Sausage king and Grammy-winning Jimmy Dean died the other day just down the James River from here at the age of 81. Don’t think he and I had the same tastes in music or sausage, but from what I’ve read, he done right well from humble beginnings and was a nice, generous guy, so that’s fine he had a long, full life–including rating induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Meat Industry Hall of Fame. Now that takes a true ham.

He and his wife, Donna Meade Dean, had a $350,000 piano-shaped mausoleum designed for him to be entombed in on their Varina property overlooking the James. Wowza. It’s a reminder that no matter how alike we humans are, there are some notable differences. I, for instance, haven’t yet finalized the design of my chocolate chip cookie-shaped mausoleum. 

Shakespeare is always right. Didn’t he almost say, “Oh brave new world that has such people in grand piano mausoleums”?  I’m a little disappointed that the Deans passed on the sausage-shaped mausoleum. THAT might have been enough to make the Dean estate Richmond’s Graceland. This will have to do.

Jimmy Dean Piano Shaped Mausoleum