It is the walkoff of a colleague's article that has me worried.
For those not familiar with the term walkoff, don’t fret.
It is newspaper jargon for the “pow” at the end of some articles that says it all.
Often, it is there to make you think.
Dayton Daily News statehouse reporter Laura Bischoff certainly gave me something to think about with the walkoff of her Stories of Survival article about some Old North Dayton residents who lost homes during the Memorial Day tornadoes.
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“(Eric) Stafford and (Joe) Guth are both looking for new places to rent. While they’re hopeful Dayton will rebuild the neighborhood, they’re not confident it’ll happen.
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‘I don’t see that happening. I can see all this greened-over and grass growing in six months or a year from now. I don’t see them rebuilding these homes. I don’t care what kind of insurance you have,’ Guth said.”
Make no mistake.
We live in a generous community.
The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other national news organizations ran stories about the devastation here.
And a list of celebrities led by Mike Birbiglia and John Legend have donated to the cause of helping Dayton-area residents recover, but this has been a Dayton helping Dayton area.
Looking at the destruction from Beavercreek to Brookville to Trotwood to Harrison Twp. to Riverside to Dayton to … you have to wonder which neighborhoods will come back and which will be greened over.
We can assume that things won’t be easy, but our more affluent areas will be OK eventually. But what about the communities that are not so fortunate?
Some of these communities were already struggling, hit hard by economic and social forces that have been well covered.
Dayton area native Sylvester Darnell, an Atlanta-based movie production company owner, expressed as much when I interviewed him this week.
Darnell came to Dayton the day after the storm, and he and friends JD and Hayley Carson, the owners of Safe House Studios of Dayton, set up a makeshift donation center in Pippin’s Market in Trotwood.
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“Every time I come back to Dayton, it is like a part of Dayton is missing,” he said. “I knew that if we don’t do as much as we can, when people see this, and they come outside of their homes and they consistently see the destruction, it is going to make them not want to be here more.”
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They distributed basic needs like food and water to people free of charge.
Like the other relief spots set up around town by everyday people, agencies and restaurants, the one at Pippin’s Market could not directly provide shelter.
As well meaning as all of these people are — and there are so many of them — they can not rebuild homes and lives uprooted by the storms.
If rebuilding is going to happen, it will take a lot of money, energy and time.
Green space is great, but the community does not need more vacant lots to remind us of the people who are no longer there.
These people and their places matter.
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