Monday, August 25, 2008

I guess they call him "Lolly-Pops"!

An e-mail from Lyman L. alerted me to a story I'd never heard before. From the Wikipedia entry:

In 1989, a Norwegian citizen named Trygve Bauge brought the corpse of his recently deceased grandfather, Bredo Morstøl, to the United States. The body was preserved on dry ice for the trip, and stored in liquid nitrogen at the Trans Time cryonics facility from 1990 to 1993.

In 1993, Bredo was returned to dry ice and transported to the town of Nederland, where Trygve and his mother Aud planned to create a cryonics facility of their own. When Trygve was deported from the United States for overstaying his visa, his mother, Aud, continued keeping her father's body cryogenically frozen in a shack behind her unfinished house.

Aud was eventually evicted from her home for living in a house with no electricity or plumbing, in violation of local ordinances. At that time, she told a local reporter about her father's body, and the reporter went to the local city hall in order to let them know about Aud's fears that her eviction would cause her father's body to thaw out.

The story caused a sensation. In response, the city added a broad new provision to Section 7-34 of its Municipal Code, "Keeping of bodies", outlawing the keeping of "the whole or any part of the person, body or carcass of a human being or animal or other biological species which is not alive upon any property". However, because of the publicity that had arisen, they made an exception for Bredo, a grandfather clause. Trygve secured the services of Delta Tech, a local Environmental company, to keep the cryonic facility running. Bo Shaffer, CEO of Delta Tech, is known as The Iceman for transporting the dry ice necssary for cryonic preservation to the IC Institute for over 12 years. About 10 years ago, the local Tuff Shed supplier built a new shed to keep him in. In honor of the town's unique resident, Nederland holds an annual celebration, first started in 2002.

Frozen Dead Guy Days is celebrated from Friday through Sunday on the second full weekend of March. Coffin races, a slow-motion parade, and "Frozen Dead Guy" lookalike contests are held. A documentary on "Grandpa Bredo", called Grandpa's in the Tuff Shed, is shown. A newer version of the film, Grandpa's Still in the Tuff Shed, was premiered in Nederland on March 7, 2003.

Other events include a tour of the Tuff Shed where Grandpa is still frozen; a "polar plunge" for those brave enough to go swimming in Colorado in early March (which generally requires breaking through the ice); a dance, called "Grandpa's Blue Ball"; pancake breakfasts; a market showcasing local artists; snowshoe races, and snow sculpture contests. Glacier Ice Cream, headquartered in the nearby city of Boulder, makes a flavor specifically for the festival (named, appropriately enough, Frozen Dead Guy), consisting of fruit-flavored blue ice cream mixed with crushed Oreo cookies and sour gummy worms.

Although Trygve and Aud filed a complaint against Nederland involving money and naming rights in 2005, Frozen Dead Guy Days is still kicking, and according to the Official website, the most recent celebration was held March 7-9, 2008.

There's even a Web site dedicated to this gentleman phenomenon.

Verily, the mind doth boggle . . .



Murphy said...


I'm sure I had a snarky comment ready, but my word verification was 'icegoy', and I lost my train of thought.

Anonymous said...

"the whole or any part of the person, body or carcass of a human being or animal or other biological species which is not alive upon any property"

So much for the Sunday pot roast. Or that pack of hamburger. Or those pork chops. Or...

Place your bets on how long before PETA or some other pack of loonies try to bludgeon that clause into making the whole town go vegan.

FarmGirl said...

I have a class with a guy from Nederland. He says it's all true.. and very weird.