"He said to me, 'I'm rather Asperger's-like in the way I relate to people,'" Snedegar said, but she added that even though as an interview subject he was challenging, Nash was delightful to be with.
He spoke very openly about his struggles but also of his affection for Bluefield.
"The very first thing I noticed when I walked into his office was he had a bookshelf devoted to photos from Bluefield," she said. "He had the picture from his high school class' 50th anniversary, an aerial photo of the town and even an award he got from the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce."
Nash had some fond memories of growing up in West Virginia, which is something Snedegar said was a common thread among the people she's interviewed for the series.
"All of them felt like the sense of community of where they came from gave them some kind of foundation," she said. "That environment of knowing everyone around them, it was a kind of comfort. They were grateful for the upbringing and the strong work ethic that came from growing up here.
"Some of the people I talked to, who've come back to the state to visit, say they can still see that strong work ethic."
There are other similarities among the people featured on the show. None of them came from wealthy families. Many were from poor backgrounds and overcame significant hardships to succeed.
Bio-engineer and Beckley native Linda Powers, for example, won the state science fair when she was in the eighth grade and placed fifth nationwide in 1966 for the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search, which is open to high school seniors.
"But her family wasn't really educated," Snedegar said. "They weren't oriented toward science at all."
Snedegar said about half of the people she's profiled currently live in West Virginia, but most of the rest often mention returning someday. Some of them, she said, hope to bring back some of what they've gained outside of the state back home.
Structural engineer and MIT professor John Ochsendorf (featured in season two) told Snedegar he'd like to start a college in West Virginia one day, which even he thought was a wild, almost impossible dream.
"But I'm still dreaming," he told Snedegar.
"And he's only in his 30s," she added.
"Inspiring West Virginians" returns to West Virginia Public Radio Thursday at 9 p.m. For a list of local public radio stations, visit www.wvpubcast.org.Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.