thanks for delurking!

      The old-car blog to which I sometimes contribute, Curbside Classic, is based in Eugene, Oregon. The site owner’s photos of cars that still get daily use there are enough to make me want to come visit!

  14. I am not sure, but I think you liked something on my blog and that was how I found yours.

    I love your travel stories but I am much more of a looker than a reader, so it is your wonderful photographs that keep me coming back.

    I like the idea that you reached out to your followers to hear what they have to say, as much as I love the way you reached out to me by sending me your photobooth images. People loved them!

    Keep up the great work, Jim and best wishes for your future blogging.


    • Wasn’t your blog Freshly Pressed or featured on Discover? I think that was how I found you. I love your project and am delighted to have been able to share in it a little!

      • Now that is an interesting question! I had a big boost in likes and follows a week or two ago, and couldn’t work out why. I found one of my posts had been featured on Discover quite by accident while I was looking to see what others had posted under the “photobooth” tag. They didn’t notify me, which I thought was strange!

  15. hmunro says:

    The first post of yours I read was “This cup is already broken,” way back in May of 2010. That led to yours being the first blog I followed, too! As a WordPress newbie I was in awe of the quality of your writing and how consistently you posted. And all these years later I still am (in awe, that is). As for my favorite topics … well, I’m a fellow omnivore, so I love reading about whatever is on your mind whether it’s spirituality, photography, beautiful old bridges, or abandoned roads. You’ve even taught me to appreciate vintage cars! So to echo your other readers’ comments: Keep up the excellent work, Jim.

    • I love “This cup is already broken.” I should dust it off and re-run it.

      Thank you for being such an encouragement to me along the way! And thank you for helping me figure out the book I’m going to publish. Yes, it’s still going to happen. I’ve written the introduction!

      • hmunro says:

        Yes, please do consider re-running that post, Jim — it’s a timeless lesson. And I’m so glad to provide some small bit of encouragement! As I get older I’m realizing that my calling may not lie so much in accomplishing anything big, but rather in encouraging others to get out there and do great things. Speaking of great things: Wonderful news on your book! Please do let us know when it’s ready for purchase. It will be a wonderful addition to my “photo inspiration” bookshelf.

  16. Totally new here!!! I found you first. I’m from NY originally, but have lived all over because my husband is in the airforce. I’ll have to go back into your archive so I can get better aquainted with you and your blog.

  17. Found your Blog a few weeks ago. I’m from Reading, PA. Love to snoop around History as you might have seen on my Blog. I’m watching, but don’t say much. Have not posted anything for some time. I hate this cold weather. Doesen’t let me get out much with my Nikon. Regards, Les

  18. Peter says:

    Hi, Jim. I’m from Moscow, Russia. I think I found your blog through your comment on Gary Seronik’s blog about a year ago (I might be wrong about the source, but whatever). I originally thought that I’ll read posts about photography and kinda skip everything else, but ended up binge reading about every life story of yours one day. I love the way you write, and I read every post now, regardless of subject.
    Keep on keeping on.

    • Greetings from the other side of the world! And wow, to have gone back through the archives like that. I’m glad you’re here and hope you’ll comment more often.

  19. stormmaster83 says:

    Hi Jim! As a bit of a roadgeek myself (though I pale in comparison to you), I’m pretty sure I found your blog when a friend shared your Roads page with me. I figure I’ve been following for 10 or more years at this point. I like your road posts the most. I also find your theological/philosphical posts intriguing. I’m “religiously indifferent” but I appreciate your approach and it’s always interesting to see how other people view the world.

    I generally skip the photography posts because I’m not particularly interested in the nitty-gritty of the different cameras. But I certainly don’t begrudge you writing about your interests. Like you said, this is your personal blog.

  20. Richard Scholl says:

    I started reading with your post about Dandy Trail a few years ago. I don’t recall what led me to it. I most enjoy your posts about the old roads and about the various communities in Indiana (I grew up in Irvington, but left Indiana for CA when I graduated from Purdue over half a century ago). The photography topics are a bonus for me.

  21. Hi Jim! I’m a day late, but I have been meaning to jump on here and comment for some time. I started reading your blog probably in March of 2015 when I picked up a vintage Yashica camera and was looking for some info. I enjoyed reading all of your camera reviews and now check in daily to see what you have to share. I’ve collected quite a few more cameras since then and one of the first places I look is your blog, to see if you have found something similar. I actually liked your other posts too, but was happy when you went with just photography. Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I hope to comment more often!! Congrats on 10 years, that’s amazing! And congrats on your recent marriage as well, loved seeing the Ireland photos!

  22. Oh and I lived in Indiana several times (I attended college in Anderson and later lived in Indy 2 different times, about 15 years apart). My favorite are pics of Zionsville, which was one of my favorite spots when I lived out that way (I am in Ohio now).

  23. Hi, I’m Maricela and I found your blog on my recommended reads and am from Texas. I’m brand new to this blogging and just like you glad to post about what I want. Hope to read more about your posts.

  24. jon says:

    Hi Jim,
    A little late here. I have lost track of how long I have been a reader, but it has been years and years. I enjoy your photography very much. I am a few years older than you, single. Collect old cameras and spend a lot of time cycling. Love history and old roads, period re-enactor events, esp. 1940’s stuff. I especially enjoy your links to other interesting blogs, which I always look at.

  25. I’m really enjoying your blog! I found you when I was searching for the Clabber Girl roadside billboard and your post came up. As I am new to Indiana and get to know Terre Haute and the state, I’m excited to read your posts and learn more about my new state.

  26. I came here from Curbside Classic, namely, your article on scanned old Kodachrome slides of someone with their new red car. I like reading all of your writings, and am not put off by you writing about religion, politics or your personal life. I also like your Saturday links, where you point out things I’ve not seen or read. I particular enjoy looking at your photos. You are a skilled photographer Jim and its this skill that keeps me coming back. I particularly enjoy your photos of Indiana, a part of the world I have never visited. I can enjoy its beauty vicariously thanks to you. Thank you Jim!

    Highland, CA
    (formerly, Brisbane, Australia)

  27. I’m not 100% certain but there’s a pretty good chance I was around from the beginning. I’m here for the road, car, & camera talk, and the pictures. As you can see by my “8 days after” response, I’m behind in my reading and that seems to be an almost normal state of affairs these days.

  28. Dan says:

    I started buying the occasional film camera at thrift stores a year or two ago, and my first couple of purchases just happened to be an Olympus Stylus and a Kodak VR35—so I have some obscure search engine result pages to thank.

  29. milehipentax says:

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this post ever since it popped up but never found the time until now to get it out. My apologies!

    I’m Chris from Pueblo, CO. I work as an estimator for a steel construction company along Colorado’s front range. Photography is more of a passion than a hobby for me. I use both digital and film cameras. My main outfit is a Nikon D600 kit. I’ve got more film cameras than I can possibly use so I should probably work on thinning out the collection a bit. Sometimes it’s just fun to put a roll of film through a camera that is a joy to use, though.

    I found your blog while searching for information on a camera (though I must confess that I don’t remember which one…possibly a Yashica TLR?). I really enjoyed whatever it was that I found and have stuck around ever since. I’m a regular reader (though infrequent commenter due to the whole lack of time thing…again my apologies). Since I’m a camera geek at heart, I enjoy the camera and photography posts the most. However, like The Online Photographer, I find that your off-topic posts are always well written and enjoy them as well. I always look forward to the weekend posts with links to other blogs. I’ve found at least a couple that I follow thanks to a link from a post that you shared there.

    Many thanks for your continued efforts at this blog. Even if I don’t post very often, I do enjoy all of the posts and read every one!

  30. I am from Lincoln, UK and I found this blog while researching one of my ‘new’ cameras quite a few years ago. I don’t really remember when but it must have been 5 or 6 years ago.

  31. Hi! I’m Christie. I’m from the Philippines. I discovered your blog just now as I was looking for personal blogs to follow. Looking forward to reading more from you! :)

  32. TBH I just typed in “long read” and your blog was the first that came up. Funny thing is, I’m really interested in photography, art, and culture. I’m a Cross-Cultural Kid who identifies as French, American, and Hungarian, and my own semi-personal blog is about identity in all its shapes and forms.

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