BOWLING GREEN - Home Stand, an Ohio television production group, is working to produce a new kind of survivors' story for history lovers.
Producers Glenn Burris, a 1982 Fostoria High School graduate, and Jerry Sisser, a retired Fostoria teacher, are using www.kickstarter.com, to raise funds to finish their film. So far, about $6,000 has been pledged.
The pair has been conducting interviews with people who were children when they witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The event changed lives as those families became the first Americans to fall under the shadow of World War II.
Burris started the documentary by videotaping his mother-in-law's story.
Anne Shambaugh recounted the experience of her father, Commander Joseph Hubbard, looking up at what he thought was a practice air battle in December 1941, not realizing it was a Japanese attack.
His wife was driving him to work when the car was struck by machine gun fire. Immediately, he raced to the base on foot and his wife turned the vehicle around to get back to the children.
Shambaugh and her brother, Joe, never saw their father again.
"My mother-in-law is routinely asked to tell her story. It never gets old. I realized there must be many other stories like Anne's that have never been told. Historians seem to focus only on what happened to the adults," Burris stated in a press release.
Soon Burris found Joanne Adams, who stared into the eyes of a Japanese pilot from the front yard of her military-base home.
And Joe Estores tells an extraordinary tale of his mother driving him and his siblings directly through the Japanese target zone.
"Imagine the thoughts of the youngsters that looked skyward that morning, only to see fighter planes spitting bullets at their homes," Sisser said.
Only about 150 of these "Children of Pearl" are known to be living today. In 2010, Home Stand started criss-crossing the country collecting the stories from those child survivors.
To date, all the production costs of the project have come from their own resources, but Burris and Sisser said they need more money to finish the project.
The first appeal on Kickstarter brought in about $10,000.
"Without our film, we're afraid that a valuable historical record may never be visualized," Burris said.
Sisser said three public broadcasting stations and a museum are interested in the finished program.
The partners also have contacted various veterans groups, but adequate funding for travel, filming and equipment still has not materialized. Organizations are focused on working with current military personnel.
"Since we've been in conflicts for 10 years now, there are a lot of needs that have to be met," Sisser said. "What we're working on is a project that is historical in content, so it doesn't have the immediacy of what they're contending with."
There are still numerous child survivors waiting to be interviewed.
Since Home Stand started a blog this year, another half-dozen survivors have come forward, eager to tell their stories.
Home Stand is trying to raise $48,000 by June 3 through Kickstarter.
Sisser said a number of people have shared their stories with Home Stand by phone and online.
"We have contacts throughout the country, and if we have the funds, we'll go to as many as we can," Sisser said.
The goal is to select areas where they could collect the most stories. Burris and Sisser have kept costs down by traveling with a crew of three or four people.
As a retired teacher, Sisser said he believes the film would have significant educational value.
"We would appreciate anybody with an interest in history and the benefit of this program to contribute," he said.