'A conversation with Joybubbles', reposted.

posted: August 15, 2008 07:18
Today BoingBoing ran a nice post about Joybubbles, and the history of phone phreaking. Rather than reBlog it, I though I'd save my old interview from Internet oblivion.

When I was 18, I worked for the University of Pittsburgh Information Science library, mostly shelving books and doing general student summer job tasks. That summer, Joybubbles was visiting the library to listen to every episode of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (which were archived there), and my duties included changing videocassettes for him. Chris Strunk and I talked him into doing an interview one night, and it was published in a little zine that Dan Goldberg and I did called Used To (named after the Wire song, but also a strange and awkward little phrase we liked).

Somehow the zine made its way to an enthusiastic librarian somewhere who nominated it for Jen Angel's Zine Yearbook. It was selected and published in an abridged form in volume 3 of the Yearbook, which I see is now selling for $97 on Amazon. Later on, Harper's magazine asked for a copy but nothing ever came of it, so my dream of appearing in a magazine my father subscribed to never came to fruition.

I kept the unabridged version in static HTML on my Pitt account for years; I was surprised to see it still alive and linked to from Wikipedia when Joybubbles passed away last August. However, my Pitt account has since been deactivated and the interview is only found now in archive.org's Wayback machine.

Anyway, I have reposted the article here in all of its HTML glory. Ten years on I am still wondering if I will ever meet anyone as fascinating and accessible.
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