The tornado that skirted Cedarville on Wednesday and flattened a farm on the east side of town was certainly unexpected. It was also not the first story Nathan Pilling expected to write in his first week on the job at the Xenia Daily Gazette. Nathan graduated from Cedarville with majors in journalism and broadcasting and digital media on May 3.
The thing about first stories is you always remember them. I remember the tournament soccer game I covered in 1986 between Catholic Central and Shawnee as a part-timer for the Springfield News-Sun. And I remember the first football game I covered as a young reporter at the Northern Virginia Daily. The losing coach, the one whose team I was there to cover, refused to talk to me after the game. And I had a crazy time getting the stats and story filed on time because I didn’t know what I was doing.
Nathan will never forget going to the Dobbins farm, seeing the destruction and talking to the people who experienced it. He did a great job of describing the scene and letting us know how the people felt.
From the story:
As Dobbins, his family and friends pick through the pile of rubble that used to be the family’s home, he is thankful for the items of meaning he can find. His wedding ring. His wallet. A wristwatch. His hearing aids valued at $8,000. A purse.
“We found my grandfather’s Bible,” he said.