Oral History: Rachel Lentz

Picture of Michael Lentz 2018, taken by Rachel Lentz.

I interviewed my father over the theme of transportation and the technology of transportation and vehicles. I viewed him as an ideal candidate as he has worked in the trucking industry for a large part of his adult life and has a lot of experience with vehicles. I was assured I would be able to instigate a conversation that felt natural. I have a close relationship with my father and both of us felt comfortable talking together. I set up the interview in a comfortable place, my Grandmother’s house. This was to make sure that this exercise was guided but also free to evolve as we spoke. The living room was also ideal as it was a well-padded room that helped decrease echo. However, it did have the forgotten drawback of having a grandfather clock that chimes sitting on the mantel. It was mildly inconvenient having to edit the interruptions of the chimes out from the interview. Overall, the interview went along the lines I expected. Mostly these were stories about my father’s work I had been told before. These stories are interesting, so I did not mind listening to them. The main part I was impressed and surprised about was his technical knowledge. My father knows his profession well and was able to recite practical information I would otherwise have no knowledge of. He has garnered a lot of knowledge over the years that is well used in this profession. As well, in our interview we were able to discuss technology and its future concisely and from different angles for a broader discussion. We broached many topics from serious ones to more lighthearted discussions. I tried to condense my father’s interview as much as possible and keep the main points of our discussion intact. I wanted to balance the inclusion of valuable information from an experienced perspective about the trucking industry with personal stories from my dad. The stories were interesting, and I tried to save them for the end after a more focused conversation. The technological discussion was fun as well as we were able to discuss the effects of technology and its relationship to existing social structures and industries. The most prevalent themes of the technology that we focused on was the change that he had seen in the trucking industry and their various uses, as well as perspectives for the future. We discussed the merits of the evolving tech in trucking and how it both helps and hinders the people using it. These opinions and stories are from the first-hand experience of someone in the field and relate to the actual practical meshing of technology with peoples lives in general. For this project I edited it using adobe audacity as it was the most readily available program used in the creativity suit and in the Avery computer lab on campus. It is a nice program that is relatively easy to learn how to use as well. It fit my purposes well overall and has been beneficial to learn as I am getting my DTC minor and see the value of learning how to operate these programs well. I hope both the personality of my father and the technical and social stances he had on trucking were able to shine through overall in the interview. This was my main goal and it is a worthy one as, like Story Corps message states, people want to be listened to and their stories deserve to be recorded and recorded well.

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