Kilroy Was Here!

Kilroy Was Here!

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“Kilroy Was Here” engraved on the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.

“Maybe you’ve bumped into Kilroy. He’s a bald (or balding) gentleman with a big nose, drawn peeking over a wall. Next to him is usually the phrase “Kilroy was here.” He can be found all over the world, and went viral long before social media or the Internet were around, finding his way through the theaters of war with American troops during World War II. (One of his most daring appearances may have been at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. During the summit, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin had exclusive use of a VIP bathroom. One day, Stalin reportedly used the facilities, and came out demanding to know from one of his aides who Kilroy was, having found the drawing on one of the walls.)”

“Kilroy Was Here” is a WWII slogan and graffiti by the American Army, the drawing based on the British “Mr Chad”, and sometimes coupled with images of pregnant women.

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1940s Vintage WWII “Kilroy Was Here” Hartland Plastics Pregnant Girl Figurine 

“Kilroy doesn’t appear to have originated entirely with U.S. servicemen, though. A similar doodle, known as Mr. Chad, was scrawled throughout Britain as a comment on shortages and rations during the war. Chad was similar in appearance to Kilroy, but was accompanied by a different message: “Wot? No tea?” (or whatever other goods were in short supply at the moment). Chad predates Kilroy by a few years, and may have been the created by British cartoonist George Chatterton in the late 1930s. As best as anyone can tell, at some point during the war, American soldiers borrowed Mr. Chad’s image and married it to their own name and phrase, ‘Kilroy was here.'”

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had already been wherever American soldiers went. It became a challenge for the troops to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (on top of Mt. Everest and the Statue of Liberty, on the underside of the Arch De Triumphe and even scrawled in the dust on the moon)

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Wisconsin Historical Markers: The Highground WWII Tribute: Kilroy Was Here

“If the man in the drawing was a variation of Mr. Chad, then where did the name Kilroy come from? While the Oxford English Dictionary writes Kilroy off as a mythical person, dozen of real people claimed to be the doodle’s namesake in 1946, when the American Transit Association (ATA) held a radio contest to establish the origin of the phrase. One of them was James J. Kilroy, who worked as at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts during the war inspecting the work done by others on the tanks and hulls of warships. As Kilroy explained to the ATA:

I started my new job with enthusiasm, carefully surveying every inner bottom and tank before issuing a contract. I was thoroughly upset to find that practically every test leader [the head of a work crew] I met wanted me to go down and look over his job with him, and, when I explained to him that I had already checked the job and could not spare the time to crawl through one of those tanks again, he would accuse me of not having looked the job over. I was getting sick of of being accused of not looking the jobs over and one day as I came through the manhole of a tank i had just surveyed, I angrily marked with yellow crayon on the tank top, where the tester could see it, ‘Kilroy was here.’ The following day, a test gang leader approached me with a grin on his face and said, ‘I see you looked my job over.’ I nodded in agreement.

Kilroy provided the ATA with corroborating statements from men he worked with at the shipyard, and said that he assumed that shipyard workers who had seen his mark and then joined the military took the phrase with them and began writing it in Europe. He won the contest and the grand prize, a full-size trolley street car. Just a few days before Christmas, the 12-ton car was delivered to Kilroy’s home in Halifax, MA, where it was attached to the house and used as living space for six of his nine children.”

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The “Kilroy Trolley Car” photo from the Boston American, December 23, 1946. Thanks to Brian Fitzgerald (James Kilroy’s grandson)

“Kilroy Was Here” is written in two locations on the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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“Clap my hands and jump for joy; I was here before Kilroy.
Sorry to spoil your little joke; I was here, but my pencil broke.” ~Kilroy
(from A Diller, a Dollar: Rhymes and Sayings For the Ten O’clock Scholar 1955)

Kilroy can also be seen at the end of my favorite WWII film “Kelly’s Heroes”>

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Spoiler Alert! Kilroy Was Here in “Kelly’s Heroes”

The 1983 Styx album titled “Kilroy Was Here” was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song, “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” ends with the line “I’m Kilroy.”

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Check out these ceramic mugs with Kilroy!

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I’ve Been Everywhere Man!

I’ve Been Everywhere Man!
And now for a little traveling music…

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Hank Snow “I’ve Been Everywhere!” (1962) produced by Chet Atkins
performed on the National Life “Grand Ole Opry” in 1965:

 

“I’ve been everywhere, man/I’ve been everywhere, man/
Crossed the deserts bare, man/I’ve breathed the mountain air, man/
Travel, I’ve had my share, man/I’ve been everywhere!”

I’ve Been Everywhere is a song which was written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959 and made popular by Lucky Starr in 1962. The song as originally written listed Australian towns. Original singer Lucky Starr released an EP called “Lucky’s Been Everywhere” that contained four different versions: United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The North American version (with cities in United States and Canada) was sung by Canadian Clarence Eugene “Hank” Snow RIP (May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999 and he became an American citizen in 1958), “I’ve Been Everywhere” was a number-one country hit in 1962 for “The Singing Ranger”. It was also sung by Australian singer Rolf Harris with English and Scottish cities in 1963 and by John Hore (later known as John Grenell) with New Zealand cities in 1966.

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Hank Snow & The Rainbow Ranch Boys: Chubby Wise, Kayton Roberts, Bobby Wright and Jimm Widener

Hank Snow was a gifted songwriter and was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1978, and the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame in 1979. In Canada, he was voted the top country music performer ten times and inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. A victim of child abuse, he established the Hank Snow International Foundation For Prevention Of Child Abuse and Neglect in 1976.

NOTE: In 1954 Hank Snow persuaded the directors of the Grand Ole Opry to allow a young Elvis Presley to appear on stage. Snow used Elvis as his opening act and introduced him to Colonel Tom Parker. In August 1955, Snow and Parker formed the management team Hank Snow Attractions and signed a contract with Presley but soon Snow was out and Parker had control of Elvis.

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Hank Snow backstage at the Grand Ole Opry – Nashville 1978

Geoff Mack rewrote the song using an atlas supplied to him by his music publisher. Most of the cities in the U.S. version are located in North America, but two are in Central America (Costa Rica and Panama) and three in South America (Barranquilla, Tocopilla, and Argentina):

First verse
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma, Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, Tocopilla, Barranquilla and Padilla.
Second verse
Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana, Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana, Monterey, Ferriday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa, Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa, Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake, Grand Lake, Devils Lake and Crater Lake.
Third verse
Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika, Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica, Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport, Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport, Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina, Pasadena and Catalina.
Fourth verse
Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado, Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, Eldorado, Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika, Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika, Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Sioux City, Cedar City and Dodge City.

The song was covered (and adapted for other countries) by many other artists over the years and most notably the U.S. version was recorded by Johnny Cash for his Grammy winning “Unchained” (Best Country Album) in 1996.

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“Unchained” produced by Rick Rubin

Johnny Cash “I’ve Been Everywhere”

 

Read the Blog> “Music Makin’ Mama from Memphis” (also by Hank Snow)

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And be sure to do the “Rhumba Boogie” (also a #1 Country Hit) with Hank Snow too!


 

Extra-Credit:
Hank Snow sings “City of New Orleans”

“Good morning America how are ya
Say, don’t you know me, I’m your native son
I’m a train they call the City of New Orleans
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done…”


 

Today is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day! (and it’s also National Donut Day)

The 70th Anniversary of D-Day! Normandy, France – June 6, 1944

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It’s D-Day! Today is the 70th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy!

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Operation Overlord was the name assigned to the invasion of the Continent. The Normandy landing was the first phase, codenamed Operation Neptune, and the amphibious attack was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the Allied invasion of German-occupied western Europe, the establishment of a beachhead on the European continent, and it eventually led to the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II.

Map of Normandy Invasion Area

D-Day! A Military Map of the Normandy Invasion Area in France

Remember the Veterans of all our wars today.  

D-Day! View from inside a landing craft.

D-Day! Omaha Beach – June 6th, 1944 – View from inside a landing craft.

USA! The United States of America!

USA! The United States of America!

At Omaha Beach, part of the Mulberry Harbour B is still visible in the sea at Arromanches, a few beach obstacles remain, and the Longues-sur-Mer battery is nearby. A memorial to the American National Guard sits at the location of a former German strongpoint. Pointe du Hoc is little changed from 1944, with the terrain covered with bomb craters and most of the concrete bunkers still in place. The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is in Colleville-sur-Mer. Museums are located at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, and Sainte-Mère-Église. Two German military cemeteries are also located nearby. The Juno Beach Centre, opened in 2003, was funded by the Canadian federal and provincial governments, France, and Canadian veterans. Pegasus Bridge, a target of the British 6th Airborne, was the site of some of the earliest action of the Normandy landings. The bridge was replaced in 1994 by one similar in appearance, and the original is now housed on the grounds of a nearby museum complex.

Beny-sur-Mer (Canadian) War Cemetery in Normandy, France

Beny-sur-Mer (Canadian) War Cemetery in Normandy, France

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It’s also National Donut Day!

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The first Friday of June each year is also National Donut Day! Originally created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the men and women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I, you can get a FREE DONUT most places today!

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Randy's Donuts - a Los Angeles Landmark

Randy’s Donuts – a Los Angeles Landmark

Tuesday Afternoon at the Woodland Hills Country Club

Tuesday Afternoon at the Woodland Hills Country Club:

Another Day, Another Golf Course!

The Woodland Hills Country Club

The Woodland Hills Country Club  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Celebrity Cruises (and Air New Zealand) threw us a party tonight at the Woodland Hills Country Club. Wine and other beverages to drink, tray passed appetizers to eat, and a presentation on Modern Luxury.

Tuesday Afternoon at the Woodland Hills Country Club (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Tuesday at the Woodland Hills Country Club (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Tray passed appetizers: Crab cake balls, vegetable quesadilla cones, beef wellington puffs, tomato and cheese on mini-bruschetta toast, and chicken potstickers. I didn’t drink the wine because I have to work tonight, just alternated between the iced tea and lemonade.

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