To Infinity and Beyond

Disclaimer: Some of you have heard parts of the story below but have waited a long time to see actual pictures. Others may wish they had never seen pictures when it’s all said and done.


As a newbie to the Grace Community Church high school staff in 1997, I was recruited to be part of the promotion for summer camp. Little did I know how much that event it would change my life.

The theme for camp was based on Toy Story; we called our version Camp Story. My friend, roommate, fellow staff person, and then communications professor at The Master’s College, Josh Seat, played Woody. I’m sure he’s played Woody in every Ice Capades production of Toy Story since. To put it another way, I suspect Tom Hanks took cues from Josh, not visa versa.

I was cast to play Buzz Lightyear. My space ranger outfit was constructed on a limited budget. It essentially consisted of various sizes of buckets and a large Rubber Maid trash can, all precariously placed over top of an old set of shoulder pads and a black Power Rangers’ costume. My wings (not seen in the picture below) were an old school ab flex and my shoes were ski boots. You can’t make up this sort of thing.

Here are a few pictures from our photo shoot with the GCom publications guys as they prepped for the brochure and posters which were. To my joy, the posters were plastered all over the church campus, causing kids to call out, “There’s Buzz!” as I walked by. (Each picture below will open in a larger version if you click on it.)

* Woody and Buzz being buds.

* Buzz without his wings.

And here is the final production.

* I recommend visiting the Toy Story link above to see the DVD cover picture we copied. There was an actual discussion over copyright infringement at Disney due to the striking likeness, but thankfully they threw our little non-profit back into the lake.

Perhaps at some point in the future I’ll share the story about Buzz and the 70 yard zip line over an amphitheater, one end tied to a light pole and the other to the front bumper of a U-Haul.