About Jim Grey

Selfie in the sun

Why won’t this thing fire? …oh.

I’m Jim Grey, a photographer and writer in Indianapolis. I’m glad you’re here!

We have fun here talking about old cameras and photography. But because I’m a philosopher at heart, I’m always relating these things to living an interesting life.

I’ve learned a lot about that and love to share, but I’m also still and eternally a student, a beginner, and love to hear about what you’ve learned. I’d be thrilled to have you join the community here!

I’m a lifeloong Hoosier, remarried, three sons, nearly empty nested. I’ve collected film cameras and made photographs since I was 8. I’ve been writing since I was 12. I love old buildings, old roads and bridges, and old cars; you’ll find photos of them all over this blog.

Other ways to find me online

I make software for a living and write about it once in a while here. And I sometimes contribute to this site about old cars.

You can follow me on Facebook here, on Flickr here, and on Twitter here. Once in a while I share photos on Instagram and Tumblr, too.

Do you want to contact me?

I enjoy hearing from you, especially when you comment on something I wrote or photographed. If you want to reach me directly, here’s a handy contact form. Your message will come straight to my e-mail inbox. I’ll respond to the e-mail address you type into the form. (Please note: I don’t respond to blind requests to do guest posts or promote products.)

Do you want to republish my work?

Have Camera, Will ShootI almost always say yes to people who want to reuse what I publish at Down the Road, http://blog.jimgrey.net, for nonprofit reasons. I often say yes to for-profit reuse, too.

My writing is copyright 2007-2016 Jim Grey, unless otherwise noted. Please always ask my permission before you reuse any of my writing. You can use the contact form above to reach me.

My photographs are subject to the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, which means that you are free to use them in your noncommercial (non-profit) works if you don’t change them and if you credit me (Jim Grey) and link back to the photo (98% of which are stored on Flickr; click any photo to see it there). You don’t need to ask my permission. For any other use, contact me first for permission. I often say yes.

Did you find your image on my blog?

Once in a while I use someone else’s image. I try to attribute those images properly and get permission when I think I should, but sometimes I get it wrong. If you see an image you own here against your wishes, contact me and I’ll credit you or remove the image, as you direct.

Thanks to crashing waves of spam, I’ve closed comments on this page.

3 July 2016

81 thoughts on “About Jim Grey

  1. michianablogger says:

    Thank you for your comment. I’m actually looking for more blogs from fellow Hoosiers to link to the scenicmichiana site. I’m very interested in finding colorful places in Indiana and Michigan to photograph.

    Like

  2. Erin Light says:

    Hi Jim!

    You have a great site here. You are such a loyal Hoosier…and RTV6 viewer might I add. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for watching! I’m glad you get to see my contribution to the Good Morning Indiana show.

    Like

  3. Liz says:

    I stumbled upon your page while doing some recreational research on H.P. Wasson department stores (why would I be researching that? I am distantly related to the Wasson’s). It brought me to your page on the Michigan Road and I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through the pictures on your site! I loved reading the captions with the snippets of history thrown in… I look forward to reading more!

    Like

  4. Patty Southard says:

    My husband and I saw the site you did on SR 42, which we live on about 2 miles east of 231, and saw a picture of a building you posted in Terre Haute. You stated you didn’t know what it was, but it is The Stables Restaurant with a really great history to it. We just went there this last April and the service and food is really good, a little pricey, but worth it! The website for more info on their history is, stablessteakhouse.com. Great piece on 42!

    Like

  5. Emily says:

    Hi Jim!
    You look familiar.
    Did you attend Danville High School in Illinois with me??
    I LOVE your photographs! You have a very good sense of artistry, placement, and you capture the beauty of the scenery so much it makes me homesick!
    Keep up the beautiful work!

    Like

  6. Andy Adamson says:

    Hi Jim,
    I have enjoyed touring your trip websites and your blog with statements of faith in Jesus Christ.

    Perhaps you could post some photos of your old high school (Riley), and its former square track! Remember?

    God’s love is ever faithful

    Coach Andy Adamson

    Like

      • Dear Andy,

        I’m wondering if you are the same Andy Adamson who posted the following on Ancestry.com:

        “I have a copy of original bible records for Hopkins and Desire Harris and their children and grandchildren. The records also include dates for Hopkins father: Thomas; and Desire parents: Robert and Tacy Niles. Conntact me via mail/phone: Andy Adamson, 63495 US Hwy 31, South Bend, IN 46614 ph# 291-1021”

        If so, you could help me take down a longtime brick wall, figuratively speaking. If you are still in possession of the Hopkins/Harris bible records, specifically the vitals for Thomas Hopkins and Tacy Niles, I would greatly appreciate (big understatement) any information you would be willing to share.

        Thanks so much,
        Kathy

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  7. janice weiss says:

    Jim, next time you’re in South Bend, you should go see the historic B’Nai Yisrael (Sons of Israel) synagogue at 416 S. Williams Street. It hasn’t functioned as a synagogue for many years, and its physical existence has been in jeopardy for years. For the past two years, the city has been considering/planning to relocate it, but that hasn’t happened yet (apparently). It’s a beautiful, beautiful small old building immediately south of (the former) downtown.

    Like

    • Thanks for the tip, Janice! I grew up near the synagogue on S. High St., btw. I’m sure it’s no match for the one on S. Williams.

      Like

  8. hey Jim,
    this is Jennae from Living Stones Church… I’ve been following your blog ever since Sam linked to it sometime back and have enjoyed taking the virtual road trips with you! I’m trying to put together some photos of what the South Side once looked like for the badNEIGHBOR series we are starting this Sunday (check out http://www.badneighborstory.com) and wondered if you’d have some directions to point me in to find old photos of specific south side locations. i.e., I’d love to find an old photo of boonie doon on S. Michigan street from the 50’s or 60’s to display along side a current photo of its sad gated existence now. Even vintage photos of homes on the south side would be great, but not sure how to locate them quickly. Thanks so much!!

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  9. Jean Pierre MACHOT says:

    I am happy to find this site;and the proud owner of an old but wonderfull Kodak Retinette 1 A camera giving even after49 years extraordinary shots.Built for the french market in the early sixities,this camera was equipped with a shutter including low speeds and a Pierre Angenieux lens made by the famous optical factory working usually for Leica and Alpa.
    Despite a relatively low price,this 2,8 50 mm four lens based on the Tessar concept gives sharp images and I willl be happy to send some day digitally scanned examples of my slides.
    I apologise for my modest english but we french people are not known as fluently speaking foreign languages.

    Here it’s four PM and we have the sun of our own Indian Summer!

    Like

    • Hi Jean Pierre, and thanks for writing! I am glad you get good use from your Retinette 1A! It is interesting that your Retinette has a Pierre Angenieux lens; I thought all Retinettes (and Retinas) got Schneider-Kreuznach lenses! I hope you’ll scan the slides you’ve made with your Retinette and share them, perhaps on Flickr, for all to see!

      Your English is fine! I understand the challenges of writing in another tongue; I once spoke and wrote German very well but find it difficult today after many years of disuse.

      Like

  10. Hey Jim. I was going to reweet you article but I noticed you didn’t have a twitter account. Unless I missed. Do you have one? I’d like to mention you.

    Like

  11. pawpoint says:

    Hi, I enjoyed ‘poking around’ you blog (as you put it) and I did like what I saw. Nice blog, keep up the awesome work!

    Like

  12. Hey Jim, I came across your blog because it was freshly pressed. I wish that I could say that I came across it because I was digging deeper and deeper to satisfy my blog-reading desire. However, I didn’t.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your posts and saw that you are from Indiana. I have also lived in Indiana my entire life: 10 years in Granger and eight years in Westfield (near Carmel). If you have the time and feel like taking it, check out my photoblog and let me know what you think.

    Happy writing!

    Tyler

    Like

  13. Pingback: The most important reason for using good grammar. | Muse around.

  14. Hi, Jim,
    Thanks for posting your pix of my great grandfather’s home on Flickr. “Alfred M.” was the first, I’m the fourth. I never met the man and his wife, Minne Mae Glossbrenner, but we just used her monogramed linen napkins at our New Year’s party last week.

    I’ve never been inside the house, but many years ago, when I was a counselor at the Culver Woodcraft Camp, I borrowed a car and drove to “Naptown. ” I peered into the house foyer and saw a large letter “G” in the floor’s mosaic work. I assumed it stood for our last name. Only later did I learn that what I was looking at was the Masonic emblem. (Alfred M. was a 33rd Degree.)

    Thanks again.

    Best,
    Alfred

    Like

    • Alfred, I am just delighted that you found my photographs. As accomplished as your great-grandfather was, it’s not surprising to learn that he had gone all the way in the Scottish Rite.

      I wrote a few words about the mansion; they will appear on this blog on 1/13/2011.

      Like

  15. Hello Jim,
    I’ve enjoyed looking at your site and reading some of your blogs…especially those about your background in churches of Christ. That’s my background (and foreground also I guess) as well.
    I teach from August to September in Lubbock at Sunset International Bible Institute…School of Missions. I also write four blogs (I must be crazy!): the one listed and charamongarden.wordpress.com, whitcarv.wordpress.com and missionsouthpacific.wordpress.com. When I grow up, I hope to be more single minded.
    On the instrumental music thing: I don’t think anyone is going to be condemned for using it but I believe the Holy Spirit had His reasons for telling us to sing to one another and use singing to teach and encourage one another. It seems that instruments tend to get in the way. The bands/organs, etc. get louder and louder and the purpose of singing is overwhelmed in the process. Just a thought. Blessings to you and yours.
    Dwight

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by, Dwight. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but at this point in my faith journey I see that whether or not instruments are used in worship is far less important than how much love I deliver into the world in the name of God each day.

      Like

  16. NL says:

    Great pics!

    I bought my first nikon SLR years ago. It is gathering dust unfortunately. You just inspired me to make time and take photos again.

    N.

    P.S.

    Your dog reminds me of my retriever growing up. Same color. Ahh. Good times :-)

    Like

  17. Hi Jim.
    I was hunting online for pictures of the old Bonnie Doon Drive-In on Lincoln Way in South Bend and came across your blog. I thoroughly enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with your pictures and videos. I grew up in Mishawaka and lived in South Bend for a few years before moving to LaPorte and eventually to Utah. I had some very fond memories at that Bonnie Doon and was sad when I came back for a visit in 2007 to find an O’Reilly Auto Parts had replaced it. That is where my husband and I met for the first time and I never got photos of it. I’m not sure if the one you pictured was that same drive-in, but just the same, thank you for sharing.
    Sincerely,
    Linda

    Like

  18. You are quite awesome. I dig it…you collect cameras I collect vdieogame consoles. :) Nice to meet ya. I dig you photos, a lot of road, but its pretty cool and different.

    Like

    • We have a collection if video game consoles of sorts here too! Nothing serious, jus the consoles we’ve accumulated over the years, going back to the early 90s.

      Like

  19. Doreen says:

    Was searching the internet and found this site. My father owned Brite Way Sales. He would be tickled to know his store brought such good memories.

    Like

    • Hi Doreen! I’m glad you stopped by. My dad loved Brite Way; it seems like he made at least one trip up there every weekend from our home on Erskine Blvd.

      Like

    • Allan says:

      I knew your dad really well-Sid G.! When I graduated from college, my first job was with Procter and Gamble in South Bend. I called on your dad and sold him toothpaste, shampoo, etc. We was a great guy and really helpful to a 21 yr old Jewish kid that didn’t know his you know what from a hole in the ground. I think about him often and I remember some of the things he would say.

      Like

  20. Selena says:

    Hi Jim, my name is Selena and I was your server during your recent visit to The Iron Skillet Restaurant. I am pleased that you enjoyed your meal and service. Hopefully you will return for more since it is in the vicinity of your home. Although most of your descriptions of the food was almost dead on I can’t devulge the secrets of how its prepped, especially not in writing. Please keep in mind that we also do carry-out service, so the next time you’ve got a hankering for juicy chicken just give a call. Btw you can always substitue the corn for more green beans or potatoes. Thanks again and good luck on your chicken search. Selena.

    Like

    • Hi Selena and thanks for stopping in! You’d better believe I’ll be back to the Iron Skillet, especially since it’s just 5 minutes away from home.

      Like

  21. Dirk says:

    Hey Jim,
    I found you blog as I was looking for a camera similar to the Kodak vigilant junior six 20, that takes 120. I’m looking to build a wide angle 6×9 camera. The Junior six 20 is a perfect small size but I’m already shooting a lot of 120 so I don’t want to have to carry reloaded 120 and regular 120 with me.
    Any help would be great.

    Also, I’m a dummies author and have to tell you it’s just as crazy as you described it!

    Cheers!
    Dirk

    Dirkfletcher.blogspot.com
    http://www.dirkfletcher.com

    Like

    • Hi Dirk — Kodak was maddeningly fixated on that blasted 620 film. So I’d give up on finding a folding Kodak that takes 120, and instead look for an Agfa Billy Record or maybe a Voigtlander Bessa, both of which take 120 natively. I have a Bessa here — haven’t shot with it, not sure why not — and it is a reasonable size. I don’t have a Vigilant Junior Six-20 to compare it to, though.

      Like

  22. ~~~~Hey,
    Stumbled over here from Irene’s blog.

    I must catch up on some of your posts.

    I am trying despartely to trust God in my darkest hours, as well.

    Keep Writing. Keep the Faith.

    Like

  23. Hi Jim, awesome collection.
    I just bought a Minolta Hi-Matic 7 and I was wondering, seeing you had the same battery problem. Can you shoot with it without using a battery? I mean, the shutter works, without battery.

    Like

  24. Ronald Schleyer says:

    Actually, it’s only the roads to hell that all look alike (paved as they all are with good intentions). It is the road to paradise that is full of hairpin turns and sudden changes in pavement. There is nothing like it. Prayer is like a versatile map in case one veers off or is run off by somebody going the other way. Also, overtaking objects may be closer than they appear in the mirror!

    Like

    • I’ve found that prayer can make road suddenly reappear beneath me when I’ve gone so far off it that I have no idea where I am!

      Like

  25. Mike Parsons says:

    Hi Jim, I recently tripped over your blog while doing some research for a couple cameras I have. I’ve really been looking for a local Indiana collector to share with. I’ve been collecting for about 30 years so I have amassed about 500 but here of late (youngest leaves for college) I have been looking to thin the herd. I’m currently working through the collection and identifying what I have. I enjoyed your articles on the older cameras along with the education. I try to do the same with a Facebook group I subscribe to by not only sharing the box but also educating as I write. I also have started painting (fineart) again after 35 years and it has reawaken my photography. I recently took a trip down to French lick when the Fall color was coming in so I know where Oolitic is :) Sorry for the long note but you are not alone in your pursuit or faith. Hope we can converse more in the future.

    Mike

    Like

  26. Don Pampel says:

    Jim Thank you for the great Blog
    Started following you on American Road. I like all of your subjects, you were close to us at the Church in Rochester. Keep up the great Work.

    Like

  27. Jim,
    I need to talk to you, today, about the possibility of using your picture of the dilapidated house you used some time back. Your description is “From Dale to Boonville, SR 62’s curves broaden and come less often, and the tight, enclosed feel of forest, rock, and guardrails departs for open farmland on either side. After Boonville, SR 62 straightens out entirely. Additional lanes are being laid all the way to Evansville.”
    I’m a new author and a new blogger, too. I’d like to use it today–June 6, 2013–if possible, of course with your name on it.

    Like

    • Kaye, that photo is here on Flickr:

      Chateau Collapso

      All of my photos are licensed under Creative Commons. My terms are that you can use them for nonprofit purposes if you don’t modify them and if you credit me. If you need to use the photo outside those terms, click the e-mail link in the text above and we can discuss it.

      Like

  28. Joe says:

    My Dad managed Brite Way from opening day til it closed in 1989. I have many old items – 1962 ads, bowling team shirts, shopping bags and a basket. I always get lots of comments when I post anything on FB.
    Nice blog, thanks for sharing!

    Like

  29. Bruce Wolper says:

    JIm, the XG-1 was my first SLR camera. I got it some time in the early 80’s. It was a great camera to learn some basics on. I still have the photos. Unfortunately I don’t have it anymore, but your post brought back some great memories.

    Like

  30. Sheila Beers says:

    Jim, I just saw your photos of Argos and Plymouth, IN. I was born in Plymouth and have lived in Argos most of my life. Many of your photos are of places members of my family have owned. There are some buildings that serve different purposes now, and I would be glad to give you the complete information. Please email me at kayeohio1947@hotmail.com.

    Sheila Beers

    Like

  31. Wow – doing some research for an upcoming trip from Indy to Miami Beach via the Dixie Highway and “drove” onto your blog. Good stuff here !! I am fascinated with the genius of Carl Fisher. Grew up in Bedford, went to Oolitic High School – rode a bus everyday on the Dixie. Amazing to find another person interested in the same things I am. I have a collection of about 100 classic cameras now (gave away about a hundred); I belong to an historic preservation group; I’ve traveled all of Route 66; most of US 50 and US 40; as well as a good part of Highway 61 – The Blues Highway; walked part of the Appian Way in Rome with my wife this past summer. I like old cars and have a 1955 Studebaker. I take the back roads every time I am not in a hurry !! I’ll use some of your blog material for my trip. Keep up the good work !!

    Like

    • Danny, thanks for writing! Always love to hear from someone with so many overlapping interests. I checked out your site and especially enjoyed the pics of your Studebaker, as I’m a South Bend native. Hope you’ll stick around for the ride on my blog.

      Like

  32. Stuart says:

    Hey Jim.

    Great blog.

    Just purchased my first MG-1 (I’m a user of a D800E so something completely different).

    I was just wondering what the best B&W film to use would be? Not really interested in shooting colour, this is purely for nostalgic reasons but I just wondered what your thoughts were?

    Any helps appreciated.

    Kind regards.

    Stuart

    Like

    • Stuart, there is no best, and that’s the beauty of it. There’s the film that you like, and you have to try some to find it. You can start anywhere you like, such as with Kodak’s Tri-X or Tmax.

      Like

  33. Douglas Clarke says:

    Hi Jim,
    I stumbled across your blog while researching the Olympus XA series of cameras. I read some of your articles on older cameras and found them to be quite interesting. I have a small collection of box cameras and a few older 35 mm’s. I am a Western New Yorker and have lived nearly all my life within 25 miles of Eastman Kodak in Rochester. Found your blog worthwhile so I signed on. Keep up the good work and God bless.
    Doug Clarke

    Like

    • Thanks Doug! I’m glad you’re along for the ride. I’ve been to Rochester on business – in February. Not the best-timed trip I’ve ever made.

      Like

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