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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Yes Teens
Texas teen fights against clock to film WWII vets’ stories
    2017-August-2  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

和时间赛跑的人: 美国青年抢救性记录二战老兵故事

Andy Fancher walked through the front door of yet another stranger’s home earlier this month, eager to meet the 52nd subject of his documentary series.

The 18-year-old wore braces and slicked back hair. He arrived from his home in Duncanville, Texas, carrying a bag of equipment, including two LED bulbs, tripods and a US$1,200 camera.

Bob Gagon is a 92-year-old World War II veteran from Massachusetts who served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946. Three months ago, he moved from California to his grandson’s home in Mansfield after the recent deaths of his wife, daughter, son and nephew.

When it comes to war, Gagnon talks about his experiences only when asked. That’s why Fancher is here.

In his free time, the home-schooled high school senior records testimonies of veterans, mostly from WWII, then edits the videos and puts them on his YouTube channel, Andy Fancher Presents. “I’m preserving their stories,” Fancher says. “In 10 years, we may not have these guys to tell their stories anymore.”

Gagnon started the interview with a question of his own. “What prompted you to do this?”

It all started with the great-grandfather Fancher never met.

Fancher was 9 and looking through family photos when he stumbled on a black-and-white picture of a man in military uniform. On the back of the photo it said, “Italy 1945.”

This was Fancher’s great-grandfather Gene T. Fancher, who served in the army during World War II.

Gene died in 1970. Very few people in Fancher’s family knew much about his time overseas. Fancher had questions: What was life like before the war? Did he ever see combat? Was he scared?

But there were no answers.

“If someone had interviewed my great-grandfather, that would’ve been very significant for me to have today, to hear his firsthand account of the war,” Fancher said.

That sparked an interest in the 9-year-old to learn as much as he could about WWII. He watched films, read books and collected memorabilia.

But at 16, Fancher realized that the very people who lived during this historical period were dying. So he bought an expensive camera and created a YouTube channel. He would seek veterans and record their stories before it was too late.

A year and a half later, Fancher has interviewed 52 veterans, both during the school year and summer break. He spends his free time editing the interviews, which last an average of two hours, then mixes in music and WWII footage.

The final copy is a YouTube video cut to roughly five minutes. He also writes a short post on his Facebook page about each veteran.

The hardest part of this process is finding veterans. His most popular video, featuring John Ferris, has roughly 1,000 views. Fancher’s friends never watch the series. Neither does a large portion of his family.

He’d love it if more people were interested, but that’s not what’s most important right now.

Five veterans Fancher has interviewed have died since he started the project. Ferris passed away 12 days after filming.

“Capturing these stories now is very important,” he said. “We’re running out of time. I’ve only interviewed 52 veterans.”

(SD-Agencies)

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