Dolly Parton

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Our American Icon is heading toward 70 years of age. But I don’t think Dolly Parton has changed that much since she came out of the hills of eastern Tennessee at the age of 18, and descended on Nashville. She still speaks politically incorrect. I don’t think that will ever change.

She was on the Hallmark show “Home and Family” discussing her movie on NBC Thursday night December 10th “Coat of Many Colors”. She wrote a song by that name many years ago based on the fact that her mom once sewed her a coat together from scraps of material people had given them. The pieces did not match.

What’s important here is the natural Dolly. There were twelve brothers and sisters in her family, and she said her dad was a good man, but he would “whup their butts” if they needed it.

She mentioned that she was fond of make-up at an early age, and came by that fascination because of a lady in town who was always well made-up. She was searching for a word before she said anything, and finally said, people called the lady the “town tramp.” What Dolly so tactfully did not point out was the lady’s form of livelihood, which was evident by her nuance.

Dolly at an early age also didn’t have money for make-up, and went in the woods to gather a poison berry to use the red color of it for lipstick. Her eye shadow was the black from a burnt match.

It was obvious Dolly was suffering either from a cold or some allergy that made her nose run. She had a Kleenex which she used as little as possible. One of the hosts made a remark about it, possibly alluding to the fact she too suffered from that sometimes. Always gracious Dolly offered her Kleenex to her, asking if she wanted to use her “snot rag”. The lady declined with a most awkward facial expression.

That was Dolly who has made millions with her recordings, public appearances, and business ventures. No need to get upper crust just because of that. There was a bit of crispiness involved when Dolly showed the folks on “Home and Family” how to fry green tomatoes. She learned to cook  starting at about nine.

With her money, she could have gone to any prim and proper school of etiquette, but that would have removed the charm we all adore about her.

I suppose some people, although I don’t know who would have the gall, must have told her she looked cheap with some of her outfits, and plastic surgery. I don’t have the exact remark, but this is close to what she said, “Do you realize how much money you have to spend to look cheap”?

Her bodily assets have always been the focal point of men. Whether women notice that type of thing I have no idea. Dolly has no qualms about telling how that came to be.

She had some minor professional things to occur after high school, but her big break came when Porter Wagoner asked her to be on his TV show, and tour with him. They made a lot of records together as well, but Dolly decided to go her own way after seven years.

True to Dolly she did not forget the one responsible for putting her in the public’s eye. She wrote a song for Porter called, “I Will Always Love You” which I’m sure was poetically speaking because she was married at the time.

As if Dolly did not make enough money on her own recording of that song, a lady by the name of Whitney Houston sang it in the movie “The Bodyguard” with Kevin Costner, and that pulled in a bunch of more money.

Dolly was devastated at the news of Whitney’s death. Here again I think that was more as a human being than the fact Whitney had made that song such a big hit a second time. There seems to be no comment that Dolly made about Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Christina, and her untimely death, but you must know there had to be some private grief at the double tragedy of exactly how their lives ended.

The movie “Coat of Many Colors” will be scripted, and I’m sure the lines were followed in making the movie. Wouldn’t it have been refreshing though to have some of Dolly’s country language in the movie? If the scriptwriter called Hollywood home there is no way he/she could have gotten the true flavor of eastern Tennessee, and even if so, words in Dolly’s vernacular could not have found themselves into the script unless Dolly was allowed to put them there. Sometimes when Hollywood meets eastern Tennessee, there is an artificiality that should not be.

Dolly, dear, I will gladly accept your “snot rag” any time you wish to offer it to me. Keep on a being Dolly. You remind us of how Nashville singers used to be real.

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