Guest blog: Welcome to JourneyAsheville

Just sitting at my favorite table, the one in the corner in the back, here at Firestorm Café thinking about this new path that life has handed me, and the photos I’ve been taking, like the one above (one of many rallies, protests and demonstrations that take place in downtown Asheville) … and kind of enjoying the feeling.

Let me ‘splain.

I’ve been here in Asheville almost two years. It’ll be precisely two years at 3:14pm on May 19th. So when you see me on the streets, be sure to stop me and tell me Happy Anniversary. If you want to buy me a cup of coffee and fork over a cigarette to celebrate, well, that would be nice.

When I got here to Asheville the MountainXpress put me right to work. Well, it really wasn’t the MountainXpress. It was more like Jason Sandford and Jon Elliston. I figure that the rest of the Xpress folks didn’t know — or care — who Jerry Nelson was. But Jason and Jon took a chance. They’ve been regretting it ever since.

So what’s this new path? Each week I’ll be writing a blog for  I guess it won’t be so much writing as it will be looking — it’ll be a photo blog of people, places and things around town that happen to fall into my lens. And if the powers that be allow it, I’ll slip in some of my own thoughts and feelings about some of the events pictured.

The name of this “photo blog” is JourneyAsheville. It’s a little play on the name of my website, JourneyAmerica. You see for the past few years — up until two years ago when I parked my butt here in town — I’ve travelled around the country capturing the looks, lives and joys of people throughout the country.  I won’t bore you with the details; you can read more about all that on the website, — excuse the shameless self-promotion.

Several folks suggested “JourneyAsheville” as the title of this blog. But since it was my friend Jason Ross Martin over at True Blue Arts Supply that suggested it first, well, I’ll give him the credit.

I won’t give you any trite or cliché statement like, “This is your blog so make it successful.” The truth is, it’s not your blog, it’s mine. I’m going to be photographing — and writing — about things and people around town that interest me, and hopefully maybe interest you some.

I’ll be shooting the things in town that sneak under the radar of most of the news folks around here. The big items like Obama coming to town, the inefficiency at the APD evidence locker or the missing money at URTV, well, I’ll leave those for the “professional” reporters. The 1,001 little things that happen each day and make Asheville, well, Asheville, will be the focus of my camera and random thoughts.

There are two things you can do to help though. First, if you know of something that other folks should know about — give me a shout. Might not use your idea right away — hell, actually I might never use it — but it always helps to have some ideas in the holding pattern in case my thoughts dry up.

And the second way you can help? Buy me a cup of coffee and let’s set down for a few minutes to chat.  Who knows … maybe there’s something in your life that would make for a good blog entry one day? At the very worst, I get a cup of coffee and make a new friend.

Not a bad way to make a living when you think of it.


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16 thoughts on “Guest blog: Welcome to JourneyAsheville

  1. ashevillain7

    I suggest a story about (presumably paid) bloggers who solicit story ideas from others free of charge (or in some cases, by requiring a free cup of coffee to listen to said idea.)

    Why someone would buy you a coffee AND give you an idea free of charge so you can take the credit/make the money from the blog is beyond me.

  2. There’s a lot of good “spirit” here…happy that someone is “on” to it , and means to document the wonderment.

  3. Nathan

    I look forward to your blog and if I see you out I can do the Coffee, but you’re on your own with the cigarette…

  4. Jeremy

    Buy you a cup of coffee??? Give you my ideas and thoughts?? If you want what is inside my head (or anyone else’s) then shouldn’t you be buying me a cup of coffee?? Who do you think you are….Tom Sawyer?? Give me $2 and I’ll let you paint my fence. Shheeeshhh

  5. Jerry Nelson

    Thanks Nathan…I think that would work. You cover the coffee and I’ll take care of the smokes.

  6. keith

    So what are you doing Jerry…trying to solicit me for a cup of “joe” and a smoke from the Mtn.Xpress? I’m with Nathan; maybe on the coffee, but you’re on your own butt with the cigarette!

  7. Jerry Nelson

    @ Ashevillain7 and Jeremy. Wow. The reaction to my first post was fast and furious…well, fast at least…not so furious. Thanks for the comments.
    I’d welcome to set down with you sometime and pursue your thoughts and ideas more. And unless you can tell me the identity of the man on the grassy knoll in Dallas, then the coffee is on you. If, however, you can provide the identity and proof of his identity, then I’ll buy you a steak dinner with all the fixin’s. Deal?
    @ Amanda – thanks for the kind words and support. Turning over giggle boxes is my pastime. Glad you enjoy!
    @ Nathan and Keith – some changes on the cigarette part of the deal. I’ve met a lady here in town and so I’m gonna give this attempt at stopping smoking a serious go. To ease the pain of withdrawal, I’m sucking down Nicorette lozenges like they’re candy. But I’ll still take you up on the coffee.
    Blessings on each of you – even those that don’t seem to understand what the phrase “tongue-in-cheek” means.

  8. zen

    Well, Welcome Jerry. As an Asheville Photographer myself, i am glad to hear you’ll be out-and-aboot getting the visuals to under- and non-reported stories. That’s what most photopeople in the area aren’t doing. Go to a LAAFF or Zombie walk and you’ll nearly see as many photographers as participants. People with lenses longer than their genitalia (longer than mine, certainly). And with so many mainstream events over-photographed MountainX gets their choice of some great non-staff photographs (See Rich Rorris or Bill Rhodes or Micah McKenzie and others), but i for one think you sound like you’re gonna add to the visual mix that helps Asheville define itself, and i’m ALL for THAT.

    Put down those cigarettes and use the resultant nervous energy to document this wonderful town like the madman i suspect you to be!

  9. Jon Elliston

    Zen, that’s mighty poignant. May you never apologize for the length of your equipment!

  10. Ty Hallock

    For those who don’t know Jerry, his work for non-profits and his helping hand in anything that deserves it are most deserved of a free coffee paid for by the company. I for one will buy you one and hopefully be honored with a blog article. If not you deserve the coffee and I hope I helped inspire you.

  11. Thanks for the support Ty! Not only around this blog but with all the things you’ve helped me with since I’ve been in town. Blessings on ya!

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