Keep Your Eyes Peeled.

Faith in Family

Posted in Uncategorized by johnnysimon on June 21, 2009

I stepped into the Hocking Hills Mennonite Church almost 16 months ago as a curious observer, wanting to explore this group of people that I’m sure very few Americans knew much about.  They aren’t the Amish, but they also do not want be considered part of the outside world.  For them it is walking a very fine line between modern convenience and a decadent, sinful world.  In the end I just wanted to understand who these people are, and why they live the way they do, in a manner so at odds  with the “outside world.”

In working on this story I found the Springer family.  I spent a good amount of time with them, asking questions and observing and they were warm enough to share some very personal feelings with me, and for that I’m forever grateful.  This short piece was the culmination of almost a year of trust building and documentation and I hope I served them well.

I walked into the church with preconceived notions of their religion, but I left their community with a deep respect for their way of life and commitment to each other.

For full HD, check it out at

Also, check out the version on the recently updated Soul of Athens website.


Mennonite Music

Posted in Uncategorized by johnnysimon on June 21, 2009

A short video I shot and produced this spring following the Mennonite community I have been documenting, and how they interact through music with their community.

Penn Avenue

Posted in Uncategorized by johnnysimon on June 20, 2009

Walking down Pennsylvania Avenue and ran into a group of Orthodox children.  This is why you carry a camera.


Graduation Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized by johnnysimon on June 14, 2009

Headed back to Athens, Ohio this weekend to graduate from Ohio University.  One of the best weekends I’ve had there, capped off by a show from one of my favorite local bands.  And I finally got to show my brother what this tiny little gem in Southeast Ohio had to offer.


Driving into Clarksburg, W. Va.