Saturday, January 21, 2012

Flint Photos: Bristol Road

Cigarettes and oxygen outside Donna's Donuts on Bristol Road. (Click to enlarge.)

This shot is courtesy of Flint resident Shane Gramling, a photographer and graphic designer who posts other compelling images of the Vehicle City at Flint Photo Journal. (Click to enlarge.) Here's Shane's story from his website:

I was raised in a single parent home near Franklin and Leith in Flint, Michigan. We didn't have much; mom made sure we never missed a meal or went without proper needs, and she dished out plenty of love.

I am thankful for my fathers effort, for coming around 4-5 times a year. Over the years I've let go of the bitterness. I truly believe that he gave it all he could, in light of his alcohol addiction.

I have a thousand memories of my mother and I out at Zimmerman Beach, basking in the sun. I have a thousand more memories of riding bikes, and toying with Legos, GI Joe's, and playing hysterical late-night games of Monopoly with my best friend who lived just three houses down.

Then there's that time when someone tried to pry open our front door at 6am while we were home. And that other time when some random kid punched me in the gut, interrupting my water rocket session in the field across from my house.

Living in Flint has taught me that cities do not have agendas. Cities are not trying to jack my bike a gunpoint. Cities are not trying to kick in my back door.

I've learned that these "bitter occurrences" are merely human, and they are evident everywhere humans are found.


  1. Nice post Gordon, and thinks Shane for writing this and the picture.
    I grew up close to Donna's on Bristolwood. I remember passing by there on my way to Manderville Jr High(Baker now) in the 70's. A few times a week I would spend my lunch money on one of those fine donuts at 6:45am on my way to school.

    I move into Downtown Flint in the early 90's and have been here ever since. I totally agree with you that cities don't have agendas. I have been the victim of robbery, car broken in to, and assault. But Flint did not do that to me, people did. And it happens everywhere.

    Thanks for the picture.. I'll know i'll be headed to Donna's sometime this week :)
    Chris Everson

  2. Where is Zimmerman Beach?

  3. @ Flintownchris - I completely cave for their coconut custards!

    @ Anonymous - I have no idea where Zimmerman Beach was, it may have been part of the Halloway Reserve. My mother probably made up the name - I cannot find it on the map. All I recall is a long dirt road that took you to 40ft sand cliffs that bordered the water. We would then drive along the top of the wooded cliff edge and look for a sand grove that wasn't taken. Far off to the right of the beach I remember there being a long rope tied to a tree where people would swing out. We went there last in 2002 and the cliff edge was blocked off with large concrete dividers. I'll ask my mother what the nearest crossroads were.

  4. @ Anonymous - I've narrowed down where what my mother called "Zimmerman Beach" was located, somewhere around here:,-83.472065&gl=us&cad=src:ppiwlink&ei=VMckT7mTKuGtwQHv_KTfDA&dtab=2


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