Kilroy Was Here

Kilroy Was Here Drawing

I grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts, the birthplace of John Adams, John Quincy Adams and John Hancock. Quincy also was the home of the shipyard worker, Kilroy, whose name became well known during World War II.  


Quincy is also the birthplace of the popular catchphrase “Kilroy Was Here”: During World War II, James Kilroy – a worker at Quincy’s Bethlehem Steel Shipyard – chalked the message next to rivets he inspected on ships under construction. With no time to paint over the markings before the ships went into battle, “Kilroy Was Here” traveled the globe, where battle-weary GI’s adopted the phrase as a rallying cry, scrawling it wherever they went. Soon, a legend sprang up that no matter where Allied Forces landed, “Kilroy” somehow managed to get there first!

From the Quincy Chamber of Commerce site:

After the war, “Kilroy Was Here” grew in popularity. So popular, in fact, was the phrase – which was sometimes accompanied by a cartoon of an eyes and nose peering over a wall – that it’s rumored “Kilroy” has been to the Great Wall of China, the top of Mount Everest and even on the moon!

I can remember as late as the 1970s seeing fresh “Kilroy Was Here” writings on men’s room walls. I’ll bet that even today, somewhere in the world, there is someone carrying on Kilroy’s tradition.

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Old Quincy High to host Hollywood movie shoot

My old high school, Quincy High School will be the set for a new movie starring Kevin James
Quincy High School in 1980

By Jack Encarnacao

QUINCY —The city has reached an agreement with Columbia Pictures to rent out the old Quincy High School building for a movie shoot.

The interior of the vacant school, which is next to the new high school on Coddington Street, will be the setting for scenes that are tentatively scheduled to be filmed starting next month, said Christopher Walker, a spokesman for Mayor Thomas Koch.

The deal, signed by Koch and Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. of California, calls for the city to receive $80,000 in rental fees for use of the old high school from February 2 until August 26.Walker said Koch will earmark the $80,000 to benefit the school department’s music program.

A separate term of the deal allows Columbia to rent additional city property at a rate of $3,333 per day.The agreement includes a term that requires Columbia to provide the city evidence that it’s secured no less than $1 million in general liability insurance for the shoot. It also bars any party to the agreement from claiming damages.

Built in 1922, the old high school was targeted by the city for demolition this summer. It’s not yet clear if those plans will have to change, Walker said, because it’s not clear when the crew will be finished shooting in the building.

According to the agreement, the movie to be filmed is titled “Here Comes The Boom.”Movie industry media have tied that title to a movie that will star the comic actor Kevin James. James has shot several movies in Massachusetts, including scenes for the sleeper hit “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree.

James said in an interview last year that he’s scheduled to start work on a movie about a high school teacher who moonlights as a professional fighter in an effort to save the school’s music program.

The shoot would not be the first time Quincy has provided the backdrop to a Hollywood production.

Scenes for the Boston-based films “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Departed” were shot in the city’s quarries and shipyard. In 2009, Actor Ben Affleck shot scenes for “The Company Men” on a residential street in Quincy Point.


The Patriot Ledger, Feb 4, 2011

Jack Encarnacao may be reached at 2011 The Patriot Ledger. Some rights reserved

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