101mins2009Arts and CultureNR


Arts and Culture
Paul von Stoetzel
"The maker of the Forevertron, 59-year old Tom Every, was himself reborn in the early 1980s. After nearly three decades of work as an industrial wrecker, Every began to question his role in the wholesale destruction of well-designed buildings. In 1983, he gave his demolition business to a son, renamed himself Dr. Evermor, and began to build what he called the Forevertron. His new identity and mission, which he admits was a 'total figment' adopted by 'a man under great duress,". From that day on he dedicated his life to constructing an extraordinary spacecraft that would ultimately deliver him from the 'phoniness of this world' to the truth and unity of the next.

The present-day Forevertron is a monumental sculpture weighing roughly 300 tons and standing 120 feet wide, 60 feet deep and 50 feet high. It consists almost entirely of metals -- iron, brass and stainless steel are the most evident -- and it is both welded and bolted together to maximize stability. The overall arrangement is symmetrical with the principal central section anchored by a broad bank of generators, thrusters and other electromagnetic power sources. The whole structure is capped by a copper-strapped glass ball meant to serve as Dr. Evermor's space capsule. Yes, you read that correctly. The ultimate use of the structure is to send Dr. Evermore into space when he dies.

For over 30 years, Jim Bishop has been building a castle on a mountainside in central Colorado. 'Did it all myself, don't want any help,' he says mechanically as he unloads a pile of rocks that he's hoisted to the 70-foot level on one of the castle towers. Every year since 1969, Bishop has single-handedly gathered and set over 1000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron fortress in the middle of nowhere. Bishop calls it 'a monument to hardworking people' and 'America's biggest, one-man, physical project.' 'I always wanted a castle. Every man wants a castle,' Bishop continues, his voice a broken record, answering the same questions he's obviously been asked thousands of times before.

Jim has also been arrested because of controversy over the castle and has become a self-made militia man to meet the fight and has taught himself law. Happily, those angry years are in the past. Both Uncle Sam and the Colorado Chamber now recognize that Bishop's dementia concretia is marketable, and that he's transformed some heavy, unwanted rocks into pure tourism gold.

The castle is a popular spot. 'I've been here three times,' says one visitor. 'I'm taking my kids to see what one man can do,'
Jim answers simply 'I want to live as long as I can and keep building that castle bigger and bigger and bigger.'"

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