Mar 042010
 
Authors: Sara Michael

Grandpa Bredo Morstoel has been around for 109 years. For the past 20, he’s been living in a shed up the road from his grandson’s house in Nederland.

His existence, however, can’t exactly be called living. Since he died from a heart condition in 1989, Grandpa has been under ice, frozen in his family’s cryogenic Tuff Shed.

Grandpa Bredo lived in Norway, where he reportedly painted, fished, skied and hiked. After his death, his family packed him in ice instead of burying him and shipped him off to a Californian cryonics facility, where he was packed in liquid nitrogen for nearly four years.

In 1993, he was moved to Colorado to stay with his daughter.

Once a month, a team of volunteers hauls 1,600 pounds of ice up to Grandpa’s shed and packs it around his sarcophagus to keep him frozen over. He rests at a steady minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

And this weekend, people from all over will honor Grandpa as part of the weekend-long event Frozen Dead Guy Days.

For most people in Nederland, said Nederland Board of Trustees member Joe Gierlach, FDGD are an indicator that springtime is coming. For the local merchants, he added, a good FDGD event will “set the tone” for upcoming sales.

“Perhaps the economic uncertainty is causing people to take weekend vacations and day trips in Nederland,” he said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Betty Porter said she thinks the event is a highlight for Nederland.
Festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and conclude Sunday evening. Among the celebrations, there will be: a parade, a polar bear plunge, frozen T-shirt contest, coffin race, frozen salmon tossing, icy turkey bowling and a “Grandpa Lookalike” contest.

“This event has been held for nine years, and it gets bigger every year,” Porter said.
The event began when the Nederland Chamber of Commerce decided that the town needed a new carnival to break the monotony between the winter months, she said.

Amid the events will be a parade of hearses down the main street of Nederland, which will be “transformed into a pedestrian mall” for the duration of the event.

“There are a lot of people in Denver with hearses,” Porter said. “They’ll park them all day for people to admire.”

Still more raunchy activities include the available “Grandpa’s Spirit” drink, a specialty vodka drink, and a Rocky Mountain oyster –– a bull testicle –– eating contest.

“Wear boots and warm socks,” Porter said, laughing. “It’s going to be a good, cold weekend.”

Staff writer Sara Michael can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:41 pm

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