1001 E. 2nd St., Suite 2405,
Dayton, OH 45402.
When I retired I picked up a camera, learned how to use it, and became a volunteer photographer. My first project was taking photos of animals for the Humane Society. I enjoyed that so much that I started doing projects for other nonprofits. As I was doing these volunteer projects, and finding other places of interest with my camera, I felt like I was finally getting to know the area where I had lived all these years. I decided to share photos of what I was discovering on a facebook page called “Dayton at Work and Play.”
At the start of 2019 I made a New Year’s Resolution to take and post at least one photo on my facebook page from each of Dayton’s 66 neighborhoods.
After fifteen tornadoes hit Old North Dayton I photographed volunteers from all over the area helping in the cleanup efforts. A few months later, I again photographed people from all over the region as they gathered together in reaction to the mass shooting in the Oregon District. Then I started to rethink this project. I decided I didn’t want to go into a new neighborhood and take photos of buildings or some interesting landscape. I just wanted to take photos of people from all 66 neighborhoods, people from every corner of Dayton.
The reaction to this project idea was wonderful. Mayor Whaley and her husband Sam posed for me one Saturday morning and then introduced me to the leaders of some of the Neighborhood Associations. Bryan Taulbee and others on the city’s staff helped me understand when and where all of the city recreation activities were happening. City planning division manager Tony Kroeger helped me understand the exact boundaries of the neighborhoods. People invited me to block parties, to neighborhood events, and into their homes and their businesses. It was great.
I remember driving around Dayton’s Pineview neighborhood and seeing a man watering his lawn. I stopped and told him about my project. He said he’d grown up on this block and then left to go to college. After college he lived in Chicago and then New York. He had recently moved back to Dayton.
“I like being around the people I grew up with, and I like the size of Dayton” he told me. “In Chicago or New York you couldn’t get the whole community to come together the way Dayton did after the two tragedies we had this summer. This project of yours seems timely, Bill. Having an exhibition of photos of people from all corners of Dayton is a good thing for us to do now. I would be glad to have my photo up in your exhibition.”
The exhibition was being organized by Rebecca Sargent, then the Program Director at K12 Gallery. The photos were printed, the promotional materials were prepared and everything was ready for an opening April 2, 2020. Like many things that were planned in 2020, it never happened. I’m glad the Dayton Metro Library has decided to exhibit these photos now.
Those 66 photos are now on display through September 25 in the Dayton room of the Dayton Metro Library.
Patty Brown of P.Brown Art with three of her “colorfield florals.”
Laurie and Brian Quinn, known on facebook as Couple Of Quinns
Bridget Walker at Sweets Boutique Bakery & Cafe in Xenia. When I first visited the shop Bridget told me a bit abut how she came to be in business.
“I started baking cakes for people when we were stationed in England. The families of some of the airmen on base didn’t like English baked goods, so I started baking and selling birthday cakes. Personally, I liked some of the English baked goods, and I often sell hot cross buns here.”
“When we returned to the U.S. I baked cakes out of my home. The business grew, and I needed more space, so I opened Sweets Boutique (28 East Second Street in Xenia).”
Operating during the pandemic has been tough, but I understand that her sale of boxed lunches has boomed. People get a cookie and some fresh baked bread with each lunch
Bakery & Cafe
Two of my neighbors volunteer each week at the pantry at St. Paul United Methodist Church of Dayton in the Huffman Historic District. Since this is Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, I thought I’d tag along and take some photos.
The pantry is in the church basement. After I helped this customer get her food up the stairs, she posed for me and told me about the pantry.
“I used to walk into the pantry and “shop” for my own food. Now, because of Covid, I stand in the doorway and call for Cora. Then she brings bags of food for me. The first time you come you need to bring an ID and proof of address, because this pantry is only for people who live in the 45403 zip code. I guess the Food Bank has other pantries that are for other zip codes.”
“The amount of food you get is according to the size of your family. Our family is three people – me and my husband and our son. We get 6 cans of vegetables, 4 cans of fruit, 3 cans of meat, a box of cereal, a loaf of bread and some other things. I can come here once a month. It’s been a big help.”