Get ready, all you Coloradoans to travel to Estes Park (the Stanley Hotel) to join in the Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival March 17th through March 19th. Named one of the top-ten winter festivals by The New York Times, this three day-long event features contests, parades, live music, competitions, great food, and of course, tons of parties.
Some of you are thinking, “What the heck a frozen dead guy and why is there a festival about him?”
Well, I wondered the same thing so, I looked it up, or rather Googled it and let me say that once again, truth is stranger than fiction.
Bredo Morstoel, better known as Grandpa Bredo, was born in Norway in 1900. He married, had two sons, who also married and had children. According to the story, one of his grandsons, Trygve Bauge, came to the U.S. in 1980 to avoid being in a nuclear war. He first settled in the Boulder Area, where he was known as an eccentric in both looks and ideas. Believing that spending time in ice water would prolong life, he founded the Boulder Polar Ice Club, and engaged in many other activities involving icy water.
To say Trygve was a peculiar sort of fellow, is to do an injustice to peculiar. He was arrested several times for various nefarious activities and was eventually deported back to Norway when his visa expired.
But, before this occurred, Trygve’s mother decided to move from Norway and help her son. They bought property near Nederland, Colorado and in 1993 built an earthquake, fire, flood, nuclear bomb and all-around disaster proof house. Behind this fortress, they built a shed for the now dead Grandpa Bredo.
You see, in 1989, Grandpa was killed in a downhill skiing accident at the family home in Norway. Trygve, believing in cryogenics, had Grandpa frozen and then shipped to an institute in California for preservation until the shed was ready to receive the frozen body. Trygve and his mother had plans to build a proper cryogenics facility, but never finished that project.
The shed was finished in 1993, at least as much as possible, so Grandpa’s frozen body was packed in dry ice and moved into the shed, soon to be followed by another frozen body (Al Campbell from Chicago). Unfortunately for Grandpa and Al, Trygve and his mother couldn’t afford the liquid nitrogen needed to keep the bodies at minus 320 degrees, as required to keep body functions stable. Instead, they used ice which only managed to get the coolness to minus 109 degrees.
A year later, Trygve was deported, while his mother remained behind to mind the house and the frozen guys in the shed. But then the unthinkable happened, Mom was evicted from the premises due to the lack of plumbing, electricity, and building the fortress and shed without the necessary permits.
Mom panicked—without her hauling the ice, Grandpa Bredo and Al would melt. She decided she needed help, so she asked a local reporter to plead her case to town hall. Well, all hell broke loose when the Town Fathers discovered the two frozen bodies stored on the condemned property in a wooden shed.
An emergency town meeting was held, and a proclamation made that it was illegal to have
“…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 on one’s property.”
Al’s family was contacted and after claiming his body, took it back to Chicago for Burial. A three-person jury trial was then held to determine the fate of Mom, who after being found guilty, was soon deported back to Norway.
The town council decided it was in the best interest of all to thaw Grandpa and bury him properly. Trygve did not accept this decision and conducted his own internet campaign to allow Grandpa to be kept frozen. This brought unwanted international attention to the little community of Nederland. Press and cryogenic enthusiasts bombarded the town fathers furiously, which finally wore down their resistance. To establish peace, once again, the town fathers made an exception, called the “Grandfather Clause” to the aforementioned proclamation allowing Grandpa Bredo to remain in his frozen state, as long as certain conditions were met.
While these negotiations were going on, the shed holding the frozen remains of Grandpa began disintegrating. Never passing up a great opportunity for publicity, Tuff Shed and the Denver Fox Radio Station put up funds to build a permanent shed. That accomplished, Grandpa was placed in a new ice-encased aluminum casket, which was enclosed in a large wooden crate and placed in the Tuff Shed in Nederland.