As in, Committed to Writing This Whether I Want to Or Not
Let’s talk about frozen dead guys and dream carousels!
In 1989 Bredo Morstoel (Bread-dough More-stul) died of heart failure during a nap at his mountain retreat in Norway. He was director of parks and Recreation in Baerum County, Norway for 30 years before retiring in 1967. He was survived by his wife, Anna and their two children – and his grandson, Trygve. Trygve and his mother, Aud, had a vision of building a cryonics facility and when their favorite father/grandfather shuffled off this mortal coil, they saw an opportunity.
Y’all know what cryonics is, right?
They froze Grandpa in dry ice. And moved him to Nederland, CO – where Trygve and Aud had purchased property when they, and Grandpa visited in 1982. They were impressed enough to buy the future site of their flagship facility, and they loved Bredo enough to make him their first client.
In 1993, both Trygve and Aud were deported due to expired Visas. That left Bredo at a disadvantage – you might even say “high and dry,” but fortunately, his forward-thinking family had saved a significant sum to fund his maintenance in their absence. They hired a Nederlander named Bo Shaffer to ice him down every few weeks. When the town learned of this arrangement, they very quickly passed an ordinance making that very thing illegal – but since the law was passed after the fact, Bredo got to stay where he was.
Yes. He was grandfathered in.
And there he’s been to this day. In a Tuff shed in Nederland, CO.
In case you think I’m making this up
Since then, Bredo has inspired something called the Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival, where people flock to Nederland to for coffin races, pancake breakfasts and yes, even a Royal Blue Ball. Here’s next year’s schedule if you are interested. Why am I interested?
I was there two weeks ago, during the offseason.
It’s not as exciting during the offseason.
But here is a lovely view:
Also in Nederland, I visited the Carousel of Happiness. And several dispensaries, but none of them had carousels.
I rode this moose:
Which, I will admit, does not look particularly elated at the moment.
But the story of the carousel is happy. Well it has a happy ending.
The carousel itselt was built in 1910 by Charles I.D. Looff, who build the first carousel for Coney Island. It survived a fire before it came to Nederland. Someone else had purchased all of the original animals, and left the frame, which was then purchased by Scott Harrison, a Nederland, Colorado resident. Per the Carousel of Happiness website:
“As a young Marine in Vietnam Scott had received a tiny music box that he held to his ear to distract him from the horror of the war going on around him. The music, Chopin’s “Tristesse”, brought him a peaceful image of a carousel in a mountain meadow. After rescuing the abandoned Looff carousel in Utah he spent the next 26 years hand-carving animals to bring it back to life.
Scott had never carved before but, starting with the rabbit that is now on the sign in front of the carousel in Nederland, he went on to create more than 50 one-of-a-kind animals, 35 of which can be ridden. As he was finishing, the small community of Nederland (pop. 1500) came together under Scott’s leadership, and raised the $700,000 to build it a home.” ~ You can learn more about the carousel here.
This is the part I liked: The Somewhere Else. It’s the last wall you see as you leave the carousel, and the website describes it like this:
“The Carousel of Happiness was created to transport visitors to a time and place of joy. In April carver Scott Harrison has unveiled “Somewhere Else,” a wall scene in the carousel building featuring six new animals coming from and going to, well, somewhere else.
The animals, which include a curious giraffe, a thoughtful chimpanzee and an unlikely bear family, pass through a membrane made of lime and crushed marble in the technique used in centuries-old frescoes
Where is somewhere else, exactly, you might ask?
“The wall is a kind of portal, we think, maybe to a new dimension.” Harrison said. “Honestly, we haven’t been able to explain it. We’ll leave that up to you. But certainly, magic is afoot.”
There, in a nutshell, minus the two big dogs with bad breath that I shared a bed with, you have my recent trip to Nederland. Now you don’t have to go. Not that you shouldn’t. It did inspire me to write some sub-standard satire in the car on the way home, which I will publish tomorrow. MY GOD I AM WEIRDLY BORING.
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