Some of the most talented people I've ever met have been the photographers at The News-Gazette.
Working with reporters to tell a story or on their own to capture moments — instants, really — they make the visual link between readers and words. The ratio of words to pictures — 1,000 to 1 is the going rate — seems to me to be just about right.
That's particularly noticeable in the photo here and its accompanying online gallery of photos from fires over the years in East Central Illinois.
We'll use them to kick off a new Monday feature, taking over Top of the Morning with a photographic look back in time. (The subject matter will change from week to week, and we'd welcome your suggestions — send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In the gallery online:
This month marks the 37th anniversary of a major blaze that engulfed Second Chance, a campus bar on Sixth Street south of Green Street, in 1977. There are photos of the aftermath of that fire, plus:
The November 2008 fire that destroyed the Metropolitan Building in downtown Champaign as it was nearly completely renovated.
The December 1987 arson that destroyed the block where One Main now is in downtown Champaign.
Multimillion-dollar fire that destroyed the Weberg furniture store in January 1978.
Alexander Cash & Carry on East University Avenue in Urbana, July 1986.
The St. Joseph-Ogden High School bus barn in June 2011.
Fires at the Pink House in Ogden in July 1983 and in May 1983 at Senator's Inn in Savoy.
The J&R Used Tire Service fire in Hoopeston in June 2013.
The campustown fire that destroyed Zorba's, March 2011.
The Park Circle Professional Building, 507 S. Second St., C. , August 1982.
An August 2011 fire in downtown Villa Grove.