For the second consecutive year the Tesla Coil failed to appear to amuse adults and terrify small children on Colorado Avenue.
Though Scott Brown’s version of the story on how the Tesla Coil, Nikola Tesla’s strange device that emits electrical current into the air, failed to materialize is much more detailed, the basic fact is a single sheet of paper snuffed out the late-summer tradition.
A two-year-old complaint made about the noise levels of the device, a highlight of the annual Tech Festival run by Brown and his partner John Matthews, from Jim Bedford, operator of the Nugget Theatre, is what eventually led to its entropic demise.
In 2005 Bedford asked Brown to move the device away from the Nugget during show times. “It is likely that the only business in town that requires a reasonable level of quiet from around 6 to 11 p.m. every night is the movie theatre.” Bedford gave the Tech Festival some alternatives, but last year Brown couldn’t get all of the approvals he needed from the town until five days before the event.
“We went through a lengthy process with CCAASE because Jim Bedford said it was too noisy and disturbed his late night movie,” Brown said last week. “I went through five different meetings and CCAASE finally approved it, but it didn’t do any good. It was too late.
“You just can’t get a Tesla Coil at the last minute,” he said. “There just aren’t that many.”
Last year, sans the coil, the Tech Festival was held at the Mountain Village. This year, it wasn’t held at all.
In January, Bedford renewed his request not to have the blazing, and yes, very loud buzzing device emitting lightning bolts in front of his theater.
“In order that you do not run into the same problems you created last year,” Bedford wrote to Brown, “I am once again asking you very early in the year to take all necessary steps to not impact the showing of movies at the Nugget Theatre during TechFest this summer.”
Bedford once again gave the festival some alternatives, but Brown chose another: To throw up his hands in disgust.
This is not rocket science: Apparently, it’s easier to kill an idea on the streets of Telluride than to actually have one.