I was not surprised to see AJC photographer John Spink's front-page photo Thursday showing an Atlanta firefighter standing outside of the burned-out Krispy Kreme store on Atlanta's legendary Ponce de Leon Avenue.
Spink has an amazing ability to be the first journalist on the scene of such dramatic events in Atlanta.
During Spink's stellar career, for which he deserves a Pulitzer Prize, he's taken shots of wrecks, murders, robberies, natural disasters and, in his spare time, charming features.
The doughnut shop, whose electric sign announcing a fresh hot batch of sugary treats has cheered Atlantans for generations, burned in a fire early Wednesday morning. The outside, with its "doughnut factory" sign, was saved, but the inside gutted, the Atlanta Fire Department said.
Spink's photo, with its classic composition, showed a sign in the window saying "we're hiring."
The AJC's coverage of the fire at the Ponce de Leon landmark showed traditional newspaper craft at its best.
Reporter Chelsea Prince, one of the newspaper's new wave of journalists, captured the store's importance to Atlantans.
While illustrating how the print newspaper can heighten a story with striking photos and writing, the newspaper used social media to solicit memories of Krispy Kreme from readers.
Repeating a frequent phenomenon in inner-city Atlanta stories, several of the reminisces came from outside the Perimeter. Those living in the suburbs have a surprising fondness for the old city.
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, who has owned the doughnut shop since 2016, promised to rebuild the store, one of several signature Atlanta businesses on Ponce de Leon.
A living museum of Atlanta life, the strip is the home of Mary Mac's Tea Room, the Majestic Diner, the Clermont Lounge and the Plaza Theater.
The old Sears store has been renovated into the Ponce City Market, across the street from the site of Ponce de Leon Park, where the Atlanta Crackers played before the Braves arrived. The stadium's magnolia tree still stands on the edge of Midtown Place Shopping Center.
A rush of development fueled by the Beltline has boosted the street's commercial revival, leading to fears that long-established businesses will disappear. O'Neal's promise that the Krispy Kreme will return is good news for those who value tradition.