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View count:3,006
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Duration:04:00
Uploaded:2018-02-09
Last sync:2018-02-09 13:40
In which Hank talks about his Sidewalk Moment.

This video was initially around a minute longer, and most of what I talked about was:

1. How that comment about interviewing sidewalks weirdly made me see the world in a different way.

2. A little more about making things with the understanding that they are bigger than you and your life and that that is the most rewarding way I have found to experience creation.

3. A little about the history of Missoula, which tripled in population between 1900 and 1910, which is why a lot of sidewalks were laid down in the 1910s and 1920s.

4. A little about how Missoula treats these maker stamps. Everyone sorta unanimously tries to protect them, so you'll walk around and entire sidewalks will have been replaced, but the one square that has the makers stamp will have been left, even if it's a little cruddy and eroded and cracked. Sometimes, when they have to be replaced, people will even cut the stamp out and sink it in the ground next to the sidewalk.

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Good Morning, John, it's Friday.

I'm going to be talking about sidewalks for this entire video. But if you bear with me, I know that it doesn't seem like it, but it will be worth it.

Four years ago, I didn't have an idea for the video that I wanted to make so I asked Twitter to send me ideas. One of the things I was told to do, by Shyna Joseph, was to interview the sidewalk. So  I did that.

I’m here today with the sidewalk to talk about what it’s like to be a sidewalk. So sidewalk, what do you think? “Well, I got no complaints. Except tree roots.

Don’t get me started on tree roots!”  Fascinating!  I also did this dance, which … that’s good. Here’s a link if you want to watch that 2013 Vlogbrothers video. Ever since I made that video, I have spent a surprising about of time thinking about interviewing sidewalks.  Where we grew up, in Florida, sidewalks were boring and consistent and they were all laid down at the same time.

Here in Missoula, sidewalks were laid down a hundred years ago, they were laid down last Tuesday. So, it’s like a weird patchwork and a lot of them are falling apart. And also, they have, occasionally, you’ll see maker’s marks that will tell you who laid the sidewalk and what year it laid down.

Those maker’s marks are part advertisement, part, like, record keeping – so the city knows who did what – and part warranty, so, like, if it breaks, you know who did it. After the fifties, these kinda go away, and so you are more reliant on people actually carving, like just, illicitly carving the year into the sidewalk, which I actually appreciate, though not legal, technically. If you look hard enough you can see that sidewalks look different from different eras. Both because of how they've weathered and also the materials that were used in them.

Look- it's a thing that I think about, which is why recently I was outside of a friend of mine's house and I had a moment. It was- like a rather intense sidewalk related moment. Sometimes in sidewalks, you will see footprints. Like people footprints, or dog footprints. So I was seeing that there were these little people footprints. They looked like they were probably from a kid like two or three years old.