People throughout the United States stopped to remember our losses on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. This national day of remembrance seemed an appropriate way to start this second 30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge.
Daniels Family Funeral Services created a Twin Towers memorial at their Vista Verde Memorial Park in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. They held a 10-year commemoration there “To Remember Those Who Lost Their Life That Day – September 11, 2001.”
The event featured many different elements of memorialization and patriotic display: the Posting of Colors, the National Anthem, a dove release, a ceremony to bury artifacts of concrete and steel from Ground Zero, a candle lighting ceremony, Amazing Grace on bagpipes and Taps by a lone bugler on a hillside.
The dove release was part of a national effort for 9/11 called White Wings Over America, which hope to do the “largest white dove release the world has ever seen.” Paula Fay, owner of Enchanting White Doves, released 46 doves that day. More than 2,500 doves were pledged for release in the effort.
One thing about working with live creatures in ceremony, though – they don’t always do what you expect them to do. Paula opened the doors to the dove chapel, a sort of oversized doll house, and three doves stood there looking kind of surprised. They didn’t take flight until the roof was raised and the other 43 doves took off.
The placement of the concrete and steel artifacts from Ground Zero was conducted with the utmost respect. A scroll bearing the names of the 2,998 people who died as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 was also placed in the small vault at the base of the Twin Towers memorial.
The scroll had been on display. In the ceremony, it was carefully rolled up, sealed with sealing wax, and placed in a velvet bag which was placed in the metal box with the Ground Zero artifacts. The memorial marker placed at the base of the Twin Towers near the artifacts reads, “Through blurred eyes we find the strength and courage to soar beyond the moment. We look to the future knowing we can never forget the past. God Bless America.
Following the placement of the scroll, there was a Final Alarm Ceremony, signifying the end of duties to final rest for the 243 fire fighters and 43 police who lost their lives on September 11. This special system of bell commands created by the New York Fire Department consists of five rings done five times.
The Final Alarm was followed by the reading of the First Responder’s Prayer, which was handed out on laminated prayer cards:
Lord, give this First responder courage
Courage to face and conquer their own fears.
Courage to go where others will not.
Give them strength.
Strength of body to protect others.
Strength of spirit to help others.
Give them dedication.
Dedication to the job, to do it well.
Dedication to the community to keep it safe.
Give them concern for those who trust them.
And compassion for those in need.
And please, Lord, through it all, be at their side.
There was a candle lighting ceremony and a moment of silence before a pipe and drum team marched in playing Dawning of the Day and then Amazing Grace. At the end, a lone bugler standing on a hillside covered with almost 3,000 small American flags played Taps. The several hundred people who attended the one-hour service applauded at the end.
Love yesterday’s Non Sequitur, a visit to the “Last Tweet Cemetery.” The visible inscription on this one: Forgot which 1 is the ripcord LOL.” Duh!
A Good Goodbye is the only finalist in the Family/Parenting category (does that make it an automatic first place?). In addition, it is a finalist in the Nonfiction, Reference, Religious, and Self-Help categories.
The finalists were announced on September 23, and the winners will be announced at the awards banquet on November 18, 2011. Stay tuned for results on November 19!
A Good Goodbye continues to garner awards. It was a finalist in the Family & Relationships category of the 2010 national Book of the Year Awards from ForeWord Reviews and won first place in SouthWest Writers annual writing contest in the Nonfiction Book category. It also was recognized in New Mexico Press Women’s 2011 Communications Contest when it placed third in the Nonfiction Book-General category.
Today we salute Helen “Happy” Reichert, who died at the age of 109 in her New York City apartment. Throughout her life, Reichert vigorously promoted a rigid recipe for success: chocolate truffles, hamburgers, Budweiser beer, cigarettes and New York nightlife. Strictly forbidden were vegetables, exercising, getting up early and complaining.
We should all live as long and as well as this woman. It’s a good way to start the Jewish New Year with her story. I wish all of you a happy, healthy year. Live long and prosper!
Helen “Happy” Reichert was the oldest living alumna of Cornell University, and this was the wonderful news obituary about her in the Cornell Daily Sun:
University’s Oldest Alumna Dies at 109
By Dan Robbins
Helen “Happy” Reichert ’25, who was Cornell’s oldest living alumna, is still making contributions to her alma mater — even in death. Before she died Sunday, Reichert had specifically requested that her obituary ask friends and family to donate to Cornell Medical College in lieu of flowers.
Reichert died Sunday in her New York City apartment. She was 109 years old. Throughout her life, Reichert vigorously promoted a rigid recipe for success: chocolate truffles, hamburgers, Budweiser beer, cigarettes and New York nightlife. Strictly forbidden were vegetables, exercising, getting up early and complaining.
A lifelong New Yorker, Helen Faith Keane Reichert had been called “Happy” since she was born to Jewish Polish immigrants on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1901. Happy was famous for her longevity and positive attitude.
“She was the life of the party, the center of attention, and a master entertainer and story-teller who could captivate a space at nine or 109,” said Vicky Kahn ’09, her great niece and former Business Manager of The Sun.
For years, researchers studied Happy and her three siblings, all of whom are centenarians. At one time, the Kahn quartet was the oldest group of four siblings in the U.S. They made appearances on Good Morning America and CBS Evening News, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Time Magazine and CNN.
Reichert graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of Home Economics.
While on East Hill, she lived in Risley Hall, worked in the cafeteria to pay tuition, started a clothing business and rowed for the women’s crew team when women wore bloomers and sweaters to practice. IvyLeagueSports.com called her “arguably the program’s most well-known alumna.”
Reichert never let gender or religious discrimination impede her goals, according to her great nieces. When Collegetown realtors refused to lease to a Jewish woman, she changed her name from Kahn to Keane.
Although she was a certified psychologist, after graduation Reichert worked as a copywriter. She later became a professor of fashion marketing at New York University. Holding the post for more than 30 years, Reichert gathered a loyal following of students who each brought news articles and clippings about Reichert’s life to her 109th birthday party last year.
“Students were very important to her and she possessed a lifelong love for learning,” Kahn said.
During Cornell reunions, Reichert often stayed an extra day to finish reading all the books she had checked out from the library, according to Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy ’73.
A cosmopolitan fashionista, Reichert started a radio program called FYI: The Helen Faith Keane Show by convincing the network’s executives to highlight women’s style. But Happy quickly decided to tackle tougher feminine issues like breast cancer and sexual taboos. The show won McCall Magazine’s Golden Microphone, the equivalent of an Emmy for radio.
“In a day when women didn’t have careers, she was an independent, innovative pioneer who wasn’t afraid to push boundaries and make a name for herself,” Kahn said.
Later, Reichert founded the Round Table of Fashion Executives and in her 80s traveled the world, visiting countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. When she attempted to sign up for a hiking expedition through the Middle East at 90, the travel agency declined to admit such an elderly woman. Reichert promptly received a special note of permission from her physician and went anyway.
Dr. Mark Lachs, co-chief of the division of geriatrics and gerontology at Weill Cornell Medical College, said he attributes her longevity to genetics and “adaptive competence,” or the skill of moving past life’s hardships.
Reichert took her husband’s death, a mild stroke and myriad unexpected curveballs in stride, according to Kahn.
“No obstacle was too hard for her to overcome,” Elizabeth Kahn, her great niece, said. “She had this frivolous sort of attitude, like when in the late 80s she shaved her head and wore a wig because it was fun.”
When Reichert married Philip Reichert ’23, a cardiologist and a founding member of the American College of Cardiology, she began a line of 14 Cornellians, which includes Kai Keane ’14 and Prof. Emeritus of Art, Architecture and Planning Mark Keane ’79. Reichert donated her husband’s medical equipment, a suite for visiting scholars and a Steinway baby grand piano in the Becker House. Additionaly, she left her body for future scientific studies.
Last fall, she served as honorary chair of the Cornell Sy Katz ’31 Parade that begins after the Cornell-Columbia football game. Decorated in red and white, she wheeled down Fifth Avenue with Governor David Paterson and the Big Red Marching Band.
Reichert maintained a close relationship with President David Skorton, who wished her family his condolences Sunday, according to Simeon Moss ’73, deputy University spokesperson. Moss described Reichert as “a great lady and a true Cornellian.”
“Cornell was really important in shaping her as a young women and one of the things that really bonded us,” Vicky Kahn said.
Reichert’s sharp wit and affability left perhaps the most memorable mark on those who called her a friend.
“She had an incredible vitality, read constantly, and had a wonderful sense of humor,” Murphy said. “Last holiday season, I received a card from her that said ‘Doing Fine at 109!’ and that really says it all.”
Ashes to ashes, crunch to crunch. Arch West, a Frito-Lay executive who created the Dorito after sampling greasy fried tortilla chips while on a 1964 family vacation in Southern California, died on September 20, 2011. He was 97. At least in his case, junk food did not kill him, vascular surgery complications did. (Or perhaps the fact that he was OLD).
Mr. West’s cremated remains will be placed in an urn and buried in a vault, his daughter Jana Hacker said. At a memorial service, family members will dust his grave with a layer of Doritos. Love that element of personalization!
In today’s Washington Post, there’s a great obituary and an ode to Doritos. Some samples are below (betcha can’t read just one).
Arch West, 97, invented Doritos for Frito-Lay
By T. Rees Shapiro, Published: September 26
(Family Photo/FAMILY PHOTO) – Arch West, inventor of the Doritos chips.
Mr. West had worked as a traveling cheese salesman and Madison Avenue advertising manager handling the Jell-O account before he had a chip epiphany.
He was on a family vacation in Southern California in 1964 when he first bought a grease-smeared bag of toasted tortillas at a roadside shack.
As marketing vice president at Frito-Lay, Mr. West immediately sensed he had stumbled upon a snacking phenomenon.
When he returned to work, Mr. West pitched his idea: a crispy, triangle-shaped corn chip that would complement the company’s lighter Lay’s potato chip and the thicker, curly Frito.
The original toasted corn chips were released nationally in 1966 and marketed under the Spanish-sounding name “Doritos.” An early television commercial for Doritos called them “a swinging, Latin sort of snack.”
According to the 2006 Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, Doritos are sold in 20 countries. (The “Doritos” entry is below “Domino’s Pizza” and above “Doughnuts.”)
In the 52-week period ending last February, more than 924 million bags of Doritos were sold in America, said Chris Clark, a spokesman for the Snack Food Association.
A Doritos spokeswoman, Aurora Gonzalez, wrote in an e-mail that global sales of Doritos tortilla chips in 2010 were nearly $5 billion.
Bags of Doritos now come in flavors such as 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero, Pizza Supreme, and Blazin’ Buffalo and Ranch.
Mr. West ate Doritos his entire life and was sometimes sent batches to taste-test. About three months ago, he tried a new flavor, Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger.
Mr. West took one bite and spit it out.
- For the love of Doritos
- Let the chips fall: Doritos inventor dies at 97
- Photos: A history of snacks
- Picking a better snack chip
Filed under: 30 Day Challenge | Tags: 30 Day Challenge, funerals, memorial services
Gail Rubin is a politically correct funeral crasher. Starting September 30, she will attend 30 funerals or memorial services in 30 days and write about each on The Family Plot Blog (http://TheFamilyPlot.wordpress.com). The “30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge” will end on October 30, the 12th annual Create a Great Funeral Day.
Rubin, the author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, is a Certified Celebrant who brings light to a dark subject and helps get funeral planning conversations started.
The “30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge” will:
- Illustrate the many creative ways people celebrate the lives of those they love.
- Help reduce a fear of talking about death – something that will happen to all of us.
- Show that funerals are a life cycle event much like a wedding, best planned more than a few days ahead of time.
“Just like the lead characters in the cult film, Harold and Maude, I’m attending funerals for people I don’t know. I intend to honor the family and the life of their loved one,” said Rubin. “This ‘30 Day Challenge’ will show there’s no need to fear having end-of-life conversations. Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead – and your family will benefit from the conversation.”
This is Rubin’s second “30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge.” The first one ran from October 30 to November 29, 2010. She attended public events listed in the obituary pages of her local newspaper and attended both memorial services and funerals, religious and non-religious events, as well as expected and unexpected deaths.
Among the most memorable services in 2010 were two pews of Red Hat Society ladies in full regalia, a Harley Davidson motorcycle in a funeral chapel, an artist’s remembrance that featured her favorite lemon meringue pie, an AA meeting-style remembrance for an addiction counselor, and a funeral for a fallen police officer.
Create a Great Funeral Day was started in 2000 by Stephanie West Allen, a lawyer who wrote Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook. She had watched her husband struggle to pull together a meaningful funeral for his mother, who had left no directions before she died. Observing his grief, Allen felt that knowing what her mother-in-law might have wanted would have made holding a funeral so much easier.
The idea behind Create a Great Funeral Day is to consider how you would like to be remembered. By letting those you love know how you’d like your life celebrated, the survivors’ experience can be so much easier.
Rubin’s award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die (Light Tree Press), was a Book of the Year Award finalist in the Family & Relationships category. The book is available in print and ebook formats at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and at AGoodGoodbye.com.
Filed under: Speaking Engagements | Tags: funeral planning, funny films
If you live in the Washington, D.C. area, you might want to come out for this talk I’m giving this coming Monday, September 26.
Funny Films for Serious Funeral Planning Conversations – A Lunch & Learn sponsored by the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s Fit & Well Seniors Program – brings light to the dark subject of funeral planning. People just learn this stuff better when they’re laughing.
Presenter Gail Rubin gets the conversation started with a collection of comedy film clips that open up funeral planning issues for discussion. Topics such as “Who’s in Charge?” “Personalizing Funerals” “Ensuring Your Plans” and “A Lesson in Eulogies and Ash Scattering” are illustrated with funny and touching clips from major motion pictures, television shows and independent films.
Titles include Get Low, The Big Lebowski, Death at a Funeral, Undertaking Betty, Waking Ned Devine, and last but not least, the famous “Chuckles Bites the Dust” episode from the Mary Tyler Moore show.
Location, Time and Date: Fort Stevens Recreation Center at 1327 Van Buren Street NW (at Georgia Avenue), 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26. It’s a free event, lunch included.
Contact: Barbara Rogers, YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, 202-591-6162 or
Presenter Gail Rubin, (cell) 505-363-7514
Background: Gail Rubin is a Certified Celebrant who also writes The Family Plot Blog (http://TheFamilyPlot.wordpress.com). Her book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, was a finalist in ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Award, Family & Relationships category. She is introducing The Newly-Dead Game, a fun interactive way for couples to find out how well they know each others’ last wishes.
Filed under: Field Notes | Tags: cemeteries, funeral etiquette, gravestones, memorial markers
The Dear Abby column in our local newspaper ran a number of letters yesterday in response to a July 25 letter about proper etiquette in cemeteries. Here is the original letter and Dear Abby’s response:
DEAR ABBY: I live down the street from the town cemetery. It contains some old stones from the 1800s that are starting to crumble. This cemetery has become a favorite place for many to walk their dogs or ride their bikes. One woman lets her dog run off-leash and her young daughters play tag around the stones. Another neighbor allowed her children to set off fireworks.
I was taught that in a cemetery, people should behave as if they are in a church. It upsets me to see this place used as a playground. This is a final resting place!
Can you comment on proper etiquette in the cemetery? — RESPECTFUL IN OHIO
DEAR RESPECTFUL: Who is in charge of the upkeep of the cemetery? That individual should be informed about what’s happening, so decorum can be re-established and activities that can cause it to deteriorate can be stopped. The idea that people have been using it as a dog park, where the animals can urinate and defecate on the graves, is appalling.
Cemetery etiquette is simple: Treat the graves as you would the graves of your parents, or as you would like your own to be treated. This includes no loud chatter, in case there are people in mourning there, not walking on the graves, not leaving chewing gum on the gravestones, keeping pets leashed (if they are brought there at all), and teaching children the difference between a cemetery and a playground.
A bunch of people wrote back in response to this exchange with differing views (but of course!).
DEAR ABBY: I am writing in response to the letter you printed from “Respectful in Ohio” (July 25). I am so glad you addressed the subject of proper etiquette in cemeteries. The cemetery where my family members are buried has become a playground for the neighbors in the area.
When I visit, I see people walking their dogs on and off leashes even though they are aware of the “No Dogs Allowed” signs. Children are bicycling, Roller-blading and skateboarding, along with joggers and walkers.
I come to the cemetery to visit with my lost loved ones and tend to their graves. I find it disgusting and disturbing that these folks are using our sacred place for their personal pleasures. Thank you so much for your wisdom on this matter. — JEAN C. IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR JEAN: Thank you for agreeing with me. However, some readers felt differently.
DEAR ABBY: You should know that there is a trend where groups of dog walkers are taking over the care of deteriorating cemeteries. In return for cleaning up, restoring and maintaining graveyards, dog walkers are given permission to walk and run their dogs there.
Some readers may find this disrespectful, but it has resulted in many cemeteries being restored to the beauty their occupants deserve. — CARLA IN VIRGINIA
DEAR ABBY: When I read the letter from “Respectful,” it took me back a few years. As I was mowing in the town cemetery, I went around a gravestone into some tall grass and my mower stalled. When I turned it over to see what I had hit, I found a pair of pantyhose wrapped around the blade of the mower. Apparently, cemeteries are sometimes used as a lover’s lane. I agree with you about practicing good behavior in places like these. But I’ll always laugh recalling what happened to me. — GROUNDSKEEPER
DEAR ABBY: I have to disagree with you and “Resentful.” One needs to have a historical perspective about cemeteries and their place in our culture. Prior to the advent of public parks in the late 19th century, the only open, park-like setting in most communities was the local cemetery. People would stroll the lawns, picnic and socialize there.
Today, some cemeteries conduct historical and nature tours. While I don’t condone rowdy behavior, it’s wrong to think they are simply for the dead and mourning.
Cemeteries fall into disrepair when they are not active and filled with living hikers, bikers, bird watchers, etc. Let’s encourage people to visit their local cemetery. The alternative is to allow them to go to seed and disappear from our landscape. — PATRICK H., OHIO
DEAR ABBY: Several years ago in a nearby church cemetery, a young couple and their 4-year-old were putting flowers on a relative’s grave. The child got a bit antsy and climbed on a headstone. The stone was loose and tipped over onto the child and killed him. No one should let children play in a cemetery. — JAN IN SARTELL, MINN.
DEAR ABBY: I want children to play on my grave. What could be better than spending eternity listening to the laughter of children? As for dogs, unless you are going to diaper all the pigeons, dogs are the least of my worries! — ALANSON IN NEW JERSEY
My view: Our synagogue has a small historic cemetery with graves going back to the 1800s. It is only about two acres in size. As a member of the committee that oversees the maintenance of the cemetery, I like to see people there, but not animals. I can understand people visiting larger memorial gardens for recreational purposes and have visited some amazing historic cemeteries just to admire the statuary and buildings. A smaller cemetery like ours is best left to be visited by the families that want to pay their respects.
Anyone want to add to the conversation?
Did you watch the funeral on last night’s debut of the new season of Two and a Half Men? I tuned in just to see what they’d do to officially get rid of Charlie Sheen’s character, Charlie Harper, and of course, report on the funeral.
It looked like a traditional funeral, but – this being a comedy – there were snarky comments from the large group of Charlie’s ex-girlfriends in attendance. When brother Alan Harper said, “I know this is a very sad day for all of us,” one woman piped up saying, “Speak for yourself!” When Alan said he was giving, other women chimed in that Charlie had given them various sexually transmitted diseases.
Charlie’s mother, a real estate agent, stood up to say, “Excuse me, this is my dead son that we’re talking about. I loved him and I’m devastated that he’s gone.” She then segues into an announcement that his beautiful oceanfront house in Malibu was for sale (brochures in the lobby, open house on Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00).
It was a nice touch to have Charlie Harper’s typical attire of bowling shirt and shorts on display at the funeral.
Alan tried to conduct the proceedings with what dignity he could muster. One man stood up to ask about repayment of $38,000 from Charlie’s estate for “pharmaceuticals.” Alan suggested he take it up with the lawyers, and the man responded, “Oh, I’d rather not involve the law.”
Apparently Charlie got married in Paris to true love/stalker Rose. His new wife (now widow) said after they got married she discovered him in the shower with another woman. A day later, he slipped and fell off the platform as a Metro subway car was pulling into the station. “His body just exploded like a balloon full of meat,” she said.
It was interesting to note that they had a closed casket at this funeral, even though his mortal remains were not presentable. One of the ex-girlfriends said, “I didn’t come all this way to spit on a closed coffin.”
The difference between a funeral and a memorial service is the presence of a body. Since there wasn’t much of a body, why have a casket at all? Especially since Charlie’s remains were cremated after the funeral and delivered to Alan at the house.
Alan spoke a few touching words to the urn.
“Here we are buddy. Just like old times, huh? I’m talkin’ and you’re in a bottle ignoring me. I wanted to tell you that I loved you and will miss you and I will always be grateful for you taking Jake and me in and letting us live here all these years. “
He then pondered what to do with him. He thought, “Hey, maybe I could sprinkle you on the beach. It’s simple, it’s dignified, and pretty girls covered in oil will be sitting on you all day. Kind of like your life… except for the dignified part.”
Alan moved toward the door and the beach, only to be scared witless by Ashton Kutcher’s character Walden Schmidt peering in the door. Alan tosses the opened urn in the air and scatters Charlie’s ashes all over the living room.
Schmidt is a lonely Internet billionaire who’s devastated by the breakup of his marriage. So devastated, he tries to kill himself in the ocean, “but the water was too cold.” Walden and Alan become friends, and the groundwork is set for Walden to move in and take Charlie’s place.
Chicago Sun-Times TV critic Lori Rackl said in her review, “Monday’s opener got off to a surprisingly good start, considering it took place in a funeral home. Penis and fart jokes are one thing — and the first episode made it clear the show intends to keep cranking those out. But death is a tougher sell, even before a studio audience full of fans…Making fun of a dead guy — even a dead guy who’s been with the show for eight long seasons — is exactly the kind of impudence viewers have come to expect from “Two and a Half Men.”
The episode will be continued next week. I may have to tune in again. That Ashton Kutcher sure is easy on the eyes!
Filed under: Guest Blog Posts | Tags: cryonics, estate planning, Frozen Dead Guy Days
This is today’s guest post that I wrote for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys blog.
Former American Idol judge and The X Factor creator Simon Cowell. Famed baseball slugger Ted Williams. Bredo Morstoel. Robert Ettinger. What do these four men have in common? And who are Morstoel and Ettinger?
They all have been, or intend to be, put into a cryogenic deep freeze after death. Their hope: when medical science comes up with a cure for whatever ailed them, they can be revived, cured, and restored to life.
Given that this might happen hundreds of years in the future, if at all, the question is – how will their estates pay for this? You think modern medicine is expensive now, wait until 2311!
Cryogenics is a wild and woolly world. It’s a challenge for the estate planning attorneys of today and could be an issue for decades to come.
Robert C.W. Ettinger conceived cryonics and popularized the idea in a 1963 book, “The Prospect of Immortality.” Ettinger died on July 23, 2011, at the age of 92. Mr. Ettinger’s body was promptly placed in a cryonic capsule and frozen at minus 371 degrees Fahrenheit, after several days of graduated cooling.
Ettinger was a physics instructor and science fiction writer. His idea of freezing the dead for future reanimation repelled most scientists. Still, he persuaded at least 105 people to pay $28,000 each to have their bodies preserved in liquid nitrogen at his Cryonics Institute in suburban Detroit. His mother, Rhea, who died in 1977 at 78, was his first patient. No word in Ettinger’s obituary on how his family will continue to pay for the service in the future.
Before Simon Cowell indicated he’d like to be frozen, baseball legend Ted Williams, whose freezing at an unrelated Arizona facility in 2002 set off a well-publicized family feud, was probably the most notable cryonics adherent.
But even before these two famous cryonics fans, there was Trygve Bauge, grandson of Bredo Morstoel from Norway. We have Grandpa Bredo and Trygve to thank for the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in Nederland, Colorado.
After Grandpa’s death due to a heart condition in 1989, Trygve had him packed in dry ice and shipped to a U.S. cryonics facility. In 1993, Trygve, hoping to start his own cryonics service, moved Grandpa to his concrete bunker home in Nederland, a tiny town 17 miles west of Boulder.
The story then takes a number of interesting turns. Trygve was deported back to Norway in 1995 due to visa issues. Long story short – Grandpa Bredo has been kept in a Tuff Shed-sheltered, dry ice-fueled deep freeze in Nederland ever since. The family sends money monthly to keep the dry ice stocked.
But how long will the family keep sending money? Grandpa Bredo has been on ice for 21 years. As far as anyone can tell, there is no family trust in place to keep “The Ice Man” coming with the monthly 1,600 pounds of dry ice that keeps Grandpa at a steady (and cryogenically inadequate) minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit. (Kids, don’t try this at home!)
At this point, the money from the annual festival benefits the town, not the family. This year, the Nederland Chamber of Commerce put the festival, now going into its eleventh year, up for sale to a professional festival organization.
I’m sure the family and the Chamber of Commerce would appreciate any free advice as to how to keep the cold hard cash coming.