Sunday, December 18, 2005

Home Sweet Home Revisited

You've simply got to read this story about my hometown, Nederland, Colorado, in yesterday's Rocky Mountain News. It's really pretty good, and should give you an excellent idea why I live here, next to the Frozen Dead Guy:
In a town full of oddballs, it's hip to be 'Ned Head'
But many in Nederland say community gets a bad rap - Frozen Dead Guy aside

NEDERLAND - For years, as one bizarre story after another emerged from this mountain town, people up and down the Front Range have asked themselves, "What is it about Nederland?"

Nederland residents often ask themselves the same thing.

Last month they turned on their television sets to find one of their local characters, Bob Dougherty, being interviewed live by Katie Couric on the Today show.

Dougherty has alleged he was glued to a toilet seat in the Louisville Home Depot for more than 20 minutes while store employees ignored his calls for help. He has sued the company, saying he wants $3 million in damages.

That was hardly the Boulder County town's first turn in the spotlight.

Nederland got used to visits by reporters from the BBC and other international media outlets in 1994 when an eccentric Norwegian decided to have his dead grandpa frozen and stored in a Tuff Shed near Barker Reservoir, where he could await regeneration at some later date.

As other believers in the cryonic approach to immortality began making pilgrimages to Nederland - threatening to bring their deceased relatives with them in a parade of icy devotion - Nederlanders argued over whether the town should be a refuge for the flash frozen.

Eventually, the town made its peace with the dead, even launching a Frozen Dead Guy Days festival that draws thousands to town every March to dance at Grandpa's Blue Ball and marvel at an Ice Queen beauty pageant.

"I think Grandpa enjoys the festival," said Amy Bayless, a former town trustee who moonlights as a ghost buster, helping area residents rid their homes of negative spirits. "He likes the notoriety and the attention. Why wouldn't he?"

Bayless, who has lived in Nederland since 1993, recently moved into the hills outside of town. She was disheartened by a nasty political fight two years ago that led to the ouster of most of the town board.

Nederland, she says, has too many bizarre people...
Ghost Buster Bayless used to be the town board person in charge of the police department. There are so few communities where anyone with the title of "ghost buster" swings any real weight! Nathan the Rabbit Guy is pretty cool, too.

I have a special place in my community — the nut on the hill with the guns. But they always say it with a sense of humor, since I've got the high ground overlooking the town...


Tyler said...

That story make that town, borderline weird.

Anonymous said...

Michael, you should go for the title of "Overlord of Nederland." I'd buy the shirt. You could have your own festival and call in all yoru shooting contacts to participate. The parade would be awesome.

Michael Bane said...

Jeez...what if they make me run the town?