She is a country music icon. She is an actress. A philanthropist. An entrepreneur. And a National Treasure. We do not deserve her. But today she celebrates her 75th birthday. I am talking about Dolly Parton.
This woman from the Smokey Mountains has given us so much. I really can’t think of anyone who can say a bad word about her. All that amazing music. Dollywood. Her roles in 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias. And if you are a young child, you know her as the “Book Lady”
Her Imagination Library is a book giving program that gifts free books to children from birth to age 5 in communities in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland. Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write Dolly started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county. Today, it gifts over 1 million free books each month to children around the world.
She is still at the top of her game, and she even gave 1 million dollars to help fund the Moderna Covid 19 vaccine. And by all accounts, she is a down to earth as you and I. Despite the fact that her net worth is around 500 million dollars. My uncle tells me a story about seeing her in first class on a Delta flight. Word got out that she was on the plane, and slowly the passengers all wanted her autograph. He said she signed every single one, interacted with each person, and could not have been nicer. As I have said many many times, we do not deserve her. But thank goodness we have her.
So Happy Birthday Dolly! Thank you for all you have done to make this world a better place. We’re all grateful for you and all that you do for charity and to entertain us. Especially the music. Keep the music coming. We can all use more Dolly in our lives!
~ Tim Thomas