History Colorado bills Denver A to Z as a "lighthearted and interactive exhibit" from Adrenaline to Zombies. Zzzzz. "Near and Dear" mountains for "N"? It's hard to come up with a smart alphabet-shtick variation; I try and fail in this week's column. And I already have a correction: "A" should be for "Advertising," because History Colorado has a smart gimmick going.
I was at Bubba Gump's on Saturday -- hey, the volleyball tournament was just across the street at the Colorado Convention Center -- when a round of coasters landed on our table. They were for History Colorado, and promised "Stories Told Daily."
One side asked, "What happened to Mike the Chicken after his head was chopped off?" The other side gave the answer: "He lived."
The coaster was enough to inspire the out-of-town family I was dining with to head to the History Colorado Center between games.
Too bad the "V" in the insipid Denver A to Z is not for "Volleyball." (It's "Variety.") But still, that was a smart piece of Advertising.
Here's the rest of the History Colorado story of this state's celebrity poultry:
Mike the Headless Chicken Fruita farmer Lloyd Olson only wanted a delicious chicken dinner. Instead, his hunger hatched the career of Mike the "Headless Wonder Chicken." Olson's ax sliced poor Mike's head clean off, but missed his brain stem--enough to keep the chicken alive. "Miracle Mike" shook off the blow as if nothing happened. Mike's tenacity -- he lived an additional 18 months -- made him a chicken celebrity. He toured the United States in 1945, with eager audiences paying 25 cents to see the acephalous wonder. Today, Fruita remembers Mike with a statue and a festival, held each May.
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