• John Fiorella


In 2003, the crazy uncle in me set out to give my 5-year-old nephew an adventure he would never forget. So I bought a wood chest and drummed up a treasure map with my good pal / filmmaker Gabe Sabloff. The plan was for me to fly to New York, grab my nephew, and descend into my Grandfather's basement, where we would find this map.

The riddle of the map would lead us on a wild trek into the woods of the Helmer Nature Center, where, if we dug in exactly the right spot, we'd uncover a chest of magical heirlooms, including: the sacred Chimes of the Golden Scrawk, the Cone of Wisdom, the Crimson Key of the Salsbury Thieves, the Magic Lamp of the Magicians of Moog, and a bronze box, home to the mother of all gems, the legendary Elephant Diamond.

Now, here's the craziest part of this fantastic tale... the weekend my nephew was due to come over and embark on this journey, he didn't – he was sick! By the time he was well, I had flown back to LA. I was sure we'd go in search of the treasure the following year, or the year after that, but it never came to be. So, somewhere out in the woods of upstate New York, buried now for over 15 years, is a trove of relics awaiting to be unearthed!!