Think of the enormous number of faces and places that have passed through these pages in the last 25 years. Cute kids, frazzled politicians, devastated survivors, fire, snow, floods, flowers. You might recall some of the words we used to tell the stories, but it’s the images that stick.

Some of the best of those images are on exhibit this month at Oak Park’s main library.Award-winning Wednesday Journal photographers Frank Pinc and Josh Hawkins have put together a collection of their favorite photos as part of our 25th anniversary celebration. Narrowing down the choices was difficult, they say.

“Some came right to mind, for some I looked through the bound copies of the Journal or looked at the saved digital images,” explained Pinc. “A couple were suggested by co-workers. I tried to spread them out through the years and subject matter.”

“The life of a weekly newspaper photographer is amazingly varied,” said editor and publisher Dan Haley. “In a day they might go from a fire scene to a school play, from a high school baseball game to shooting a portrait for a feature story. Our paper is blessed with two photographers who are wonderfully versatile. They work hard to get the breaking news shot. But they can also tempt a smile out of a small child who is otherwise distracted.

“Frank Pinc and Josh Hawkins are a lot of good things to Wednesday Journal but they are also great representatives of the paper. A lot of people in Oak Park and River Forest never see our reporters, as much of their work is done over the phone. So Frank and Josh are the face of the paper. And so often I hear a good word about how they took extra time to get the right shot, about the patience they showed with a young person.”

“Capturing Community: 1,300 Wednesdays” will be open during regular hours at the library, 834 Lake St., through Oct. 30. To kick off the exhibit, there’s a public reception tomorrow night from 7 to 9 p.m. You’re invited to come meet Josh and Frank, grab some free food, and take a look at these amazing photographs. Maybe you’ll see yourself. After all, the people and places of Oak Park and River Forest are the real stars of our show.

“Laura Stuart

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