Many Flint Expatriates have an ongoing relationship with nostalgia, often struggling to reconcile the Flint of their youth with the Flint of today. Then there's the inevitable moment when you realize you may be burnishing the memory of Vehicle City a bit too much, turning it into a place that never existed in the first place. It's not always an easy process to work through.
So why not simply recreate a scale model of the Flint you remember — or the Flint you want to remember? Michael Paul Smith is not from Flint, but he did build a scale model of his hometown.
"What started out as an exercise in model building and photography, ended up as a dream-like reconstruction of the town I grew up in. It's not an exact recreation, but it does capture the mood of my memories," he writes on his Flickr page.Learn more about Smith from this interview at Man on the Move.
"And like a dream, many of the buildings show up in different configurations throughout the photos. Or sometimes, the buildings stay put and the backgrounds change.
"Visually, this is heading towards the realm of ART. NO PHOTOSHOP WAS USED IN THESE PICTURES. IT'S ALL STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA.
"It's the oldest trick in the special effects book:line up a model with an appropriate background and shoot. The buildings are 1/24th scale [or 1/2 inch equals a foot]. They are constructed of Gator board, styrene plastic, Sintra [a light flexible plastic that can be carved, and painted] plus numerous found objects; such as jewelery pieces, finishing washers and printed material."