A Zombie is a walking, snarling corpse without a soul. Seen any lately? The notion of zombies came from West Africa a few hundred years ago, but now it mostly means, “Eeeek! Another B-grade horror flick is haunting Netflix, YouTube, and your neighborhood theater.”

Here are three of my four favorite definitions of a Zombie:

#1 of 4. A very slow-witted clod of person, unresponsive to you or anybody else. Name
a co-worker or politician of your choice.

#2 of 4. A killer-cocktail, concocted from three kinds of rum, a few fruity liqueurs, tropical fruit juices, and a paper umbrella (optional).

#3 of 4. Your computer controlled by a mysterious third party who is doing things with it you know nothing about and would never do yourself.

Fortunately, there are no real zombies. They are only figments of superstitious and overactive imaginations. Except for my forth definition:

#4 of 4. Abandoned properties in Jamestown (and across the country), and the apparently brain-dead people who walk away from them and leave crumbling, decaying, soulless eye sores littering our neighborhoods.

But this week your Jamestown Gazette brings you good news about a real zombie killer coming to a neighborhood near you. It’s the City of Jamestown.
Read all about it from this week’s guest contributor, Stephanie Wright, the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Jamestown.
The city’s weapon of choice is a bulldozer, and our guys do it like gangbusters and ghostbusters. Driving around Jamestown these days can be a refreshing experience – seeing grass-covered open spaces and vacant lots where just days before there was a falling-down, dead corpse of an abandoned building.
A few years ago, a house in my neighborhood was abandoned over and over again. The first time it was by people who simply walked away. Then the bank sold it to house-flippers. They gave up and walked away from the wreck because it was too much work. That happened two more times.
Then the Jamestown Zombie-killers showed up and cleared the whole dangerous mess away. Now, it’s an attractive pocket-park that beautifies the neighborhood. All across Jamestown, community gardens and other, better things are springing up in place of the zombie properties.
Here’s where you come in. The city needs help from Zombie Hunters. It’s open season on the things and you don’t need a license from Fish & Game. All you need is your eyes and a phone.
This week’s cover story tells the story of how the adventure is developing and gives you both a phone number and a website you can use to call in the Zombie Killers of Jamestown. Leave it to the pros and watch the show.
If you have never watched a dilapidated old wreck of a building being town down, you are in for a treat. And who knows, in the summertime, your kids can probably make some pocket money selling cold lemonade to the bystanders cheering for every rotted beam and crumbling brick that gets knocked down and plowed into the hole that used to be a rat-infested basement.
So, enough complaining about those old eyesores. The job won’t get done overnight, but one zombie at a time Jamestown’s zombie killers are on the job, so far knocking down nearly 30 of the worst.

Enjoy the hunt and enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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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.