How ‘The Amazing Petrified Man' — the Subject of a Don McLean Song — Was Finally Buried in Dallas

On an unseasonably warm Valentine's Day afternoon, I visited the final resting place of a man who became a carnival attraction in death."The Amazing Petrified Man," they called him, or "The Eighth Wonder of the World." The traveling corpse of a homeless man who eventually wound up in a Dallas basement and, finally, in this Great Trinity Forest cemetery far southeast of the city's center, a short walk from the Trinity River bluffs where some of Dallas' earliest settlers first stepped foot.Until a few days ago, I knew nothing of the Anderson McCrew buried in Lincoln Memorial Cemetery. I had never seen the Jet magazine story about him written in June 1973. Or heard the song "American Pie" singer-songwriter Don McLean wrote about him a year later, or read the entries about McCrew in such books as Modern Mummies: The Preservation of the Human Body in the Twentieth Century and The Mammoth Book of Tasteless and Outrageous Lists.Then, two weeks ago, came a tweet: "Foggy morning hike in Dallas Great Trinity Forest to the grave of Andrew McCrew the mummified man immortalized by singer Don McClean [sic]," wrote accountant and Trinity protector Ben Sandifer. Later Sandifer told me he had heard the song on the radio recently, and went searching for its history and McCrew's final resting place.   Continue reading...

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