Jim Dollar: SC Picture Project Photographer

South Carolina SC Picture Project Jim Dollar

Meet Jim ...

ME IN MY OWN WORDS:  My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Unglesby, told my mother at one of those parent/teacher conferences, "Jimmy looks out the window a lot." I still do. Though, these days, I do it from a hammock. The hammock has taught me a lot about silence, stillness and reflection. If you can be quiet enough, you can hear exactly what you need to hear to do what needs to be done. No one ever told me that in school. They don't teach you the important stuff in school. You get a lot of facts there, but facts hardly ever mean anything that matters much. It's what to do about the facts that matters, and we mostly have to make that up as we go along. How well, or how poorly, we do that tells the tale.

ALMA MATER:  I graduated from Northwestern State College (now University, though I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference) in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and then from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas.

A RANDOM FACT OR TWO:  I caught enough fish about eight years ago and quit fishing. My last trip was with Buck Paysour on the James River in Virginia. We were with a couple of guides that Buck knew, floating down river in canoes, catching Small Mouth Bass on Tiny Torpedo's. Every cast got a strike, and if that one missed, or got off, another one hit the lure before it got to the boat. Buck and I were both exhausted from catching fish by the end. I told him a bit later that was my last trip, and that I was going to devote myself to photography instead. Buck never understood that, or forgave me for it. But, as if to accentuate my decision, our garage was broken into a few weeks after my conversation with Buck, and the thieves took every bit of my fishing equipment. I saw it as a sign that I was on the right path.

ONE THING I WANT TO DO IN MY LIFE:  I want to see what I look at.

WHAT I BELIEVE:  I believe it doesn't matter what I believe. It matters what I do. I believe we should believe whatever it takes to see what we look at and do what needs to be done about it in each situation as it arises. You can believe whatever you want to as long as it enables you to do what needs to be done.


PLACE(S) I'D MOST LOVE TO TRAVEL:  My traveling days are firmly behind me because I can no longer bear the hassle of getting there. But. If I could wish myself there, I would go back to the Canadian Rockies, Utah and Wyoming until I got tired of those places and asked you not to make me go there any more.

PERSON I ADMIRE MOST:  I like Elizabeth Warren for her honesty and integrity – that is, being transparently herself in any situation that comes along. No pretending in order to make points with whomever is keeping score. She is straight-up who she is. And she is right about everything she says. Why aren't more of us like she is?

MY HOMETOWN:  I call Natchitoches, Louisiana my hometown because that was the first place I felt I belonged.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, I'D:  I would give it all away in the support of creative imagination wherever I found it.


WHAT I LOVE:  The list is long. Really long. My wonderful wife. Our precious daughters. Our beautifully unique and adorable granddaughters. And thunderstorms. That should do for starters.

WHAT I DO ALL DAY:  I'm retired so I do mostly what I like to do, and very little of what I don't like to do every day. It starts out with me writing for an hour. I write Tweets and short paragraphs about how to find your life and live it. I post the Tweets on Twitter and the paragraphs on Jim Dollar's Photography Page on Facebook and on my Tumblr Blog.

Then I make breakfast. I fry a piece of whole wheat bread in olive oil, spread it with spicy mustard, cover that with an egg I have scrambled with spinach also in olive oil. It's great. I treat this part of my day as though it were a Japanese Tea Ceremony, and relish the time I spend doing it.

Then I put up my hammock in our Zen Glen, which my wife and I have created out of a small piece of woodland (about 50' by 60') – the north side of our house borders 22 acres of woods. I lie, or sit, in my hammock with my camera and a travel mug of coffee and wait for the birds to visit me. (The hammock acts as a blind of sorts, and when I'm in it, I disappear from the bird's list of things to avoid, and they act as though I'm not there). When they do, I take their picture.

This lasts until time to prepare lunch, which I do. My wife told me when our daughters went to college that she was tired of cooking and ready to give it up. I told her I was tired of mowing the grass and ready to give it up. So, we swapped. She did the yard. I did the kitchen. It's the best deal I ever made.

After lunch, it's back to the hammock and birds until about 4 PM when I come in for afternoon coffee and a snack. Then we have some fruit. Then a light supper. Then to working with photos on the computer, watching a movie on our iPads, writing, or reading books, and on to bed.

Some days we work in errands and shopping, but a day spent like this is my kind of day.

IF MY BOSS GAVE ME THE AFTERNOON OFF, I'D:  What a joke! No boss! I'm retired!

A SOUTH CAROLINA SMELL I LOVE:  Fresh peaches, peeled and sliced.

PLACE IN SOUTH CAROLINA I MOST WANT TO GO:  Being retired, I go to any place I want to go to. At the right time of year I like Goodale State Park, Huntington Beach State Park, Hunting Island State Park, and Botany Bay.

PLACE IN SC I MOST WANT TO PROTECT:  The woodlands are being devoured by development gone wild. If a profit can be made, a profit will be made, regardless of the cost.



FAVORITE SC PLANT:  I like Southern Wood Ferns, and they are in South Carolina.

FAVORITE SC ANIMAL:  I like Barred Owls, and they live in South Carolina.


MY SC "CLAIM TO FAME":  I make the best Mexican Cornbread in South Carolina. Or anywhere else. Even Mexico.

IF I HAD A TIME-MACHINE, I WOULD:  Tour through the past and the future taking photographs, from the Big Bang to the end of time. And then do it again.

MOST HILARIOUS SC LANDMARK:  That peach [Gaffney Peachoid] is something.

ONE THING I MISS:  Calvin and Hobbs

3 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY:  The list is long. Really long. We could start with baby ducklings swimming with their mom. Then there is the way the ocean heaves and tosses during a storm. And walking through autumn woods in the fog.

FAVORITE BOOKS:  The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien loved doing what he did. And I love that he did what he loved. I would probably love that about you, too.

FAVORITE MOVIES:  O Brother Where Art Thou and Princess Bride

FAVORITE SONG:  The list is long. Really long. We could start with Let It Be.

SEVERAL THINGS I ADORE:  I adore people who love doing what they do best – I adore talented people relishing their talent without being impressed by it.

MY DREAM CAR:  I don't dream of cars. I don't think I ever did.

A SOUND I LOVE:  Rain falling ... the sound of falling rain coming through the forest.

A GUILTY PLEASURE:  I'm retired, so if it is pleasurable and healthy I do it without guilt and if it is pleasurable and unhealthy, I don't do it.

FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION:  I like walking slowly, looking at things, with my camera in hand.


MY TRUE LOVE(S):  My wife, our daughters, our granddaughters, my hammock, my camera, my computer, my books ... The list is long. Really long.

Where to Find Jim ...

JIM'S PHOTOS:  SC Picture Project | Jim's Gallery on FineArtAmerica | Jim's Gallery on Society6 | Jim on Flickr | Jim Dollar's Photography Facebook Page

JIM'S WRITINGS:  Walking About With Jim Dollar, A Blog | Twitter @JimDollar | Kindle Edition Books by Jim on Amazon | A Handbook for the Spiritual Journey

CONTACT JIM:  You can contact me at jimdollar@me.com.

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