JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Typing at his computer and sorting through merchandise at Bent Wookee Comix in Johnstown, William Dill knows how to keep a low profile. That is until he suits up in his cardboard costume and hits the streets with smiles and waves.
“People seem to really like it,” Dill said. “They get really excited when they see the Box Boy and they park and take pictures with me.”
On a busy afternoon, cars and people pass by. They send a few beeps at the local guy known as Box Boy.
“People just like to talk to me,” Dill explained. “It’s a fun thing. I’m looking to spread some joy.”
Dill’s 10-year-old self would be proud. What started out of boredom grew into something much bigger.
“When I started I thought I would probably just do it for a few weeks and see how many laughs I would get and that would be it, but it kind of stuck with people,” Dill told us.
Dill is now 23-years-old. The happiness he brings to others keeps him going.
“I’m just kind of like a local superhero to some people,” Dill said. “Discount Iron Man.”
A superhero of sorts.
“Sort of like a town superhero that doesn’t have any powers,” Dill explained.
However, don’t let him fool you. All his power lies in the laughs and entertainment he brings to the community.
“People are like, ‘you know what I saw on the way to work here? I just saw the box boy. I didn’t even know he existed. I just thought people were lying to me,'” Dill smiled.
Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.
It can be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life, but Box Boy shows us all to look around at our surroundings and just smile.
“If people see something wacky they are going to have a smile on their face,” Will said.
A reminder that sometimes you can take the simplest things and make people feel like a million bucks.
You’ll see Box Boy at different events like Thunder in the Valley or the Johnstown PolkaFest.
Dill said there have been several variations of the costume over the years. He told us it usually takes him a few hours to put something together.
Reach out to Maggie Smolka if you know someone or an organization that’s making it matter in the community. You can email email@example.com or message her on Facebook.