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Lt Commander Bruce Muir
              Old pilot's axiom: Your number of landings should always be equal to your number of takeoffs."              

Twenty-five years ago, Bruce Muir started the Big Bamboo Lounge. Here's a little bit of background on Bruce, for those who are interested in knowing why the 'Boo has the character and following that it does.

Bruce was born in Michigan, where his father owned a chain of drugstores. He attended Prep School at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, where incidentally, his roommate in his senior year was Orson Welles. After graduation, he attended Dartmouth in New Hampshire. Four years later, he graduated from Dartmouth and joined the United States Navy Aviation Corps. Stationed in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked, he served with Pappy Boynton a la the Black Sheep Squadron. Not actually in the Black Sheep squadron; he was the commander of his own squadron, but he was in the same arena, the south Pacific. He flew an F4U Corsair, which the Japanese called "Whispering Death". Bruce left the navy after the war; he had attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He returned home to Michigan and ran his father's drugstore chain until it was sold.

Bruce moved to Florida and invested in a few business ventures that did not pan out. Finally, he bought an old doctor's house and turned it into a drive up package store/small bar, which he named Big Bamboo. It was allegedly the first bar on Vine Street.

Bruce was friendly with many execs at Disney; they hung out at the bar for a long time. As the Boo attained local popularity, animators and other Disney personnel became more prevalent. So eventually the execs went elsewhere and it became predominantly a cast-member hangout. The bar was originally decorated with Bruce's WWII memorabilia, but local patrons and cast members started leaving their badges, business cards, baseball caps, t-shirts, etc., so those items started going up on the walls. Many celebrities have visited Big Bamboo; Yogi Berra, Wesley Snipes, Larry Dierker, Ralph Kent (Disney Imagineer and animator), just to mention a few. For years pictures that animators had drawn for Bruce were posted on the walls and behind the bar; there are still a couple there but Bruce took most of them home when his health started failing.

Check out some of the news articles and pictures that adorn the walls of the Big Bamboo; there's a lot of history posted there.

Here are a couple more pictures of Corsairs (the background of this page is one also), the type of plane that Bruce flew in WWII.

Link to WWII Art page