Wednesday, February 19, 2020

[35mm Ohio] Celina, Cincinnati, and Annie Oakley’s Cemetery

Coming back from Fort Wayne, Indiana and following routes similar to what my pal Nate and I had been traveling on a few weeks earlier in Northwest Ohio + around Cincinnati.

Pentax K1000 loaded with Fuji Superia 800.

Originally, I hadn’t planned to shoot anything, but this drive absolutely needs some kind of stop or distraction* to break it up. I kept making the joke that it requires two people: one to ensure the other stays awake as you pass acre upon acre of empty fields beneath gray skies. Like two soldiers in a missile silo, one needs the other to ensure they’ll actually follow through with the deed. Not that Fort Wayne and Cincinnati aren’t good destinations worth following through on visiting, but Christ, the drive this time of year is rough. There is some stuff to see (and still even more I want to go back and see), but if it’s gotta be done—it’s gotta be done in better weather (if you can help it and aren’t traveling out of obligation). The gray purgatory of Ohio in the winter just makes everything feel desolate, a feeling driven even further into your psyche when there’s not even a glimmer of sun.

We paused briefly in Celina to make a frame of this classic theatre on the Main Street...

- UEC Celina Cinema, Celina. 

...then stopped once more at Annie Oakley’s gravesite near Greenville since the previous attempt to make a photograph here didn’t pan out.

- Bullets and knickknacks left atop Annie Oakley’s tombstone, Versailles.

Since it was around 5 o’clock and late December, it was already dusk. We spent the rest of the ride rambling along US-127 and eventually I-75 in the dark and rain. It’s amazing how different this kind of drive and the surrounding area can feel in different seasons. I loathe it in the winter, but would absolutely seek it out in the Summer.

- Cemetery where Annie Oakley’s gravesite is located, Versailles. 

I finished off the rest of this roll in Cincinnati mid-January. Thought it had 36 exposures, was surprised when the film stopped at 23. Nevertheless, the view of this city from the rather ominous and decrepit-in-appearance Garfield Garage is “underrated” as my friend Phil says. I agree. He also gave me this roll to shoot.

Thanks, Phil.

- Court St., Cincinnati.

- Court & Race Streets, Cincinnati

- Looking towards Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati.

- Garfield Garage top floor, Cincinnati. 

- Downtown Cincinnati as seen from the Garfield Garage.

- Garfield Garage, Cincinnati.

- Garfield Garage, Cincinnati. 

- Metrobot, Cincinnati.

- Government Square, Cincinnati.

- Sixth St., Cincinnati.

- Main St., Cincinnati.

* There used to be this great diner, complete with a classic neon sign that said “EAT,” where US-127 and US-33 cross. However, it’s now been demolished for a more modern gas station. Rest In Peace “Motor Inn,” formerly the best place to stop between the Queen and Summit cities.

View the other entires in 35mm Ohio


  1. You're sort of on the fringes of my old home territory there. I recall coins but not cartridges at Annie Oakley's grave, but I can't say for sure whether that's because it's a recent development or something that's slipped from my leaky memory. A Medal of Honor recipient, a high school classmate, is also buried in that cemetery. I was mildly surprised when I pulled up the cemetery on Google Maps and found his stone pictured along with Annie's.,+Versailles,+OH+45380/@40.2603759,-84.5604533,15z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x0:0x8aad056e2f1b3a66!2sBrock+Cemetery,+Versailles,+OH+45380!3b1!8m2!3d40.260514!4d-84.5603813!3m4!1s0x0:0x8aad056e2f1b3a66!8m2!3d40.260514!4d-84.5603813

    1. The cartridges are interesting. I'm fairly certain those are the same ones that were sitting atop it when we stopped by a few months prior. One of them appears to be a tracer round.

      I looked up your classmate on Wikipedia... what a heroic sacrifice. I wish I would've seen that before. Next time I pass through, we'll leave a flower.