Editorial – Oct. 22, 2012

Jamestown Gazette Editor Walt Pickut

Kilroy Was Here

Jamestown Gazette Editor Walt Pickut

Nobody really knows who first coined the phrase “Kilroy was here.” In World War II Kilroy’s graffiti, scrawled across the battlefields of Europe, became a symbol that came to mean “An American G.I. was here.”

People like to leave their mark. In 1969, President Richard Nixon left his Kilroy, for all of us, on a shiny plaque in a place called Tranquility Base on the moon. Sir Edmund Hillary left a flag on the crest of Mount Everest in 1953, marking the first time a human had ever set a foot there. Then there are the Pyramids and the Sphynx…the Pharos’s name probably wasn’t Kilroy, but he certainly left his mark.

So, where is your Kilroy? Most of us would like to be remembered for something.

I think Kilroy left another message too. Not only “I was here,” but “You can too.” Whether on the Moon, Mount Everest or the desert sands, nobody leaves a message without expecting somebody else to get there, some day, and see it.

The Jamestown Gazette introduces you to amazing people every week, people leaving their Kilroy in one way or another. Our stories, however, are not only about entertaining and informing you, but about inspiring you. The people who populate our pages are just like you; our message is: You can too.

This week meet a man whose Kilroy stretches across nearly 2,000 square feet, took 30 gallons of paint and the side of one of Jamestown’s larger buildings to leave behind. Gary Peters, Jr. painted the colorful and enormous Lucille Ball “California, Here I come” mural that now overlooks downtown Jamestown from its new home in Brooklyn Square. You can see much more of his work all around downtown Jamestown.

That’s some graffiti, Kilroy! So where’s yours? It might be something small, a flower garden like nobody else’s that brightens up your neighborhood every spring, or a business your grandparents started that you are still helping to grow or even a beautiful child whose life you have set on a course that will bring happiness and contentment.

There’s one more message I think Kilroy left: “It is rewarding, exciting and even fun to leave your mark.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Enjoy the read,

Walt Pickut
The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.