Happy Motoring!

The whole world is a circus if you know how to look at it. The way the sun goes down when you're tired, comes up when you want to be on the move. That's real magic. The way a leaf grows. The song of the birds. The way the desert looks at night, with the moon embracing it. Oh, my boy, that's... that's circus enough for anyone. Every time you watch a rainbow and feel wonder in your heart. Every time you pick up a handful of dust, and see not the dust, but a mystery, a marvel, there in your hand. Every time you stop and think, "I'm alive, and being alive is fantastic!" Every time such a thing happens, you're part of the Circus of Dr. Lao.
― 7 Faces of Dr. Lao

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. From the Interstate, America is all steel guardrails and plastic signs, and every place looks and feels and sounds and smells like every other place.
― Charles Kuralt

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.
― Betty Smith, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"


The journey is the destination.

I take photos of ordinary things. I shun Interstates for old U.S .Routes and two-lane highways. I will stare at and admire an old neon sign the way some would look at a painting by Monet. I prefer the meatloaf in a out-of-the-way diner/cafe to a 5 star meal. I drink too much coffee, but I quit smoking four years ago. I sleep in old "Mom-N-Pop" motels over chains at every opportunity. I'm a smart-ass, but would rather laugh than fight. I was born two years and two months before John F. Kennedy took office. I have a girlfriend whom I think is the most amazing and beautiful woman ever. I play drums (well), but when I toured with bands it was as a guitar technician. I love cats, and mine are rescues. I shoot with a Nikon D7000 (and lately, a Nikon AW 110). Before that, a D90, then a D60 (which was stolen) then a D40. Before that, some P&S models. Before that, I just looked at things and tried to remember them.

I also shoot film when I feel like it, mainly with my Minolta X-700 or Canon A1. I constantly wish I had more lenses to use, but can't seem to afford them. It's OK with me if you like Canon more than Nikon.

Please do NOT steal my photos, scans or anything in my photostream for your little blogs or websites, Pinterest or Tumblr, Facebook or any other "social media", or use them for any commercial or non-commercial, for or non-profit uses and please, don't link to them without my permission. Don't be a dick.

Protected with PIXSY

ALL photos here are available for purchase at very reasonable prices. No, you may NOT use them for free, so please don't waste your/my time asking. (That includes the "but we'll give you a photo credit" crowd.) Honestly... it's cost me money and travel time to create most of these photos... don't rip me off, ok? (True non-profit organizations may contact me for usage permission in exchange for a tax credit.)


PLEASE NOTE: If you have no user icon (using the stock Flickr icon), or your favorites list is a bunch of (what I consider) creepy or sexual photos, or when I try to look at your stream and see " doesn't have anything available to you", then please fully expect that I'm going to block you when you favorite any photos of mine, and please fully expect that I will not respond to any request to be a contact that you might make. (I will also block you, thereby removing the contact link you have with me.) So, creepy folks or those that can't be bothered to make any effort to be part of the Flickr community... don't expect to interact with me or my account in any way. Thanks!


One more quote from Charles Kuralt, the patron saint of the roadside..

There are sights in this country and people in this country to banish any gloom you ever may feel and to fill you instead with wonder.

people I shot

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  • I thank You God for this most amazing by La Belle Province

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Testimonials (17)

  • view profile

    super.lyss' says:

    "I've known Mr.Gary for as long as I can remember. He's always been around and has always made me smile with his humor:) Without him, i probably wouldn't be where I am today, in a photography standpoint. Your stream always has new signs or cool landscapes. The way you capture them is fun and provides insight. Thanks for everything Mr.Gary:)

    July 14th, 2011

  • view profile

    Alan C of Marion,IN says:

    "Stress getting to you? Then hop in Gary's trucklet for a journey down the backroads of America. When I first joined Flickr I was pretty much a train & ship photographer with a few nighttime neon signs thrown in. After finding Gary's photostream, it hit me that there is a lot to see and do off the interstate. I revisited our 1992 journey down Route 66 and got them on Flickr. Gary has a great talent for finding an old roadside relic and a gift of being able to photograph it perfectly. So click on Gary's photostream and be prepared to lose a few hours of your day. If I need to know something about an area I am going to...I know who to ask!!"

    April 23rd, 2011

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    Robert Drozda says:

    "This is way, way, way overdue. It is also the first testimonial I have written. That at least is appropriate since Gary was one of my first contacts here on Flickr. Back then (3 years) I thought it was polite to ask people if I could make them a contact :-) Gary was friendly and gracious and after a few exchanges he introduced me to groups and made a few suggestions.

    Recently I made a comment on one of his images stating how he continually amazes me, not only with what he finds, but the way he photographs his finds. There is an incredible talent here, I'm thinking "luck" too, but certainly it goes way beyond that. It often seems that everything just happens to align perfectly - the subject, the light, the angle, the color - when Gary goes tooling down the blue highways and backroads. What a wonderful gift he shares with us, and what a marvelous slice of vanishing and quirky America, presented with grace, sincerity and let's not forget.... humor.

    Thanks Gary, I don't need to tell you to "keep up the good work;" obviously you can't help yourself as you follow your passion. You must have amazing peripheral vision."

    November 5th, 2010

  • view profile

    The Cardboard America Archives says:

    "Gary's flickr page is an absolutely magnificent snapshot of America and Americana. He always seems to capture the image or scene perfectly. I have spent, and will continue to spend hours and hours sorting through everything. He seems to have the greatest road trips I have ever seen. You will never, ever be anything other than happy staring at the images. It's just plain wonderful."

    August 9th, 2009

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    nimrodcooper says:

    " I think these visions are like genius whimsical poems that make you laugh then sigh because they uncover something clownish that was never intended in our nature. The freezing of time in the closing of the shutter forces prolonged attention on details that are otherwise easily ignored."

    July 3rd, 2009

  • view profile

    写真家 / 摄影师 says:

    "Gary is a national resource for the US they just don't realize it yet. I checked his bio and he was a stage hand at one time for a bunch of hard rockin' bands. When I saw Foghat, I knew he was okay by me!

    I'd love to take a "Slow Ride" down the highway in his Edsel or Caddy with the radio going .. maybe someday I'll pass him on the highway and wave. Keep on Gary!"

    May 26th, 2009

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    monstercard says:

    "I first "stumbled upon" Gary and his photostream a couple of weeks ago. He had some pretty interesting pictures in his photostream so I made him a contact. Now whenever I get on flickr, I look forward to seeing what he has posted lately.

    He seems to love to travel the backroads and find those hidden treasures you don't see from the Interstates. He seems to love the old signs and old hotels/motels. After looking at his photos, I now have the urge to go looking off of the beaten path to see what I can discover. Gary also has a pretty good sense of humor that he shares with everyone in his titles and descriptions of his pictures. He is saving a bit of vintage America, from days gone by, to share with the rest of the flickr world. I would like to thank him for that."

    March 4th, 2009

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    twm1340 says:

    "Whenever I need my mental batteries recharged, it’s nice to know that relief is as close as going to my Contacts page and clicking on “loungelistener”. Results are guaranteed, and so far, there are no known side effects other than occasionally having Coke come out my nose. Gary has a gift for the way he sees the world and I’m trying my best to learn from him. He is an inspiration to all us lesser mortals. Thanks, Gary!"

    January 24th, 2009

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    Noland Voide says:

    "I had to write this to express my gratitude to these few photographers who have inspired me so much. These words may seem overblown, I don't know, when one has had the scales removed from their eyes, is there such a thing as too much gratitude?

    I call them the "Usual Suspects" since some sort of old movie reference seems in line with the Gestalt of what these few have produced. What they do, what they have done that is important to today and to history. Simple recorders of events and things perhaps, but then so were those who left us the mystery of the petroglyphs. But in these fews efforts something of us and our past are preserved. That's important.

    So to Roadsidepictures, who got the ball rolling, Allen, Thanks for making me see with new eyes. To Vintage Roadside, Jeff, you helped me to see and understand why its important. To loungelistner, Gary, thanks, you helped me do it with a new sense of joy. And to SKY✡VU, Jim, you are just an inspiration by simply being. Amazing what this one man has accomplished.

    These few, these four led to others who have their own lessons to teach to those who will listen, to those who will "see": Thanks to HappyShooter, Fotoedge, Army.Arch, Julia, Alan of Marion, Dave van Hulsteyn, Dennis Dixon, Joey Harrison. Appreciating this thing called urban or Roadside America is just a big jigsaw puzzle. But I'm having way more fun putting it together."

    December 1st, 2008

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    scottamus says:

    "A cool Flickr dude who photography interests are pretty much the same as mine. His pictures and passion for hitting the road have been an inspiration to me."

    November 13th, 2008

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    J/G says:

    "A great guy that has made me expand the way I look at every single thing I see.
    Route 66,neon,funny signs,its all here and a collection of like thinking friends that make coming here grand!
    Very good visit here!"

    November 3rd, 2008

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    Vannah Von Sally (ARCHIVES.) says:

    "Gary is the sign Jesus. That is all."

    August 13th, 2008

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    lonniec61 says:

    "I have been in the sign business for seven years, and Gary is the first guy I have met that has neon gas running thru his veins!!! he also has a drive for vintage signs that causes him to drive the country side looking for all of the great signs of the past. great story teller and good listener as well. I f you ever get the chance to go for a ride and take some pictures you will have a fun day!! oh yea hes a car guy and knows his music too!!!"

    December 1st, 2007

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    apricotX says:

    "Does Gary go on roadtrips - hell yes! Does Gary ever go on a roadtrip without a camera - HELL NO!!! He's got Kerouacian ants in his pants and a camera in his paws and he ain't stoppin til he runs out of gas or film or both (and flickr is a vastly better place for it) Long may he run..."

    August 18th, 2007

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    buckaroo kid says:

    "Not only a great documenter of the American road trip and its 'lost' signage, but a hugely entertaining storyteller as well!"

    August 4th, 2007

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    The Real Devil Doll says:

    "Gary and I must be related, because we are both obsessed with neon signs, music, old cars and collecting vintage stuff. He is definitely one of the nicest people here on Flickr, but he also has a delightfully wicked side (one can't survive in show business without one). He has a great eye, as well as a knack for finding the beautiful, odd and obscure along the roadside. And he used to have really, really big hair."

    August 1st, 2007

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    Jacob...K says:

    "Gary is both one of funniest guys and best friends I have met here on Flickr. He has a knack for finding strange and bizzare things that most people would drive right past. His photostream is not only a wonderful ride through the midwest, but also through his mind, which is a hilarious place to be. I need to go photo shoting with this guy!"

    July 31st, 2007

January 2007
Anywhere, USA
I am:
Male and Taken
Professional Goat Hypnotizer, Union Stagehand, Guitar Technician (when on tour) and Freelance Clam Sexer
Roadside U.S.