NEDERLAND, Colo. -- The 16th annual Frozen Dead Guy Days begins Friday in Nederland, inspired by the bizarre tale of the town's most famous -- albeit deceased -- resident.
For 27 years, "The Frozen Dead Guy's" body has, in theory, been cryogenically preserved on dry ice in the mountains overlooking the town, and the only way to see him is to go with the man paid to keep him on ice.
"I'm supposedly the only guy with keys," said Brad Wickham, opening the door to the now world-famous Tuff Shed. "I hope some day when he is reanimated, we can talk about all the fun we had bringing ice up here every two weeks."
The story goes something like this: Bredo Morstoel was a minor public official in Norway, and when he died in 1989 his grandson, Trygve Bauge, had him cryogenically preserved in the hopes he could one day be re-animated.
The body was eventually moved to Nederland, where Bauge had plans to build his own cryonics lab unit he was deported.
Now, Bauge pays Wickham $9,000 per year to buy and deliver between 900 to 1,200 pounds of dry ice every two weeks and cover his grandfather's frozen sarcophagus.
"It's basically a thin metal casket. It's been chained down to prevent theft," said Wickham, who said Bredo has never thawed out on his watch, but the previous iceman may have missed some runs. "He may have gotten pretty warm by cryonic standards, let's just put it that way. But I don't think ever over 32 degrees."
Next to the Tuff Shed, the abandoned cryonics lab is filled with boxes of notes, worthy of a mad scientist.
"I picture him sitting over a dim light bulb, Archimedes style, scribbling," said Wickham with a smile, pointing to the painting that was done by Bredo. "Trygve was really close to his grandfather."
And while the town fought having a frozen body in a neighborhood, it has since embraced the idea, naming an annual festival after it.
"It's not much, but I guess it suits him," said Wickham, closing the shed. "Stay cool, grandpa!"