Open Letters

An Open Letter to Dolly Parton

Dear Dolly,

You are one of my most favorite people that I’ve never met. I’ve admired you since I was a little kid, my parents used to have some of your records (an eight-track tape or two, even.) I always loved the stories of your songs even though I never understood them as deeply as I came to understand them with age and more life experience. I think my admiration became really concrete with your role in the movie 9-to-5. You were this really beautiful lady who was funny, hard working, nice and spirited. It’s hard to say you really know who any celebrity is behind the scenes, but I always felt like you did a great job of being a well-decorated version of yourself. Honest and humble, all the while glamorous and focused. I love that. 

I realize this is nothing more than a fan letter, something you’ve likely seen more millions of times than I’ll ever imagine, but I’ve learned the importance of letting people know when they’ve added value to your life. You’ve added value to my life through your stories and your example of what it means to live your dreams. I’ve never been to one of your shows or met you in person. I’ve followed what you’re up to off and on for years from a quiet distance. You’ve left an amazing impression on me. Whenever I peek in, I learn about a million more awesome things you've done in the world and you’ve made and shared more incredible stories.

I’m the mother of two young girls, and bringing girls up in the world gets you thinking a lot about role models and good examples. I never push them to look up to celebrities, but I do encourage them to seek inspiration that moves their soul for reasons they owe no explanation for. You are one of those examples for me. I’ve often thought about what I would say to you if I ever met you. I never turn up with much, I always think I have great questions stored away for those rare occasions when I meet someone who’s been an inspiration to me, but when I’ve found myself in those situations, I often find myself wide-eyed and frozen - just a little too shy to let words escape. I’m sort of a goober that way. 

Thank you, Dolly Parton, for being who you are. For being open and real about life, for dreaming big and keeping to those dreams. Thank you for being absolutely fantastic.

With Respect and Care,


Be sure to check out "Coat of Many Colors" based on the inspiring true story of living legend Dolly Parton's remarkable upbringing:

You can learn more awesome stuff about Dolly at