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I am sorry to hear Jimmy Dean has passed away. I never met Jimmy Dean, but he played a role in my upbringing. Back in the late sixties and early seventies, Jimmy Dean expanded his sausage making operations to Osceola, Iowa which was 20 miles from where I lived at the time. My mother retired from Jimmy Dean Sausage, and my brother worked there until the plant in Iowa closed. I knew and was friends with a large number of people who worked at the Osceola plant. My main statement about Jimmy Dean is this. Before Sara Lee took control of Jimmy Dean Sausage, Jimmy Dean would come to Osceola on a regular basis, and especially for the Christmas parties. The one Christmas part I was able to attend, Jimmy had other obligations and didn't come. But I remember hearing people talk about him how he enjoyed spending time with the people of Osceola and the people who worked for him. When he came to town, there were no strangers, he was among friends. One lady, who was like a grandmother to me, went to see Jimmy one day when he came to town. She talked about what a gentleman he was and how he hugged her and kissed on the cheek. I heard many stories as to how Jimmy Dean was a true gentleman.
Steve, nice commentary. I was in the 8th or 9th grade when 'Big Bad John' came out, it was a song made to impress 13 & 14 year old boys! I remember reading in Johnny Cash's autobiography that when he (Cash) was on drugs, Dean approached him on a plane and gave him a good chastising. Cash said he had it coming, and apparently it stuck with him.
A true American Icon. I had just watched a James Bond movie the other day that he was in. And everytime I hear of a mine incident, I think of his song. But my favorite sausage is still Jimmy Dean.
I enjoyed Jimmy Dean's music and his weekly t.v. show...he had one of the orginal Muppets on. I think the puppet's name was Ralph the Dog. I still have the old 45 rpm record of "Big Bad John". RIP, Jimmy.
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