Oral History: Wyatt Nevins

When this project was introduced to us I knew exactly who I wanted to talk to. My Grandpa on my mother’s side has been a professional engineer for his entire adult life, working on everything from crash test dummies to quasi-secret government projects. He grew up in California, moving up and down the state throughout his life before settling in Glendora. I’m close with Grandpa so it was easy interviewing him. Conversation flowed easily and I never felt like there were lulls.

I wanted to talk to him about the evolution of technology through his life, especially in regards to surveillance. Grandpa’s dad was a communist leader being monitored by the FBI. Grandpa Steve grew up in the era of McCarthyism where any and everyone was suspected of colluding with the red menace. I thought it would be interesting to see what he thought about modern spying technology i.e. cellphone/web search monitoring considering he grew up in a home that got strange phone calls in the middle of the night.

I edited the small part where Grandpa talked about his father at his request. He was raised not to talk about his father’s political activity, something that has stuck with him into seniority.

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