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Film company looking for survivors, stories from the Xenia tornado of ‘74 for new PBS series

Blink Films, a company based in London, England, is in the early planning stages on a project for the new PBS series “We’ll Meet Again” that is aimed at featuring the city of Xenia and the people who were impacted by the 1974 tornado.

Blink Films producers are in touch with city officials and working to get the word out about the project. Promotional materials are being distributed and the company is looking to talk to local people who have a story to share relevant to the historic event that devastated the city of hospitality and took the lives of 32 people.

Slideshows and news reports from the historic event are part of a special collection of the Dayton Daily News Archive housed at Wright State University.

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“We’ll Meet Again,” hosted by former “Today” co-anchor Ann Curry, revisits historic moments and seeks to reconnect people who may have been separated by the event. 

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Blink Films Assistant Producer Rosie Pooley said they are in the process of researching for a potential second season and are interested in featuring the 1974 Super Tornado Outbreak.

After the 1974 tornado, the Aldine Printing Company produced the Xenia Lives bumper stickers. Recently, The Greene County Library and the City of Xenia had the bumper stickers reprinted to help raise money for survivors of the Moore, Okla. tornado in 2013. (Sharahn D. Boykin/STAFF/Sharahn D. Boykin/STAFF)

“I would really appreciate the opportunity to hear from the people of Xenia and surrounding areas in Ohio who experienced the terrifying tornado outbreak,” Pooley said. “Whatever someone’s story or memories I would be very grateful for the opportunity to speak to them.”

Blink Films promotional materials on the project pose questions and ask people to contact them.

>>> Xenia tornado devastation experienced in gritty black-and-white photos 43 years later

“Did close friends move away after the devastation? Perhaps you were helped by someone and want to thank them?” the flyer reads.

The ‘74 tornado still today has an impact on the city and people who lived through it “will always be mindful of those winds of change, and ... sensitive to the people we lost and that were injured that day,” said Xenia spokesman Lee Warren. 

Warren graduated from Xenia High School in 1972. He said he remembers “like it was yesterday,” sitting in Parks Hall at Ohio University and seeing a newscast of the tornado’s devastation on his hometown.

“Reuniting people who were separated by the tornado and now giving them a chance to tell their story ... will not only be therapeutic for them, but will also show the world how resilient Xenians turned tragedy into triumph,” Warren said. “We hope there will be people who will share their stories with the program producers.”

The first in the series, “Children of WWII,” premiered Tuesday, January 23 on ThinkTV.Other episodes of “We’ll Meet Again” include “Rescued from Mount St. Helens,” which aired Jan. 30, and “Lost Children of Vietnam,” which aired on Feb. 6 and more.  

To contact Blink Films, call (888) 558-6449 or send an email to meetagain@blinkfilms.uk.com.

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