The Centralia Balloon Fest


This gallery contains 7 photos.

Meghan and I went to the Centralia Balloon Fest on Friday, August 17, dragging her cousin, JoAnn Dailey with us for the ride. Plus she drove, which was nice because we were a little broke to y’know, afford gas. Yay … Continue reading

Relaxing in the courthouse

Found this guy sitting in the courthouse yesterday when I went to read the court reports…


Thursdays are also Farmers’ Market Days, which is held in front of the courthouse. I guess someone bought this and didn’t have room in their office for it. I just thought it was kind of funny, that’s all.

The new place

Here are a couple of photographs I shot in the area around Meghan and my new home in Nashville. I’m sure the city friends will scoff– it is a trailer. But it’s next to no one, so we’re not stuck dealing with Ricky, Julian and their pals. Although, that would be kind of awesome…

Don’t judge me. It’s really nice (On the inside, which Meghan sayys I can’t show until the boxes are gone).

Speaking of boxes…

The funky old fashioned pill bottles of screws in the garage/lean-to thing? Yep, those are mine.

I’ve always thought it would be cool to have my gas located on-site like this. It’s at about 35% right now, but we aren’t using much of it in the summer.

Here’s our back porch.

A little more of a closeup of the back porch…

The backyard seriously is bordered by a cornfield.

You can walk right into it if you want to. Enjoy the bugs if you do!

Light beam hitting a branch.

Sookie explores her new surroundings.

The sunset. Actually shot from our place, but across the road to the neighbors.

First post from Nashville…

Here’s a quick one for you. Things have been hectic, getting into the new job and all that and trying to manage all the new things. But I did get time for a quick portrait. (I shot a wedding last week too, but all in good time). So without further delay, here’s my new landlord, Allen Porter.

Seriously, can you look at this fellow and not think that he’s got some awesome stories to tell?

Allen is 80 years old, but I don’t know if anyone told him. He’s obviously worked really hard to keep our place in tip-top shape, a fact that I’ll have in mind as I try to make sure it stays that way. He’s been super-friendly to Meghan and I too. Heck, he even brought me tomatoes.Allen is a U.S. Army veteran. He served in Korea, and then spent more than 20 years in the reserves after that. I look forward to talking with Allen even more in the days and years to come.

On an unrelated note, I mentioned my coworkers throwing a pizza party and getting me a cake when I left the Advocate-Press. Well, I must be blessed, or just really lucky when it comes to coworkers, because at my first day at The Nashville News, my new coworkers brought in a spread for lunch. Plus, Turtle Bars. Chocolate, caramel and a buttery crust…Yep, blessed.

Farewell Photos, Part 4

Yep, there’s a lot of these. Starting to worry I shot enough of them that I’m going to disappoint whoever I forgot. Oh well.

My coworkers. Sally Neville, Delivery; Nancy Bible, Ad Sales; Natalie Berry (expecting young baby Berry near Christmas time. Woo-Hoo!), Classifieds, page design and a lot more; and Jennifer Lewis, circulation manager. Not pictured is Mike Linville, our sports editor. It’s not everyone I’ve worked with. There are some memorable folks missing who are no longer with the Advocate, but these ladies have been amazing to work with. I’m glad to call them my friends. They will be missed.

Yep. Pretty awesome coworkers. You want to know what they did for me on this, my last day there? Pizza, drinks, hanging out. Oh, and Jennifer baked this for me:

*Sniff* I’m gonna miss this place.

Chief John Nicholson of the Flora Police. The Chief has been good to the paper, always filling us in on what’s going on, as much as he can and still be doing his job, which I don’t envy. During the time I’ve been here, I’ve seen a full-scale SWAT demonstration, gotten to try a shoot/no-shoot electronic firearms simulator, and have gotten TASERed (willingly). They have given me some of the more fun stories I’ve been involved with. There have also been stories of tragedies that, necessarily, the police have been involved with as well. I may not remember these as fondly, but throughout it all, I’ll remember how Chief Nicholson and his officers conducted themselves: with courtesy and professionalism, qualities not all departments hold in such high esteem.

Marsha and Graham Dewsbury. Marsha and Graham are correspondents that write and shoot photos for our paper. They have been a joy to work with and most of the time, I end up blowing a lot of time chit-chatting with them. They’re really good folks. After one of the first assignments that I had them do, I came to the office to find a pen and a pin they had given me from the Shriners. I tried to give it back to them and they said, “Oh no, that’s for you.” It’s just the kind of folks that they are. Plus, Graham is a retired culinary teacher and gardener, so we always have a lot to talk about, including me showing him photos here on the blog of stuff I made.

Aubrey Eads. You’ve met Aubrey’s son and daughter before, here and here. Here’s there Mom. Aubrey is a single Mom working a full time job, who is trying to build her photo business too. despite all of this, she seems to have a better handle on things than Meghan and I do together, without kids. Well, without human kids anyways. Aubrey started out as “The red-haired chick at the Movie Gallery,” then became “The red-haired chick at the bank.” I actually got to know her when she took my class, and now shes a friend of Meghan’s and mine. She’s shot our wedding photos, and our anniversary photos as well. So basically, Aubrey rocks.

Kyle Shafer. Former Advocate-Press graphic designer, currently video game playing pal of Alex. Shaf’s da man. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to put this here, because though we’ll be further away, I WILL see Kyle some more. He’s my homeboy. Oh, and you’ve seen his art before too. Here, here, and here.

Here’s a little bonus for you. I sent that picture to Kyle. To show you how far it’s come along, here’s the original:

So I may have done a few things in Lightroom with it. Just auto-levels, really.

I sent him the final above and the original and then, I got this back. Can’t keep an artist down. Here’s Kyle’s “Banksy-ed”  version:

Skull house wants to eat you…

So that’s about it for my farewell pics. I’ve got two more I’m trying to schedule, so I’ll try to get those in. Thank you all for checking them out. Adios!






Farewell Photos, Part 3

Moving right along…

Trevor Bissey. Trevor is the mayor of Clay City. He’s also involved with Clay City’s American Legion and Lion’s Club. One of the things Trevor really does well at is acting as a Booster for his town. In that capacity, Trevor served on the Route 50 Coalition, a group dedicated to seeing U.S. Highway 50 widened to four lanes, as their chairperson. I did a photo for them to use in an ad which I featured here a while back.

The competition. These guys work for the other newspapers in the area. At left is Lindell “Smitty” Smith, of the Clay County Republican; and on the right is Rob West, of the Hometown Journal. See ya, guys. It’s been real.

A few of the members of Chapter 80 of the Disabled American Veterans. Dennis Lousig-Nont, Chuck Schryer, and Sue and Doug Stout. These guys are awesome to work with. They let their guard down near me, tell jokes, have fun, let me know what the real deal is. For that, I do what I can to try and give them good stories and hopefully, help find them volunteer drivers and money for vans (They drive vets to their hospital appointments). So in other words, if you’re reading this, thinking, “I’ve got free time and can drive a van,” CALL THEM UP. And seriously, don’t these folks look like people you’d want to work with?

Stacy Bullard. Stacy is the Chief of the Village of Xenia’s Volunteer Fire Department. He’s another one who I always look forward to working with. Even when he’s busy, even if it’s at the scene of a fire he tries to talk to me. He doesn’t have to; I won’t be insulted, but that’s just how he rolls. Also Xenia Fish Fry: It’s the fire department’s big annual fundraiser. One of the early times I came there, he ferried me around on a gator. We don’t have gators and ATVs and such in the City (Because that would just be too cool), so that was pretty dang awesome.

Steve and Ruthie Welty. The Welty’s are big in the American Legion in Flora, big on honoring our vets, and big on making sure that future vets don’t get marginalized the way so many Vietnam era guys did. Steve has been the post commander. Now I believe he’s District Vice Commander (expect an edit if I mixed that up) and may be working on a state level position sometime. Ruthie founded the Illinois Women Veterans Group here in Flora. For a number of years, they hosted a POW/MIA recognition day, which featured a parade, a meal for POWs, a program and speakers. Lately, Ruthie has helped to found the Shooting Stars Patriotic Drill Team, a healthy activity for young women (and men).