Weinberg's challenge was to distill interviews that were 45 minutes or even an hour long into three- or five-minute clips, preserving what was most compelling or important. And Men said he agreed with Weinberg's editing choice.

"I think it was the best decision. It's reality; it's here. It's my new life in the United States and in the state of Rhode Island," said Men, 44, who now works at Bristol Community College and was a past member of the Providence School Board.

Plus, there is a simple lesson in the clip, Men said. That is: you never know what people have been through.

"Treat each other nicely; I think that's the message," he said.

Editing Men's interview and the others was not easy. First, Weinberg tried to pull 30-second clips from all over the interview and stick them together. But they didn't fit. They needed a beginning, middle, and end.

So she went back to find more cohesive stories that were packed with detail or local history. Sometimes she could tell which yarn the person had wanted to tell most urgently. In choosing the dozen or so stories that would air among the many that would not, she gravitated toward the tales that she remembered the most.

By the time the stories were prepared to air this summer, some of the interview subjects had forgotten what they said in that Airstream trailer in 2007. Muriel Mackie had died. So had the husband who was lied to many decades ago.

"A lot has happened in four years," said WRNI reporter Hall. "It makes the project even richer; it adds a whole new dimension to it. We captured this moment in time."

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  Topics: This Just In , World War II, Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design,  More more >
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