99% Vernacular: Volume 1

Roman Mars [00:00:03] Coming soon to Apple TV+, Emancipation stars Will Smith and is directed by Antoine Fuqua, inspired by the gripping true story of an enslaved man, Peter, who would do anything for his family and for freedom. Risking his life, he escapes and embarks on a perilous journey of love and endurance in hopes to return to his family. Emancipation in theaters December 2nd and streaming December 9th on Apple TV+. Rated R. It’s time to reboot your credit card with Apple Card. Now through December 25th, get 5% daily cash back on products at Apple with a new Apple card, including a new iPhone 14 or Apple Watch Ultra. At everywhere else, Apple Card gives you up to 3% unlimited daily cash back on everything you buy. Apply now in the wallet app on the iPhone and start using it right away. Subject to credit approval, monthly financing through Apple Card monthly installments is ineligible to earn 5% back. Additional exclusions apply. Valid only on qualifying U.S. purchases for new Apple Card customers who open an account and use it from December 1st to 25th, 2022 at Apple. Visit apple.go/savefive for more details. This is 99% Invisible. I’m Roman Mars. The first proper single-family house I rented in the Bay Area had a weird cabinet in the kitchen. I actually didn’t notice it was weird for a long time. From the inside, it just kind of blended in with other kitchen cabinets. But one day I noticed from the outside that there were louvered vents in the wall that brought outside air into just that cabinet. After a fair amount of online digging, I discovered that this is called a California cooler. It’s mostly useful for storing fresh fruits and vegetables. Cool air flows in from the lower vent while warmer air flows out the upper one. Screens are usually there to keep bugs out–although I don’t think mine had a screen anymore–and slats are there to deflect the rain. California coolers were pretty popular a century ago around the Bay Area. They work quite well to keep food cold if you live within a pretty narrow band of extremely hospitable, temperate climate. The refrigerator–and the general preference for hermetically sealed houses–made the California cooler somewhat obsolete. So, most of them were removed or retrofitted into boring, old, regular cabinets. But for a while anyway, the East Coast had its larders, the Midwest made great use of its cellars, and California had coolers. After I discovered my California cooler, this simple regional architectural feature charmed me to no end. So, as we were approaching our 500th episode, the folks here on staff started thinking about the kinds of designs that we love from the places we have lived–and even some regional vernacular that we love from places we haven’t lived but just admire. 99% Invisible is all about who we are through the lens of the things we build. And on this milestone of an episode, the 99PI staff and some friends of the show have stories not only about how we, as humans, shape the built world but how specific bits of the built world have shaped us. These are our love letters to the built world. Up first is Vivian Le. 

Vivian Le [00:03:45] If I asked you to name an iconic structure that captures the city of Los Angeles in a nutshell, you have a lot of options to choose from. The Hollywood sign, perched on the hills and somehow shining through the smog, probably jumps to the front of your mind; that was just amazing branding. Or you may think of the Santa Monica Pier if you’re a tourist, who came for the sunshine and the hashtag vibes. Maybe it’s Dodger Stadium if you’re a sports fan. It’s even possible you’ll think of that futuristic, arched tower at L.A.X. if you’re a psychopath. But for me, as someone who for years loved this gorgeously messy city from within, I think of my former home–the dingbat. 

Joshua Stein [00:04:28] Whether or not people know the name “dingbat,” if they visited Los Angeles, they’ve seen dingbats. 

Thurman Grant [00:04:32] Dingbats are kind of hiding in plain sight, right? They’re all over Los Angeles. You see them everywhere. And architecture–certainly in my education, as well as just the profession–had largely ignored them. 

Vivian Le [00:04:46] That first voice you heard is Joshua Stein, and the second is Thurman Grant. Together, they co-edited a book called Dingbat 2.0: the Iconic Los Angeles Apartment As Projection of a Metropolis. If you find yourself utterly confused by the term dingbat, it’s basically a type of low-rise, multi-family apartment building that typically has about 6 to 12 units. Most have completely flat roofs, but probably their defining feature is their tuck under parking. This basically means that on one side of the building there are parking spaces carved out of the first floor with units behind and on top. This soft story, combined with the modern flat roof, makes the structure look like a box propped up on skinny stilts from certain angles. 

Thurman Grant [00:05:30] Like it’s this box that floats there. And then, in the case of a dingbat, you just decorate that. 

Vivian Le [00:05:36] You can find this type of housing scattered in different parts of North America. But L.A.? L.A. is famous for its dingbats. In 1971, the architectural historian Reyner Banham even wrote that dingbats were, quote, “the true symptom of Los Angeles’s urban id, trying to cope with the unprecedented appearance of residential densities too high to be subsumed within the illusions of homestead living.” These apartments arose in the 1950s and 60s and were a fascinating approach to scaling up Southern California. They somehow delivered both sprawl and density in the midst of enormous population boom. 

Thurman Grant [00:06:15] This is the mid-century; this is postwar, right? And so, there’s the exuberance of the postwar years. 

Joshua Stein [00:06:21] You know, there was an influx of people just moving to Southern California. So, there was an obvious need for housing. And, you know, everybody moving to California–a lot of them were also pursuing this California dream where everybody imagines that they’re going to be living in a single-family house. 

Vivian Le [00:06:38] But of course, a single-family home for every single person flocking to Southern California was impossible. 

Joshua Stein [00:06:46] So, you know, they get the next best thing, or they kind of get the single family home lite. 

Vivian Le [00:06:52] You could pull into the carport of your dingbat, and if you squinted, it almost felt like you had your own personal driveway. And unlike with larger apartment buildings, the corridors of a dingbat were all exterior. So, you’d walk right up to your front door almost as if it was your own house. It was like two thirds of the California dream. But the important thing about dingbats was that they made the most out of their real estate. Dingbats were a design that allowed developers and mom and pop landowners to tear down a single-family home and build up multifamily housing on that same lot. So, these buildings were just big enough to increase density without totally disrupting the residential feel of a neighborhood. 

Joshua Stein [00:07:35] The dingbat actually did an amazing job of densifying the city while still maintaining some character of what we understood to be Los Angeles. 

Vivian Le [00:07:45] These apartments were starter homes for a lot of people because of their affordability. They were made quickly and efficiently, using inexpensive materials like stucco and prefabricated aluminum window frames. 

Thurman Grant [00:07:56] So it became this sort of preferred model to accommodate the rush. And it just kind of figured out how to do it as efficiently as possible using all these sort of tricks. 

Vivian Le [00:08:07] But their simple construction did result in a certain amount of sameness. In a given neighborhood, you would see the same repetitive cuboid structures again and again and again, with the exception, of course, of the facades. 

Thurman Grant [00:08:21] The beauty is that the distinction becomes in the stylization of the facade. 

Vivian Le [00:08:26] The facades were an attempt to differentiate one dingbat from another, and the esthetics were truly the embodiment of mid-century kitsch. A lot of them were decorated with modern abstract decals like starbursts, as an homage to the space age. It was also pretty common for the front of the buildings to feature a name that tried to evoke sophistication but really read more like budget vacation. 

Thurman Grant [00:08:51] There’s all these references to, say, exotic, you know, fantasies of, like, traveling abroad or something like that–or, like, the Sahara, or the tropics. 

Vivian Le [00:09:01] There was the Riviera, or the Casablanca, or the Capri, or the Beverly Capri, or the Lido Capri. 

Thurman Grant [00:09:08] There’s this building called the Crapi–spelled C.R.A.P.I. There are a lot of dingbats that might be called the Capri. So, it’s a play off of that. But it’s also sort of like the dingbat is becoming self-aware. 

Vivian Le [00:09:21] In the family tree of architecture, if the Victorian home is your stuffy, conservative aunt and the California contemporary is your cool cousin who studied abroad in Spain, the dingbat is like your drunk uncle who shows up to Thanksgiving in a calypso shirt and dockers. 

Thurman Grant [00:09:37] Like, what are they? They’ve got these varied facades, but they’re really just the same building. They’re kind of just considered the dumb stucco box. 

Vivian Le [00:09:45] I am more than a little biased when it comes to this form of architecture. When I moved to L.A., I hopped around from place to place for years. But the first time I had my name on a lease, it was a dingbat. It was the first place that truly felt mine. But as a former resident, I can also speak fully to their flaws. Remember those lovely outdoor corridors? Not so fun if you lived on the ground floor like me. There were so many people walking by all day that looky loos could stare right through my prefabricated aluminum framed window and into my living room. I had to keep the shades closed at all times. So, my apartment quickly became a houseplant graveyard from the lack of natural light. And that unique tuck under parking? It turns out that the thin columns holding up the building above… Well, they caused a not insignificant vulnerability to seismic activity, which is a little concerning when you live in a city famous for seismic activity. And the efficient and inexpensive material used to construct these buildings? Well, it wasn’t the best at soundproofing. You could literally hear everything. 

Joshua Stein [00:10:53] These are significant critiques. Of course, we can understand why somebody would have a problem with the dingbat–both urbanistically but then also as a living experience. 

Vivian Le [00:11:04] They were cheap, they were tacky, and when zoning regulations and building codes phased them out of production, not many people batted an eye. Even the people who defend them have a hard time justifying their preservation. 

Joshua Stein [00:11:17] I think we both can see both sides of it, and I don’t think either one of us would advocate for all dingbats being saved at all costs. There are a lot of crappy ones out there–and even some crapi ones. 

Vivian Le [00:11:31] But still, there’s a lot to love and a lot to learn from dingbats. They helped make a seemingly inaccessible city a little more accessible to hundreds of thousands of residents. And yes, they may look like they were designed by a 13 year old in Minecraft. But as we’re all taught from childhood, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. 

Joshua Stein [00:11:51] You know, 56 years later, who’s living in dingbats? Well, it’s actually incredibly diverse–the range of different family structures, roommate scenarios, immigrants. And it’s pretty amazing–just the slice of life of Los Angeles that you have–how it reflects the makeup of the greater metropolis in the dingbat. 

Vivian Le [00:12:17] My dingbat apartment was like a shell that I eventually outgrew. These buildings weren’t built to last. They were built to give people like me a start. And when I look back on my time there, I’m flooded not just with nostalgia, but gratitude. I wish I had fully appreciated that apartment while I was living through this phase of my life. It’s the place where I got to try adulthood on for size. My then-boyfriend became my fiancé in the living room of that dingbat. He’s my now-husband, and we tend to reminisce about that old apartment a lot. We wonder who’s living there now, if they figured out how to keep their houseplants alive, if they ever got that squishy part of the bathroom linoleum checked out, where will they go next, and when they’re gone, will they miss that dumb stucco box as much as we do? 

Roman Mars [00:13:34] So Alexandra Lange, tell me about the first piece of architecture you ever really loved. 

Alexandra Lange [00:13:40] It was very small, about 13 inches by nine inches. It was the Fisher-Price Play Family A-frame, which is this adorable doll house that has a turquoise shingled A-frame roof. And when you move the handle on the top, you can fold down the side and get to the inside of the dollhouse. And the folded down part of the roof becomes a patio, and it has a sticker on it that shows flagstones. 

Roman Mars [00:14:16] That’s beautiful. 

Alexandra Lange [00:14:17] It’s such a clever design. 

Roman Mars [00:14:19] It really is. 

Alexandra Lange [00:14:20] I mean, it’s so smart. 

Roman Mars [00:14:23] For anyone who doesn’t know what an A-frame is, just picture a big capital letter “A,” triangles on the front and the back, and it’s got essentially no sidewalls. So, the steeply sloped roof basically goes all the way to the ground. So, did your love of this A-frame dollhouse translate to a love of A-frames in the real world? 

Alexandra Lange [00:14:44] I do love A-frames. I mean, I was already familiar with them because my grandparents built a ski house in Vermont in the late 1940s in an area where there are a lot of little A-frame villages for people to rent for skiing. They like to call them chalets and charge more money. But A-frames really aren’t Swiss at all. If you look at Swiss mountain houses, they have a much flatter gable roof. It’s still pitched because the snow still has to slide off the roof. But the idea that the A-frame is some Swiss architecture that has been imported to Vermont is just completely made up. 

Roman Mars [00:15:28] And so if they’re not Swiss, what are they? 

Alexandra Lange [00:15:32] Well, that’s one of the wild things about them. You can find A-frames anywhere. Like, there are Polynesian island long houses that have an A-frame structure. There are Japanese mountain villages that have A-frame structures. And you’ll even see them in kind of desert climates like Palm Springs, where usually they, you know, have white walls and are kind of bleached out as if you’ve, like, left your A-frame out in the sun for too long. A tent is really an A-frame. It’s such an easy way to create shelter, that you see them in, basically, any country that has, like, a lot of rain, or a lot of snow, or a need to put up a kind of quick and dirty structure. So, part of the thing that interests me is that you can dress up your A-frame to kind of suit whatever narrative you’re trying to promote. So, Vermont, trying to kind of upscale itself with these ski chalets went in one direction with the A-frames; they’re usually dark wood, and they’ll have these white gingerbread balconies. But there are a lot of A-frames that are more of a log cabin, wilderness, A-frame, and you see, like, the big, chunky logs sticking at the end under the A-frame roof. 

Roman Mars [00:16:53] Yeah. It seems that their common denominator–at least here in the US–is that they’re second homes. 

Alexandra Lange [00:17:00] Yeah. The rise of the A-frame really corresponds to the rise of vacations in the U.S. And in the postwar era, people had so much more disposable income, and there was so much road building. So, people were going to new places to go on vacation, and they needed a really simple house that could be built from a kit to take their vacation in. And the A-frame was the ideal version of that very simple structure. And actually, a lot of, like, wood companies came up with A-frame kits to sell their products. So, you could buy the Douglas Fir Association A-frame kit and build it, you know, on the new lake. Like when you think about a kit house, the Fisher-Price house is the same thing–you can just pick it up and put it anywhere. 

Roman Mars [00:17:54] And so why is it not that suitable for living in all the time? Like, why is it mainly a vacation home? 

Alexandra Lange [00:18:04] The principal reason is that when you’re inside an A-frame, everyone has to be together all the time. I was actually talking about doing this piece with my 11 year old. And he agrees that A-frames are very cool, but he immediately said, “Yeah, but you know, it’s like everyone has to play the board game when you’re in an A-frame.” Because they’re basically one big room, usually with glass filling in the triangle, and then they’ll have a mezzanine in the back for the bedrooms. But there’s really no privacy. Like, you wouldn’t want it to be your house all the time. You want to be in an A-frame when you’re on vacation with your family and all there is to do is swim in the lake, hang out on the deck, and play board games. 

Roman Mars [00:18:50] So what is their ultimate allure? 

Alexandra Lange [00:18:54] I think it’s the dream of the perfect vacation, where you just have peace, and nature, and a view. There’s so many different versions of that vacation–it can be on a lake, it can be at the beach, it can be in the mountains–but all of us want that moment of peace and relaxation. And it feels like the A-frame can deliver that to you. 

Roman Mars [00:19:21] Yeah. 

Alexandra Lange [00:19:22] And I feel like the reason I loved that Play Family A-frame was because even as a child, I wanted my house to be a little bit more fun. At the time when I was coveting my friends’ doll houses, I was living in a very traditional Victorian house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And so, the A-frame seemed quite exotic to me. And I held onto that love of the A-frame for so many years that when one of my kids showed an interest in dollhouses, I actually went on Etsy and bought one. I bought a vintage one. 

Roman Mars [00:20:06] So you got the toy you always wanted, but would you ever get an A-frame that you could actually live in? You know, if only for two weeks out of the year. 

Alexandra Lange [00:20:13] So I love A-frames. And my child that I bought the family A-frame for loves A-frames. But my husband, who is an architect, does not love A-frames. We were talking at one point about buying some property in Vermont, and I said, “Oh, this is finally my chance to have an A-frame.” And I had this whole vision in my mind of an A-frame for our family and a guest A-frame connected by a deck. Like, beautiful vision. And my husband was just like, “No, I hate A-frames.” 

Roman Mars [00:20:52] What’s wrong with that killjoy? 

Alexandra Lange [00:20:57] I think, like any good architect, he is more concerned with the practicalities. He just finds them too kitschy, too inflexible, too dark. And that’s not really his style. 

Roman Mars [00:21:12] So even today, you’re denied your dream home? 

Alexandra Lange [00:21:14] Yes. I’m never going to get my A-frame. 

Roman Mars [00:21:18] Thank you so much, Alexandra. I appreciate it. After the break, we join our own Christopher Johnson, on the porch. Stay with us. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. Life doesn’t come with a user manual. So, when it’s not working for you, it’s normal to feel stuck. And even if there was a manual, every situation is different, which is why you need a qualified, caring person to help you figure yourself out. Therapists are trained to help you figure out the cause of challenging emotions and learn productive coping skills. It’s the closest thing to a guided tour of the complex engine called “you.” BetterHelp offers all the benefits of in-person therapy. Plus, it’s more convenient, more accessible, and more affordable. As the world’s largest therapy service, BetterHelp has matched 3 million people with professionally licensed and vetted therapists available 100% online. Plus, it’s affordable. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to match with a therapist. 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Christopher Johnson [00:26:35] My family’s roots are in rural North Carolina. Growing up, I just heard folks call it “the country”–as in, “We’re going down to the country this weekend to see your grandma.” My great grandmother, Pearl, lived mostly alone in a small farmhouse on a huge piece of land that’s been in the family for generations. It sits back from the country road, surrounded by crop fields and swampy woods. Grandma Pearl and I spent whole summers together. As soon as school got out, my mom would drive me down to the country in her green Grenada, dropping me off under a massive pecan tree that shaded grandma’s house. She’d look down at me and say, “I love you, stinky. See you in August.” Visiting Grandma Pearl was the best. She made biscuits from scratch that were otherworldly, she kept sweet tea in the fridge, and I loved to hug her. She always smelled like VO5. I spent my days playing in the dusty, plowed fields, harassing tadpoles, and picking apples and brambleberries. At night–dinner, dessert, and probably my favorite part of the evening: hanging out with her on the front porch. Man, I loved porch time with Grandma Pearl. Back then, my middle schooler life at home was a little complicated. But on those Carolina summer nights, out in the cool, breezy Zen of that country porch, we’d just sit in grandma’s metal rocking chairs, listening to the frogs, and watching the lightning bugs. Things slowed way down for me, and I needed that. On the weekends, neighbors would stop by to say hello to Miss Pearl. They’d join us on the porch and spread rumors about recent bear sightings. By the way, Grandma said moonshiners made those stories up just to keep folks out of the woods and away from their stills. Country people can talk. And there was never a rush. We’d be on the porch for hours. They called it “visiting.” Like church, or the market, or walking through town, the porch was the space to get news and to gossip. Of course, you can find front porches all over the U.S. But down south, porches like the one at Grandma Pearl’s house–they’ve long been fixtures deeply tied to the land. 

Jocelyn Donlon [00:28:56] Because the South was for so long predominantly agrarian. So, it fit in with the agrarian traditions of processing crops near the front porch. So, the porch is part of collective southern identity. 

Christopher Johnson [00:29:13] As a kid, Jocelyn Donlon also spent a lot of time on her grandma’s front porch doing the same stuff Grandma Pearl and I did, like snapping and shelling pole beans. That was in Louisiana, and it inspired Jocelyn to write her book about porch life in Southern culture. 

Jocelyn Donlon [00:29:28] My grandmother was always working on that porch. She used to whip meringues out there; I have memories of that. She did a lot of crocheting. She never sat out there and did nothing. So, it was for her an outdoor workspace. 

Christopher Johnson [00:29:44] And for a lot of southerners, it’s also a storytelling space. That’s partly because it gets hella hot down south. As a space built to keep out the southern sun, the front porch naturally invites people in. Add some rocking chairs, maybe a nice evening breeze, a little something to sip on, and nobody’s leaving. Folks are going to stay, and they’re going to talk. 

Jocelyn Donlon [00:30:07] The South still is very much an oral culture. So, I think that the impulse to storytelling certainly affected the identity of the front porch. 

Christopher Johnson [00:30:17] It’s this kind of love that’s made the front porch such an iconic piece of Southern culture. Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Gloria Naylor–writers have long centered front porches to talk about what’s difficult, mystical, and beautiful about life in the South. Southern musicians use the porch a lot, too. In what’s been called the signature shot from lemonade, Beyoncé and half a dozen Black women artists and creators sit posted up strong on a wooden front porch. Others namecheck the front porch right in their songs. The front porch may be the perfect muse, but socially it can also be a complicated space. That’s partly because of where it sits. This extension of the private home jutting all out into the wide-open world. For people you’re cool with, it’s a space to share. But it can also be used to keep some folks at a distance. That in-betweenness can make porch life really complex. And I saw some of these complexities play out right on Grandma Pearl’s porch. I could tell how close she was to a visitor based on whether or not they came inside her house or if they only got as close as the porch. Her front porch might have been wide-open, but it was still part of Miss Pearl’s house. 

Germane Barnes [00:31:51] It’s a deeply personal space. Like, it seems like it’s public, but it’s deeply personal. 

Christopher Johnson [00:31:56] In his research on the history of Black people in front porches, architect and designer Germane Barnes has come across plenty of folks who use their porches the same way my grandma did. 

Germane Barnes [00:32:06] So think of the front porch as a barrier of sorts. It’s like it’s a forcefield. It keeps all the people away who are not supposed to enter your home. 

Christopher Johnson [00:32:13] When it comes to race, these kinds of front porch social rules can get nasty. Some of the Black southerners that Jocelyn Donlan interviewed for her book recall white homeowners who refused to let them on the front porch, sending them instead around to the back. And then there’s Black folks spending time on their own porches. There’s a long history of controlling Black labor and leisure in the U.S. And there have been real efforts to restrict, police, and even shame those who want to gather and relax on their porches. There’s a whole racist slur that I’m not going to repeat here that specifically attacks Black southerners for enjoying their porches. When Black folks want to get together and have a good time, a simple front porch can become a very contentious space. And in a way, the American front porch has always been fraught. Its history is rooted in the transatlantic slave trade. And that story starts in precolonial Africa. 

Germane Barnes [00:33:12] The porch as an architectural feature can be linked all the way back to West Africa. And it was seen as a place of commerce, where people would exchange goods. 

Christopher Johnson [00:33:23] When those Africans were enslaved, they brought this building typology with them, drawing on their expertise as they built homes throughout the hot, humid Caribbean. And then around the late 1700s, the front porch jumped from the West Indies into what eventually became the United States. The Haitian Revolution played a huge role here because it sparked a massive migration to Louisiana territory, and that’s where Haitians introduced the shotgun house and its front porch. By the early 1800s, the front porch became more and more common throughout the American South. Most people used their very humble porches to do work and to keep cool, since porches were often raised up off the ground to allow air to flow. For slaveholding planters, the front porch could also function as a dais, which they used to assert control. 

Germane Barnes [00:34:14] Slaveowners used it as a place to sort of be totalitarian. Those iconic images of someone standing there, talking down to someone else–that’s literally what that vertical dominance allows you to do. The porch is a podium of sorts. 

Christopher Johnson [00:34:27] Some of those planters became incredibly rich, and they deployed the vernacular form to flaunt their wealth. They had mansions with massive, multi-story, Greek Revival front porches, sometimes with columns. These sprawling, ornate, Gone with the Wind-type affairs were also symbols of Confederate defiance. Planters tweaked front porch design to show their faith in the power and the permanence of an economy based on slavery. Starting around the 1860s, front porches began spreading way beyond the south. Popular home design books, new building techniques, and a movement in architecture that was focused on nature and landscapes all helped make the front porch super trendy across the country. Slavery and war had helped bring the front porch to the U.S. And it was the end of war that brought on the porch’s demise. The housing crisis after World War II meant home construction needed to be fast and it needed to be cheap. Some things had to go, and that included the front porch. But what really did the porch in was air conditioning. By the 60s, AC was pretty common in American homes. 

Jocelyn Donlon [00:35:38] Why would you sit on a porch in the heat with the mosquitoes, you know, when you’ve got a nice full breeze inside? We sat on my grandmother’s porch so much because she refused to have air conditioning and it was hellishly hot. She hated air conditioning. 

Christopher Johnson [00:36:00] In August 2020, during the first COVID summer, I took a trip down to North Carolina. I was desperate for the quiet and the fresh open air. Grandma Pearl isn’t there anymore, but her house is. When I pulled into Grandma’s driveway, I could almost see her there by the well in her apron and wireframe glasses, waving in the slow Carolina summer heat under that enormous pecan tree. I sat on her front porch every night before bed. I’d forgotten how noisy it was with the bullfrogs, and the crickets, and all the other animals that Grandma could name just by hearing their calls. Of course, I didn’t get to sit with her and snap pole beans or laugh with neighbors stopping by to have a glass of cold sweet tea and visit. I got none of that great Southern storytelling that’s made the front porch legendary. But out on that country porch that my great-great-grandfather built with his hands more than a hundred years ago, I did get something else–something that’s made this space so special and enduring. I got some stillness, and I got some peace, just listening to the Whippoorwills. 

Roman Mars [00:37:45] We’re doing a couple more episodes like this, where you’ll hear from many of the people who work on the show in a more personal way. It felt like a fun way for us to celebrate 500 episodes. The way you can help us celebrate is to share your favorite episode of 99PI on social media. It can be a recent episode. It can be from the distant past. It doesn’t matter. Or please write a five-star review on Apple Podcasts. Maybe even do both. As much as I am proud of having accomplished 500 episodes, I think, you know, when a new person stumbles upon a podcast with that much history, it can feel a little daunting. So, I would really appreciate it if you would help guide people to us in a nice way. Thank you for everything, beautiful nerds. 99% Invisible was produced this week by Vivian Le, Christopher Johnson, and Kurt Kohlstedt. Mix and tech production by Martín Gonzalez. Music by our director of sound, Swan Real. Fact-checking by Graham Hacia. Delaney Hall is the executive producer. The rest of the team includes Emmet FitzGerald, Chris Berube, Lasha Madan, Sofia Klatzker, Jayson De Leon, Joe Rosenberg, Intern Sarah Baik, and me, Roman Mars. 99% Invisible is part of the Stitcher and SiriusXM podcast family. Now headquartered six blocks north in the Pandora building… in beautiful… uptown… Oakland, California. You can find the show and join discussions about the show on Facebook You can tweet at me @romanmars and the show @99piorg. We’re on Instagram and Reddit, too. You can find links to other Stitcher shows I love as well as every past episode of 99PI at 99pi.org. Congratulations. You have listened to the 500th episode of 99% Invisible. Pew. Pew. Pew. Pew. Pew. From Stitcher and SiriusXM. Pew.

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