Help Return Lost Disney Vacation Photos

In June, 1985 I went to Disneyworld with my church’s youth group. While at the Magic Kingdom, I found a canister of 35mm film that someone had dropped. I kept it and got the film developed when I got home. I put the 36 photos in an album and kept them throughout the years.

The years went by and I stumbled upon them recently and wrote about it on Facebook. A friend encouraged me to try to get the word out and try to return the lost photos to the original owner. The Disney Blog shared my story and it was shared more than 100 times, but so far no leads on who the family might be.

The man in the pictures is wearing a hat that says “Squire Shop”. I did find several stores online that go by that name and reached out to one in Georgia, asking them if the design looks as if this was one of their hats from 31 years ago. I am waiting for their response. In the mean time, take a look and see if anyone looks familiar, or better yet share this post and let’s try to figure out this mystery.

disney fam 2.jpg

 disney family.jpg
Disney mom son zoomed.jpg

Squire Shop Hat


family zoomed.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Breaking Bad Costume

Along with legit looking meth-candy.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Men Without Hats

I want to preface this post by saying my blog won’t necessarily be about music. Yet my first post and this one will not only be about music in general but bands from Canada. Similar to how I have somewhat recently become acquainted with Len, I rediscovered Men Without Hats a couple of years ago.

When MWH first gained prominence, it was 1983 when I was 11 years old. I remember hearing The Safety Dance on the radio and seeing the video on MTV.

I was fond of the song when it was popular but never went so far as to buy the single or the album Rhythm of Youth;. Around 2004 I thought of this song and found it somewhere on the internet, perhaps on Napster. Months later my early generation iMac bit the dust and I lost much of my media. Fast forward to 2010, I looked up The Safety Dance on Youtube then connected with MWH on their official site and their Facebook page as well.

It had been years since they produced a record. They were still around, but the lead singer, Ivan Doroschuck, is the only remaining original band member. Not long after this, they announced a tour that involved several shows in both Canada and the U.S. I wanted to see them if possible, so I was pleased to find out that they would be playing in my hometown of Houston, Texas. I ended up buying a couple of tickets not long after they went on sale. The venue was a club in Houston’s Montrose area that has been around since the eighties, perhaps even longer. Despite it being a small venue, MANY famous artists have performed at Numbers. Side note: Back in 1995 I saw Alanis Morissette just before You Outta Know went to the top of the charts. Also in the summer of 1995 I saw Better Than Ezra there. The show was sold out but I won tickets off the radio. Of those who had won tickets from that station, some were selected to have pizza with the band before the show. Here is me at age 23 with Better Than Ezra’s lead singer Kevin Griffin.


Anyway, back to Men Without Hats. Once I got to the venue with my friend Tonia and her boyfriend, I found out that the show was nowhere near being sold out. In fact only a couple of dozen people were there. When they played The Safety Dance, I recorded it and put it on Youtube.

It was fun to get to meet Ivan, who I had corresponded with a little bit on Facebook. Anyway MWH has released a new album in recent months, Love In The Age of War. It’s available on iTunes and they have scheduled a tour for North America. I haven’t listened to any of their new songs just yet but once I do I may write another post about it. In the mean time, check out the official Men Without Hats website; they are also on Facebook and twitter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Steal My Sunshine video revisited

Months ago I was looking up various song videos on Youtube. At some point I thought of a song that was on the radio around 1999: “Steal My Sunshine”. Back when it was on the airwaves I was only a bit familiar with it but did not know who the artist was or anything else about it. What I did remember was that it was a neat catchy song.
After some quick research, I found that the song is by a Canadian band called Len. Len was started by siblings Marc and Sharon Costanzo. Steal My Sunshine was from their third album titled “You Can’t Stop The Bum Rush” and according to Wikipedia, it peaked at #1 in Canada and reached #9 in the U.S. and #8 spot in the U.K.

The song sampled and looped the bridge portion of Andrea True Connection’s “More More More”. The song was originally recorded on an 8 track half inch recorder and almost wasn’t included on the album.

The video itself was shot using a $200,000 budget. The band used the money to fly themselves and numerous friends to Daytona Beach for several days and filmed the video in one afternoon. There is no theme to the video, just the band members and their friends having fun. To me the song is a lighthearted fun summer-type song, so this sort of  video seems appropriate.

After seeing comments on Youtube that it was shot in Daytona Beach, I looked up some of the  landmarks on Google Maps. Using the Daytona Beach Pier as a reference point, I was able to find some of the areas where some of the scenes were filmed. Recently I took a long road trip from my hometown of Houston to various cities in Florida. On my way up from Cocoa Beach to Jacksonville, I stopped in Daytona Beach for a couple of hours, walked around and took a lot of pictures.

Several things have changed in the area. The pier and boardwalk are still there but have been updated. The pier no longer has a Gondola and a Joe’s Crab Shack now occupies the building where a casino was. According to a couple of locals, the gondolas on the pier were taken down because of hurricane winds and will not be reinstalled.

**EDIT** I went back to Florida in February 2013. While there I spent a half day in Daytona Beach and spent a couple of hours trying to find some of the filming locations that I didn’t see in 2012. I pasted several still frames into a PowerPoint slide, printed it out and took that with me. (Yes, I am quite a nerd. A Len-nerd to be specific). I talked to employees of the arcades on the Boardwalk and they helped me find a few of the locations.

The gondolas can be seen in this still-frame.

Pier in 2013DSC02484

The entire pier

The boardwalk, which runs perpendicular to the pier, is where the first scooter scenes were shot. On the far left an Italian restaurant, Graziano’s Ristorante & Pizza is visible.

Graziano’s is no longer there but another pizza shop is. According to an employee of a shop a couple of doors down, Graziano’s closed a couple of years ago and shortly after another individual opened another pizza shop in its place.

I found this picture on the internet of the boardwalk area from years ago. In the video the Scooters were parked amidst the palm trees.

This shows the current location where the first ‘scooter scene’ was shot. The scooters and palm trees were located where the red umbrellas and tables now stand.

At 1:30 into the video, the group are riding scooters. On the left side of the still frame, a swimwear sign is visible along with a fireworks store further back. A quick search indicated both the firework store and Sand Box swimwear are still there. In my most recent trip (February 2013) I found the stores and took a picture where this scene was shot.Sharon Marc scooter Sand Box swimwear

Picture in 2013 showing the Sandbox Swimwear store and Phantom Firworks further on back. 

At 2:03 LEN is seen walking into an arcade. Long story short, there was some confusion as to which arcade this was (presently there are two arcades). I asked the managers of the two arcades currently on the boardwalk, and they concluded this was taken at Midway arcade which closed a few years ago.

The two arcades currently on the Boardwalk. (Joyland and Mardi Gras)

Joyland ArcadeJoyland arcade

Boardwalk and Joyland on the right, as seen from the pierjoyland-arcade-3-wideshot

At 2:05 there are two lighted “Change” signs in an arcade.change

I did run across one of these signs (although not working and painted yellow and not green like in the video). An arcade employees said when Midway arcade shut down, the adjacent arcades took some of their machines.DSC02481

At 2:37 in the video, it shows people riding go-karts.

Another still-frame of the go-karts

The go-kart track today (photo taken by me)

At 2:51 in the video, the group is in a food/concession area. Arcade games are in the background. The employees of the arcades could not definitively say where this was. It may have been in the now defunct Midway Arcade or Joyland. bar stools

Food area of Joyland Arcade. Conceivably it looks like it could have been the same area, but who knows.

bar stools 2013

Pictures I Took Of Jantzen Storefront
(Taken in 2013)DSC02474


(Taken in 2012)

Boardwalk View From Pier in 2012

Len has several other videos on Youtube. In fact I made a playlist of them. Check out LenVEVO , len2006 and LENOfficialTVfor a complete list. Both the album and single versions of Steal My Sunshine and a few other songs by Len are available for iTunes.

Since I originally published this post, LEN released not only a new single “It’s My Neighbourhood” but a new album titled “It’s Easy If You Try”. The album has been released in Canada and is available on iTunes. Be sure to follow LEN on Twitter and on Facebook. I hope to see them in concert sometime soon.🙂

Also check out this behind-the-scenes video of Steal My Sunshine that LEN recently released on their official Youtube channel.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments