Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN - Singer Dolly Parton

Thinsulate insulated Fiesta Kup Kollar on a 24 ounce cold take-out cup.

Thinsulate insulated Fiesta Kup Kollar on a 24 ounce cold take-out cup.

I always bring two things along when I fly: a Kup Kollar and a knitting project. Before boarding at the Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport, I stopped by Freshens Smoothies and Yogurt for a “Citrus Mango” smoothie. It was excellent! I like to drink smoothies because they are healthy, easy on my stomach, and no smells to offend other passengers.

As I sipped my Freshens smoothie and clicked my needles, I thought ahead to fulfilling my dream of going to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!


I became a fan of Dolly Parton about 1970. As I followed her career, I admired her on stage and off for her continual work to make the world a better place for others. She began the Dollywood Foundation, which oversees the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

It began in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she was born into a family of twelve children. All children in the county are eligible to receive a free age-appropriate book each month by mail until they are five years old. The program has expanded across the USA and into Canada and the United Kingdom.


Dolly Parton and I share some similarities. We are war babies or Baby Boomers born in 1946. We were children of the 1950s and teenagers during the early 1960s. We both graduated from high school in 1964.

My mom sewed all my clothes too but had only two daughters to clothe! I was thrilled to find the coat Dolly’s mom sewed for her that inspired her to write one of my favorite songs, “Coat of Many Colors.” It was in the Chasing Rainbows Museum.


Dolly and I married handsome young men in our very early 20s. We both wore knee-length wedding gowns and head veils. She and Carl Dean are still married. She’s quoted to say with a smile, “He’s good for me, cause he’s so different in nature from me.”

Perry and I are opposites also, which brings balance and turmoil to our relationship but never boredom!


And of course Dolly and I share a love for country music written and recorded long before we were born. Dolly’s music was so familiar to my family that my two-year-old daughter recognized Dolly’s singing voice every time she heard it. “Mommie, Mommie, it’s Dolly!” she would exclaim.

We enjoyed a musical show “My People” at the Dreamsong Theater in Dollywood.  Many of the performers are Dolly’s family members. A video of Dolly ran on a huge screen. Throughout the show she “talked to and sang with” the band. The show was unique and well done!


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