Monday, March 7, 2005

Freeze, Grandpa!

From the Anything for a buck file:

Over the last three years, the cryogenically frozen body of a Norwegian man has become the centerpoint of a quirky winter festival in a small Colorado mining town.

“Grandpa” Bredo Morstoel, who died in 1989, was frozen by his grandson and stored in a shed in Nederland, a town 35 miles northwest of Denver that began celebrating “Frozen Dead Guy Days” in 2002 to increase tourism.

Now the man’s daughter, 75-year-old Aud Morstoel, is hoping Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja will help her secure a visa to attend the festival. The royal couple also have been invited by Nederland’s Chamber of Commerce to visit and “partake in the fun and parody of the weekend.”

Aud Morstoel was invited to serve as the parade marshal for the March 11-13 celebration, but her application for a visa has yet to be approved, her son said.

Trygve Bauge, who submitted the request to Norway’s king and queen, said his mother’s application has been held up in part because she was convicted for drunk driving in Colorado and she overstayed her last visa before returning to Norway.

“They should have given us this a long time ago,” he said Thursday from Norway.

Bauge, who froze his 89-year-old grandfather in hopes he can someday be revived or cloned, was deported in 1994 for immigration violations. His mother returned shortly thereafter, four months after her visa expired.

A caretaker has replenished the ice when necessary since Bauge was deported.

This is in keeping with Colorado’s trend of celebrating odd characters. For years the University of Colorado at Boulder’s UMC Food Service held an Alferd Packer Festival in honor of the country’s only convicted cannibal. Meanwhile, um…no ice in my drink, please.